This is the story of the night you made your arrival...
I made reservations for “date night” for your Dad and I on September 3rd, 2009 (it was a Thursday… our usual date night) at Capital Grille in Chicago. I had been craving Capital Grille’s fried calamari for quite some time, and since I knew you would soon be joining us, these nights wouldn’t be so easy to pull off on such short notice!! With that said, I made reservations for 6:15 that night, for what I thought could be our last date night before you came (This pic is from that night).
Earlier that afternoon I treated myself to a prenatal massage (which I was doing weekly toward the end of the pregnancy). I also went shopping for a new dress to wear to dinner (so I’d look nice for your Daddy). Your Dad got home after work and we left for the restaurant. We ordered our usual favorites… calamari, wedge salad, steak, dessert. It was delicious. We spent about 2 hours there before leaving to go home. When we got home we stayed up awhile, watching TV and spending time with the dogs. We went to bed around 10:30. Your Dad was sleeping on the couch at this point because he was still recovering from surgery (and still snoring pretty loudly), while I slept in bed with the doggies.
I woke up that night at 1:30 for what I thought was just another trip to the bathroom. I didn’t feel right though; something was “off”. I felt crampy, very low in my belly. I went back to bed, paying attention to the cramping… trying to go back to sleep. But I couldn’t sleep. I kept noticing that the cramping was getting stronger. I lay in bed till around 2:15. At that point, I went out to the living room to tell your Dad that I wasn’t feeling very well. He looked at me with surprise, as if to say, “Oh my gosh! Is this it!?”. I reassured him I was fine and told him to take the bedroom… I’d stay up on the couch for awhile, until I was feeling better. So he took the dogs and went into the bedroom. I went on the computer at this point to a program called Contraction Master (it times your contractions). I hit the button each time I felt one of those cramps coming on… they were forming a pattern of just 1:45 seconds apart. At that point, I knew it was time to call the Doctor. She told me to come to the hospital, but not to rush. So I showered, woke your Dad (who quickly walked the dogs around the block since we didn’t know how long we’d be gone) and finished packing our hospital bags. As I was doing these things, the cramping got far more intense… I was hunched over in pain at this point as I completed packing.
When we had talked about your arrival in the past, we had talked about the route we would take to the hospital and how we would park in the parking garage across the street and then just walk over to the hospital. No way was that happening!!! The ride to the hospital didn’t take long… apparently traffic in Chicago is pretty light at 4:00 AM… not to mention, your Dad was driving like a speed demon because I was in so much pain! We pulled into the circle drive at the hospital and went directly to Triage. The pain at this point was unbearable. And it kept coming so fast!! I was checked in at 4:00AM and they examined me to be 2cm dilated. I was begging for pain medication but they were in no hurry to give it to me… I think they thought I was exaggerating about the pain. By the time they got my upstairs to Labor and Delivery, I had progressed way beyond the 2 cm and was nearly fully dilated to 10 cm by the time the epidural was administered. I was screaming so loud, praying for the pain to stop. They gave me an epidural, however it wasn’t working; I was numb in my legs and feet but nowhere else! The pain was excruciating!! I just remember my nurse, Shaunie, telling me to breathe… “You need to breathe for your baby. She needs the oxygen”. So I concentrated on breathing for you. Around 5:15 my OB/ GYN Dr Venkatachalam arrived and checked me. After she examined me, she looked up with a big smile and said, “Are you ready to have your baby?” I couldn’t believe it!! Just a few hours ago I was sound asleep with you in my belly! Less than 12 hours ago I was on a date with your Dad! How on earth could you be coming so quickly?!?
It took about 6 contractions of pushing and you arrived at 5:53 AM, on September 4, 2009! They immediately placed you on my chest… you were covered in goo! Your Dad cut the umbilical cord and then they took you over to be weighed/ measured/ cleaned. You weighed in at 6 lbs, 3 oz and were 18 ½ inches long... and you were the most amazing thing that your Dad and I had ever seen. All those months of hoping and praying... and there you were... PERFECT. So tiny, yet so strong and completely gorgeous. Our little angel, born into the world.... just us and our happy little family. Your Dad kept gloating, "She's perfect!! She's perfect!!!". When they gave you back to me, I put you right on my chest and you immediately calmed down. You must have known it was me.
You're now 30 days old. And I don't know where the time has gone. I suppose it's because of late night feedings, numerous diaper changes and major sleep deprivation that I can't recall. What I do know is that you are a tiny miracle and we are so blessed to have you. We learn more about one another everyday. And my heart grows more each day, too.