The Story of Zander

Zander is our oldest son. He will be two years old in May, which just blows me away. Where did the time go?

He was born 15 days early, and was 6 pounds 10 ounces, 20 inches long. His entry into this world was not quite what we expected.

My husband and I had taken a prenatal course through our hospital. It was extremely informative about everything from pregnancy issues to labour to bringing the baby home. But it did not prepare us for labour and delivery we had with Zander.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I found out at my doctor’s appointment the day before that I was 2cm dilated and 50% effaced, so my mother was calling me every 30 minutes to see if I was having the baby. She was driving me NUTS!!! I was already on maternity leave, and was relaxing at home. I had been on the phone with my mother….again! She was a little anxious for her first grandchild to be born! I told her to be patient, ’cause it wasn’t happening today….boy was I wrong!

At 5:15pm, my husband Carlos came home from work. After his usual post-work organization routine (put keys away, take lunch paraphenalia out of briefcase and put in dishwasher, put briefcase away, etc. etc.etc.), he came to see me in the family room. And he came baring gifts! One of his co-workers sent home a little goodie bag for the baby with receiving blankets, wash cloths, little teddy bear…..I went about excitedly pulling gift after gift out of the bag, when I felt a wierd cramp. Nothing to worry about, I told myself. And then it happened again….and again. At this point Carlos pointed out that these mystery cramps were almost exactly 10 minutes apart. Could I be in labour???? No! Of course not! They say most first-time pregnancies tend to go late anyway!

Around 6pm I started to realize that there was definately something going on. My husband called the hospital to find out whether we should stay home or come in. The nurse at the other end told him to start packing, and in the meantime put me on the phone.

The contractions were already bad enough that I couldn’t talk through them. I was trying to use the breathing techniques we learned in class. The nurse could hear this and told me to breathe slower. Breathe SLOWER??? YOU breathe slower! I’m currently trying not to have a baby on my bedroom floor!!!!

My husband was flying around like a madman trying to gather everything for my hospital bag….we had had plans to pack the night before, but I got tired and decided we would do it the next day. Ha!

When everything was ready, he came to get me in the bedroom and proceeded to help me walk down the hallway. When we got to the top of the stairs I started to have a contraction so we stopped for a minute. When it was over my husband looked at me with a smile on his face and said “we’re having a baby!”. I just glared at him and went about trying to get down the staircase, which at that moment looked to have a gazillion steps. When I look back on this I get a little sad. He was so excited, and I couldn’t share that with him at that moment.

By the time we got in the car it started to set in how fast this was all going. I guess Carlos realized it too, ’cause he ran a couple of red lights on the way to the hospital!

We got to the hospital at 7:25pm. I tried to make it from the car to the door on foot, but a nice lady came running over with a wheel chair for me, and pushed me into the foyer while my husband carried my bag. When we got to reception one of the nurses realized that I couldn’t wait, and wheeled me down to the Mother Baby Unit while my husband checked me in.

As soon as we started wheeling down the hallway, my water broke. The nurse started driving faster. I remember I was trying not to scream, so I was making these wierd grunting noises akin to the mating call of some wild animal. Yet the nurse still had to ask people to move out of the way! These ignorant people were just talking in the middle of the hallway and when the nurse piped up, they just looked down at me in the wheelchair like “what’s your hurry?”!!! Hello! You think they moaning pregnant lady who appears to be writhing in extreme pain needs to get through????? Duh!

When we got to the room, I was dressed in a gown and helped onto the bed. I was checked, and to my surprise was told that I was ready to push. Push? My husband wasn’t even here yet!!!

Suddenly one of the nurses realized that the baby’s heartrate was dropping dramatically with each contraction. Between contractions it was around 140-150. During contractions it dropped to 50! So out comes the vacuum, and in comes my husband.

At this point, I was all business. I needed to get this baby out as soon as possible. So I yelled at my husband to pull my leg up and start counting, and I pushed. Two contractions, three pushes and he was out. No need for the vacuum. My first contraction was at around 5:25pm, and Zander was born at 7:37pm. Fast????

He wasn’t breathing right away, so he was taken to the other side of the room. But within a couple of minutes we heard that beautiful sound…my first son’s first cry. It gives me goosebumps just writing about it!

The best part was calling my parents later. It was such a whirlwind that we didn’t even think about calling anyone until around 9pm. Since my parents are in my hometown, it was long distance. We figured they wouldn’t mind us calling collect, so that’s what we did. When we were asked who was calling, Carlos said “your grandson”.

I remember hearing my mother say “Hello?”. Then the automated voice said “You have a collect call from “your grandson”. If you accept the charges, press 1″. My mom said “I don’t have a grandson”. We were laughing so hard! The automated voice said “We did not receive your response…” and repeated the whole thing again. And again my mother said “I don’t have a grandson”, but pressed 1 anyway. She told me later that she was going to try to help whoever was trying to find their grandparents, and had the wrong number. She’s so cute!

My mother said “Hello?” I said “Hi!” And then it set in. She just started screaming my name over and over again. I said “you have a grandson”. Then she asked where I was. “Ummmm….at the hospital!?!” I think everyone I know has heard that story…I love it!

We took him home with us 2 days later. What an awakening. It don’t think it really hit us until we were in the car with him. We were alone with him. There was no little button I could push that would call someone to come and help me at any hour of the day. But what an amazing time!

And that was almost 21 months ago. It doesn’t seem like that long….yet, look at him now! My sunshine boy makes me happier than I could ever have imagined!


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