In all honesty, for the five wonderful, exhausting and life changing years that followed the birth of my first child, I walked around with a slight feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had somehow been “cheated”—that my birth story wasn't dramatic or exciting.
There was a planned induction complete with packed bags, an early morning arrival at the hospital, and a notified family all in tow. Nothing too exciting. (Except for the awesome baby that came a few hours later.) There was no big “This is it!” moment or even a “I THINK this is it!” moment. There was a plan, it was well executed, and at the end of the day we had a healthy, happy daughter, Emma. Then in 2009, I found myself anxiously awaiting another baby, and I anticipated a delivery much like the first one. (Ha.)
Picture this: we're nearing the end of 40 long weeks. A woman who should weigh around 130 pounds is waddling all over town at a whopping 210 pounds and feeling every ounce of that. The aforementioned 5 year old is ready for the baby, the father is ready for the baby, and for the love of all things good and holy, the mother is ready to explode. Oh, and also ready for the baby. I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, excess amniotic fluid, and had diagnosed myself as being “enormous” and “fed up,” among other things. I had gone for a check up and had a mutual agreement with the doctor to “please kindly take this baby from my body before I punch you” or something. So the papers were drawn up and signed saying that our boy would be born the following morning on July 31st if all went as planned.
That evening, I had some pain. But since I had been having pain for weeks, I thought nothing of it. I went to bed to try to get some sleep. At around 1 a.m. however, I was awakened in a very fierce manner by my own moaning. Apparently I was in labor. Imagine it! Me with my very own middle-of-the-night-trip-to-the-hospital exciting delivery story! Woot! Except at the time I didn't feel so much Woot as I did omygoshthisistheworstpaineverHELPMEEEEE. So I jumped (ok, rolled) out of bed to wake my husband and daughter. My husband got up quickly but not as quickly as my daughter, who immediately grabbed her bag and started to jump on her bed and sing “Mommy's having a baby!!” over and over in a sing-song voice. Sound cute? It was not. By this point I had pretty much lost the ability to stand up straight or focus my eyes. I was concerned that I couldn't get down the two flights of stairs to the car but I did. However, not before I decided to … pack some more clothes. (Really, Lindsey?) My husband said something about how he thought that maybe we should just go and meanwhile my daughter was still sing-songing “BAAABY, BAAABY!!! Woowoowoo!” in circles around me.
We got in the car. My pain was intense—terrible, even. It was the worst pain I had ever felt and I had already delivered one baby, undergone two back surgeries, and had my stupid front teeth knocked out in an unfortunate high heel incident at age 16. So I knew pain. In stark contrast to the hospital drive with our first baby, which was calm, driven at the speed limit, and featured sweet, hopeful comments about our impending birth all set to peaceful music, this car ride was like something from an amusement park gone wrong. My husband was jeopardizing everyone's lives by driving at least 35 miles over the speed limit, I was holding on for dear life, and my daughter was hollering at me to “Turn up my music because all that crying and screaming you're doing is making me not hear my song so good.” (I should mention that she was definitely referring to the Kidz Bop CD that some idiot had let her put in the stereo earlier in the day and now some obnoxious children were singing “HEY NOW, YOU'RE AN ALL STAR, GET YOUR GAME ON! GO! PLAY!”) At any rate, we dropped our daughter off with our emergency on-call friend and made it to the hospital.
In a well-intentioned effort, my husband pulled up to the curb outside the emergency room door and said, “Get out!” So I did. But then I couldn't stand up. And I turned to ask him for help but he was driving away. I was crying for real at that point. Then an angel from heaven, dressed as an old man security guard, appeared, sat me in a wheel chair and then whisked me into the hospital. My husband was running to catch up, explaining that he'd gone to park the car (really) and the old man was shouting, “We've got a live one here! Open up those doors!” So we were rushed to delivery. Turns out, I made it just in time to 1) find out my exact weight in a process that can only be a sick joke invented by skinny nurses, 2) scream at some people, and 3) get my beautiful epidural. There was some passing of time before the epidural when I became very ugly. I hope no one was injured. But then there was a flurry of noise, nurses, activity and it was time to push. In the midst of all that, my cell phone alarm went off and no one could disable it, which made me feel like I was near hysterics. And then—finally—in a moment of chaos and volume that would have made Tom Cruise weep, it happened. Sweet, precious Porter Hill Blackwell was born at 5:07 a.m. They laid him on my chest and I could see that he had a shocking head full of black hair and a face that made me never want to sleep again for fear that I'd miss some of his goodness. He was perfect and healthy and had even at one second old had already changed me forever.
The rest, as is often said, is history. Porter is now 18 months old and still changing my life every day. And that, friends, is the birth story of my second child. It's all mine and I love it. And God bless the old man security guard.