On March 3, 2009, my baby girl entered the world. This is her then:
She arrived 3 days before her due date and 2 days before my scheduled c-section. Under normal circumstances, this would not have been a big deal. However, at the time of her birth I was a teacher in the great state of Texas. I was teaching 3rd grade, which, at the time, was an SSI grade. That meant my darling students were required to pass the reading TAKS in order to pass third grade, and that test was scheduled for March 3, 2009. No pressure, though. From the beginning of the school year, I was painfully aware of how close my due date was to TAKS day, but I was determined to be there for my kids. I went around and around with my OB when scheduling the date of my c-section. She thought I was nuts to put it off, but she worked with my anyway. The game plan was to rest on Monday, give the test on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, and deliver on Thursday, one day before my official due date. That Monday my pre-selected longterm sub was there in my stead. I was home dutifully resting. I had a check-up that afternoon, and my husband went with me. Throughout the day I had been having some mild contractions. My doc assured me they would go away and cleared me to administer the test on Tuesday. That night we went out for burgers where I ran into one of my students and his parents. I assured them I would see them the next day and sent him home with orders for a good night's sleep. I did not get to follow my own orders, though. My husband got our two-year-old son bathed and into bed at 8:00, and I was not far behind. The contractions were getting a little stronger and more consistent, and I was hopeful that getting some rest would make them go away. At midnight, I was still awake. By 2 a.m. the contractions were so strong, I broke down and woke my husband. I was mildly hysterical and completely irrational at this point, still insisting that they would go away and I could give the test in 5 hours. Luke, the picture of stability and calmness, stuck me in a shower, packed his hospital bag, and set about trying to contact the friends who had agreed to watch our son. By 3 a.m. I had resigned myself to the fact that the little darlings were going to have to manage the TAKS without me. We dropped off our son and headed to the hospital. I was already at 4 cm when we arrived, so there was a flurry of activity to get me prepped and get my dr. in there for the c-section (my son was an emergency C, and my dr. was not willing to do a VBAC, thus the need for c-section this time around). I really didn't want to wake my principal any earlier than I had to, so when they came in to take me to the OR, I panicked and told them they had to wait until I called my boss. Boy, this will get you a lot of funny looks from the nurses! They did allow me to make the one quick call. My principal's response, "Well, we knew this was going to happen." But she was very sweet and understanding and didn't even seem to mind that I had woken her at 4 something in the morning. At 5:51 a.m. my beautiful baby girl arrived. I was in recovery getting to know my daughter before my third graders were even at school. I could hear one of the recovery nurses on the phone with her children who were about to leave for school. When I asked about their ages, she was curious about my interest. My response was, "Well, I am supposed to be giving that test this morning, but this, this is so much better!" Later that day I listened to a voicemail that had come while I was still in recovery. It was my team leader wondering if I wanted her to bring me a Starbucks latte (decaf, of course). About halfway through the message, her voice goes up an octave as realiztion hits, and she says, "You'd better not be in the hospital having that baby right now! You are, aren't you?!"
But, all's well that ends well. Every single one of my students passed the test that day, even without my presence. I was so proud! And now my little girl is 2! This also marks the unofficial anniversary of the start of my life as a stay at home mom. Wouldn't trade a minute, I tell ya! Here's my baby now:
Isn't she a beauty?! I love you, Sweetness, and your rather exciting introduction to the world!