19 years ago, at about this time... a little earlier, I woke up with funny pressure in my rib cage. I had been to the Ob-gyn the day before and everything was a go to induce labor in a couple of days. The head was down, he was just comfortable, the doctor said.
This was my second child, and I learned a couple of things from the first time. 1) Wash your hair. So I got in the shower, thinking how different this felt this time. Not painful, but pretty regular. I am pretty sure I shaved my legs, too. You never know when you'll get to do those things again, with a three year old and and infant.
At about 7 am, I woke up my husband. I told him the contractions were close together, but didn't feel right. They were too high. He jumped up, got dressed, got Robert dressed. I called to doctor's office. They sent me to the hospital.
A quick inspection showed that some time in the night, the baby had decided he was not longer comfortable and had flipped. One leg was dangling, the other was curled up on his chest. They decided to do an emergency C-section.
At about 11:45, I felt real serious contractions. All of a sudden, I remembered how this crap felt. I said, "OH no, I changed my mind." Within a few minutes, I was on the operating table, and very quickly, the baby Joseph made his way into the world. They wrapped him up in a blanket. The pediatrician, a great children's doctor who doesn't do as well with adults, stuck the baby in my still groggy face. I was strapped with my arms out, like a mother on a cross. The doctor said, kiss your baby. I made a kissy thing out of the side of my mouth.
Joseph was the biggest, healthiest baby in the hospital. Although my Ob-gyn would not allow rooming in since I had had a C-section, the nurses disagreed. Every time Joseph or I woke up, they'd bring him in. If I walked down the hall, they'd roll him out to me.
Soon he had the fullest head of blond curls you could ever see. I decided not to cut his hair for a year. That didn't happen, but that's another story and not for today.
He was happy and sweet. He loved his big brother. His big brother loved him, in his own three year old way. One day, I walked into their room and found Robert standing beside the crib full of stuffed animals. I said, don't do that, honey, Joseph won't be able to sleep in there. A little blond curly head popped out of the pile of toys, smiling.
Joseph is now 19. A tall, handsome, intelligent, funny, kind, thoughtful young man. Still deciding what he wants to do in life, but heck, I'm 48 and don't know yet. He is a son to be proud of.
Happy birthday, Joseph.