I remember waking up that morning knowing that I would be a completely different person by day’s end (as it turned out, it was just past day’s end).
I remember looking around at the apartment one last time, knowing I wouldn’t be back for a few days.
I remember, as I followed your daddy (dragging my suitcase) down the long front walkway to the car, that it was relatively warm outside for mid-March, and that the previous weekend’s 20+ inches of snow had already melted considerably.
I remember our ridiculous attempt at small talk on the way to the hospital.
I remember our anger as we nearly got in a car accident in the intersection in front of the hospital because some jerk cut us off.
I remember the kind smiles of strangers in the hallways since it was hard for me to hide the evidence of the happy occasion that required my presence in the hospital.
I remember checking in at the desk, and quickly being shown to our “suite,” and wondering how such a technologically upscale room could have such an archaic television.
I remember changing into the hospital gown and posing for Mike in all my very pregnant glory.
I remember sitting in the bed and calling my mom to tell her it was on.
I remember our first nurse coming in, setting up my IV & pitocin drip, and asking all kinds of questions; then I asked her when I was supposed to pay my co-pay.
I remember when the doctor, accompanied by several other doctors, came in to start my foley induction, and how the procedure erased any modesty I might have been holding onto.
I remember the steady beat of your heart on the monitor, and how comforting it was.
I remember watching “A Baby Story” while holding your daddy’s hand, waiting for the inevitable.
I remember when the first contractions came, and realized I had felt that pain before, only with a much different and sad outcome.
I remember sitting on the exercise ball and deciding that whomever had decided it was a great tool for labor MUST have been a man.
I remember visitors—your Mimi & Grandpa, your Aunt Abby, your great-aunt Jodi, and my former boss & good friend Hugh—coming in and out of the room over the next several hours.
I remember the dozen pink roses that Hugh brought because he was still mad his guess that you were a girl was incorrect.
I remember the nurse telling me she expected Aiden to arrive by around 7 PM, and thinking she was absolutely crazy.
I remember the nurse giving me some pain medication and feeling instantly drunk as a result.
I remember having to get off the phone while giving an update to Angie because I had to throw up. So much for the pain meds.
I remember my nurse telling me I wasn’t going to make it without an epidural.
I remember the removal of the foley and the gush of liquid as my water broke, and smiling as the nurse told me I was at 5 centimeters
I remember the nurse coming gleefully back in the room and telling me she’d convinced the anesthesiologist to give me the epidural.
I remember holding Mike’s hand as I got the epidural, and thinking that wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d heard it would be.
I remember the next several hours, as new nurse after new nurse (they were quite busy that evening) came to check my progress, and all said the same thing—5 cm and holding.
I remember how scared I was every time I heard your heart rate drop when they’d dose the pitocin—seems you weren’t too keen on coming out of that comfy womb.
I remember at the nurse asking me if I was disappointed after they finally told me I needed a C-section, and me saying incredulously “NO—let’s get him out of there!”
I remember your daddy & I sending texts about the C-section to our waiting friends & family and then turning off our phones, only to have the nurse come back in and say they wanted to wait a few more hours.
I remember your daddy snoring softly in his chair as I breathed into the oxygen mask, praying feverishly that your heart rate didn’t drop again.
I remember the nurse finally coming in to get us prepped to go to the OR; she gave me some medicine that was supposed to prevent me from throwing up. Of course, I immediately threw THAT up.
I remember your daddy, standing in his scrubs, looking extremely nervous about what was about to happen.
I remember being wheeled into the OR, and how bright and clinical that room felt.
I remember throwing up a few times more on the table.
I remember my OB asking me if I could feel a pinch, and telling her no; she replied, “Good, because I was grabbing you with these (she held up a sharp pair of plyer-type things)—that means we’re ready to go.”
I remember your daddy holding my hand as we both tried to wrap our minds around exactly what was happening.
I remember feeling a lot of pressure as one doctor leaned on my ribcage so my OB could dig around inside me, trying to get a good grip on you.
I remember her saying, “No wonder he didn’t want to come out—he’s backwards. This baby’s got a lot of dark hair—see, Mom?”
And lastly, I remember your bloody, screaming face appear over that little blue curtain. I’d never seen anything so beautiful in my life.