That night as I peacefully slumbered, a little someone was getting ready.
And now, we are right back where I started: with my water broken, in a complete panic, shouting for John.
I'm not sure why I was shouting. John was just a few feet away in the master bathroom, getting ready for work. I started barking orders left and right. "Call your mom", I demanded, as I rummaged for my hospital bags and tried to get dressed. I was already out the door before John's mom, Betty, even got here. As John and I loaded up his RAV4, Betty arrived. I tried to give her instructions for the boys, but I couldn't because all of a sudden I was crying. I did not have time to say goodbye to the Finn and Calvin and I missed them already.
"We'll be fine", she said, waving goodbye.
As we drove to the hospital I called my parents and suddenly realized that mom was still in Florida helping grammy. This was going all wrong. She had never missed a birth. Mom and Betty were gonna take turns holding down the fort. When dad answered the phone I kind of blubbered all the facts and told him to call mom. And I don't remember what I said after that. It's a complete blur.
We arrived at the hospital in record time and I got out of the car, a sopping mess. Thank goodness my water did not break the day before in church, all over the gym floor. I would have died. With my heart pounding, we got to the birthing center on the 2nd floor, where all the nurses lounged idly at the front desk, bored stiff. I could barely get their attention. Finally, they lazily glanced up and escorted me to my room, and slowly started to get things ready.
"Hurry up", I urged. "This is my 3rd c-section and I'm afraid I'm going to rupture".
"Oh, you aren't gonna rupture", the nurse drawled in slow motion.
Normally the labor and delivery nurses are the cream of the crop. What was going on here? I had the worst service on the planet that morning.
As nurse #1 tied the rubber band around my arm for the IV, it snapped my skin and then broke. And then she stabbed my left arm with the IV. "Ouch", I jumped. "Sorry", she muttered, "I can't get it in". She tried again, stinging my left arm once again. No luck. Then she switched arms, where the rubber band broke again.
"Oh crap", she said, much to my disbelief.
And then she jabbed my right arm and started wiggling the IV around, for what felt like an eternity. I started to panic and I could not stop shaking. After a minute, I thought she got the IV in, but she didn't and was muttering "crap" once again. By her 4th attempt, I had enough.
"Could you please find me another nurse who is more experienced?" I asked. It was not the most polite thing to say, but this had been going on for half an hour and by now my contractions were really starting to kick in. She finally gave up and nurse #2 tried her luck. Nurse #2 seemed really experienced, but oddly enough she struggled too. "Your veins are really hard to find", she complained. This was the low point of my entire hospital stay.
There I sat, gushing water, shivering and contracting and nobody could do 1 thing to help me.
The door swung open and Dr. Y appeared, my knight in shining blue scrubs, completely and totally in charge. The atmosphere in the room calmed instantly. He's kind of zen that way. Within seconds, my IV was in and they were wheeling me off to the OR for my c-section.
The room was completely frigid, and as they transferred me to the narrow OR table, I was quite certain I was going to shake right off the table, onto the floor. The anesthesiologist asked, "Are you nervous?"
"Terrified", I answered. "I hate being filleted. Could you give me a little something in my IV to stop the shaking?"
"Don't worry, I have just the thing for you", he said. Within a minute, everything was warm and fuzzy and dreamy. My previous c-section was so traumatizing, I shook the entire time. I remember telling John "I hate this, I hate this. We are never doing this again". But here we were again, having another baby. And this time, the anesthesiologist was a wizard with the drip and made all things happy.
A few minutes later I felt the all too familiar tugging, as they wrested to get baby out of me. Then "whoooosh", as they lifted the entire weight of the last 9 months off me, in one fell swoop. It's a bizarre feeling.
And then, we heard him crying. The most blessed sound in the whole world.
They brought him over to me and for the first time, I laid eyes on his perfect, shining, little face. His eyes peeked at me and I was instantly smitten. He was so tidy and his hair kind of swooped to the side like a little 50's boy. I knew instantly that he was Oliver, my little Ollie. His name fit perfectly. As I stared at his sweet face, I had that excited feeling of anticipation one gets the day before Christmas. Like something really good was going to happen and you couldn't wait. Yes, I could not wait to get my hands on him and introduce my son to the world.