12 years ago I didn’t think I wanted children. I was content to be without kids for a really, really long time. I was 19, for goodness sake! (Yes, that makes me 31 – good job on the math). I wanted to finish school, enjoy going to parties with my friends, and enjoy LIFE.
I found out I was pregnant in December. I was already almost 2 months pregnant and still on birth control pills. I would meet FOUR other women who got pregnant on Ortho-Tri Cyclen that year. Four other women who, like me, took their BC pills on a regular basis and didn’t skip pills.
For about half a second I considered terminating the pregnancy but that decision never sat right with me. I don’t judge people who go that route, but it just wasn’t for me. I also thought about adoption. I thought about adoption for a long time but in the end, his biological father and I decided to keep him.
My pregnancy went off without a hitch. I was due August 17, 2001. I was one of the lucky few who went into labor on her due date. It was 7pm and I was cooking. The Bio Dad was out surfing and I was home alone, cooking. I felt this surge of, not liquid, but matter inside my undies. I went to the bathroom and pulled this Gak-like substance off of my draw’s. It was disgusting and fascinating at the same time. I knew that it was my mucous plug, but I also knew that it didn’t mean eminent labor. I had, after all, been 1cm dilated and 100% effaced for 4 weeks.
At 9pm I felt a searing cramp. At 9:10 I felt another searing cramp. At 9:17 I felt another searing cramp. Holy crap. I was in labor. I let the labor pains come as I fussed around our tiny 600sf condo. He eventually came back and drew a hot bath. I got in, only to start puking my brains out shortly thereafter. The contractions were coming without ceasing by 10:30 and I didn’t even want to bother with getting dressed to go to the hospital. I desperately wanted to lie naked and wet on my bed and cry through each contraction.
We left for the hospital around 11pm and when we got there, the nurse checked me. I was 3cm dilated but went to 4cm in one contraction. “Get this girl a room!” she told another nurse.
My doula told me that it would probably be about 1 hour per centimeter, so we figured that I had a good 7 hours left. I hadn’t slept in 3 days and I was exhausted but things were moving so quickly. I wanted to go drug-free but I just couldn’t handle the pain because I was so tired, so I ordered an epidural. They fitted me with an IV and started hydrating me in preparation for the drugs.
I kept dilating quickly and once my IV bag was empty and the epidural arrived on the scene, Styles was crowning.
I hadn’t even pushed yet.
Styles arrived 6 minutes after midnight on August 18, 2001 in a fury of nurses and a room full of family members. That epidural? Yeah…not so much. Not when you’re crowning!
I used the Lamaze method and felt like I was going to pass out after a very short 16 minutes of pushing. God bless you women who were able to do that method and survive!
The doctor dropped a slimy football onto my stomach and I just stared at it while my mom yelled at me to “TOUCH HIM!” I had never been around a baby before and I didn’t play with baby dolls. The whole maternal instinct thing doesn’t come naturally to me and I was in shock that I had just squeezed this little being out of my body in just over 3 hours. I touched him as they cleaned him up and assessed him. AGPARs of 9 and 10 – he was amazing.
Styles and I learned how to nurse over the course of the next couple of weeks and we kept that relationship until I went back to work when he was 9 months old.
I became a single mom to Styles when he was 2. In that time, he saw The Bio Dad every other weekend for about 18 months. After that he saw him occasionally and then never. He asked about him for a while and then the questions stopped and our relationship forged even deeper.
Styles has always been intuitive and inquisitive. He doesn’t miss a single thing and blows me away with his cunning intellect. He is funny without trying and wants to be a scientist when he grows up. “A Mad Scientist, Mom”, he says.
During the 5 years that it was just the two of us, we used to go on dates every Sunday. We went to see movies, we went to fancy restaurants, we went to fast food restaurants, museums, and Disney. There is nobody on earth with whom I have the same relationship as I have with Styles. I love each of my children so much, but the time that Styles and I spent together during those 5 years can not be recreated with the babies. It was just the two of us. I needed him and he needed me. I love looking back on our time together and every time I do, I wish that I could go back to that time and enjoy those moments even that much more.
Little did I know that he would grow up in the blink of an eye and be strolling into Middle School, staring in the face of puberty, and teaching me Chess.
I’m a lucky mom to have a kid like Styles. I am grateful that he has enhanced my life the way that he has and I love him more than he will ever know.