“In 45 minutes, he’s going to be a Leap Day baby!”
I smiled at my mid-wife and said, “Yeah. That would be so co………..ARRRRRRRR!”
I was trying to say “That would be so cool!” but I had another contraction instead.
I had been pushing for almost 2 hours. In labor for 17. I was tired but still excited. And ready. Oh-so-ready to meet my little guy.
In what seemed like a minute I heard, “This is it. One final push.”
And he was here. Perfect and sweet and not crying. Aren’t they supposed to cry?
People started rushing into the room almost the second he arrived. Equipment wheeled in. People. So many people.
“There was no indication….” I heard my mid-wife say, her voice trailing off. The doctor seemed to scowl. He said something I didn’t understand and the room was turning white and starting to spin. My husband grabbed the nurse, alarmed and said something to me. I managed to squeak out, “Stay with him!” as they lowered an oxygen mask over my face.
The pregnancy was a surprise. And because of my age and infertile history, I was high risk. But quite honestly, except for the near constant morning sickness (that didn’t leave until month eight) I had a breezy, easy pregnancy. My blood pressure was always awesome. My blood sugar never spiked. He grew just the way he was supposed to. OK. So, he was almost 2 weeks late. And almost 10 pounds. He was just a healthy, growing boy who loved his momma. Still is.
Almost 2 hours later my husband came back into the room. Without him.
“He’s supposed to be with us,” I said. “We signed up for the rooming-in suite.”
“There were some problems,” my husband said, “But he’s fine now. They need to observe him for a little longer and then they’ll bring him to us.” He tried to hug me but I pushed him away.
“No,” I said. “He’s supposed to be with us. Where is he?”
“They’re taking good care of him. He’ll be fine. We’ll see him soon.”
I was tired. Confused. Exhausted. This was not what I had planned. My husband was going to cut the cord. (No time. The nurse did it.) They were going to lay him on me. We were going to take pictures. I was going to nurse, right then and there. (But they had to whisk him away.)
There was meconium in the amniotic fluid that didn’t present until the very end. I was busy pushing, breathing and focusing on my husband. My husband was watching the worried look of the nurse who left my mid-wife’s side to call in support. Our baby was blueish when he arrived. And not crying. Barely breathing. Everyone looked worried but in charge. My husband was terrified and when he saw me almost losing consciousness, petrified.
I had no idea anything was serious. I just remember not hearing him cry and then wanting everyone to just leave me alone and let me sleep. I fought with the nurse, tried to push her away in my half conscious state.
It was scary. It did not go as planned. And 6 hours later they brought my precious little bundle to me.
Born on Leap Day at 12:06am. 9 lbs. 12 oz.
The pediatrician on duty brought him to me. “Congratulations,” he smiled, “You’ve just given birth to a happy, healthy 2 month old.”
He was big. And he was healthy. A clean bill of health. After cleaning his precious little lungs and his precious little body. After x-rays, blood tests and observation. He was fine. He was ours.
Our precious little Leap Day baby.
Happy, happy 2nd Birthday, sweet boy! (Yes. I know you’re really 8. But you know how Mommy loves to tease!)