I wonder if how you are born into the world is reflective of your personality. As a mother, I tried to pay close attention to my children while I carried them. Each pregnancy was different in subtle ways, and each delivery had its own unique style. This week, I celebrate my most adventurous delivery, which, surprisingly enough, is my most adventurous child — my second child and oldest son, the man.
After my first, such a calm and even-keeled daughter, I wondered, what would life be like with two children? And more importantly, what if this baby is nothing like the first baby? Could I handle it?
Baby number two was due on January 21 — my maternal grandmother's birthday — and although she had passed away two years prior, I was looking forward to that connection to her through the child. But that day came and went and no baby. My midwife then predicted that we were probably a week or so off, but Friday, January 28 came and went and still, no baby. There I was, 80-pounds pregnant and heading into two-weeks overdue. I sent an email to my girlfriend:
"...I want to say my goodbyes. It looks like I'm done, finished, fin-i-to. I've lost feeling in my legs, lost sight of my toes and could lose my mind if I don't have this baby today. If you don't hear from me, I'm running alongside a truck, begging it to hit me and put me out of my misery. Say goodbye to the others for me. Love you."
(And I wonder where my daughter gets her drama from!)
My midwife said that if I didn't have the baby by the following Monday, we would induce labor. Induce labor? That sounded too scary. So I asked her what else could I do — like something natural, and something other than having sex? (You did hear me say I had gained 80 pounds, right?)
She said, "Take some orange juice with four ounces of castor oil at night and you'll have the baby in the morning."
Desperate people do desperate things. I drank the concoction and watched Saturday Night Live. At 4 A.M., my anxiety could no longer keep me up and I fell asleep, hard. At about 6:45, I was abruptly awakened.
I alert DH: "Honey, I think it's time."
"Oh, okay, so just keep watch and let me know if you need my help." (You gotta love the rationale of a tired husband who has already endured three false alarms and was there when my girlfriend brought me home from my fourth).
Two minutes later: "Honey, get up now. It's REALLY that time."
"But, you just starting feeling something."
"I know, and this is A LOT of something."
"Well, squeeze my hand and let's see how far apart they are."
Consulting his trusty watch, he says, "You must have eaten something bad because you're squeezing my hand like every minute."
We jump out of bed and grab our daughter who was sleeping so peacefully. "What's happening?"
"Mommy says the baby's coming."
At 6:53 A.M. on our way to the car, I feel a pop and then a gush.
DH: "Wow, that's different." (My water had to be broken the first time, so I actually used to think the embarrassing water thing only happened on TV).
Me: "Yeah and it's hurting A LOT now."
We arrive at the University of Michigan Women's Hospital and I can't even sit down in the wheelchair. Once we make it to Triage, the nurse begins to ask me questions. In the middle of the questioning, I interrupt: "Miss! Unless you want me to have this baby in the lobby, get me in a room NOW."
Our official check-in time at the hospital was 7:03 A.M. and I barely made it to the room. With my daughter present and my husband assisting, in just two quick pushes, our 9-pound 2-ounce baby was born at 7:15 A.M., February 1, 1998, on a cold Sunday morning.
Since day one, Kamari has been an adventure. I'm so thankful God trusted me just to witness his life's journey, because from the very beginning he has needed little help from me. Happy Birthday, Kamari. Your name means "power," and your entrance in this world has truly been reflective of who you are.