In that order, but it took a whole day to achieve my life’s greatest accomplishment.
In 1981, March 23 fell on a Monday.
This year, my Angel Boy is in New York at a conference at NYU. My BABY boy is not a baby anymore. That’s a hard concept to grasp…
The day before…
I took my dogs, Beowulf and Sabrina, out for an early morning walk.
My mom was going to come over around noon and take me shopping — see, that’s where I get it from!
It was a full week past my due date and those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions were terrifying me on a daily basis. My mom was the head RN of Women’s Surgical at a local hospital. She thought a bit of retail therapy (see what I mean?) would take my mind off of that discomfort.
At that time, my son’s dad and I lived in an older part of San Diego; Hillcrest. The sidewalks were deteriorated with huge cracks and fissures.
With my big belly full of Angel Boy blocking my view, I tripped and fell — not hard — but with sixty extra pounds on my normally one hundred pound frame, I was more than a little ungainly.
I remember being super embarrassed for anyone to watch my feeble attempts to get up. Luckily, no one was out that early. I leaned on Beowulf (one-hundred-pounds of Akita/Husky/Wolf) who stood about thirty inches at his shoulders, and he was a sturdy support to help me up.
I continued walking home — just a few blocks — and didn’t think much about my fall, but I did tell my mom when she picked me up to go to the mall.
She knew everything there was to know about birthin’ babies.
She reminded me that she had told me a zillion times not to go walking alone this late in pregnancy, but I replied like I always did, “Blah, blah, blah…I’m not listening to a word you say.”
We stopped at a lingerie shop and she bought me a beautiful rosebud sprigged shortie nightgown.
As we were leaving the store, I whispered to her, “Mom, I think I wet my pants.”
(Dumb me, who had read every single book ever written about pregnancy and childbirth, didn’t comprehend what had happened.)
My mom instantly went into what we always called her “nursey” mode.
Quizzing me non-stop about any other symptoms in a very calm voice, we cut short our shopping day (darn) and drove home.
I don’t want to be too gross here; let’s just say other things were leaking out of me, too…
Suddenly, those Braxton Hicks contractions became the real thing.
I called my doctor. It was time.
All during my pregnancy, I had planned to deliver at home, au natural, with my mom as midwife.
Toward the end, it became obvious that my Angel Boy was too big for that to be possible.
I hate hospitals.
I didn’t want that atmosphere to be the first memories implanted in my baby’s precious brain. With reluctance, I agreed that his health was more important than my hippie chick desires, and hubs, mom, and I all went to the hospital.
The doc examined me, concluded that the fall had merely torn the amniotic sac and the potential for introducing bacteria was a concern, so I agreed to let him completely puncture it to speed up the process.
And oh yes, speed it up it did. The mild contractions intensified.
Other than the unrelenting pain, which didn’t respond to that stupid Lamaze class training, I remember my son’s dad watching “Patton” on the wall TV in the birthing room.
I will always hate him for that.
After being in labor all night, my mom and the doc had a consultation.
Apparently, my baby had a head the size of Plymouth Rock and it was stuck.
It just wouldn’t come out.
I was so upset I couldn’t stop crying.
I had failed my first test as a mom.
So…at 9:42 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 1981, I had an emergency Caesarean Section.
I was wide awake and watched it all.
In the end, I guess it didn’t really matter how my Angel Boy got here.
He was beautiful and healthy; 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches. He scored a 9 on the Apgar Scale; a high achiever from the beginning!
Happy 33rd birthday, Professor Angel Boy!