My husband is one of the most helpful, considerate, and loving people that I know. He is able to keep his cool in the most stressful situations, and keep an objective perspective when things get hectic. He also always makes me laugh.
One of my favorite family stories is the birth of our first son. He was born via emergency C-section 4 weeks early. I have type 1 diabetes and use an insulin pump, and had a relatively complication free pregnancy up to that point. I was going to the doctor for fetal monitoring 2-3 times a week, just to monitor our son’s progress and to make sure he was doing okay. He was an incredibly large baby, at my last ultrasound at 34 weeks, the doctor guessed him to be about 9 pounds already! I am only about 5’2”, so you can imagine what I looked like. A beach ball. A beach ball who swallowed a watermelon. So on May 5, 2008 just one day shy of 36 weeks along, I headed to my regularly scheduled appointment. I was wearing a sundress, flip-flops, and sunglasses. I had a thermos full of water with lemon, and I was ready to put my feet up and take it easy while they did the monitoring. Everything was fine at first, but they had a hard time seeing what they needed to see to give me the all clear to head home. Then I saw a look of concern cross my nurse’s face and she went to get my doctor. That was the first time I had any worry about what was going on.
“The baby is not responding well, his movements and heart rate are not where we want them to be. We’re going to have to do the C-section now,” my doctor told me.
I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t supposed to have a baby today. I still had another month until my due date. Another two weeks until his lungs were fully developed. But, they immediately began prepping me, and I knew this was really happening.
“Can someone call my husband?” I asked, praying that he could get there in time.
He was active duty in the army and currently attending flight school. Today was the first day he would be flying his helicopter, and I had no idea even where he was, or if he would be able to make it. When we said goodbye as he left for work that morning, we had no idea we would be having our little boy in just a few, short hours.
The next minutes flew by as the got me ready for the operating room and tried to reach my husband. The nurse told me she had gotten through, and that he had said he would try to make it as fast as he could.
“We will try to wait as long as we can,” the doctor reassured me, but I could see the worry in his eyes.
The nurses were getting ready to wheel me into O.R., when I heard the doctor’s voice down the hallway.
“There he is!”
I knew at that moment my husband had made it in time and I immediately felt so much more at peace. He quickly swapped his army uniform for the O.R. gear and I thought he never looked cuter. Already, he looked like a new dad.
As I said before, we knew the baby was going to be big. The C-section went very well, and when the doctor lifted out our not-so-little guy, he exclaimed, “Good Lord!”
10 lbs. 11 oz. That’s how big our son was just before 36 weeks gestation. We couldn’t believe it! He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and hearing him cry and knowing he was okay was the most amazing sound I had ever heard.
So, the point of this story was not only to share my son’s awesome entrance into this world. I started with how awesome my husband was, how considerate, how he is able to keep a level head in the most stressful situations. And, how he always makes me laugh. Since I had been expecting just a normal doctor’s appointment on the day my son was born, I had not brought my hospital bag with me, or even packed one yet. The nursery was completely ready, with all the clothes washed, tags removed, and hung in the closet. But, I had completely neglected to pack my own bag. Kids first, mother last, right?
So after our son was born, he was doing great in the NICU at another hospital (that’s another story). While I recovered, my husband ran home to try to get some sleep, go to work and fly again, and to pack and bring a bag back for me. Later that day, when he came back to the hospital, I looked through the bag for some lotion. He had done a great job. He brought me a pillow, a blanket my mother had made, some toiletries, and I saw a pile of clothes at the bottom for me to wear when it was time to go home. Knowing that was still a few days away, I didn’t worry too much about those.
When I was discharged a few days later, I stood in my room’s bathroom on wobbly feet to get dressed. I looked in the bag to get out all my clothes so I could change, and could not find any underwear. I looked and looked and could not find any.
“Did he not pack any?” I thought to myself. I mean, it had definitely been a stressful few days, so it was not a stretch to think they had just not made it into the bag. That’s when I saw them and realized why I hadn’t seen them in the first place. There it was, the smallest thong I owned in the bottom of the bag. I blinked and looked again, and a smile crossed my lips. My husband, who could handle insanely chaotic situations, had been stretched thin enough to not think about what he was actually putting in my bag to wear. Just trying to pack a bag as fast as he could so he could get back to the hospital. To me. To our new precious little boy. I loved him so much in that moment and as he always seems to be able to do, he made me laugh.
I was probably going to have to tell him that my thong days were over for a while, though.