As the mom of two little ones, I was happy to finally get a chance to put my feet up. I was used to being tired, but the exhaustion I’d been feeling the last few weeks was really intense. I hope I’m not coming down with anything, I really don’t have the time.
I was extremely grateful that my parents had offered to take Tom and Lizzy for the night. Maybe a good night’s sleep will cure what ails me.
All of sudden I felt the strangest twitch in my lower abdomen.
That’s so funny, I thought. The only time I had ever felt anything like that was when I was pregnant.
Oh no. It can’t be. It’s not possible.
My head started to do the math. Okay, I was a little late but I was also a few months shy of my 39th birthday. This is probably just early menopause. And a little bit of wishful thinking.
I would love a third baby. Joe and I had always wanted three children. Yet we also knew it was next to impossible. I had had four miscarriages before we had Tom with the help of a fertility doctor. The same doctor helped us have Lizzy three years later when we dealt with two years of infertility. My pregnancy with Elizabeth had been extremely difficult.
Add in the fact that I was already overwhelmed with everything I had on my plate. Lizzy’s issues were getting more and more complicated. I had therapists coming in and out of the house doing their best to help her. It wasn’t going so well. We had no idea what was wrong with her. Tom was going to be starting kindergarten in the fall. Who knew how that was going to go? How could I possibly handle a baby now?
Get a grip Kathy. Things like this happen in romance novels and Lifetime movies, not real life. Plus, I’m a planner. Unexpected surprises don’t happen to me.
Turn the calendar page forward to April from August, and now I’m lying in bed. I feel a contraction, then another. The familiar tightening and release. The same contractions I’ve had for the last four months.
The contractions that had put me on modified bed rest four months earlier. I hadn’t been able to drive since December. Twice in just the last few weeks, the contractions sent me to the hospital.
I’m hoping this is just another false alarm.
I have my bag packed, my Norah Jones CD ready, and my favorite doctor scheduled to do my C-section on Monday morning. It was about 2:00 am on Sunday. I have to leave for the hospital at 6:00 am Monday.
The clock says 2:05 a.m.
Then I felt a gush of water.
Oh no. This is not a test, this is the real deal.
This baby sure has a sense of humor.
It was hard to believe that only hours before, Joe and I had taken the kids out for a special dinner to go over the “baby week” plans with them.
I had the “It’s a Boy” pencils ready to go for Tom’s kindergarten and Lizzy’s preschool class. Their “I’m a Big Brother, and “I’m a Big Sister” shirts were at my parents’ house all set for them to wear to the hospital and for school. I was prepared. I HAD A PLAN.
Another really strong contraction comes. Okay, time for a new plan.
I call the special emergency number for the high-risk patients and let them know what is going on. I also call my parents to watch Tom and Lizzy.
I wake Joe up, who is downstairs having a last hoorah camp-out in the basement with Tom. I do my best to sound calm because I don’t want to alarm my six-year-old in case he wakes up.
Now I’m dressed and ready to go, I hear the doorbell and answer the door in the black of the night to see my parents smiling at me.
The contractions are coming pretty regularly now, and I’m not in a very smiling mood. But since they are doing us a favor, I don’t want to annoy them so I try.
They both start coaching me in my breathing.
I start to wonder what I did in a previous life to deserve this special kind of hell.
Joe grabs a cup of coffee for the road, and we are off to the hospital. It’s now 4:00.
Sunday, 6:00 a.m. My beautiful Peter is born.
I look at the sweet, six-pound baby that I was sure was 18 pounds, and I’m instantly in love.
How is it possible that it was 10 years ago that the boy who makes me laugh and smile when I least feel like it was born? Peter brings humor and joy into our family, and I couldn’t imagine life without him. It never ceases to amaze me that sometimes the things we don’t plan for end up being just what we need.
This is an updated version of a piece that ran on the Dishwasher, March 30, 2014 under the title, Third Time’s the Charm.