Five years ago today, the days lined up exactly the same as this year, and the morning of the 26th was a Thursday! It would be a very crazy morning, just ask my husband (*both of them!).
I had been up the night before timing contractions with an online contraction timer. Yes, folks, we have evolved that much. Good thing, too, because I didn't want to wake anyone in the house to help me time and focus, as they needed all the sleep they could get! However, by the time JP came down the stairs at 3:30 am for work, I told him he wasn't going to work and to start making telephone calls.
He called the OB's office, my parents to come watch the boys, my coach in labor, Kara, and last but not least... baby daddy, Mister J!
The conversation on our end went something like this... "It's baby day... yes, today... no, he's not waiting until induction day on Monday. I suggest you get on the next plane to Minnesota. By noon? Well, if you want to see your baby born, I suggest you leave now."
After that, the morning was a blur. My folks showed up to watch the boys. JP got to drive me, yet again, to what he affectionately calls "the baby factory" to give birth to Little J. Through the streets of Minneapolis, bump after bump after bump... not breaking any driving laws, nor rushing through red lights this time, and we even beat the morning rush hour... we pulled into the parking ramp about the same time Kara did.
Hooked up to monitors and ready to go... but Mister J wasn't there yet... it didn't matter, baby boy had an agenda of his own. Dr. E broke my water and we were a go! Commotion heard from outside the room, and Mister J had just arrived with his Baby Nurse - phew! All was going to happen as it should and he would see his son born. He told us that he had to rush down the runway and exclaimed, "My wife is having a baby in Minneapolis, I need to get on that plane!" while being followed by female Baby Nurse... the odd looks apparently provided much needed amusement to keep the brevity of the situation light during transit.
Once again, Little J had decided to change up the game plan... he was much bigger than we thought, and with decels in his heart rate, and a couple hours of attempted pushing, Dr. E decided that it was time for my first-ever c-section. Folks, the thought had never even occurred to me that this surrogate pregnancy would end up there, on the operating table! Also dumbstruck was Mister J in this new set of plans, "here, put these on, she will be down in the OR waiting for you, make it fast"and before I knew it, I was watching the ceiling lights float overhead and my husband was left standing in the doorway...
Activity like I've never seen before broke out around me - heck, I'd never even seen the inside of an operating room, who am I kidding?! Twice as many people were suddenly in the room with us - shift change! Really? Just our luck. Dr. E wasn't very pleased about the timing of it all and sudden urgency was heard in her voice to make it snappy... and then the first cut...
To say I wasn't just a little freaked out at this point would be a gross understatement. I was calm on the outside, and freaking out on the inside. I knew that we had decided JP wouldn't join me in the OR (and hospital policy wouldn't allow me to have two people there), but I wanted my husband next to me. Knowing that the man at my shoulder was focused on the action below the draped sheet at my midline... well, suddenly everything around me became very real about this situation of helping another become a father. But I had faith. Dr. E had been my doctor for almost 20 years, and I knew I was in good hands.
Shortly after we started, Little J entered the world... screaming, happy, healthy & into the arms of his Papa he went. I survived my first c-section. JP would later join me in recovery, and I had emotions wash over me like I never imagined. Sure, I was prepared to hand over the life that had grown inside of me for the past nine months (and another few months of preparation that went into it)... but, well, to not see more than a glimpse of him until the next day... that, my friends, was raw... still, I told myself that I was strong enough to get through this too... and I did.
Fast forward... five years later... today marks the anniversary of his BIRTHday... Little C (name changed on the tarmac while waiting for gate clearance 24 hours after he was born) and I can only imagine that he is the most loved, spoiled and cherished little blond boy on the East Coast.
This day will always hold a special place in my heart. I welcomed a fourth little boy into the world... three I had grown of my own, and one under my heart.
Little did I know that it would be the beginning of an admittedly slight addiction to helping someone create a family. After all, I had survived a c-section... giving of life and love... seeing the pure joy of a new family through the father's eyes... I was hooked!