And when our baby stirs and struggles to be born it compels humility: what we began is now its own.-Margaret Mead
Adam Boy was a Happy “Accident”. A surprise. Something that I didn’t know would turn out to be one of the biggest blessings of my life. He came to be because the condom broke. I was petrified. I had just been diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder. Hell, I was still dealing with post partum depression from having Meggie. She was just six months old! She never slept. So neither did I. Roger Darling worked midnights. I was petrified. What the hell was I going to do with two babies?
On the day of his birth I’d been so sick. I had the flu. I’d thrown up most of the day and felt miserable. Roger Darling was in the kitchen, reading the paper, and drinking coffee. I told him that I was heading upstairs to our huge claw foot tub to soak, and to get the baby off my back a bit. The water was warm and tranquil. I instantly fell asleep, only to be awakened ten minutes later with the most intense pain across my abdomen. I couldn’t be in labor. I had two more weeks till my due date!
I looked down at my belly. I saw it harden and contract. I felt the pain stab in my back. Yes, I was in labor. I tried to relax. Breathe. The next contraction came two minutes later! I thought to myself, if my water breaks ,we are having this baby at home. I’m not a good one to talk to about labor and delivery. I had Meggie one hour after my water broke. I pushed her out in three pushes. The pushes took ten minutes, max. See, woman reader, now you’re pissed off, aren’t you? Some of you pushed for hours only to be told you had to have a C-Section. Don’t get me wrong, I labor with the best of them. My labor was in the back. It felt like someone took a hot knife, stuck it in my back and turned it from side to side. But the delivery, now that was always a piece of cake for me.
So back to Adam Boy. I pull myself out of the tub, dress and waddle my contracting self down the steps. I tell Roger Darling to grab Meggie because it is time to go to the hospital. He’s in shock. He packs Baby Girl up and we head off to Papa Dale’s and Grandma Marge’s. She’s as happy as a little clam. We head off to meet my mom at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Fortunately my bag of water stayed intact. Until we got to triage and they checked me for dilation. With one touch of a skilled finger, the fluid rushed out of me. I looked at Rog and said he’ll be here in an hour. He smiled his sweet smile.
I guess the LDR was nice. I really didn’t give a shit. Labor had advanced and so had the pain. I didn’t take meds. There is something so powerful about not doing so. I dealt with the pain. Breathed. Almost bit Roger’s hand off at one point. My mom was there with us. She and Rog chatted while I labored. One hour later, Adam was ready to come. Just like I said he would.
We knew he was in distress. We knew that he could be really sick. He could even die. We were prepared. Mom held one of my legs, Roger held the other. Dr. P. told me to push. Adam’s head crowned right away. He had a full head of hair just like Meggie did when she was born. But my boy, he was green. This was not good news. I pushed again, his shoulders turned, and his torso emerged. Dr. P. made me stop pushing. How do you stop the progression of the natural birth process? I thought I was dying. But I would have chosen my death to save him. To give him life. Dr. P. suctioned Adam’s little lungs, his throat and his nostrils. He was meconium stained, and had fluid in his lungs. I was writhing. I wanted to push so badly but had to wait for the doctor to get as much fluid out of his tiny body as she could. I had to stay still to save him. Save me. Finally I was told I could bear down.
Mom and Rog still held my legs, I gripped the handles on the birthing bed. I lifted up off the bed and pushed with everything I had. As Adam came into this world so did more amniotic fluid, blood and placenta. Dr. P caught Adam as he exited my body. Caught him! Mom and Rog let go of my legs to keep from being splattered with fragments from my utuerus. Hey, when I give birth, I do it up!
I didn’t get to hold him. He was whisked away by the pediatrician that was standing by. I turned and looked over at the warming station. Mom, Rog, the nurses, the doctor all stood around him. I ached for him. To gain a glimpse of him. To touch him. My beautiful baby boy. He was so close to me, but I couldn’t hold him, talk to him, touch him. Mom said he was gorgeous even though he was green. That green, sickly little baby was mine. I asked if he was going to die. They said they didn’t know. My mother was floored by my candidness. My baby might die, I wasn’t beating around the bush. I had to know.
His APGAR at birth was 2, grave. His APGAR at five minutes was 5, critical. He was carted off to NICU. I was stabilized and taken to my room. My body was sore and still contracting, but I was cleaned, and stitched up. I was ready for my first walk. I walked to the NICU, and peered into his cradle. He was domed with an oxygen apparatus. I held his little foot. His little tiny foot. I spoke softly, smiled, cooed, and cried. I don’t think I’ve ever loved more intensely than I did in that moment.
Adam is grown now. He’s almost 21. I wonder where the time has gone. I’m proud of him. I’m anxious to see what his future holds. I’m so thankful Roger Darling and I got to raise such a wonderful, funny, bright, charming and silly young man. He was the best surprise I’ve ever received.