Should I stay or should I go? That was the question that was running through my mind on the morning of May 8, 2011.
I was having painful contractions every four to five minutes, but after two trips to the hospital earlier in the week, I was unsure of myself. I had gone in to the hospital on the morning of May 3 thinking that it was time to bring my beautiful baby boy into the world. An hour and a half later, I was on my way home. On May 6, my due date, I found myself in more pain as the day progressed. So that evening, after putting my daughter to bed, we made the trip to the hospital again. They kept me overnight and gave me pain medicine. Upon examining me at 8 a.m. the next morning, they discovered that I had made no progress and my contractions had stopped. So it was back home I went. Naturally, when these new contractions came upon me early in the morning of Mother's Day, I dismissed them. Then it got to the point where I couldn't walk and every muscle in my body ached. For the third time that week, my wonderful husband drove me back to the hospital. This time there would be no going home, at least not without a baby!
As the nurse attached fetal heartbeat monitors to my very pregnant belly. I informed her that I refused to go home again. I was two days past my due date and ready to be done. Two days late felt like an eternity to me after my first child. Sara Rose was due to be born on April 21, 2008. Imagine my surprise when my water broke in the early morning hours of March 18. My delivery went smoothly, and I gave birth to her at 5:50 pm, weighing 6 lbs. 10 oz. and 21 inches long. However, due to being five weeks early, her lungs were not completely developed. She stayed in the NICU for one week until she was ready to go home. When I discovered that I was pregnant for a second time, my doctors decided that the best course would be progesterone treatments. Starting at week 16, I would receive weekly injections of progesterone, a hormone that would help prevent my uterus from contracting. I would finish the shots at 36 weeks. I was convinced that the week after my last shot, I would be delivering my son. So two days late was new territory for me and I definitely did not want to go any farther.
When my doctor arrived at the hospital and examined me, she said that I had now dilated to 3 centimeters and my contractions were doing their job! They would break my water and I would have my baby!
Within 15 minutes of that decision, the anesthesiologist arrived in my room to give me my blessed epidural. Two hours after breaking my water, I had dilated to 8 centimeters. When I called the grandparents to give them the update, they asked how I was feeling. My mother laughed when I told her that we were watching Lethal Weapon and waiting for the next exam. At my house, the two sets of grandparents were a nervous wreck and impatiently waiting for the call to bring our daughter to meet her brother.
An hour later, the nurse came into examine me. My contractions were strong, so she wanted to check me out. I was shocked when she asked me to give her a push. I was even more shocked when she said that I was at 10 centimeters and my son was ready to make his debut. She quickly left the room to get the doctor, as I sat there in bed thinking “no way is this it!” When I had my daughter, I felt the pressure and the urge to push. This time, the epidural really did its job! My doctor came in and the nurses moved quickly to get the room ready for a newborn.
With three pushes and two coughs, I delivered my handsome little boy. Kevin Patrick, Jr. was born at 4:05 pm. He weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. and was 21 inches long. He was also the picture of health. When they handed him to me, immediately after being born, tears flowed from my eyes. I did not have that opportunity with my daughter. In fact, I couldn't hold her without wires hanging from her body until the night before we took her home. They never wheeled her little bed into my room, but with him all was well. As I stared into my son's beautiful eyes, my world grew a little bit brighter. Nine months of nausea, heartburn, backache, and needles were so worth the wait!
There would be no NICU this time. When I was discharged from the hospital, I could leave with my child! There would be no tears of leaving part of me behind. Only tears of exhaustion and frustration awaited me at home. We brought Kevin to his home on May 10, 2011 and I cannot remember what life was like before him. He is three months old today, and I have no idea where three months have gone. There have been countless diaper changes, bottles fed, and clothes changed. There have been trips to Pittsburgh, the Poconos, and the Outer Banks. There have been smiles and giggles and a love I cannot put into words. As he wraps his tiny perfect hands around my finger, I cannot wait to watch him grow into the man he is meant to be. I just have one favor to ask … can time just not slip away quite so quickly?