“Mommy, how many more days til I’m five?”

Tucker has always been a very impatient child, from day one.

It was a wretchedly hot summer in 2006.  I was 8 months pregnant and miserably sick.  I stayed home from work that Wednesday feeling nauseated and completely run down.  By the end of the day I thought I was feeling better.  I ventured out with Grady to get a bite to eat at a local bar/burger joint.

Afterward, he headed out to get a horse shod and I stayed home, not feeling well again.  A couple of hours later the inevitable chills set in.  I couldn’t reach Grady so I called my mother-in-law to bring over her thermometer.

Sure enough, 102°.  I couldn’t get warm and the baby in my belly was way more active than usual.  I called the doctor’s office and the on-call physician told me to get to the ER.  We loaded up and headed to town.  On the way Grady, giddily, remarked, “We might be coming home with a baby soon…”. (Smirk, smirk.)

I said, “We sure as hell better not be!  He has another month in there and I’m not ready yet!”

(Even though we “had” everything, nothing was assembled, let alone arranged and ready for a baby.)

I was immediately admitted upon arriving to the hospital.  My vitals were checked and they determined that I had the flu and was severely dehydrated.  They immediately started an IV and told me that Tucker’s constant movement was his distress of my high temperature and illness.  I was also told that I was having contractions every two minutes.

I. Had. No. Clue.

That night I stayed in a delivery room.  Very little sleep.  Nothing to eat.  VERY, VERY, VERY bored and unable to sleep.

Throughout Thursday they got my temperature under control and they got the contractions to slow down and eventually become random.  I was rehydrated and feeling a little better.  They decided that they’d keep me overnight one more night just for observation and then I’d get to go home on Friday morning.  Grady went home to sleep in our big, comfy bed and I was moved to a regular room where I was expected to sleep.

It didn’t happen.  About 11:00 the contractions started up again.  This time they were REALLY strong.  I could definitely feel these.  I wanted to be tough.  They said I was supposed to go home in the morning…

The only thing that kept running through my head was, “How on earth am I supposed to go back to work if I’m having contractions like this!!!!”

I stuck it out until about 2 am when I finally gave in and buzzed the nurse.

“Is everything okay?”, she asked politely.  (She was so young that there was NO way she would have ANY idea of what this felt like.  No WAY could she be old enough to be a mother.)

“I’m trying really hard to be tough through this, but these contractions are REALLY strong and REALLY frequent.  Could you please check me and see what’s going on?”

She did her nurse thing and sure enough I had dilated to a 4 and my contractions were 2 minutes apart again.  I was getting moved back into a delivery room.

I picked up the phone to call Grady and tell him to get his tail back to the hospital.

“Hey honey, I think you need to come back up here.  They’re moving me back to a delivery room.”

Groggily…”huh?”

“My contractions started again and I’m dilated to a 4.  You need to get back up here.”

“I do?  I can’t wait until morning?”

Grady doesn’t like his sleep to be interrupted.  He’s kind of selfish like that.  It’s like waking the dead.

Really.

“YES!!!!  Get your butt back here!  IT HURTS!!!!”

So, off we went back to delivery and about an hour later he was back in the hospital with me. (We live about 30 minutes away.)  The rest of the early morning hours and the ENTIRE day, Friday, were spent walking, resting, breathing, stretching and waiting and waiting and waiting.

MUCHO amounts of ….waiting.

I wasn’t getting ANYWHERE with my dilation.  I couldn’t get past a 5.  My contractions were so incredibly intense my body wouldn’t relax enough to dilate the way it should.

Finally at 5 pm, after the doctor had completed his normal day’s duties, he decided it was time for my epidural.  THAT would make me relax enough to progress normally.

Or so they thought…

“Hold very, very still,” the anesthitist said, “you’ll have to steady her,” he told Grady.

I thought I did great.  We talked the whole way through the gigantic needle insertion into my spine.

I laid back down and waited for it to kick in.  I felt it, but I only felt it on my left side….

My entire right side was still VERY alive with feeling.  What a strange feeling to be virtually numb on only one side your body.

The nurses moved me and repositioned me, trying to get the drug to settle into my right side as well.  It just wasn’t happening, but I was desperately trying to be a trooper.  I didn’t want to have to double up on the drug like they were saying I might have to.  I was going to tough it out.

I breathed through every contraction that came, feeling the full force of the waves of pain all through my right side.  Each one was so intense that as soon as it hit, my right arm would start violently shaking and waving.  I had no control over it.  It was wild.  I’d feel a contraction come and tell Grady to hold my arm down so I could concentrate on breathing through the pain.  It was working for me.  I could do this.

The nurses had another opinion.  After about an hour they decided that I WAS going to have another epidural.  So, again, in came the anesthitist and again I laid very, very, very still.

He finished and soon I felt a wave of warmth through my right side.

It worked. I couldn’t feel ANY of the contractions.

(Cue heavenly music.)  HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I soon realized that I couldn’t feel A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G from the waist down.  I couldn’t move my legs.  I was COMPLETELY paralyzed.

But….I was FINALLY dilating.  We were getting somewhere.

At 11:30 Friday night the Dr. said we could FINALLY start pushing.

“Seriously?”

“We can push now?”

“It’s only been, like…48 hours or something…”

Because of the two epidurals I couldn’t feel any of the contractions like a normal laboring mother.  Grady and the nurses had to tell me when it was time to heave, hoe and PUSH!!!

The good Lord had a little mercy on my exhausted body.  It only took half an hour of pushing.

The running joke the entire time we were in the hospital was wondering whose birthday Tucker would land on.  We have about 10 July birthdays scattered throughout the month of July on BOTH sides of our family.  I, so badly, wanted Tucker to have his own day.  The 13th would have been shared with my sister, the 14th would have been shared with Grady’s aunt Pam and we certainly WEREN’T waiting until the 19th to share Grady’s day.

At 00:00:00 Saturday morning, the 15th of July, Tucker Michael Gibb came screaming into this world.  He had his own day!

At that my friends, is the story of my first-born.  He was a month early, which I learned, was just the very first glimpse of his impatience.

From the minute he turned 3 years old he has been asking us when he’d be 5.  He has been DYING to turn 5.  Five means kindergarten and school buses.  Five means no more all day daycare. 

Five, folks, means he’s a BIG BOY!

I am happy to announce that this past Friday he FINALLY turned five!!!!!!

When I asked him that morning how it felt to be five he said, “GREAT!!!!  Now I’m a big boy!”

Then, while on our trek to daycare he asked…

“Mommy, how many more days until I’m 6?”

…(Big Sigh)…

Peace, love and big boys.

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