Today: Jun 16, 2024

From lady lumps to baby bumps: True love when you least expect it


It was a Sunday in late January. I was lying in a heap on my bed watching football on TV, which was barely visible behind my 47-lb midsection. Not that I minded. I could have cared less about football that day. It was the day before my life was predicted to change forever. I could barely sit still or think about anything else – let alone football.

Tuning out the game I realized I hadn’t felt the little guy move in quite some time. “Maybe he was sleeping,” I thought. I waited awhile and still nothing. Hours went by and no turns, twists, kicks. Nothing.

And so, just before our Sunday dinner, we headed to the hospital to make sure everything was alright.

Upon entering the lovely Bridgeport Hospital, I was forced into a wheelchair. Though I didn’t feel it necessary and in fact found it a tad condescending (why would I need a wheelchair? I’m not having a baby right now), I ceded my stubbornness to please hospital security.

I got up to the wonderful floor they call triage. Sitting behind a makeshift curtain, uncomfortably close to other moms-to-be, I thought, “I’d like to go home and eat dinner now.” The sound of women having contractions isn’t pleasant. It’s probably more terrifying than the clown in “It.”

After hearing the positive news from the doctor, that everything was fine and there was nothing to worry about, I was relieved. Good, now I can go home and eat my spaghetti and meatballs. Then came the unexpected: “Though, we might as well induce you now seeing as you are due tomorrow.”

What?! You want me to go earlier than expected when everything is fine? I am not mentally prepared for today. I am not even prepared for tomorrow and I’ve had nine months to wrap my head around a seven-pound baby emerging from a very small space. I wasn’t ready. Truth be told, you can never be ready.

And so, I was reluctantly moved into my room. Looking around I saw a TV, a bed, a chair and a bathroom. I couldn’t help but think to myself, “This is it. I won’t be coming out of here until that baby is born.”

We made ourselves as comfortable as we could be while the nurses prepared me. My heart was racing. My legs couldn’t stop shaking. I couldn’t focus. All I could do was wait.

Hours stretched by like taffy. I felt suspended in time. Then my contractions started.

I read about contractions compulsively as they were the bane of my existence for the months of December and January. They compare contractions to really bad cramps. I compare them to being subjected to one of those torture devices in the “Saw” movies.

Blown away by the very halting reality of contractions, I looked for the love and support of my wonderful boyfriend and father of my son. And what is he doing? He’s asleep! Mouth open and snoring.

Well isn’t that nice. I’m glad he’s so calm before I give birth. What’s to worry about anyway?

Enraged, I punched him in the shoulder. “Are you kidding me?” I said.

Poor Ed. He was going to be woken up several more times over the course of the night and would later have to see me turn into a cave woman.

Luckily, I had nurses to keep me company every time I hit a little button, which I routinely hit every 10 minutes.

The young, blonde nurse working the midnight shift came in around 2:30 a.m., seemingly fed up with my pain complaints snapping, “You know labor isn’t supposed to be fun, right?” Said the girl who never had a baby. Needless to say we did not get along for the remainder of her shift.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty of my personal tale of labor, I can sum up the low points: the epidural didn’t take on one entire side of my body; the whole process took about 20 hours; I had an 80-year-old unsympathetic nurse, more serious than the Queen’s guards, who made me cry; the anesthesiologist’s student’s hands were shaking while injecting pain meds; the 20 doctors, nurses and what seemed like on-lookers while I was in a very compromising position and my mother trying to photograph and videotape the process causing me to snap mid-push.

Fast forward through the sweat, tears and laundry list of seemingly useless pain medications.

It was 4:19 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. I finally got to see my son’s tiny hands, his little round nose and perfect pink lips. The doctor wrapped him in a blanket and put him on my chest. Exhausted, mentally and physically, I stared into Noah’s blue eyes as he lay there, looking up at me quietly and deeply. It was the most intimate and beautiful moment of my life. He was nothing I could have ever predicted nor planned for, but that’s what they say about true love; it happens when you least expect it.

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