I had my sweet baby boy, Tiger. My firstborn son. I had him at the hospital which I now work at, Florida Hospital Orlando. I knew I was having a boy, and so very excited because he would be a new adventure after having a baby girl almost two years prior. He was born two weeks before my 22nd birthday. His due date was April 27th. On April 28th, an ultrasound was performed, and it was determined that he weighed nearly ten pounds. In a panic, I agreed to an induction. The thought of a 10 lb baby terrified me.
I arrived at the hospital very early. Missy was not quite two years old, and she had spent the night at her Nana's house. I was expecting this labor to be quick; after all, I had just had a baby less than two years before, and her labor took only 9 hours. I was really, really hoping that this would take only half the time. After all, "they" always say that second or subsequent labors are faster, right?
Honestly, you'd think I'd know better. This child insisted on not going anywhere. It took forever to dilate, probably because I insisted on an epidural before even getting in a gown. Mr. R and I watched tv, napped, played Uno, napped, watched TV. Labor was boring. Now, I happened to have the good fortune of my nurse being my aunt! That's right, my Aunt Fran was a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital. When she saw my name, she switched with another nurse and stayed with me the entire time. So I can truthfully say that my aunt has seen my cervix. Actually, I can say that my aunt has seen me completely naked at 9 months screaming at the top of my lungs. Pleasant, no?
At midnight on April 29th, going into April 30th, my aunt turned off the lights. I was still only 5 centimeters. She suggested that I nap until it was showtime. I agreed. Now, the way this room was set up was weird. There were controls on the bed to call the nurse. However, these controls was in remote control form. Without my knowing, Mr. R had disconnected the remote from my bed, and was holding it in his lap, across the room while he slept in the recliner. Not knowing this, I fell asleep, and so did he.
Three hours later, I woke up with a start. And a feeling of fullness...DOWN THERE. I gingerly touched myself and realized that I was not touching myself...that was a BABY'S HEAD. OH MY GOODNESS!!! I immediately snapped to attention, and hit the call nurse button. Nothing! I screamed, "Aunt Fran!!!!!" Nothing. I was at the far end of the hall, with the door shut. Then I yelled out my husband's name. Man was dead asleep. It was, after all, 3am. He wouldn't wake up. Again, this is not surprising, considering how he can sleep through a baby screaming right next to his head. Now I'm in a complete panic. I can feel the baby's head, I can't call the nurse, and my husband was snoring, less than 20 feet away from me!
Peeps, I did what I had to do. I turned to my bedside table, and there was my alarm clock. I had brought it with me to time contractions. It was about the size of a softball. I played baseball and softball and heck even stickball throughout my childhood. I took that clock, and my years of experience playing ball, and I threw it. And nailed Mr. R. Right in the head.
"Owwwwww! Dammit Sarah, what the hell?!?!"
"Get Fran! The baby is coming!"
"Why didn't you call her yourself?"
"Because YOU have the remote, bonehead!"
Silence. Then, "Oh crap. I sure do." Then he ran to the door, found my aunt, and she ran in and saw Tiger's head peeking out into the world. She set up the bed, called the doctor, who happened to be right there. Know why? Because my obstetrician's wife had just had a baby a few hours before me, next door! He was still in there with her when it was my turn. As soon as the bed was set up, I pushed one time and he popped right out. This was after 13 hours of labor, although I didn't feel much of it since I had my trusty epidural. And he was certainly not 10 pounds. My son was 8lb, 4oz. A perfectly reasonable weight for a person of my size. To me, he looked just like Missy, except with outdoor plumbing. Even Mr. R observed that we now had two kids who looked exactly like me...no one looked like him yet. He had jet black hair, and blue eyes, and chubby cheeks. He nursed like a champion. He was a sleepy boy. In fact, he was sleeping through the night right away, but I still getting up with Missy. I would walk to his crib and poke him to make sure he was breathing. While Missy was a very high maitenence baby, Tiger was very laid back, chill, and happy. He loved people instantly. He was a complete flirt. He knew right away how to bat his eyelashes to get what he wanted. To this day, I still feel like he was my easiest child to raise. He slept well, was rarely sick, polite, easy going, and generally just a sweet kid.
This is him at age 6, visiting my other aunt, Aunt Nancy, in upstate New York. She threatened to keep him. Can I just mention here...It is early June and so cold at night in upstate that my boys had to wear flannel pjs. That is Bucket behind him wearing red pjs. My aunt's house also had stairs, which they'd never seen before (most homes in Florida are single story ranches because of crazy cooling costs) so they played up and down on the stairs for hours.
I sometimes look at him now, and can't believe he is already fourteen years old. He is at least four inches taller than me. He wears a size 12-13 shoe in mens. When my mom took them to Cici's Pizza, he ate thirteen slices of pizza (she was counting.) He wears the same size pants as my husband now. He is a fabulous musician, plays 5 instruments (bass guitar, alto saxophone, piano, baritone saxophone and guitar.) He is hoping to play football next year for our high school. He'll BE IN HIGH SCHOOL IN AUGUST!!! His favorite subject at school, besides music, is history. But he hates math. He has awful handwriting, but can type pretty quickly. He loves a range of music from hard rock, metal, country and Christian. He loves to fish, but hates swimming in the ocean because he got stung by jellyfish about three years ago. He is very sensitive; there is a girl at school that he adores, and when she started going out with someone else, he cried. Because of his size and his apparently mean look, lots of kids seem to be scared of him, but he's really just a big teddy bear deep inside. I've always said that I think he'll be the first one to get married.
I just truly love him, and so glad that God decided to bless me with such an awesome boy to raise into manhood. Happy Birthday, sweet son. I love you dearly.