…continued from “Small Elephant Remembers Gideon”
March 13, 2007
I was in “our wing” of the house getting ready for a shopping excursion to make purchases for Amy’s baby shower when some strange and unexpected things began to happen to me. Nothing to rush to the hospital for, but nothing to ignore either. So after I fixed my hair, I packed everything we might need at the hospital…1 suitcase of clothes for me, Chris, and the baby, a bag of toiletries, our DVD player, 3 feather pillows, 5 movies, CD’s, books, crossword puzzles, dominoes, cards, and of course, the camera. I took my little blue suitcase into the living room and said “I think I should take my bag, just in case something happens and I’m stuck in Tulsa without it. But I don’t want to talk about it.” Mom thought that would be a good idea, but then watched with her eyebrows raised as I began to bring all of my other bags and pillows in, piling them all up in the living room. And of course we “talked about it”…all the way to Tulsa!
So I have poured over “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” looking for answers that I have already read over a hundred times, and I come up empty-handed every time. All I can find is that with the symptoms I am having, delivery could be an hour…or weeks…away. Very helpful.
Mom and I just ate at Hideaway Pizza ~ I had a mini cheese pizza, a Caesar salad and a huge glass of Dr. Pepper. Make that two glasses. Those strange and unexpected symptoms are still happening, which means…I am still hours or weeks away from delivery. ??? But at least my tummy is full.
Chris decided to meet me here at Matt and Kaci’s house in Tulsa after work. We’re going to stick around for awhile and see if anything happens before we return to the boondocks. I cried like a baby when I saw him, for I have been in a tumult all the day long and now he can be in charge.
Kaci just got home from work, and we have decided to go to Scott’s in Bixby and have a hamburger. Then I think Chris and I will go home because nothing is happening, and I’m beginning to feel quite silly for causing such a stir.
MY WATER JUST BROKE at Scott’s Hamburgers, waiting in line to make our order!!! All I have heard during my entire pregnancy is that this kind of thing only happens in the movies and that I shouldn’t even worry about it happening. But it wasn’t as embarrassing as I feared it would be ~ rather quite dramatic and exciting ~ and it will be great in The Harry Herald. I actually said that to Chris. “You would think of that.” he said.
I will never forget our drive from the hamburger place back to Matt and Kaci’s house to fetch our car. My brother’s knuckles were white on the steering wheel and I just kept apologizing about their leather seats. Sorry ’bout that…but so cool to share this experience with my brother and sister-in-law.
I changed clothes at Matt and Kaci’s…a lot of good that did. Apparently when your “water breaks” it’s not just a one-moment deal…it is the gift that keeps on giving. Everytime you stand up. Everytime. Every. time.
Chris and I just got into our car and realized that the gas tank is empty. I guess he was a little distracted on the way here. So we have to stop and get some gas and then on to the hospital! I wish Jerry and Amy were here and not in Kentucky…
I am having my first ever contractions, about five minutes apart, and I know now why people say “Don’t worry…when you are having them, you’ll know.” Yep. I know now – it doesn’t feel like gas, it doesn’t feel like a sharp pain. It feels like…a contraction. They don’t really hurt yet – it just feels like my belly tightens up – but I’ve heard they will hurt eventually. Yay!
After accidentally going to St. John’s hospital first (true story!), we arrived at Hillcrest. Chris and I were both shaking with anticipation and adrenaline and were kind of clumsy and scatter-brained as we unloaded the car. We walked to the front desk together with the gigantic load of things I had packed – the receptionist asked when my inducement was. “Oh, I’m not being induced,” I told her. “My water just broke.” She looked surprised. “Well aren’t you calm?” she said and then looked at my baggage. “And so well-prepared!” Of course we are. I never go anywhere without my make-up and an extra pair of shoes…
Matt and Kaci were not long behind us and came in to our prep room where I’m getting hooked up to all kinds of machines. Kaci told me that Matt said with a bit of awe “My little sister is about to have a baby…” I don’t think my ultra-conservative brother ever dreamed he would be such a large player in tonight’s events, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. God writes beautiful stories.
We are settled in to a very comfortable room. My parents are here. Chris and Daddy are watching a basketball game, but have been courteous enough (after I cleared my throat very loudly) to mute it. (I can’t stand fan roaring, even on a non-labor day). We were lucky enough to get a BIG corner room, but I didn’t gloat so I wouldn’t jinx my labor. Chris would call that superstitious.
Chris was just rubbing my back for me and exclaimed “Good grief, Lesley!” When I asked what was the bother, he silently plucked something off of my back and held it up…it was a tick. Country….Bumpkin! What kind of redneck would the nurses have thought I was if he had not found that first?!
March 14th, 2007, 12:00 a.m.
This is getting kind of painful. Chris is “hoo-hoo-hee”-ing with me and I keep using his arm to bury my face every time a contraction hits. During one contraction, he sweetly asked me if I wanted him to rub my back. “I don’t want you to talk.” I replied, my words muffled in his arm. Then I began absentmindedly rubbing on his shoulder and he said “Oh, so you’re going to rub my back?” I said “Shhhhhh.” When the pain was unbearable, I lost control of my breathing exercises and just writhed in pain. Chris encouraged me to breathe. My mature response? “I don’t want to. I hate breathing. I think it’s stupid.”
The nurse said it might take 45 more minutes until my epidural and asked if I might like something to take the edge off of my pain. I said “Yes!” before she even finished her sentence, and in less than five, I was floating. Chris said I laid there with one eye barely open and a ridiculous smile on my face as I met the doctor on duty. I don’t even remember getting my epidural (the part I dreaded most) and slept for a few hours. When I woke up, I couldn’t feel a thing! Who said having a baby is painful? This is a breeze!
Dr. Tramonte, a blessing from the Lord, is here. He was to leave on a mission trip to China in just two days and we thought all along there was no way he would be here to deliver Gideon into this world. I am so glad that one of the first people our little boy will meet is a godly young man who has devoted his life and his work to the Lord and has spent time praying for our son. We’re going to start really working soon at having this baby…let the fun begin!
So apparently the epidural is great in that you don’t feel anything at all…but there is also a problem with it. You don’t feel anything at all. So when the nurse says “Push!” and you obey, she ends up laughing and saying “The only thing you just did was flex your neck muscles. Try again.”
It’s like a party in here. The lights are dim, there are three nurses cracking jokes with me, Dr. Tramonte is chatting with my Mom and Chris…but every so often when a new contraction comes along, we all straighten up and focus. They surround me in a bit of a semi-circle while coaching and encouraging me and I do my best to do what they say. It’s the weirdest situation I’ve ever been in, becoming instant comrades with this group of strangers in what would normally be a very vulnerable and embarrassing capacity. But tonight, we’re a team, all working toward one goal…bringing Gideon Michael Gore into this great big world.
He’s here!!!! What an amazing feeling to have a human being go from the inside of my belly to my arms in a matter of minutes. His hair is red. And so is the rest of him! I’m a bit overwhelmed right now, but I feel like I’ve really accomplished something in this life.
Chris just brought me a Sausage McGriddle and a cup of coffee and I think it is the best meal I have ever eaten in my life, the first thing aside from ice chips to reach my stomach since lunch yesterday. We’re already having visitors, which I love. And there is my little baby Gideon, wrapped up like a burrito and snoozing away right next to me. I’m so glad he was courteous enough to be born and get us to our new room before Regis and Kelly came on. I like this kid already.
My brother Pete and his wife Jennifer just came to see us. Pete held Gideon for awhile and then went to lay him down in his bassinet. “Do I just put his head on his pillow?” he asked. The “pillow” he was referring to was a plastic package of wet wipes. Pete has a lot to learn before he gets to baby-sit for us.
March 15, 2007
We think Gideon will be an entertainer someday. The nurses brought him in to show us how to care for his lower regions and he decided to do a trick. He blew a poop bubble. That’s right, a poop bubble. Just like a bubble you would blow with bubble gum, but it wasn’t pink. Despite our amusement, Chris and I stepped back, lest it should pop.
March 16, 2007
I had no idea that the little plastic IV cartridge taped onto my arm this entire time was actually connected to something underneath my skin. The nurse went to remove it so I could shower and out came the longest needle I’ve ever seen. I looked in slow motion at Chris, who was watching me very quietly from the edge of his seat across the room. “Did you know that?” I mouthed. He nodded slowly, like he had been harboring a great secret. If I hadn’t been so determined to get that shower, I would have passed out on the spot.
March 17, 2007
We have checked out of the hospital. For lack of a better word, this feels plumb weird to officially be in charge of the baby that is sitting in our backseat. He belongs to us?! Chris is driving verrrrry slowly. And I kid you not, Spring has sprung since we came here on the night of the 13th. The grass is green, flowers are blooming…and I’m bringing home my new baby!!
March 17, 2007
We’re home! I am definitely seeing the world with new eyes, and what a feeling it was to walk down that sidewalk and bring my baby boy into the very house that I came home to as an infant. March 13th and 14th will forever hold one of the most incredible memories I possess ~ I already find myself, just four days later, revisiting them much as I do my wedding day and honeymoon, with joy and pride and, to be honest, a bit of sadness that I cannot remain in them but must continue on and perhaps face sadder days and less fond memories. How I wish I could cling to days like this forever and keep all of my loved ones around me, safe and sound. But I will not dwell on anxieties, for there is much joy to be had today. Indeed, there is a miracle sitting in my lap at this very minute. I made him a person, and he made me a Mother…I think we’re going to be a great team.