Welcome to the first installment of Becoming Mothers!
I’ve been thrilled to see the flood of fantastic stories about how YOU became a mom. Be sure to tune in now through Mother’s Day to read the experiences of your fellow moms–everything from a teen pregnancy to surrogacy to open adoption to more traditional tales.
To kick everything off, the story of my soon-to-be 8-year-old daughter, Hurricane Hadley. On May 25, she graced the world with her presence. Her birth and subsequent life have been one WILD ride.
Not to mention the car we now owe her for her 16th birthday because of it.
Monday, May 24th — More than one week before Hadley’s due date. Busy making final preps on our brand new house until late. Husband Jamie is incredibly stressed with projects at work and yearns to skip out. His final words to Hadley before bedtime: “If you come tomorrow, I’ll buy you a car when you’re 16.” Daddy’s final lesson before becoming a parent: be careful what you wish for. It may actually come true.
Tuesday, May 25th-1, 3, 5 and 6 a.m. — As usual, Amber waddles to the bathroom.
7 a.m. — Waddles to the bathroom again. Discovers something unusually wet — her water possibly broke! Calls the doc who tells them to come in. Jamie rejoices about starting his two-week “vacation.” The reality of his car pledge later hits him with great force.
9 a.m. — Meet with the doc. Performs various tests. Bag of waters is ruptured with a leak but is not broken. Evil woman sends Amber and Jamie home.
10 a.m. — Amber and Jamie go on long walk (a.k.a. waddle), hoping to kick things into motion. Steady leak continues but no real progress.
11:45 a.m. — Decide to grab a sandwich at Einstein Bagels. After eating, Amber blows her nose. Suddenly, the flood gates open. In very public booth #3 at Einstein’s. At lunchtime. Amber hisses at Jamie to discreetly grab her some napkins to cleanup. Jamie obliges and brings back two napkins, not understanding that bag of waters is in actuality, plural. Meaning many.
12:30 p.m. — After operation “Cleanup in Booth 3,” Amber casually strolls (a.k.a. waddles with soaked pants) to the Jeep. They rush to the hospital. Jamie drops her off with a grocery bag of personal items. He proceeds to park the car and bring in the suitcase.
12:45 p.m. — As Amber stealthily walks up to the nurse’s station, she notes her appearance: soaked black sweats, unruly hair and a Wal-Mart bag for luggage. Jamie arrives with the rest of the luggage, announcing to the nurses: “Has anyone seen a strawberry-blonde with wet pants?” They chortle delightfully, later avowing his statement will go down as the funniest entrance in Birthing Center History. What a crackup.
1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Amber put on Pitocin (also known as “Pit”) to induce labor. Later discovers it is actually the “pits.” Light contractions begin but she can barely feel them and spends the afternoon watching Dr. Phil and Oprah with Jamie. Wonders what all those wimpy women have been whining about for centuries re: the “pains of childbirth.”
5:30 p.m. — Discovers what those “wimpy women” were talking about. The hard way. Now wonders why women would knowingly choose to do this multiple times.
6 p.m. — Excruciating Pain Con’t. Jamie compares Amber to Jekyl and Hyde. Cracking jokes and delightful…until the contractions hit. Jamie does a fabulous job as coach. Is instrumental in helping Amber Hyde maintain her composure.
7 p.m. — Amber’s best friend Mimi the Epidural Lady arrives. About 45 excruciating minutes later than requested. Amber practices the Miracle of Forgiveness. But not until after the drug kicks in.
7:30 p.m. — Amber is a new woman and plays the waiting game until full dilation. Jamie and Amber have a delightful time talking travel with the doc and nurse. Amber ponders the mysteries of life i.e. why anyone would chose not to get an epidural. Equates it to the lunacy of climbing Everest without oxygen but has great respect for those who do.
10:15 p.m. — Starts pushing. Ouch.
11:05 p.m. — Everest attained. With oxygen. But the views are nonetheless spectacular! Beautiful Hadley arrives pretty and pink. Mom Amber now understanding why women do this multiple times. Dad Jamie still worried about that new car he owes his obedient daughter.
And thus began our tale of living “Happily Ever After!” (or would that be sleepless?)