Are you ready for his birth story?
Last Saturday we went to Margaret's lacrosse game. I was almost 38 weeks pregnant. This picture was taken a week or so earlier, but you get the idea.
Later that night, we attended a birthday celebration for our friend who passed away in December. We headed home around 10:30 in a crazy wind storm, and I eventually went down to my twin mattress on the floor of the basement, the only place that has felt comfy for me in a while.
During one of many night-time bathroom breaks, I felt my way up the stairs in the dark and realized the electricity was out because of the wind.
Still 2 weeks from my due date, but feeling "ready" and having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, I decided it was probably a bad idea to give birth alone in a basement with no electricity. Therefore, I slowly made my way up to Tim's and my bedroom in the dark and got an hour or two of sleep.
As soon as I stood up on Sunday morning, I felt a huge gush of water, as if someone had dropped two watermelons full of liquid on the floor at my feet.
It was GO TIME.
I called out to Tim, "The baby's coming!" and made myself a makeshift diaper out of towel, trying to figure out how to get dressed with the water still pouring out. I found an adult diaper, quickly got dressed, grabbed my bag, and we headed downstairs. Little did I know I'd be wearing adult diapers for the next week, maybe longer.
Our friend Jenn showed up within 10 minutes to take care of Margaret and the dogs, and we were off!
Sunday morning traffic meant we got to the hospital in only 20 minutes. I will say that Tim backed up a tad on the exit ramp of the highway when he missed a turn. Nerves. We pulled up at the hospital and he started pulling into the parking garage. I looked down at my enormous girth and said, "Nope. Nope. Drop me off." We pulled up to the hospital entrance, got waved in by attendants who let us leave our car there, and headed to triage.
At this point we had left a message with the OB's office, and we wondered which doc would be on call on a Sunday morning. The hospital was eerily quiet and felt deserted.
We still didn't know whether the baby had gone back to breech position in the past few days, and whether I would need to have a c-section. Because my water had broken, and the clock was ticking, it was important to see if he was breech because otherwise his cord could have come out first, which is very dangerous. The triage nurse decided to check me. It felt like she was so far up in there that she was scraping my eyeballs. Boy, did that hurt, but the baby's head was down! This would likely be a vaginal birth, and the cord was NOT hanging out!
I thanked the baby for being so obliging to stay head down, and for having my water break, which is the golden ticket into the hospital instead of laboring and waiting at home, which would have made me very nervous since we were so far from the hospital.
After a while in triage, with Cindy Crawford's gorgeous 48 year old self soundlessly hawking moisturizer on the tv on the wall, we got moved up to L&D.
The adorably pregnant nurse was named Andrea, so I told her if she did a great job, we would name the baby after her. Hee Hee! Andrea...Andrew, get it?
I felt no pain or contractions at all, but was going on the belief that once things got moving, they would get moving fast, only because that's how it was with Jack and Margaret. Before long, my sister arrived from 2 hours away. I didn't ask how fast she'd driven. I worked on a crossword puzzle while Tim watched some baseball on tv.
It was not lost on us that we were having a baby on Opening Day of Baseball Season, something Jack would have LOVED.
Even though I wasn't in pain, I got my epidural as soon as the anesthesiologist was available, and I'm so glad I did! As soon as they started the pitocin, to move the labor along, things did, indeed proceed quickly. The doc checked on me and I wasn't dilated much, so she said, "See you in 2 hours." I looked at Tim and my sister and mouthed, "It's not going to be two hours."
Bam, bam, bam the contractions picked up! At some point, the nurses became concerned because the baby's heart rate kept dropping, yet I wasn't having contractions. I could feel that I really WAS having contractions, so I had Tim time them for me. Turns out the sensors on my belly were faulty and were not registering the contractions. Once they figured that out, it was less stressful because it's not unusual for a baby's heart rate to drop during a contraction.
As I predicted, within just a few minutes of the doctor leaving, the nurse called her back to prep for delivery. I was fully dilated, in pain, and convinced I was going to poop all over the place. "This is going to be a real shit show," I said, warning Tim and my sis. I squeezed their hands hard and braced myself both for a small amount of humiliation/diarrhea and a large amount of joy.
The doc told me to push, and the good news is that the the poop was really a beautiful baby. Three quick pushes and he was out!
No longer could I be in denial about being pregnant or about having a baby at 46. It was real! My body did it! It felt as familiar as it had the first time, 17 years ago.
They put beautiful Andrew Luke on my chest.
We broke generations of tradition on both sides of the family and gave him a middle name that is not a family last name. We just knew that LUKE was perfect because of Jack's favorite Bible verse, Luke 1:37, "For nothing is impossible with God." I love that this verse is about Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus. It put her in a very difficult position, but she met her circumstances with acceptance and grace.
I'm not saying that as long as we are "with God," He gives us what we want. Frankly, I know too many people whose yearnings and greatest desires are not met in this lifetime. But I do know that for a family whose very survival was in doubt, this little baby is a beautiful reminder of hope out of despair and beauty from ashes. What would have seemed impossible, even a little C-RAZY to us, is indeed where we are today. And we are so grateful as we honor what was, and live into what IS and is to come.