She was two weeks early. And feet first.
Army Wife was evidently in a hurry to make her debut into this world on this day 25 years ago. As my first-born, everything was new and oh so foreign when it came to pregnancy. It never really occurred to me that she would come early. We had just returned home from test-driving new mini-vans…you know, the tried-and-true, kid-hauling, mommy car. Anyway, we weren’t home 10 minutes when it happened. A sudden warmth running freely down my legs told me something was definitely amiss. Did I pee my pants? Unless my bladder had totally failed me, this was the much-anticipated water-breaking event.
Waddle to the bathroom. Where are the towels? Where is my husband? Where is my suitcase? I was sure birth was eminent and I was nowhere near a hospital. Holy $#!&…was THAT a contraction? Forget the towels. Where is my suitcase? Where is the car? WHERE IS THAT HUSBAND?!
What if this had happened during the test drive? Would they have made us buy the mini van? Would we have had to get the thing detailed? Shudder the thought of trying to explain to the salesperson why we’re calling from the delivery room.
It wasn’t a slow leak. It was a gush. And there I was standing in a puddle on the carpet.
“I feel toes,” was the nurse’s first response. Toes?! No wonder I hadn’t been able to breath for weeks. Her head was jammed up under my ribs. No wonder all the water was on the floor at home. There was nothing to stop it.
“We’ll do a C-section.” said the baby doc. Oh great, the only prenatal session we didn’t attend because daddy-to-be was out of town. I blew it off to stay home in my jammies in front of the TV with the dog. The doctor wasn’t crazy about the idea of this new, untested mother delivering her first child with the hardest part…the head… at the end. I concurred. Plus, I didn’t want them to “manipulate” the baby into the right position because I was terrified the cord would wrap around the neck.
“Roll to your side and curl up.” Say what? I’m 8 and a half months preggers with a child’s head firmly planted in my ribcage. Curl up? Are you kidding?
Drape? Check. Husband? Check. Experienced doctor? Check. No feeling below my chest. Double check. Okay. I’m ready.
And there she was. All 7 pounds 12 ounces of her. Feet first. Ready to take off running. Little did we know how true that would be.
I’m a mom and my life has forever changed.
Little did I know how true that would be too.
As our first-born, she was the guinea pig for two inexperienced parents. Sharp as a tack, many times she was too smart for our her own good. She was identifying letters and numbers around 18 months (thank you Sesame Street) and speaking in short sentences by age two. Climbing was woven into her DNA and nothing was out of her reach. We kept her under constant surveillance when she was young. I’m positive we made huge mistakes with her as the first-born, but we’re hoping she has forgiven us for most of them.
Now we’re celebrating her 25th birthday. A quarter of a century! Doesn’t look much older than about 17, does she?
Happy Birthday Army Wife. You are a beautiful young woman now. With a first-born of your own!