Alabama Angel

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Rod

Sixteen years ago on February 6th, I went for a check up. I was almost 7 months pregnant with Rod. Everything looked fine. I come back home, get ready & go to work. I had to be at work at 3 pm. I worked my night shift at the video store, was a little sore, which I was told was normal every time you were examined from about 7 months on. No biggie. When I got home I was tired & achy, so I went to bed. It was late.

Today, sixteen years ago (February 7, 1994) I woke up with my back hurting. I tried & tried to think what I could have done the night before at work to injure it (most probably place I would have been injured). I couldn't think of anything I did. I knew I had to go into work that night and so I got up & started doing laundry & running around the house & it didn't take long of what I know now was "nesting" before I was beat. I wound up on the floor laying flat on a heating pad thinking still that I had hurt my back. I thought if I took it easy, by 3 when it was time for me to go to work, I would feel better. Guess what? I didn't feel better & had to call in to work. I was crying & worried that my co-workers were thinking that now that I was 7 months pregnant I was going to flake out on them & start calling in a lot. My work ethic got in the way. I wanted to try to make it in, but I didn't. I ate supper later on & felt that for sure I was having indigestion. It was the worst indigestion I had ever had, but I was sure that was what it was. By about this time (1030-11 pm) everyone but me was convinced I was in labor. I was an hour away from the hospital I was registered at, at night, and it was cold. I didn't want to get out. I wanted to go lay down, go to sleep, rest well, feel better in the morning. I was hauled to the car. I only had the barrett that was holding my long hair back, the clothes on my back & I brought my quilt because I was cold!

I told everyone they would feel REALLY stupid taking me to the ER in the middle of the night for them to tell me to go home, that I had indigestion. By this time, I was told, "indigestion doesn't come every 5 minutes!" So we are on our way from my parents house to the hospital. There is road construction where they are widening the roads & we are about 10-15 minutes away when I have to make a bathroom stop. We stop at the Shell station & I am grabbing my tummy & I still to this day remember the guy behind the counter saying "She can't have that baby here! You have to get her out of here!" I heard him through the bathroom. Seriously. I was thinking they were all nuts! On my way out the guy behind the counter looked like he was about to pass out. I still can't pass that station without thinking about it. Too funny.

We get to the ER, I tell them as soon as we get there that I am only almost 7 months, I think I have really bad indigestion or something. They take me back & examine me & tell me I am 5 cm dialated & I am having the baby. I am frantic in my mind, panicking a little now. I say, "No! I can't be having the baby! He isn't due until April! I don't even have my bag! I don't have a bag packed! I don't have any stuff here!" This was all happening about sixteen years ago from this very moment as I sit here writing.

My son was on his way. So in my head I am talking to Rod. I am trying to reason with him. Anyone who has ever met him knows it didn't work any better then than it does now.

My parents followed me to the hospital. No, I didn't drive myself. Then calls were made once I was admitted & before I know it my Aunt & Uncle are there. On the 8th, I am still in labor. Since I didn't have something that sent me into labor (an accident or something) then they thought I might stop labor on my own since I started on my own. They said I was too far along for them to try to stop the labor. On February 8, my cousin had a doctors appointment at the hospital. She was pregnant a the same time & actually due in February. She had heard & stopped in as I was in labor. It didn't take her much before she had enough of that I am sure. I don't think I had anything for pain & watching me was probably NOT a high point for her right then. Plus, I still had a room full of family.

While in labor, a nurse came into the room, pulled up a chair on my right side & sat there with a clip board telling me that statistically he may not make it through the birth process. If he does, he probably won't make it out of the hospital. If he does survive the night, he still might not make it & if he does, he will have severe mental & physical disabilities & may not ever leave the hospital. I was an 18 year old soon-to-be first time Mother of a premature baby boy. I kept on doing what I was doing. She then tells me all of this information again. And finally, since she did not know me, she must have thought it just wasn't sinking in, that I wasn't deep enough to get what she was saying. She asks me if I hear her & if I understand what she is saying to me. I told her yes very calmly. She didn't think I did & tried to keep explaining to me. I was so calm because I felt as sure as anything I had ever felt that Rod was alive. Rod was meant to be & he was going to be & that he would fulfill my purpose in life, which is to be his Mother. I didn't have a single thought or a single doubt that he was as alive as I was.

When I had Rod, let's leave out the gory details & say it was a difficult birth (wow, that is mild). When he was delivered he was the color of an eggplant (deep, dark purple). When he was delivered I saw everyone in the rooms face look like they were in shock & didn't know what to say as the doctors kept talking to Rod & saying, "Breathe little man! C'mon now! Breathe! You gotta breathe for us little man!" THEN and only then when I saw the panic stricken faces of my family & my purple son did I falter, allow myself to sink for a moment, add into my brain that he might not be alive, but it was only for a second & he breathed on his own. My Mom & Aunt were hugging each other jumping up & down like cheerleaders. Everyones hands were broken where they had held my hand while I was in labor. Ok, not literally broken. And yes, my parents & relatives were all in the room with me. And I am so glad they were!

I wanted to hold my son, but I couldn't. They cleaned him up, brought him straight over to my bed to see me, touched his cheek to mine ( I couldn't have counted to 1 in the time I got to touch him) and they had to take him to the NICU nursery for oservation. Even though he was breathing on his own they put my baby on a machine that would breath for him incase he forgot to breath because he wasn't used to breathing on his own. Meanwhile, they are cleaning me up, sewing me up, moping up the room, backing the jaws of life out of my room, etc. & I am asking, "When can I go see my baby?" They kept telling me when they were through putting me back together. Finally (this part seemed to last for hours), they wheel me into my real room instead of the L&D room & I am ready to see him. It seems like it had been forever. I ask again & the nurse says yes, I can go see him. Well, I am so excited (Like I am the only woman in the world to have ever given birth to a son) so I hop myself right out of the bed & start walking. The nurse was in a state! She screams at me to get back into bed! That I am not allowed to be up walking yet! I have to be wheeled to the nursery. I let her know she had better find a wheelchair PDQ & meet me on my way because I was finding him. I get settled in the wheelchair, IV Stand at my side & am taken to the NICU nursery. I had to sit in the wheelchair while the nurse was nice enough to scrub my hands with those nice bristly, soapy spongy brush thingies that you have to use before you can go in the NICU. It is a good thing they had taken my son off the machine before I saw him, but they told me about it. They said he was doing good, except they said, "Whatever you do, PLEASE do NOT upset him. He has a TERRIBLE temper!" I had to laugh. He was already fighting. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on. And I felt like the most important person in the world to be his Mother (still do feel blessed).

On February 8 at 3:15 p.m., I gave birth to a 3 lb 14 oz, 17 inch long baby boy. He was moved to the preemie nursery by the time I woke up on the 9th. He was the biggest baby in the preemie nursery at that time.

In a little over an hour, it will be Feb 8th. My son will be 16. He is a joy. All those severe mental & physicaly disabilities that I was warned about never came to pass & I am glad I had faith in what I felt in my heart at such a young age & didn't let that nurse, who I am sure was just trying to do her job, get me down. I have been blessed with him. What a joy! What a blessing! What a kid! The new center of my world had arrived--on his own schedule, not ours. And he has been making up the rules as he went along pretty much since then. I have the child of my dreams & a best friend. The bond between a Mother & son is an unbreakable, indescribable bond. I recommend it to everyone!

Happy 16th Birthday Rod. I love you son!

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