Sixteen years and two days ago, I went to the hospital to have a baby. But the baby, despite his gargantuan size, was feeling quite cozy and decided not to come out yet. So, with the IV still in my hand, I was sent home for a “good night’s sleep”…. whatever. I felt like I had swallowed a watermelon… I was measuring 43 cm across the giant mound. It was TIME! It was actually nine days PAST the due date, but my four children NEVER paid attention to due dates.
Ironically, it was the Canada Cup hockey game that night….. and it was playing on the TV in the hospital. And my husband was enthralled in watching the grown men on thin blades of steel, balancing on slippery ice, using weapons to hit a rubber puck at the net. Thankfully, my friend Barbie had come to visit me on the supposed night of my birthing… and gave me a ride home…. with the IV still in my hand…. for my “good night’s sleep.”
We went back to the hospital on September 13th, in hopes of delivering a child. We never found out the sex of our children until we could see proof with our own eyeballs. So, we were unaware that it was our first SON…. and unaware that he had the largest head ever to travel through a birthing canal. The memory still makes me wince and sit delicately on my chair. After much pushing and pulling and prodding and probing, Austin was born at the stroke of midnight. The doctor asked us if we wanted his birthday to be Friday the 13th, or Sept. 14th…. that is how I heard it anyway… and we chose the 14th. For 16 years, September 13th has held a special place in my heart as the day I almost had a son.
He looked like a hockey player who had recently lost a fight at the blue line, due to some of the prodding and probing… but we loved him anyway. Looking back, this was the first of four or five times the skin would be missing on his face. It should have been a red flag for me as his mother, but no.
Tomorrow Austin turns 16…. but it could have been today. Oh, the power in the hands of a mother on the birthing table.
Happy Birthday, son. You have shown yourself worthy of being a fighter to overcome insurmountable odds… from the very beginning. I’m so proud of the man you are becoming. My buttons are bursting, almost as badly as September 13th, sixteen years ago!