Our beautiful Kiley was only 3 when her Daddy and I were married. She and I had a good relationship. Her only regret was having to share her dad with me. One day when we were cleaning the glass on the patio table together, she said “Judy, you know you really should have a baby. Daddy has me to take care of and you don’t have anyone!” I laughed and said maybe Daddy and I could share. I didn’t explain that I had been told I couldn’t have children.
As prophetic as only a child can be, we found out in late fall that we were pregnant. No one was more surprised than me. Shortly after the New Year arrived Kiley was visiting us for her every other weekend. She came running up the stairs on Saturday morning to watch the hot air balloons flying down the Napa Valley. Once they passed over the house, Kiley jumped in bed with us to watch her favorite Jem cartoons. She turned to me and said that her Mommy had told her how I had gotten pregnant. I asked her to tell me what Mommy had said, holding my breath for this explanation. She excitedly explained to me that her Mommy said that Daddy and I loved each other very much and that Daddy had planted a seed in my tummy so we could have a baby. She reminded me that after all this was her idea from the start! Michael and I smiled at each other and I silently thanked Kiley’s Mommy for her thoughtful explanation.
I loved every minute of being pregnant. I couldn’t get over the miracle of it all and after the first trimester, I moved into six months of feeling better than I had in years. Then June of 1988 arrived.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was walking out of the TV room. I was nine months pregnant, one week overdue and looking down at my stomach. I was asking myself how in the world am I going to get this baby out of my bulging tummy?
We had been entertaining relatives from Florida and they had just left. I was tired and ready for sleep when suddenly, I felt a major pain coming from my baby bump. My stomach was also very upset at the same time. Could it be that this was the beginning of labor pains? I had no clue. This was my first. Michael had waived goodbye to our friends and saw the look on my face. He asked if I was OK? I said I didn’t feel very well. Why had I eaten so much of Michael’s delicious lasagna dinner?
The next few hours were spent counting time between labor pains and relaxing. We had called the doctor and he suggested we wait until my water broke to come to the hospital. That never happened and yet the pains got more intense.
The doctor suggested I get to the hospital. Once there, things did not progress. The nurse put a fetal monitor around my abdomen to measure any fetal distress. Finally, the doctor came in and broke my water! Now, I had the urge to push but could tell it wasn’t time.
After twenty-four hours of hard labor the monitor began to show alarming numbers. The doctor said he wanted to do a C-section delivery. He wondered if I would feel cheated or disappointed if we went this route? I looked at him like he had four heads and said “let’s do this!”
I wanted a healthy baby no matter what came next. I was wheeled into the freezing operating room. I was having intense pains with no results. My rusty old body still had not dilated. Now there was no time to measure between labor pains. It just felt like one long, connected pain. The doctor wanted to do an epidural but I couldn’t hold still. He climbed up on the table and held me motionless while the anesthesiologist delivered the epidural. With that, my body relaxed and I began to enjoy the experience.
My only disappointment came when the nurses covered my view with a sheet placed vertically between me and the action. They said it was a state law. I wanted it to go away. At that point, my husband agreed to deliver play by play. By now, everyone in the operating room was enjoying the exciting event. The only doctor that my doctor could find to assist in the wee hours of the morning was an Ophthalmologist. He came willingly and was as excited as we were.
My doctor began the C-section with my husband describing the process step by step. I couldn’t help but giggle. The doctor asked Michael if he’d like to cut the umbilical cord and he agreed. Those were the first tears of happiness I saw on Michael’s face. I heard the baby cry and next he was laid on my chest. He was covered in goo and still was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The Pediatrician hadn’t arrived yet, so Doc handed our Matt to Michael and said “here, you’ve done this before, clean him up!” Just then the Pediatrician arrived and instructed Michael in the process. The Apgar scoring was completed and Matt passed with flying colors.
The first deposit to Matt’s college fund came from the Ophthalmologist. He handed me a check equal to his payment for assisting with the delivery. He said it was an experience he’d never forget. Wow! I was speechless.