Our little boy was due to join us in early January of 2003. I worked on deck of a ferry-boat until I was about 5 1/2 months along. Then, between it becoming difficult to maneuver between vehicles (we packed them in tight because it was a very small boat), and being physically uncomfortable when I had to work a 12 1/2 hr. shift on my feet, I stopped working. The next two months were spent getting ready for baby: buying all the necessary equipment, and taking a birthing class. We took a Hypnobirthing class, which was amazing. With great regularity, we practiced our script for pain relief. I was even able to numb my hand when I held a bunch of ice cubes. You try to hold a bunch of icecubes for 20 minutes. We had written a birthing plan and pre-registered at the local hospital. By the time we picked up a crib, changing table, stroller, high chair, and car seat, I was becoming quite physically uncomfortable with the pregnancy, and wasn’t looking forward to having to wait another 2 more months. Little did I know, I didn’t have that long to wait.
A day or two after a baby shower, I was sitting in our recliner, waiting for baby to kick and roll around, as he often did. Watching my belly morph was daily entertainment. But I realized, that day, that I hadn’t noticed the little guy kicking and rolling around. In fact, when I sat and thought about it, I couldn’t remember feeling him move at all that day.
Then the conversation in my head began. He’s fine. He’ll move soon. It’s already 3pm, it can probably wait. Well, maybe I’ll call my midwife in the morning. NO! Something could be wrong. Get checked NOW! Before I knew it, I felt like a tiger in a cage, pacing back and forth, back and forth. I had to act on this now. I called my midwife’s office. By the time I had spoken to the medical assistant and then was talking with my midwife, I burst into tears, saying, “No, I’m not all right.” They had me come in to have a non-stress test (they monitor mom for contractions and baby’s heart rate), just to make sure everything was fine.
When I met my midwife at the hospital, she had them give me a bag of fluids, wide open. I was well hydrated, and my kidney’s were working well, so trying to stay in one position on the bed for an hour, was impossible. As it turned out, when I would sit up or stand up, baby’s heart rate would decelerate. If you’re not in labor, this is not a good sign. After being examined and examined and tested and tested, the OB was called in. She examined me again, looked at all the info and made the call. At 12:05am I was lying, prone, with an anesthesiologist by my head and an operating room full of people, when I heard a squeak that sounded like a mouse. I wondered when the baby would be coming; after all, the doc had asked me if I felt it when she did something that I didn’t really feel. I was waiting for her to say something, like they do on TV, about starting to cut. That’s TV. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that the squeak was my son. As soon as I realized he was trying to cry, and that he was alive, something came over me that let me know loud and clear that he was going to be just fine. It was that same something that, hours before, had me pacing the floor like a tigress. I have learned to listen to that something.