It’s funny how sometimes you can just know. You know something is going to happen. You have that feeling. You can’t quite describe it, and trying to tell anyone just makes you sound like you’re completely mental. But… you know.
When I had Aiden and Dallin, I didn’t know. They both came early, sure, but not so early it was anything to write home about. I didn’t even know earlier in the day I’d be going to the hospital that night (we go to the hospital only at night, apparently. My body needs all day to work itself up into labor or something). However, with Parker, I just knew. From the moment I found I was pregnant, I knew he was coming early. I didn’t think he would be premie early (3 days earlier, and he would have been!), but I knew he’d be early. I was totally right.
With this baby, I just figured he’d follow the pattern established by his brothers. Aiden was 3 days early, Dallin was 9 days early, Parker was 19 days early. I was due with Collin on May 20th (funny how we still haven’t gotten to his due date yet…). I figured he’d come in the end of April.
My c-section was scheduled for May 13th (that’s today!). I finally got my mom to finalize her travel plans and she was set to arrive on May 5th (that way she could also attend Aiden’s class play/musical and his orchestra concert). My friends were throwing me a baby shower on April 28th (and Kim was very clear I was not to go into labor until after the shower. I could go into labor on the way home, but I was not to miss this shower! heh). I was keeping myself busy by going to church activities, volunteering in Aiden’s classroom, taking Parker to park days, holding winter guard rehearsals for the prom assembly, starting color guard workshops and auditions, and signing up for class field trips. I was exhausted and in pain, but tried to ignore it. I was busy and active all the way up until I gave birth with the others, so why couldn’t I do it this time, too?
I was set to go to the Science Center with Aiden’s class on May 1st. The closer that date came, the more I was filled with dread at going. My friend Kim also has a daughter in that class and she volunteered to take my place if I didn’t feel up to it (that says a lot about Kim. She hates field trips! Bus rides give her migraines, and she gets those often enough as it is. I didn’t want to put this on her, but she did volunteer…). Finally I gave in and said yes, please take my spot.
It was Monday, April 30th. I was feeling less stressed by the baby coming because everyone had been so generous at the baby shower. We had onesies and diapers and even a crib! I had finally gotten the Spare Oom to a decent place in cleanliness (although now it was full of gift bags… we still didn’t have any place to PUT the diapers and onesies…), so I relaxed quite a bit about the whole “are we ready??” bit. I sent emails to teachers, apologizing for not coming on the field trip and asking homework questions and so forth. The night before I had not slept well. I tossed and turned, and when I did sleep, I had crazy dreams (I don’t recall what any of them were now. I just remember being confused). Every time I woke up I thought to myself, “I’m going to the hospital tonight.” I knew. So I spent Monday preparing. I cleaned more of the house. Got laundry done. I even packed my hospital bag. I finished some preparations for guard auditions (which started that afternoon). I had been having contractions off and on all day, but nothing regular.
After guard auditions, I sat at the dinner table, wondering if I should eat. I know I have to have surgery, and you’re not supposed to eat or drink anything for 8 hours before. Do I risk it? I was awfully hungry. I convinced myself I wasn’t going anywhere and ate a small chicken taco.
At 9:30 I was checking in to the hospital. A neighbor, Jeanetta, came to spend the night with the boys. Ches just had to be home by 6:30 so she could get to work (Jeanetta is also a teacher). I figured that wouldn’t be a problem.
At first they were saying I wasn’t dilated enough, but they’d watch me for some progression. Let me tell you… I don’t progress. That’s why I had the c-section with Aiden in the first place. I’m having very real, very regular, and very painful contractions, but I just don’t progress.I was getting worried when, after a few hours, they were saying I hadn’t progressed enough. By then I was having horrible pains in my back with each contraction (that had never happened before. It felt like knives stabbing me in the back while I was totally cramped up in the front… turns out it all depends on the baby’s positioning. The nurse said he facing up, which gives those back pains. Ugh, that was NOT fun!). Finally, the nurse said “One more hour, and we’ll see if you have progressed and we can go from there.” I turned to Ches, tears in my eyes, and said, “I don’t want to go home! This is labor. I want to have the baby NOW.”
Thank goodness, after the hour I had progressed! I think I was up to a 3 by then. I was moved to a new room and they started prepping me for surgery. Even though I have been through it three times before, I was still scared out of my mind. I tried to keep calm, but once that spinal takes effect… yeah. Total panic attack, every time. I just felt like I couldn’t breathe and I was scared and I just wanted Ches (why do they make him stay out of the room for so long?? Don’t they understand how much I need him there, talking to me, holding my hand??) Finally, I was calm again, the sheet was up, and Ches was sitting there with me.
Everything went pretty much the same as it always has. Except this time I heard the doctor exclaim, “Wow. Wow! Would you look at that? Oh my gosh. It’s just so thin.” over and over again. She came to us and said, “Your uterus is so thin, it’s like looking through a window. We can see through it to the baby perfectly.” She confirmed that getting a tubal ligation after the c-section was, indeed, the right choice. This uterus cannot have more babies.
That was a major miracle, I think. Had the baby waited any longer, with that thin of a uterus, it could have ruptured. I am so thankful to have an early baby.
Well, out came this screaming baby, with tons and tons of dark hair! He weighed in at 8 lbs, 2 oz, and we were shocked! He was SO much bigger than our other babies. A full pound bigger than Parker, who had been the biggest newborn so far. I suddenly realized the “going home” outfit I brought would not fit this baby. Ches was going to have to pick something else out at home!
Ches and the baby (who we had NO CLUE what to name at this point!) were taken away to do all the official weighing and scoring and cleaning and what ever else they do while the doctors performed my tubal and sewed me up. I had a lot of fun chatting with the nurses and it made the time go by a lot more quickly.
Soon, I was off to recovery. They immediately tried to get me to nurse (with no success). The baby fussed and cried. A lot. I mean… a lot. Ches would hold him and get him calmed down, and after a minute or two the baby would start crying again. Ches and I just looked at each other and I’m pretty sure we spoke to each other mentally. “We’ve never had such a fussy baby. What do we do? I can’t have a fussy baby! I don’t know how to deal with it!” I’m not kidding when I say this baby cried and fussed the first 3 hours of his life. Non stop.
Finally I was taken to my own room and the baby calmed down a bit. Ches was able to hang out just a little longer, then he had to go home to relieve the babysitter and get the boys off to school.
It was now Tuesday, May 1st. I didn’t have an April baby after all. And we (barely) missed having another baby on our anniversary (poor Dallin had to deal with Mom in the hospital on his birthday!). The hospital stay felt long. I didn’t get to check out until Friday. I loved having all the visitors (I get so stinking bored and lonely in the hospital!) and the nurses at this hospital were pretty great, overall. No one was mean. (Can’t say the same about the lactation “expert”. I was ready to smack her!!).
We came up with Collin’s name by Tuesday night, I believe. We just couldn’t come up with anything either of us really connected with. We were getting desperate. Aiden had been calling the baby James for weeks and weeks now, but neither Ches nor I wanted that name (it’s not that we don’t like it. We do… it just didn’t feel right. And we didn’t want a first name that ends in S.). Finally we started trying to think of the “rejected” names from when we had the other boys. Aiden was almost Collin when he was born, actually. I started to think of Collin more and more. And then I paired it with James. I liked it. And I actually thought we could call him C.J. Ches wasn’t too sure about the nickname, but after he went home that evening he texted me and said “I think that’s it. I really like it.” We had to decide between spelling it Colin or Collin (I don’t know why but we both like it with two Ls. I know it should properly be one L, but we both just liked the other way.)
So there you have it. Collin James. We absolutely adore him!