Each time we have been blessed with a child was another defining moment in not just our life, but S.O.’s and I’s relationship. Six years ago today, at 11:34 p.m., #6 came into the world and changed our life again.
It had been 11 years since I had a baby. I was nervous that I would forget everything that I had known about babies but it turns out, you remember pretty quickly how to change diapers faster than a NASCAR pit crew. This was S.O.’s first experience with babies. He came into our relationship as a step father to 5, ranging in age from 16 to 8 so the newborn business was completely new to him and he handled it like a champ.
March 21st started off normal. My due date was not until April and I had plenty of time so S.O. and I ran into town with my mother-in-law to pick out fabric for #6’s room and to pick up suitcases for my sister-in-law. I was having pretty bad back pain but this was fairly normal for this pregnancy. #6 liked to rub her head on my spine in a sign of how much she loved me. That was what I chose to believe. I limped through the fabric store and we picked out some pretty glittery lilac fabric. I than announced that I was starving and forced S.O. to take me to a local Italian restaurant for some killer Caesar salad and some shrimp. Which I promptly ejected out of my stomach and into the parking lot of T.J. Maxx. Guess #6 was not feeling the love for Italian food that day.
Shopping and snacking done, we headed home. S.O. was grilling brats (for those not from the Midwest, brats are not children with bad attitudes but a spiced sausage link also known as bratwurst) with the boys in the yard while I was making mac’n’cheese in the kitchen like a good little wifey. (If I had to choose to standing outside in March and grill or stay in my warm kitchen and throw some Kraft Mac n’ Cheese in a pot, than warm kitchen it is!)
While I was draining the Mac n’ Cheese I felt a warm gush go down my leg. Now, this was my sixth pregnancy. I should have known what this was. But, as any person who has ever been hugely pregnant knows, sometimes you piddle a little. Laugh, oops there it is. Cough, sneeze, move suddenly, yep, you just peed yourself a little. I was fairly certain that is what it was. But it just kept happening. And than, in my pregnant brain, something clicked. Oh, yeah, my water just broke. While I was making dinner. Yay.
I waddled to the back door and poor unsuspecting S.O., who was on his phone chatting with his friend and grilling sausages, was about to have his life changed completely. Again.
To his credit, he did not panic. He calmly told his friend that he had to go, turned off the grill and put the half cooked sausages on a plate, asked me about 12,000 times if I was sure I hadn’t just peed myself, and shoved me in the car.
It was starting to drizzle. I remember that he ran through red lights and disobeyed the speed limit but he did so cautiously. If that makes sense. He was excited, nervous, hungry, and absolutely terrific. We made it to the hospital in record time, checked in and began to wait. This was about 6 p.m.
I won’t describe the whole labor experience. Everybody’s experience is different and unique to them. It really disturbs me when mom’s think that everybody should labor the way that they did. You want to yell and scream and take the best drugs that the hospital can provide, more power to ya. You want to stay quiet and zen and chant, you go girl. I normally go pretty quick and was hoping this time wouldn’t be any different. My mother-in-law was there while my mom was patiently waiting at home for the call to come. She had plenty of time to drive to the hospital and had to get my dad ready for work.
I did not want anyone but S.O. in the hospital room with me. I don’t like to be the center of attention and felt that I would be more comfortable not on display. #6 had other ideas. When the time came, after about 3 hours of laying in the hospital bed and hissing between my teeth, my poor mother-in-law got hustled into the bathroom and had to stay there for the duration. I love my doctor and nurses but they took very seriously my wish to have no one but hubby in the room.
And at 11:34 p.m, #6 made her arrival into the world. Squalling, red, and bald. She was early and beautiful. She was rushed into NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) because of low oxygen and some breathing difficulties and her Daddy was devastated. He never left my side and as soon as they had her set up in NICU, we set up camp.
She stayed in NICU for four weeks. She was stubborn and fussed when moved and everyone fell in love with our spunky princess. I have the utmost respect for anyone that works in NICU. The nurses were awesome, the doctors were great, and it is a job that I could never do. For any parents that have had a child in NICU, it is such a twilight feeling of having a baby but not quite being a parent yet. It is heartbreaking and overwhelming and makes you feel guilty for not spending every waking breathing moment there. At the same time, it is the best place for your child at that time and they go above and beyond for your baby. I am thankful that she was only there for four weeks and that we were able to hold her, feed her, and bond with her. We got to bring her home on Easter Sunday and she will forever be our Easter Lily.
#5 insisted on sleeping on our bedroom floor for the first 3 days she was home. He wanted to make sure she didn’t wake up alone. All of the kids were excited to meet their new sister (although #1 did not like relinquishing her title of only girl at first) and both sets of grandparents were beyond in love with her. Mom and Dad were finally able to breathe and enjoy having the newest bundle of joy home.
#6 made a dramatic entrance into the world. She is bold, loud, funny, incredibly intelligent and stubborn. We love her to pieces and she made our blended family complete. I know that she is going to make her dramatic mark on the world for years to come. Happy birthday #6.