We had just left the hardware store when suddenly I felt a twinge in my belly. Yes, a twinge. That is the only way to describe what I felt. Maybe it was intuition, maybe it was a contraction or it might even have been gas, but something told me this baby was coming before the April 9th due date.
Later that evening, as I was paying bills, I realized the next day was going to be April 1st. I chuckled that evil chuckle I do when I have something completely sneaky and evil brewing. It's a gift, really. I told my mom that we needed to call my sisters ( I have three to be exact) the next day and mess with their heads. Messin' with heads is a specialty of mine. I said we needed to call and tell them that I had the baby and it was a girl (no one, not even me, expected me to have a girl). She laughed her evil laugh and agreed. It was a plan, y'all. The April Fool's of all jokes.
This is the part of the story where God decides He was going to get one over on me.
At 4:45 am April 1, 1993 I was awakened with a contraction. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but then I had another. Then I did what every 9 month pregnant woman does at the crack of dawn when she can't sleep. I went to the kitchen and got a Pop-Tart. Brown sugar and cinnamon. Frosted.
I sat on the couch for a while, still having contractions at fairly regular intervals, munching my Pop-Tart, not thinking for a moment that this was labor. It was then that the urgent need for the facilities hit me. As I ran to the bathroom and sat, I realized at this moment that "hey, this could be labor". Then I realized I had lost my mucous plug and other signs of laborish type things and I knew that the show was about to begin. I quickly showered and woke my husband. The contractions were quite regular and very bearable at this point.
I woke my mother to let her know we needed to head to the hospital. In her sleepy astonishment at having been awoke pre-dawn, she questioned my motives. I assured her that it was in fact was the real thing and that I did not relish the idea of waking up at the crack of dawn to pull a practical joke.
And off we went.
Upon arriving, I was ushered to a bed, issued my hospital gown and promptly checked. I was 2cm dilated. No need for alarm. No need for doctors yet. There was plenty of time. My husband went down to the cafeteria while I sat up in the bed signing hospital
All of a sudden..POP! And it was then that a warm, gush of fluid filled the bed. Green fluid to be exact. All over my socks. My birth socks. The only socks I had brought. I was ticked. I calmly called the nurse and said I thought my water had broken. Thought? Hello? Um, quite definitely YES!! Sure enough, my water was broke and my status at Labor and Delivery was secure. We were havin' a baby, today.
Things happened quickly after this. I don't want to draw the story out and yet I don't want to leave out the good details. So, I'll do my best to be brief and graphic at the same time.
A quick synopsis of events thus far:
-4:45 am awoke with contractions
-5:45 am left for hospital
-6:30 am water broke
At this point, the doc comes and tells me since I was dilated past a 2 and my water had broken I could have my epidural if I liked. Like the uneducated dummy I was, even though I was in no real pain, I agreed. This was the day when enemas were still administered and well....I had mine administered. And that's all I'll say about that.
After my cleansing and while waiting for my epidural, things began to pick up substantially. Ouch, these contractions were hurting. By the time the anesthesiologist meandered into the room, I had lost my sunny disposition and was pretty much ready to
Oh. Yes. They. Did.
Apparently things were happening quicker than any of them would have liked or expected because I have yet to see medical equipment and personnel appear faster than that day 15 years ago. Liquids were being squirted, body parts we being sheathed, but one question remained.
WHERE THE HECK WAS MY DOCTOR????
Apparently we were past the point of waiting for my doctor. We were now to the point of grabbing the first licensed physician in the hallway and dragging him to my room. All I know is that he was a balding fellow and he threw his tie over his right shoulder as they gowned and gloved him for the catch.
He then asked the unthinkable. Push. What? I want my epidural. Nope, that sucker was turned off a long time ago. Now push. But it burned - like the Johnny Cash song - it was like a ring of fire! Nope - I was losin' it. It was a this point that a burly nurse with a giant cold sore on her lip grabbed me by my cheeks ( on my face) and told me to focus. Who was I to argue with someone who quite possibly had the worst case of Herpes Virus Simplex I, that I had ever seen.
And so I pushed.
The baby was born and to my astonishment...it was a GIRL! A real, live, bouncing baby girl! All mine!
It was 8:47 am. All of this had transpired in a matter of 4 hours! When we called our mothers, who were together watching the steely willed 18 month old, they screamed. They didn't believe us when we said it was a girl and then screamed some more when we assured them that it was not, in fact, some cruel April Fool's joke. They jumped up and down hugging each other while holding the steely willed 18 month old, making him cry.
Today, that baby girl turned 15. I never thought I could love her more than I did the day she was born, but I was wrong. I love her more and more every day. She and I are very close and I am so thankful God gave her to me. She's a smart, funny, beautiful girl. She's a great big sister despite the fact that she loves to torture her younger siblings.
So April Fool's is a special day for me. It was the day God gave me my first daughter.
Happy Birthday Madgirl. I love you.