Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Here in the mid-eastern part of the U.S., the crocuses always make their grand appearance for Daniel's birthday. If it had been a sunny day today, they would have opened up their cheerful faces to the sun. I guess that will wait until tomorrow!
Fifteen years and one day ago, my husband woke up and told me about a funny dream that he had. He said that a high school friend of mine had come to him in his dream and told him that she knew about these things, and that baby was coming tonight.
At the time we were living in Saudi Arabia, where my husband worked for a Saudi company. We lived on a compound in a nice house with a wacky kitty. That was February 25th.
I told him that was ridiculous. "What does she know about babies anyway," I said. "She's never had any. If it had been your grandmother, coming from the great beyond to let us know about the baby, that would be one thing. But no. Anyway, the baby isn't due for another month."
That day was a Thursday. The weekend there was Thursday & Friday. We had an ordinary day, and we had lunch together. Then my husband drove me over to a friend's house for a little get together. I found out right before walking in the door that it was actually a surprise baby shower (someone had dropped their invitation on the sidewalk!). Not only was it a surprise shower -- it was a surprise baby shower LUNCHEON. But I had already eaten lunch. But the lady who threw the luncheon made so much food -- it was so fancy -- and she was Greek and the tables were filled with stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, spanikopita, tiropita, lamb kebob and yogurt... you've never seen so much food. There were about 30 ladies there... and a beautiful home made cake that looked like it came from a fancy bakery with pink & blue baby booties made out of frosting on top!
So I had to eat. Again. The hostess made me a plate of food and had me sit at the table of honor. It was so good, so delicious, and I thought I was going to die. I was 8 months pregnant, and I could only eat little bits at a time because my stomach was so squished. But I persevered, and was so thankful and grateful for all these lovely women, these new friends who gave me a shower when I was so far away from home & mom & other relatives & my old friends.
But my goodness, my stomach hurt after that. I smacked my husband when I got home and asked him how he could have allowed me to eat lunch when he knew I was headed to a luncheon? He just didn't want to give it away. I couldn't eat dinner that night (Matt had leftovers from the party) and we took a long, long walk so I could work off some of that food.
I was pretty tired that night. Put on my pj's, and got into bed. Just after we turned out the lights I felt/heard a *pop!* I sat up. "Oh! OH!" I said. I couldn't say anything else. I had never experienced it before, but I knew then that my water broke. When I was finally able to get the words out & tell Matt, he went into action. Here I thought that I would be the calm one and he would be the typical crazy male trying to get ready for the delivery of his child... but he was methodical. He got our list, packed the bag, called a neighbor to see if we could stop by and get a camera because ours was broken (and we thought we had another month before we had to be ready for delivery). We went to the hospital (about a mile up the road) where they told me that I wasn't leaving without a baby.
I was scared. Partly because this was happening a month early, and partly because another lady in my lamaze group had given birth early and her baby died a day after it was born. Once we got to the hospital and I could hear the heartbeat I felt better. But it was a long night.
My contractions were really mild. In fact, they were going nowhere. So in the morning, the doctors said they needed to induce the baby, since the water already broke. A little pitocin later, we went from zero to 10 cm in a couple of hours (OUCH!) and out came Daniel, wrinkled, just under 6 pounds, no hair and jaundiced. He was beautiful.
After that I believed my husband was actually psychic or something. He's still pretty good with hunches. Just don't ask him for lottery numbers! But we did win the grand prize -- a great kid -- smart, funny, caring, tolerant... and in this last year with his diagnoses of diabetes and celiac, also brave, strong, and capable.
Happy Birthday, Daniel!