This morning, after breakfast at IHOP, you asked and I told you again about how it was on that day, 18 years ago. I think it counts as “again”, though it’s been a while. Maybe today I shared some details that I’d held back when you were younger.
You, my third, were not easy. Months of Braxton-Hicks contractions, so bad that I had to work from home for weeks to ensure your delivery wasn’t premature. And then, after all of that, your due date came and went. Finally, I was scheduled to be induced. I was to arrive at the hospital on April 27th at 5am. Again, you had other plans.
On April 26th, your Dad and I were out running errands, preparing for your arrival, killing time. As had been the case throughout the latter half of the pregnancy, walking resulted in contractions / false labor. This time, it seemed to me the contractions were getting serious. I called the doctor and went in for a check-up.
“You’re fine,” she told me. “I’ll see you tomorrow at 8.”
“At 8?” I asked. “I thought I had to be there at 5.”
“Oh, yes. They’ll start things up after you get here. I’m on duty at 8.”
“I promise you, I will not still be pregnant at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning.”
Your dad and I went on about our business. I did my best to ignore the contractions.
That evening, I took a bath (technically, a no-no, but who’s surprised?) and listened to the B-52s. To this day, when I hear Planet Z, I think of you.
I don’t know—I feel like something’s happening
Something good is happening!
I feel love has got to come on, and I want it
Something big and lovely
When I was done with my bath, I realized, so were you. It was TIME!!! And when I told your Dad? He said, “But I’m watching this movie.” For the record, we finished watching “A River Runs Through It” (on VHS) the next day at the hospital, while we were waiting for the pediatrician to release you.
I insisted that the movie could wait and that we had more important things to do. So, at 10-something pm we headed to the hospital. Much to my chagrin, your father obeyed all traffic laws, including stopping at red lights and patiently waiting for them to change while I whimpered, convinced I was going to deliver you on the way to the hospital. At that hour, late on a week night, in North Austin, there were NO OTHER VEHICLES on the road. I’m still bitter.
We arrived at the hospital and signed in. Exactly 55 minutes later, you were born. In the interim, my water broke. There was meconium (your poo) in the fluid, which had to be suctioned out of your respiratory system before you drew your first breath. From my end, that meant “DON’T PUSH” while the medical staff took care of the situation. Then, after one push, again I was told “If you want your baby to live, DON’T PUSH!” The umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck.
Son, that 55 minutes was fast and furious, filled with more drama and excitement than I was needing on a Tuesday night. But it was true, something good was happening.
And so it is that today, April 26, 2012, we celebrate your 18th birthday. Travis, I’m glad to know you. You are a fine young man, who would make any mama proud, and not just because of those early challenges. You are upstanding, honest, sincere, loving, kind, considerate, articulate, passionate, musical, math-loving, physics-loving, warm, caring, honorable and trustworthy. I’m looking forward to all that the future will bring.