I can't believe that Drew is six years old already! Where does the time go? I remember like it was yesterday holding my sweet, precious son for the first time. His birthday (and the days leading up to it) always makes me think heavily of my pregnancy and the day Drew was born. So, on Drew's birthday here's the story of his birth.
Craig and I were ecstatic to find out we were expecting our first child in October 2000. We told our family in December, when, right before Christmas I became very ill. The good news was it had nothing to do with the pregnancy or the baby, the bad news was it was a flu-like virus that had to run its course. Another blessing was this was the only time I experienced any sickness during my pregnancy other than 2 random bouts of morning sickness. Brushing my teeth for the first three months was rough, although by January that had passed too. One of the greatest joys being able to hear the heartbeat at each doctor's visit! I was so enthralled by this that we even bought a Doppler to use at home. I remember listening almost constantly at home for his heartbeat, movements (before I could feel them), and hiccups. I loved being pregnant! I remember feeling the first flutters of movement and not being sure what it was I was feeling. I also remember vividly the "without a doubt that was the baby kick" I felt the first time while Craig and I were at the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus in late January 2001. At that time we didn't know what we were having, but I was still thinking girl. In February, we found out that I was wrong, and that in fact, we were having a boy. I remember tears coming to my eyes when the technician said "it's definitely a boy". Craig asked if I was okay, to which I replied "yes, the most important thing is that he is healthy". All of those emotions (joy, relief that he was healthy, and the excitement of seeing him on the screen) poured out as tears. Since we had been thinking of names even before we found out we were expecting, it didn't take us long to decide on Andrew Craig, after Craig and his great grandfather. We also decided, since I didn't want anyone to ever call him Andy, that we would call him Drew. The pregnancy continued to progress smoothly with me loving every minute until the last trimester. At each doctor visit during my last trimester my doctors (my OB practice has a team of doctors) were growing more concerned with the elevation of my blood pressure. It seems I have pregnancy induced high blood pressure which can lead to other serious problems in a pregnancy. One that worried them most was Preeclampsia, which can jeopardize the health of both the baby and mommy. Even though I never developed this condition, the doctors decided to induce my labor 3 days prior to my due date of July 9th after several visits showed borderline high blood pressures.
On July 5th I was admitted into the hospital to prepare for the July 6th induction. At 7:10 am on Friday, July 6th, 2001 the Pitocin drip was started. The contractions started coming almost immediately, but they were so minor the only way to tell was by watching for the small rise on the monitor. I really started feeling the contractions after Dr. White broke my water at 11:30, and not long after that I asked for an epidural. The minutes after receiving the epidural were wonderful - I was able to rest. Before the epidural there hadn't really been a break between my contractions for me to rest and regroup. About 30 minutes after receiving the epidural I was in pain, and knew instinctively something was not right. After explaining what I was feeling to the nurse she called to get the anesthesia tech back in the room to increase the pump on the epidural. Meanwhile, Dr. White comes in to see how I'm doing about 20 minutes before 2. When he tells me I'm only 5 cm dilated I assumed we still had awhile before Drew would make his entrance. I was only halfway there, right? By this time the pain was almost unbearable and I was wondering where the anesthesiologist was. When the tech finally got to my room my relief was quickly replaced with anger. This man was very brave to speak to a laboring woman in severe pain the way he spoke to me. I think he thought I was young and naive. Without asking me anything about what I was feeling he proceeded to tell me rather rudely "this will not take away all the pain" as he began to increase the medicine. I responded with (imagine a slightly raised voice here - okay maybe that's putting it mildly) "yes I know I am supposed to still feel pressure, but I am in more pain than I was in before the epidural". He answers with "well there's not a lot more [medicine] we can give you". With that he was out the door leaving both Craig and myself pretty stunned. I have since found out, with the birth of our daughter (her birth story to come later), that epidurals only provide brief relief of pain for me.
Within minutes of him leaving my room my body began to push. I panicked MAJORLY! The only people in the room with me were Craig and my sister, both who planned to be in the room during the delivery, but neither planned to actually deliver the baby. I told Craig he needed to get the nurse, and I told my sister that she might want to leave the room because I didn't want to scare her. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I thinking that it was not time for me to be pushing since the doctor had just checked and I was only 5 cm. As my sister leaves the room, Craig returns by himself. After another contraction with another push (and me physically trying to stop my body from pushing to no avail) I told Craig he needed to get the nurse NOW. I will never forget the exchange between my nurse and another nurse when they came in with Craig:
my nurse: "get Dr. White STAT"
the other nurse: "Dr. White won't make it for this baby, one more push and it'll be here"
my response: "Oh thank God!"
my nurse to Craig: "quick, move that stuff"
I heard Craig say "I'm sorry honey, I don't have time to get the video camera out", and look up to see luggage flying through the air. Other hospital staff was hurrying in a bassinet and other equipment. What appeared to be a great storage area for our luggage at the time, was actually where they hooked up machines to check babies right after birth (so that's why all of those funny looking things were coming out of the wall).
Drew entered the world with the very next push at 2:10 pm, exactly seven hours after my labor was started. My tears came with his first cry. I, like all mothers, was so overjoyed to hear that first cry and know that Drew was finally here and that he was perfect! Craig had already checked for 10 fingers and 10 toes, and all I kept saying was "that's my beautiful baby"! Drew weighed 7 lbs, 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long. He had a sweet bald head, big beautiful blue eyes, and I was amazed at how long his fingers and toes were!
Dr. White arrived just after Drew did. My daddy who had been working, and had called 30 minutes before to see if he had time to go home and get in the shower, arrived just after Dr. White. Imagine his surprise when he walks in to see Craig holding Drew. My daddy's response - "I'm late!" When he had called I was in so much pain I couldn't talk to him. I had told Craig to tell him that it would probably be several more hours before we had a baby since I had only dilated to a 5. No one knew just how determined little Drew was to make his entrance. My boy still has that great determination today!
After hearing Drew's cry, other family members began pouring into the room - my sister, Craig's daddy, Craig's brother, and my grandma, my mom, my brother, and others arriving all through the evening. Drew had so many people waiting to meet him and hold him - and it's these same people who still support him in all he does today!
For those who have read this long story of the birth of our son we hope it wasn't a bore - it is certainly one of the days we will never forget! For those who found this to be TMI, I apologize!
You have brought us so much joy these past six years! You always have a way of making us laugh, and there has never been a dull moment. We are very proud of all you have become, and we can' t wait to see what the future holds! It is a blessing to call you son! Happy Birthday - We love you!!
Mama and Daddy