I still can't believe it.
Sometimes it seems just like yesterday to me.
I became a mother for the first time to a baby girl. The pregnancy was hard, I was on bed-rest for about 4 weeks. I had toxemia. Braxton Hicks for about two weeks before she was born. Weeks of phenergan injections. Whew.
But, let's go to twenty years and one day ago. It was a Saturday night and I was very excited. The next day was to be my baby shower given by my life long friend, Dena. For weeks I joked with her I wouldn't be able to make it because I might have the baby. We laughed and laughed. Oh how ironic that laughter was.
On Sunday morning I woke up and really, REALLY needed to pee. I was on my side and in the last week when waking up I'd have to do it veeerrryyy slowly as the baby had dropped and the act of sitting up plopped her right on my bladder. So, again, I sat up in slow motion until I was upright. I took a breath to find the strength to stand up.
As I stood, I turned to take my first step and I felt something running down my leg. How embarrassing, I thought. I'm peeing myself! I grabbed my gown up between my legs and hobbled to the bathroom to do what I thought was peeing.. But, no. It wasn't. I remember standing up and more coming out and walking to the foot of the bed and saying to my then-husband, "Ok. Don't Panic...but I think my water just broke."
He did a SpiderMan leap from lying to standing...looking for the phone...the bag...making calls to the doctor and the hospital. I just wanted to take a shower. I know, crazy. Well, I couldn't take a shower and in the car on the way to the hospital I was putting on make up...I couldn't show up with no make up! Gasp!
We got to the hospital, I got put in triage and hooked up to everything...they wanted to make sure I was in labor before they settled me in a room...but all I could think of was peeing. Bad. No one was in the room so I unhooked myself and went....which signaled everyone at the nurses station to check on me only to find me in the bathroom...full on major water break and in labor. Bam. I got a room.
First things first....I had to call Dena (who was giving me
the shower) to tell her I wouldn't be
making it. She honestly didn't believe me
and thought I was pulling her leg. It took
a little convincing on my part.
My labor progressed very quickly, so quickly in fact that the baby was being pushed into my pelvic bones and they were afraid she could get hurt or worse....so emergency cesarean was on the menu.
At least I still had some lipstick on.
When they pulled her out, I was elated...until I heard the nurse, "Doctor....DOCTOR!...." I never got to hear that first cry and only saw her for a split second as they rushed her into another room. So, I lay there....being sewn up and feeling so distraught. Why didn't she cry!? Where did they take her?!
I got to the recovery room and was literally shaking....most do that after a surgery. So much so that I had to hang on to something or someone with a death grip to try to stop. My grandparents came to see me in recovery and it really scared my grandfather. But.....they still took pictures. Go figure.
(I really hope posting this photo of my daughter's mother and father
won't be taken as a moment of 'clinging')
My parents, grandparents, inlaws, brothers, sister in law....all waited in the waiting room....my family really filled the room out, I was told.
This is my Popo (Jack), Gaga (Rosemary) and one of my brothers, Alan.
I wished I was there to see their faces when
they got to hear my baby's name...she's
their namesake...Jacqueline Rose.
This is Tita and Grandpa on the phone spreading the word
that she arrived!
I got moved to my room and just sat and waited to hear any news about my baby. I didn't get to meet her until the next day...but I did get to see a Polaroid and video of her....and it terrified me.
She was motionless with this bubble over her head, hooked up to monitors and IVs and tubes. She had fluid in her lungs, blood oxygen level issues and they even mentioned possible blindness. I think I just cried until I got to meet her.
The day I finally got to see her, my grandmother was in my hospital room and knowing I was upset and waiting to see the baby....she pulled out her make up bag and a curling iron. That's my Gaga... :) She curled my hair and did my make up and told me to keep my chin up and that I should look 'pretty' when I meet my baby for the first time. LOL
And there it is...hair and make up by Gaga and a blathering blubbering mama meeting my red, splotchy baby. She was in a 'tanning bed' (as I called it) because she was also jaundiced. I was so scared to even change a diaper. I felt if I did something wrong, they wouldn't let me ever take her home!
I didn't get to bring her home with me and that almost killed me. I just cried and cried until
I could get to the hospital each day. I'd always bring her bag with her 'to go home' clothes
in it....to then be told "Not today."
She stayed in the NICU for a little over a week. The running joke
was she was the biggest baby in the NICU....at 8lb 8oz...yes she was!
There was a teeny preemie baby boy who shared a room with her. His parents had other children, I think the
dad worked full time and the mother
couldn't get to the hospital every day so he didn't have a lot of visitors.
They ended up putting him in my baby's incubator and shared the 'sunlamp' as they both
were jaundiced. It was adorable.
And here we are....twenty years later. A lifetime and a blink at the same time.
I'm so proud of my baby girl, she's smart, beautiful, funny, deep, talented, the voice of a songbird, the best sense of humor, an awesome cook, hard worker
and the one who made me a mother.
Happy Birthday, baby girl.
Mama loves you.