I should have known better than to expect my second baby to arrive on time. After all, the first one came a week early and made several attempts to arrive even earlier (to no avail). Picture this: It’s the day before Thanksgiving 2002. My school teacher-husband is off from work and our 3 year old daughter is excited to have us both to herself. Our plans included Waffle House for breakfast, dropping her at the grandparents’ house so we could hit the OB for the standard weekly checkup and then visiting a dealership to buy a minivan (insert deep sigh here). But my little in-utero man had other plans. After breakfast I began to experience what I thought were post-Waffle House gastrointestinal pains that continued until we reached my OB’s office. As per usual, my OB chatted it up with my hubby because they rarely got to see each other. “How’s the soccer season shaping up, Coach? Gonna win state this year?” It was a good 15 minutes before my actual exam started before it was clear: I was 3 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. Seems as though those were actual contractions and not bodily reminders that an 8 months-plus pregnant woman has NO business ordering scattered, covered and smothered hash browns.
So the phone calls to family were made and the laps around the maternity ward began. My sweet brother brought my husband lunch (but brought me NOTHING, Imight add). Around 2 p.m. that afternoon, things started getting dicey. That old familiar pain returned to my abdomen and my poor husband’s shirt was reduced to a crumpled mess as each contraction ebbed and flowed. A fabulous nursing staff began to fulfill my wildest dreams by flushing my veins in preparation for my lovely epidural. Alas, once again, my body betrayed me and the IV became “positional” and unable to flush those pesky veins. After a particularly heinous contraction released its grip from my body, I heard a slight and calm voice saying “Mrs. Owen, the IV is not working, and you, my dear, are going to have this baby without the epidural.” I was screaming inside (and by my husband’s account, I was screaming a little outside too) but felt calm wash over me. (Or was that the water breaking?) The next thing I remember was hearing frantic phone calls being made to my OB’s office across the street. He needed to get here SOON because—unlike my first child—this baby was not going to shrink back inside, disinterested in the evacuation process. No way. This boy was coming out, whether my OB had on his running shoes or not.
Less than 40 minutes later, at 3:12 p.m. I gave birth to a very awake 7 pound 12 ounce baby boy. My OB made it just in time. And I promptly ordered a turkey sandwich and a diet coke while my new little man was weighed and cleaned. With the birth of each of my children I was awakened to the miracle of the never-ending depth of our ability love another human being. And with this one, I learned the most important lesson of all: Do not eat Waffle House on ANY day that could possibly, even remotely be the day you might give birth.
I’m just sayin’.