For every man who reads this blog (and you’re out there…I think…) there are a dozen women who want to hear Anthony’s birth story.
This is to say that you’re outnumbered today, so here’s an alternate link for you.
Here we go.
Having picked May 24th, the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, as the day I wanted to deliver, I was anxious to see if Our Blessed Mother would come through. Sure enough, the contractions started that morning around 3:00 a.m.—not the strongest of contractions, mind you, but there were enough of them to make me wonder.
[I think that my husband was wondering, too, because he threw my hospital overnight bag into the van on the way to Sunday Mass.]
The Mass itself was…interesting. I had four strong contractions throughout the course of it and can’t say, for example, that I have a clue what Father’s homily was about. I did need to use the restroom after communion, however, and evidently I took too long because John sent Cate to check on me.
No baby yet, dearest John my love. Just a big, slow-moving momma.
The contractions continued throughout the afternoon—light but consistent. “Am I in labor or aren’t I? Am I in labor or aren’t I?” You know the drill. By 6:00 p.m. it was fairly clear that this was indeed the real thing. (Yay! Deep breath. Big gulp. Get ready.) I phoned my friend Tina to see if she’d keep the kids overnight—she said yes, of course, because she’s the best—and John loaded up the van and drove them over.
Sigh. The kids were excited but I was…scared.
I compensated by watching 24.
John swept back in around 7:00 p.m. and called out, “Are you ready?” I wasn’t, as it was the end of the episode and Jack was going after the bad guys, but I dutifully turned off the tube and said yes. I grabbed my plastic water glass and we were off.
The evening was lovely, warm, and welcome, with soft sunlight falling on countless shades of green. Springtime in Minnesota is a magical place—a great time of year to have a baby, by the way, so make note of that in your planners.
Alas, my heart was not as peaceful as the palette outside the window.
Such is the story of this pregnancy.
I should have known that this delivery would be different. How could it not be, coming as it did after a very long, very anxious nine months? I mean, the day before I went into labor I was still fielding the children’s questions: “Do you think this baby will make it, Mommy?” “Do you think this baby will die?”
Having four consecutive miscarriages changes things.
I was not in the best place emotionally.
Never before had I considered an epidural in the days leading up to the delivery. Never before had I cried on the way to the hospital, thinking, “What if this baby’s stillborn?” (At that point, Anthony stirred in my womb. I was so grateful!)
Never before had the physical pain been more than I could handle.
This time, my friend, it was.
To be continued.