Did I just wet myself?
Call it dad-to-be intuition because at 2 am I awoke to what I thought was me urinating all over myself in my sleep. I wasn’t that bent out-of-shape about it, I was so native I just thought this it what happened late in pregnancy; I’d just really try to go to the bathroom before I went to sleep the next night (and as every pregnant woman knows, it’s not hard to make oneself go to the bathroom).
I went to the bathroom and ‘peed’ like I had never peed before. I couldn’t stop. I yelled for my husband and remarkably, he heard me and stumbled up the steps in moments.
“I just peed the bed; I’m sorry; will you help me change the sheets?”
As I said that I felt I needed to go again so I stopped myself until I could get back on the toilet. It wouldn’t stop...
Wait. This was not pee. This looked like water and was streaming in a little line down my leg.
My husband’s eyes opened up to the size of cookies and he gave me a look like we were about to enter the field to play the Superbowl… and he hadn’t read any of the plays. He turned a little yellow…
“I think your water has broken.”
I’m thinking- are you kidding me? I don’t know anyone whose water has broken. I’m three weeks early; it’s too soon. I was naked at this point and called the doctor (everything I’d been wearing was soaked with amniotic fluid or sweat, a downright lovely thought I know, so I did what anybody who was 30 pounds heavier than normal would do, and took off my clothes).
We called the doctor, and thank God we don’t have video cameras in our house because there we were- my husband and my naked self huddled around the phone in the smallest room in our home listening to the doctor say,
“Go to the hospital.”
I swear this is true, even though we had just attended a whole prenatal and birth preview weekend at the hospital a week before,
ME: “Sure… when?”
Doctor (almost yelling): “NOW!”
My husband and I started running back and forth throwing stuff in a bag,
then taking stuff out of the bag.
I got dressed and stuck a towel between my legs. It turns out my son’s head hadn’t dropped down yet to act as a plug so… you know, no need to go into details about me looking like a had peed myself again by the time we walked into 'admitting' at the hospital.
But you know what? They got me all hooked up to monitors. They told me the baby was fine and was measuring tall, like my husband.
They told me to walk around the hospital to get labor going.
It was pitch black, 3am by this time.
My husband and I walked along these beautiful glass walkways and all I could think as I smiled was,
“I’m having a baby today.” I knew I had to. Once your water breaks the baby must come out within 24 hours.
“I’m having a baby today.”
The neatest part about all of it was that there are not many days you know going into them that they will be life- changing and contain memories that you will hold with you until your dying day.
Your wedding day is one, and having a baby is definitely another.
Then I was so excited to call my mom.
I called her at 5am. Remarkably, she answered right away.
“Mom, I’m going to have a baby today.”
It sounded like she fell out of bed and then she came back with, “I’m okay!”
“Mom, take your time, get some coffee and come to the hospital.”
“You’re at the hospital?!”
“Mom, I’ve been here a couple of hours. I’m in labor. But this is going to take awhile.”
Post script: 17 hours later…
I delivered a six pound, 4 ounce baby boy by C-section. He was fine, all systems go and almost 21 INCHES (at 3 weeks early). He didn’t need a respirator or anything out of the ordinary. He was just tall and didn’t have any more room.
So my 5-foot frame held my tall, little, baby boy and I fell in love.
He stared at me, as I looked at his toes, and his little hands, and his little eyelashes, and his little nose, and his fingernails.
And then he took a deep breath and leaned into me,
like he had been looking for me for a long, long time,
and I fell in love all over again.