LAWD HAMMERCY! WHAT IS I’M GWINE DO! (translation for you non-southerners…Lord have mercy! What am I going to do?)
It’s my baby’s TWELFTH (why is there an f in that word?) birthday! I can HARDLY believe it…Lord knows this has been a journey. I remember it like it was yesterday!
4:30 am….Tuesday, August 7th…I felt a pain that was so strong I was jarred from my sleep. I lay there thinking…”Oh Lord, Jesus…am I dying?” I looked at the clock trying to figure out who to call at this hour! I waited. It only lasted a minute…then everything was fine. I tried to go back to sleep, but 10 minutes later, I felt it AGAIN. This time, it was so strong, it brought tears to my eyes. Then it hit me. “Am I in labor?” I couldn’t fathom that just yet. I just wasn’t ready.
I was two weeks away from my due date. I’d just had an ultrasound the day before. I remember the doctor saying to me that my baby was fully developed and was considered full term and any time after that day, she could be born without worries of premature birth. I thought, “cool! alright…I”m about to meet my daughter.” I’d just found her middle name using some program they had. See…her dad is from Enugu, Nigeria…and I’d wanted to give her a name reflective of her African heritage. Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be found (that’s another story entirely!)…so I couldn’t ask him….so…I was on my on. But I’d found…the PERFECT NAME…Akanke – It was Nigerian…Yoruba…and it meant…”To know her is to love her.”
Anyway…back to the birthing story…I rubbed my belly after leaving the doctor and said, “alright little one…I’m ready to meet you…so whenever you’re ready, come on!” I mean..I knew she could hear me and all…because I read to her and sang to her every day. I didn’t know she was actually LISTENING though!
I waited in that bed for a full hour before I said a word about the labor. My pains were coming every ten minutes and lasted a full minute. Never in my life have I had the kind of pain that is so horrible that you cry the whole time it’s happening then stop as soon as the pain stops! Craziest thing ever. Well, at 5:30 am…after that pain ended…I figured I needed to find out if I was really in labor. So…I called my best friend Karen who lived in a time zone one hour behind me…somehow, that didn’t occur to me. It also didn’t occur to me that 1) she didn’t have any children and had not experienced labor, 2) if she could answer my question, it’d take her at least 3 hours to get to me and 3) my aunt was in the next bedroom. So I got Karen on the phone…
Me: Karen? Are you up?
Karen: No. What’s up?
Me: Sorry to wake you but I have a quick question.
Me: (whispering) What does labor feel like?
Karen: Why are you whispering?
Me: (crying) I don’t know. I think I’m in labor. Hold on.
I cried through the next contraction. Then went back to our conversation. The most hilarious thing I ever heard (well..looking back it is!)
I still waited a full 2 hours before I told my aunt. I had a doctor’s appointment that morning and believed that I could make it at least until the doctor’s office opened. I called them at 8 am and let them know that I’d been having contractions every ten minutes since 430. They told me to come on in. I finally told my aunt who was so flustered and excited that she began to have trouble getting dressed. I also called my mom who happened to be starting her first day of a new school year with a new principal. I later found out that she walked into the office and informed them…”Umm…hey…I gotta go…Grandbaby on the way…I need a sub..” and promptly left the building! lol…
When I got to the doctor, I was disappointed and relieved to find out that I was not dilated and my doctor was about to send me home. The doc left the room then came back 2 minutes later and said, “Umm…your blood pressure is a little elevated. We’ll go ahead and get you admitted today. Go on home, and call the hospital around 3 so that we can get you in alright? I’ll see you later.” I left the office and the person at the desk made me an appointment for the following week. I laughed and said…”I don’t think I’ll make it…but okay.”
My aunt and I finally made it home and I when I tell you I had the darnedest time getting through to the hospital that day! Every time I called, I was being told that my name was not on the list. FINALLY about 7 pm, my mom (who arrived in record time!) called the doctor…never occurred to me to do that. She hung up the phone and I kid you not….LESS THAN ONE MINUTE LATER, the phone rang. It was the hospital calling…apologizing profusely and giving excuses about the nurses..charge nurse…blah blah blah…So…off we went to the hospital!
I got there and got checked in still crying every ten minutes for a full minute. The doctor came in and was all nice and loving and she quickly informed me that I WAS STILL NOT DILATING…(for those of you that don’t know what that means…well..I’m sorry…look it up…lol…). She said…”Because of your blood pressure though, we’re going to go ahead and induce you.” She explained what all that meant. I was angry! After a perfect…and I do mean PERFECT pregnancy….I get to the labor and have trouble! I was sooooo confused. So..they gave me the daggum pitocin…that was supposedly going to speed up my labor…yeah…no such thing…all it did was make the contractions MUCH MORE PAINFUL!
So…yeah…if that speeded up the labor…I’d HATE to see how long it would have lasted had I not had it…I went all night and half the next day…FINALLY at 2:38 pm on August 8th…she made her appearance into the world. She did not cry…..the only noise she made was a little whimper which made me nervous….My sister who’d found herself caught like a deer in headlights at the sight of the crowning…I love my sister…but…er…um…yeah…I don’t think she REALLY wanted to get to know me like that…I blame my friend Allan for the long labor…he always joked that I would have at least 36 hours of labor….well…34 hours and 38 minutes is pretty dang close! When he showed at the hospital a day or two after she was born…I heard my family huddled in corner whispering…”is he the dad?”…NO! lol…and to this day they still ask! He’s just a friend…for real!
Anyway…we’ve had some tough times…and days I’ve really wondered where she came from….because sure no child of mine would…<insert thing here>…but she’s mine…mine…mine (okay..so she’s on loan from God…) I love that lil girl…IDK what I’m going to do with her. Guess I’ll just love her!
Happy twelfth birthday baby girl!
Until next time,