I couldn’t reach my shoes.
That’s when I knew it was time.
I’d bend down to slip off the Birkenstocks and the socks, which luckily still fit me in late November, to cool off my hideously inflated body, and realize the watermelon that protruded at belly level was in the way.
My husband would remove the offending clothing, and we’d sit in our quiet duplex, a giant pregnant silence over our pregnant household, waiting for the doctor to place us in our lane and pop the cap gun that would mean our firstborn would be on his way out.
It wasn’t until the 5th or 6th month that they’d diagnosed me with gestational diabetes. I wondered why I was gaining weight so quickly (yeah, I know what I ate, why I was surprised I have no idea). The doctor asked if I’d done a glucose tolerance test, and I said, yes, in the second or third month, but I never heard the results because their office said no news was good news. She checked my chart. No lab results. Called the lab. Oops. OOPS? They’d lost my results. So I had to have a one-hour test, the sick one where you drink that sugary orange liquid and have blood drawn twice.
The results weren’t good.
I did the three hour glucose test, more orange syrup, 4 blood draws.
In early December, after months of poking my finger 4 times a day to check my glucose levels, after months of constant UTIs, and other problems that left me wondering how women all over the world did this thing constantly, the doctor announced, “We’re going to induce you. We think he’s about 8 ½ pounds, and that’s the limit for a vaginal birth.” No matter that he wasn’t due for a couple weeks. An amnio showed his lungs were ready. And I was certainly ready to see the tops of my feet again.
They admitted us to the hospital on a Tuesday.
They gave me drugs.
I dilated. A little. I sweated. I pushed. I waited.
It was a three-day ordeal.
Thursday morning, we’d all had enough. They broke my water, and upped my drugs, and thank the jeebus for epidurals.
After hours and days of struggling, after contorting my overstuffed balloon body into every position imaginable to squeeze out my babe (try the “frog” position when you’re that big…trust me, you’ll want to punch the nurse too), after hearing the words, “We’re gonna use forceps, and if his head doesn’t budge this time, we’ll do a C-section”, at 9:24 p.m.….
My son was born.
With two bruises on his head from the baby salad tongs.
Weighing 9 pounds, 12 ounces.
As the sky sifted snow in great gobs over everything.
He was perfect.
That was 10 years ago today.
These tears? Right here? Tears of pure joy.
Happy Birthday, Boy-Child…I love you. So much.