Fourteen Years Ago…

Microsoft Word - cammy14.doc….at about 2:00am, Dave came to bed. I don’t remember what he was doing. Then we experienced the following course of events:

3:30am My water broke while I was sleeping. (I clearly remember saying to Dave, “Um, buddy? Either my water just broke, or I have a serious problem.”)

3:35am Dave stopped trying to convince me to go back to bed until 8 or so. I got into the shower– because everyone knows that a showered pregnant woman whose water has broken, won’t have any problems getting into and out of her antique claw-foot tub with the shower attachment.

4:00am We left for the hospital. At this point I was starting to understand the difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and the real deal.

5:30am I was all settled into my room. Because I had never experienced childbirth, I sort of expected the magic to happen at any second. (With my two subsequent deliveries, I was much more aware of how long it was going to take me. Dave and I went shopping at Target and then hit up Chili’s for lunch while I was in active labor with the J.)

8:00am Dave went out for some coffee. He came back– I’ll never forget this– with a gigantic fudge brownie for me. I was like, “Looks good– but I can’t eat that right now,” and so Dave ate it on my behalf.

8:00am-6:00pm nothing happened. Like, nothing. I mean, I was having contractions– it was just really slow going. I walked up and down the hall for awhile. I cycled through 2 or 3 trays of chicken broth and jello. We watched a couple of movies. My doctor came in at 5:30 and asked me if I’d like to speed things up a bit, which I obviously did– so I got a little pitocin.

6:00pm-6:50pm This is a blur. Contractions and people and I think I might have thrown up once (?) and suddenly an oxygen mask, and someone telling me “The baby’s arm is up around his head, he can’t move down like that,” and a flurry of activity and, then, suddenly, a baby crying. The resident said, “It’s a big, beautiful boy!” And Dave said, “Oh my God, Ju– look at his hair!!”

You know who came downtown on that chilly March night to see Cam? My parents. Betsy and her whole family– including her perfect, easygoing, 3-month-old blonde baby Brett. Jilly. And all of my friends– who happened to be there when I threw up into a baby blanket in the hallway, and were super-nice about it. We all loved on him and hugged him and could not believe his hair– Cam had a full head of thick, long, black hair that stuck straight up all over his head. (It turned him into a mini-celebrity with the nurses: the whole time I was in the hospital, new nurses would come in to say, “I hear I’ve got to check out this baby’s hair.”)  I sent Dave home to sleep, because he was dead on his feet, I didn’t need his help, and I figured it might be his last chance to get a full night’s sleep for awhile (and how very true that was). And so, about 24 hours after I woke up thinking, “What the hell is that?” I was alone in my room, holding the gorgeous baby boy I had hoped for, and could not believe my good fortune.

No time at all went by, and then this morning, that gorgeous baby boy came downstairs to his 14th birthday, and a Shamrock Sprinkle donut with candles on it. As I do for every kid on their birthday, I said, “Hmmm….. you look different to me. I wonder what it could be: new shoes? No…. haircut? No….” while Cammy gave me that “I’m rolling my eyes; also, I still get a kick out of it” grin. We discussed this afternoon’s plans, and when I gave him a hug, I had to reach up. He still has a ridiculously thick and full head of dark hair. He’s great at math and he loves lacrosse. He’s friendly and outgoing, and he’s the kind of kid who wanted to text my friend himself, when he heard about her loss– rather than just let me do it.

He’s a great kid. We’re lucky.


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