Happy Friday friends! I hope everyone has had a good week. Mine has been a bit emotional. Monday was the anniversary of my Mom's passing and my oldest son's 28th birthday on Tuesday. For this edition of Flashback Friday, I am going to share my memories of the day of his birth. Given that, be forewarned that it's going to be long.
28 years ago on Monday, I woke up feeling like it might be any other day because Jarrod wasn't due until November 8th. I had already been put on bed rest because my blood pressure was 130/90 and they were concerned if it didn't come down that they would have to induce my labor. A couple of side notes, my Mom was working compressed night shifts at the time of my pregnancy and bed rest is all fun and games until the urge to nest kicks in. I think when the urge to nest hit they may have had to strap me down to keep me from moving and I'm not sure that would have worked either! I had been off work for about a week or so, if memory serves. Also, to say Mom was excited when I told her I was pregnant would probably be a bit of an exaggeration. She didn't think that Jarrod's father was the right one for me...I soon found out she was correct there. Ultimately, she truly believed that Jarrod was a blessing and she was was a blessing to me in helping me raise him.
When Mom got up and moving, we ran some errands and I noticed I was feeling a bit off. My cousin had commented to me when we were talking about it that shortly before labor that you will feel like you do right before you start your period. Oh how right she was! That was exactly what I felt like. At the time, Jack in the Box was serving the Bacon Bacon Cheeseburger and it was my favorite thing to eat there. I didn't mention to Mom that I was feeling off or that I started having what I figured out later were contractions. I remember that we stopped at Chase to get cash from the ATM and that's when I really started noticing them. I tried to hide the fact that I was slowly lifting my behind off the seat when one would hit and then ease myself back down. I knew if I told her what was going on, that she wouldn't let me eat. We got our lunch and headed home to eat and then each of us went to our rooms to nap. I can't remember how long I laid there, but when I woke up, I was hurting with what I thought were really bad gas pains. When I would adjust my position, they would ease and then come back with a vengeance. Finally I gave in and got out of bed as my "Baby Dumpling" was clearly not going to let me continue to nap.
For those of you that haven't met me personally and do not know, I guard-dogged my Mom when she was trying to sleep. I refused to wake her if it was unnecessary. So I paced, I called my cousin, my Nanny and anyone I could think of that might be able to tell me for sure if I was in labor. I remember my Nanny's response was classic. She responded to me by saying, "Tracey, do you know how many years it's been since I was in labor?". I replied "No, ma'am." And the conversation continued much like this: Isn't your Mom home? Yes, but I don't want to wake her, Nanny, if this is nothing. I think you need to wake her. I think my pacing finally woke Mom up because shortly after my phone calls to everyone I could think of, she got up. Asked me if I was okay and I told her about the pain. Well, you just lay down and let me know when you are ready to go to the hospital. Of course, at the urging and advise of friends and family, I already had a bag packed. I sat on the couch at my Mom's urging and tried to lay down, but the pain was horrible! I couldn't even lay down without popping back up. I laid for a few minutes and finally said, "Mom, I think it's time." "Okay, baby.", she replied and got up to start getting ready to go. Patience was definitely not my strong suit given the amount of pain I was in, but Mom took her time, brushing her teeth, etc. to get ready to take me to the hospital. By the time we got there, I think it was a little after 7 p.m. I had an absolutely wonderful nurse named Polly. She'd been a Labor and Delivery Nurse for years and was able to teach me a few techniques to get me through my labor. I told her I didn't want any medication. Haha...yeah, that happened...NOT! I gave in and got a shot of Dimerol to help ease some of the pain. By the time I finally agreed to an epidural, it was too late, which was probably for the best. The Dimerol made me loopy enough. My Mom was amazing at trying to remind me to breathe and calm down. She and I also talked about the fact that she was going to be 40 just the next week. As it turns out, exactly one week after Jarrod was born.
After I got to the hospital, I called the fire station where Jarrod's father was a volunteer firefighter and I explained to them, as he'd instructed, that I was in labor at the hospital. The dispatcher said but it's not time yet. Yes, I know, but apparently Baby Dumpling doesn't know that. And considering the fact that I'm already dilated, they aren't sending me home. He was out on a call and they had to contact him so it took him a bit to get there. He finally arrived after I had the dose of Dimerol. I don't think I'll ever forget this part...and I'm sure I made him feel horrible, but honestly, it is what happened. I was resting a bit as I was finally not in quite so much pain after the shot. Mom was holding my hand and when he came in and sat down, Mom said, Tracey, Rick's here. I promptly replied "so." Seriously, I was in la-la land at that point. While I remained in la-la land, Jarrod's great grandmother, Wynema, arrived at the hospital. I told her that I only wanted it to be me, Rick and Mom at the hospital, but she wanted to be there and once there, I wouldn't turn her away and she knew that. Fast forward to about 10 p.m., they came in and broke my water. Baby Dumpling, who came to be named Jarrod, still didn't want to make his appearance. Dr. Maggi asked me at one point when he came to check on me if I was going to have this baby before midnight. I said I'm trying. When they asked those folks that didn't want to be in there the delivery to leave the room, Wynema didn't understand because she was slightly hard of hearing. She did manage to slip out to the waiting room until Jarrod made his appearance. When the heavy labor hit, they kept asking me if I wanted to see him crown, which I'm sure is a normal question. I was in pain and I just wanted them to stop asking. The last time that they asked I finally responded with "I don't want to see him until he's out!" This is not my normal demeanor...but I was in some pain. I remember hearing Dr. Maggi say I see boy ears. My sweet boy decided to make his appearance a little after 1 a.m. I got a rude awakening when they laid my messy sweet boy on my chest. I think the movies and tv shows I'd seen ruined the next part for me...because they were always mostly cleaned up when they gave the newborns to the mothers. I promptly asked them to get him off my chest and clean him up. I was afraid he was going to slide off. When they handed me that sweet red-headed boy, I was in love. The look in Mom's eyes when she first held her grandbaby can not fully be described other than to say that it was very clear she was smitten and he'd have her wrapped around his finger soon!