Well, I missed my own deadline. This is nothing new in my life. I am constantly setting deadlines, and always breaking them or missing them. I don’t know if I just move slow like molasses in January, or if I set unrealistic deadlines for myself.
So Kai is now one. You can check out pictures of his party in the photo stream on the right. I spent every day leading up to his birthday, and the days since, thinking about where I was a year ago. Like tonight, the NBA all-star festivities are on, and all I can think about is how a year ago, I had a squirmy, pink, tiny bit of a baby in my arms. A baby who needed to be fed, what seemed to be every few minutes. And so, I sat for days on that couch, watching bad television, and not-so-bad all star games, while I fed my son, and checked out every nook and cranny of his tininess. And I was amazed at how this very-loud for its tiny body creature, could really be mine.
The morning of the External Version, I went in very early to work to finish up my grades. I had the day off, and the rest of the teachers had an in-service day over at the elementary school, so save the fabulous admin. staff, the building was empty, and uncharacteristically calm. I was glad to have an hour or two to finish up what I needed to do. More, I was glad to have something to occupy my head, so I wouldn’t think of what was coming that afternoon.
After finishing up my grades, and getting many good luck wishes from the admins, I headed home to meet your father, and get ready to turn you around. We didn’t pack much to bring with us to the hospital, just this mix cd I had made of what I thought might be turning baby music.
In the car on the way there I asked your Da if he was ready to have a baby. One of the side effects of having a Version, is that the baby gets moved enough, and wants to come on out right then and there. So it was very possible that you could have shown up that very cold afternoon. I think your father might have mentally freaked out for a second, but he squeezed my hand and said, “sure, I’m ready”.
At the hospital, the nurses settled us in, and hooked us up to the monitor. One of the nurses pointed out that I was having mini contractions already. I really hadn’t noticed them, and had just thought that was you shifting around. Another nurse rolled in an ultrasound machine that looked like it might have been built a couple of years before the cold war. It still worked though, and she was able to see that you were still very much head up. We told her that we didn’t want to know if you were a boy or a girl, and we had waited this long to be surprised, and still didn’t want to know. And even if we had wanted to know, in none of the previous ultrasounds had you given up the goods. Your Da though had to ask this nurse, “do you know what we’re having?”
“I do, but I’ve been doing this for 25 years.”
So now one person knew if you were to be a girl or a boy.
I don’t really want to share the whole ordeal of the Version. I tried to be as relaxed as I’ve ever been. I listened to quiet music, I let one of the midwives guide me through some breathing exercises, and I chit-chatted with the docs about teaching English, as we waited for one of the med to kick in. The whole leading up to the Version took much longer than actual procedure itself, which thankfully was over in less than five minutes. And when it was all done, you were still very much bottom down. All the pushing and pulling didn’t move you out of your cozy spot, and you were quite content to stay put for a while longer, and so when the docs were sure all was well, they told me to get dressed and head home.
I was so disappointed. I can’t tell you now why I so wanted you to be head down, or why it was so important for me to have you come into this world through intervention free means. But at that time, all those things meant so much to me, and that they weren’t going to happen, made my heart so heavy.
Your Nana came up the next day though, to help me feel better, and to keep me company while I ran some last minute baby errands. Sometimes, no matter how grown-up you purport to be, you just need your mama.
On Monday, I went back to work, and everyone kept asking how Friday went, and I had to tell them it was a no-go, and that I was going that afternoon to meet with the midwives to talk about having to schedule a c-section that. Every time I told this story, they would ask what time my appointment was, and I would look at them funny and tell them that it was at 3:30.
At the end of the day, when a teacher popped his head in the room, and said I was late for a meeting I never heard about, I couldn’t have been crankier. I was not in the mood for this meeting, and then a new doctor appointment. That was until I walked into the meeting room, and realized, that “SURPRISE” the faculty and staff were throwing me a baby shower. Which is why every one was worried about the timing of my doc appointment. So we had a pretty quick baby shower, where I cried a little (yes, I cry at everything), because again my coworkers were showing their overwhelming generosity and kindness.
At the doc. appointment, I picked the day you would be born. I picked based on the doc who was available and how Monday the 12th sounded like a decent day to be born. Little did I know how that date wouldn’t matter very much.
The next seven days were a blur of appointments of all kinds. I kept seeing my acupuncturist to keep everything as she would say “hawpy” and I was seeing a chiropractor on the chance, that she might be able to use a common technique to flip you around. On top of that, my blood pressure had gone soaring, for seemingly no reason, so I kept having to check that out. One of the old-school docs threatened bed-rest at one point- which at that moment seemed like the worst idea ever.
I still don’t know why I was so intent to get to my preset maternity leave date. A teacher pointed out just a few weeks ago, that if I had gone to my boss and said I needed to go early, as I was feeling overwhelmed, he would have shooed me right out the door. But in my head, if I was already going to have you five days early, I could keep on- keeping on at work. I will chalk that one up to another lesson learned too late.