It’s a Boy.
We sometimes think the US is boring, but only because it is our home and we know it so well. I suppose my time in the US hasn’t thrown me enough curveballs, so I’ve become lazy, assuming everything will go according to my plans.
Me: Ha ha.
Life: Ha ha ha.
Me: Ok, you win.
Our son William Lee Stephenson was due to enter the world yesterday. Instead, he came two weeks early on December 4 at 9:00am. Most people know that 3 weeks early is considered full term, so you might assume that I would be prepared at least three weeks in advance. And considering that William tried to come at both 24 weeks and 29 weeks, and that my pregnancy was considered high risk for multiple reasons, you might even assume that I’ve been prepared all along. But nothing could have shocked me more than when I realized I was going to have a baby two weeks ago.
Since around the 33 week mark, I was certain that this pregnancy would last to the bitter end. I made it to the mountains, to my family reunion and to my brother’s wedding in Memphis, each without incident. Every trip had a contingency plan. I scoped out nearby hospitals and carried my medical records with me. Yet, a week before my scheduled cesarean, while Matt was still in Morocco and my mom in Aruba, I gave contingencies not a thought.
It was roughly 4:30am when I realized I needed to go to the hospital. My dad was the only adult home, so I woke him with the news. He didn’t get much time to react before I stuck him with Carolyn’s baby monitor and took off. I know there are many, many friends in family in my hometown who would have driven me to the hospital without hesitation, but at that moment, my mind was blank. The quickest, most efficient way was to drive myself. In hindsight, I realize this might not have been the wisest thing to do, but I made it without incident. I’ll have to say though, it was the longest drive to the hospital ever.
Soon after, I began to frantically email, text and call people to ask for help. I remembered that my Dad had a high profile case that morning that he absolutely could not miss, so I tried to arrange for last minute childcare from the hospital bed. My in-laws who live about 2 hours away answered the phone with incredible alertness for 5am. I’m pretty sure they were on the road within 30 minutes. I could not reach Matt by phone, but it was not long before he checked his email. I emailed my mom in Aruba too, to negate my email from the night before where I resolved to not have the baby until she returned. Oops.
Then, after being hooked up to all the monitors, I sat and waited, and waited, and waited…and waited some more. For a while, no one seemed to think my situation was urgent and I was beginning to think I might be able to go home. About that time, a doctor rushed in and said that the baby needed to come out now. Within the hour. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha.
He meant it too. I barely had time to update anyone on the news before they wheeled me off to the operating room with the evil anesthesiologist. I can’t say I was the most cooperative patient. I hate needles. I hate medical instruments. I hate the word “incision.” All of this amounted to torture in my mind. The stress (or anesthesia, one) must have produced an uncommon amount of candor because I asked for a different anesthesiologist, had a class-A temper tantrum, then told the OB I was living out my worst nightmare. He laughed, as if I had told a joke.
But all of that was forgotten when I heard William’s first cry. Up to that point, I had completely forgotten that I was there to have a baby. I was fairly certain they were torturing me to give up classified state secrets…and I was determined not to cave. But yep, that’s right, I was there to have a beautiful baby boy. Who woulda thought? Shortly afterward, an angel arrived dressed in dressed in scrubs, a surgical cap and a mask. It was my mother-in-law. She arrived just as they were sewing (stapling, barf) me up. I had never seen a more welcome face in my life. She cared for William while I waited for the anesthesia to drain from my arms in the recovery room. About this time, Matt arrived at our home in Morocco and he skyped in to see me and the baby. What a day.
A day and a half later, Matt arrived at the hospital to take over his fatherly duties. He and Carolyn had a grand time getting reacquainted after two months apart. And now, two weeks later, I can’t imagine life without the fourth member of our family. All is well. Well-ish. All will be better when William starts sleeping through the night…and when I get past this pregnancy snoring thing that keeps Matt from getting a wink.
We are still trying to figure out how this family thing works now. “Normal” suddenly seems like an ambiguous, unattainable word that would never apply to us. But in a few months, we will all be back in Morocco, figuring it all out together and trusting that God will get us to where we need to be.
And all this to say that the US isn’t so boring afterall.