Just a feeling
When I woke up on June 15, I felt a little weird. It was nothing major, and I assumed that the long walk I’d gone on the night before had something to do with it. I was 36 weeks pregnant, and I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for that morning. I wasn’t worried at all -- I pictured my doctor telling me that everything was fine. At work, I told my coworkers that I felt strange. “It’s just in your head,” they assured me. Yeah, I thought, they’re right.
I arrived at the doctor’s office at 9:30 a.m. Since my baby was breech and wouldn’t turn, I knew I’d have to schedule a c-section. My doctor and I agreed to set the surgery for July 5. Even though thinking about the c-section made me nervous, I was excited to be choosing my baby’s birthday! Afterward, I told my doctor that I felt “a little funny,” but it was nothing too serious. The week before, I’d barely been 1 centimeter dilated, so we thought I’d be around the same this week. I remember my doctor’s amused face as she inspected me. “Surprise! You’re 4 centimeters,” she said. She told me to go to the hospital to be monitored and said I would most likely get sent home in a few hours.
“I’m not ready!”
I called my husband at work as I left the doctor’s office and explained that I was going to the hospital. He wanted to come along, but I told him no. “That would be pointless,” I said. “I’ll be home in a few hours.” He said okay and asked me to keep him posted. After that, I called my mom, who said she wondered if I’d have the baby today. “I can’t,” I told her. “I’m not ready!” I didn’t have my bag packed or my clothes washed, and I hadn’t even read the delivery chapter in my pregnancy book! Even though I’d been calm at the doctor’s office, now I started to panic.
While I was on my way to the hospital, my husband called back and said that his female coworkers had told him to leave to be with me. I was so thankful for those women! Once we arrived, the nurses made me sit in a wheelchair, but I refused and kept telling them, “I’m not in labor!” They wouldn’t listen. Instead, they brought us to Labor and Delivery and hooked me up to machines. I had a “weird” feeling that I might be having contractions, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t fully understand what was going on with my body. When my doctor arrived, he said, smiling, “You’re 6 centimeters dilated, and look -- there’s your bloody show. So guess what? You’re having this baby today!”
Into the OR
I couldn’t believe it. My husband asked the doctor if there was time to run home and get the camera, but the doctor said no; if he left, he’d miss it! “Your baby is coming out within the next hour and a half,” he said, patting my shoulder. We started calling our family to tell them that I was going into labor, but before we knew what was happening, the nurse returned and asked me if I was ready. “No!” I responded. My husband held my hand as we walked into the OR.
In the OR, they put in the spinal block and laid me down. The room was freezing, and I remember anxiously looking up at the ceiling, waiting to see my husband’s face again. Before I knew it, the surgery had begun. It was bizarre -- I could feel tugging and pulling, but no pain. Finally, the doctor said, “Here we go!” My husband held my hand tightly and watched as they pulled out my baby’s feet, then his torso, then finally his head. But he wasn’t crying. I was scared. Why isn’t my baby crying? I thought. Is he ok? How are his lungs? He’s early; is he going to have to go into the NICU?
Welcome to the world, Jasper!
But then they carried him over to me, and there he was -- perfect, wide-eyed and so beautiful. He was taking it all in, and he barely cried when they suctioned his nose and mouth. Jasper Evan Schmitt was born at 2:30 p.m. and weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long. Despite being a month early, he was healthy, with no breathing problems, and he had fully formed lungs -- which I consider a huge blessing. He was skinny after the delivery, but since then, he’s gained weight and now is a healthy 9 pounds! He’s my sweet baby boy and the love of my life.
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