It had started the previous day. I woke up early that morning with some contractions. After reading every birthing book written I knew that I wanted to wait as a long as I could to head to the hospital. I got up, took a shower, got dressed and headed to work.
My co-workers rallied around me all morning. They knew I was having contractions. They knew I was uncomfortable. I wanted to go about my regular business for as long as possible but after seeing their apparent nervousness, I made a call to my doctor and got an appointment to see him around 11am. I called the Polack and we met up to head to the doctor's office. I explained the contractions, he did an exam and determined I wasn't completely effaced or dilated. I was told it could be awhile - maybe even the weekend - before my baby would be born. Since it was only Tuesday, I was NOT pleased with this news.
After the doctor's appointment, I called my mom and told her the news. I was pretty sure the baby was coming soon so she decided to make the three hour drive to be with us during the birth. While waiting for her, the Polack and I went to lunch and decided to walk around the mall, hoping gravity would do it's job. My contractions were growing more intense and I often stopped to lean on the Polack, while rocking back and forth, waiting for them to pass.
When it was about time for my mom's arrival, we headed home to meet her. She asked if it was time for the hospital but I knew I wasn't ready yet. I suggested a movie, hoping it might distract me. We headed to the theater and bought our tickets to see the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It wasn't a wise move - I was so uncomfortable sitting there in the dark theater!
After the movie, we headed to visit the in-laws. The Polack's brother and his wife were there for dinner and as they sat eating their pizza, I was pacing, trying to make it through the contractions that were growing stronger. After seeing their worried faces (and becoming annoyed with the attention) I asked to go home (actually, I think I commanded to go home). I need some privacy and wanted to mentally prepare myself for what was coming.
I decided to take a hot shower, hoping the warm water would help with the contractions - which at this point felt like the most intensive back cramps ever. The shower did NOT help. I decided the pain was severe enough that it was time to head to the hospital. I got dressed and called to my mom and the Polack that it was time to go. I don't remember much after that although I remember being very annoyed that they weren't moving fast enough. I think I yelled, "It's time to GO RIGHT NOW!" That got a reaction and we headed to the hospital checking in around 10:30 pm.
Soon after getting settled in the birthing room, our doula arrived. I had decided that I wanted the birth to be as natural as possible and I hoped she would help guide me through things and serve as an advocate. As the hours ticked by, my contractions became unbearable. A few times I said I wanted an epidural - it hurt so bad! But I held off. Eventually, I stopped talking and was only making horrible moaning signs. The Polack was definitely freaking out about how much pain I was in. The contractions were all in my back and constant. There was no relief! Finally around 4am, I decided the pain was too much, and I ordered the epidural. It was the. best. thing. ever. As soon as that miraculous pain reliever started flowing through my body, I became a completely different person. I was smiling, cracking jokes, laughing and joking around. I was enjoying myself. The Polack was so relieved to have his wife back.
By 5:15, the nurse said it was time to push. She called the doctor, everyone got ready and I was told to push once. Then push a second time. And it was as easy as that. My sweet baby boy was born at 5:36am. He weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. As we held and loved on him, our family members were invited in to meet him.
After about an hour, I noticed Nicklas starting to turn a shade of purple that I was pretty sure wasn't a good thing. I asked the nurse and saw her worried look. "Let's go ahead and take him down to the nursery," she said.
Five hours later I still didn't know what was going on. I had moved to a new room, I was anxious to hold and love on my baby, and it was important to me that he nurse soon. But this was all put on hold. The Polack didn't know much. The nurses didn't seem to know what was going on and he was taken to NICU. We were all waiting for news.
It turns out his body wasn't producing enough sugar. He was admitted to NICU for several days while his body was taught how to properly regulate itself. We spent a week at the hospital while he got better. It was a long seven days. I was so young and overwhelmed by everything. I struggled with nursing and felt his health problems were my fault. I could have eaten better. I could have not gained as much weight. I could have been more active.
But the seven days passed and we were finally allowed to take our precious baby home. And now - nine years later - it seems like a century ago. I am so fortunate to have such a great kid. He's so smart. And works so hard to please those in his life. He cares about what people think of him and does everything he can to not disappoint us. He's passionate about the things that interest him - he could spend hours talking about a certain subject. He wants to try and experience everything but is always cautious and nervous the first time. He sits about and takes things in - always reflective, always thinking, often lost in his thoughts. He's taught me so much these past nine years and I know I'll continue to learn more from him than I ever thought possible.
Happy Birthday, Nicklas!