I had been on bed rest for a few weeks. I was working from home, and I was sick of it. Tired of endless daytime television, tired of trying to stay on top of work while not being in the office, and tired of being alone all day long. My husband was sick of me calling him six times a day “just to say hi.” I was sick of suffering from blood pressure headaches and I was sick of feeling fat and miserable.
The morning of Saturday, November 19 dawned; it was my nephew Zander’s eighth birthday. I was determined to go to his birthday party and get out of the house for a little bit. (Plus, I really wanted some birthday cake.) I got up and got dressed, and casually mentioned to Justin that I had yet another headache and I was feeling a little dizzy. Out came the blood pressure cuff, and the result was that my reading was 150/106. In other words, through the roof. I was sent back to bed to pout, while Justin went to represent at the birthday party. I sat home and felt sorry for myself. (In Justin’s defense, I told him to go, plus he came home with Cheesecake Factory cheesecake and a pound of fudge for me.)
Justin returned home with the news that he was taking Zander hunting the next morning, so the newly minted eight-year-old would spend the night with us. Justin headed back out that evening to run some errands for me, and let me know that his mom would be bringing Zander around 7 p.m. I was lying on the couch, getting ready to watch a Lifetime movie starring James van der Beek and chatting with my best friend Lezly (also my sister-in-law and Zander’s mom) when the doorbell rang. I could hear Zander outside, so I lumbered my giant hippopotamus self off the couch to answer the door. As I opened it, I told Lezly, “I think I just peed my pants.” Zander entered, full of excitement about his X-Box that he got for his birthday. I realized that I was still peeing all over myself (so I thought) and told him to hang on. I went in the bathroom and started laughing as I realized….MY WATER BROKE! This was followed by relief that I had not lost control of my bladder. I told Zander to go fetch my mother-in-law from the car, called the doctor, called my mom and Justin….and the whole time, Zander was bummed that he a.) wasn’t spending the night at our house, b.) wasn’t going hunting with Uncle Justin the next morning and c.) was going to have to share his birthday with his new cousin.
I reached the doctor and was told to head on down to the hospital; it was time to cut that baby out. (My doctor was not on call, but I’m glad to report that I did not have a meltdown like Katherine Heigl in “Knocked Up” and threaten my doc with bodily harm.) I was already scheduled for a C-section on December 2, so there was no question how little Canaan was going to make his entrance into the world. He just wanted to come a little early!
We arrived at St. John at 9 p.m. I still had a towel stuffed down my pants and “water” running down my leg. It was honestly the most disgusting thing I’ve ever felt in my life. Imagine wetting your pants for a solid hour and a half. We got up to Labor & Delivery and were immediately taken to Triage. Everything seemed to be clicking along nicely, and I was told that I would be prepped for surgery shortly. And then I started to get scared for the first time.
I was wheeled down to the operating room, and Justin was told to wait outside; they would come and fetch him when it was time. I sat on the bed in the freezing cold OR, shaking, shivering and terrified. As I sat there, I had plenty of second thoughts, mainly, “I don’t want to do this!” but I realized that I was in a little too deep for that. The part that I was most scared about? The spinal block. I sat there eyeing the anesthesiologist, who sat in the corner reading a magazine, completely convinced that I would end up paralyzed because I couldn’t stop shivering. He actually turned out to be a very dear man, who constantly kept me updated on what was happening, and what was going to happen. The nurse was an angel, too, and held my hand and talked to me to keep me distracted. After half an hour of waiting, it was time for the dreaded spinal block. And you know what? As usual, I worried for nothing. I barely felt it, and even asked, “That was it?” after it was finished. The anesthesiologist realized how cold I was and had someone fetch something that looked like a dryer hose to put under my gown. It may have looked funny, but it felt like I had a hair dryer on my chest and it was amazing! When he said, “And the doctor has started,” I realized that nobody had rescued my husband from the hallway. I begged for him to get Justin, and he did. Justin sat next to me and held my hand while we nervously talked and laughed and I felt my belly being tugged and yanked in all directions. He kept looking over the curtain and I told him not to; I didn’t want him to have mental images of my guts spread all over an operating table. We talked the whole time, but we were really just waiting to hear the sounds of Canaan’s first cry, and we both breathed a huge sigh of relief when we heard that tiny wail.
After that, the nurses whisked Justin away to take pics, cut the umbilical cord, and do whatever else you do when a baby is born. I heard someone say that he scored a 9 on his Apgars, which is damn near perfect, but I really wanted to SEE this baby that had been kicking me for the last nine months. After what seemed an eternity, they realized that I kind of wanted to lay eyes on him, so a nurse brought him over and placed him next to my face. I just stared in wonder at this tiny, round-headed baby boy with big bright eyes. He didn’t cry, he just stared right back. And I fell in love.
After a flurry of congratulations from the nurses and doctors, we were whisked to the recovery area, and it was like a party. My mom, mother-in-law, fathers-in-law and best friend were all on hand. I was high on all kinds of drugs and numb from the chest down, and I didn’t even care. I was just so excited that it was over, and that everything had gone smoothly. Justin, Canaan and I were taken to our “real” room at 3 a.m. We were exhausted, but we didn’t sleep. I guess an event like that causes too much adrenaline to sleep; who would’ve thought? Ha.
Canaan Ray was technically 22 days early. He arrived on November 19 at 10:50 p.m. (Ladies, want to hate me? He was born three and a half hours after my water broke, and I never had a single contraction.) He weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. He’s adorable. And he’s perfect. But I may be biased.
Thanks to everyone who played a part in Canaan’s birth; thanks to everyone who came to visit us or brought us food! And thanks to the wonderful staff at St. John Tulsa; you all were amazing!