Friday, April 13, 2007

April Baby

This big red headed kid was born 11 years ago, four days before my birthday. His due date was April Fool's day and I prayed to God that he would come sooner.

I had quit my job at the animal hospital and plunged back into college courses full time. I entrusted my slightly eclectic next door neighbor with my then two year old daughter. This woman had twelve gigantic Sam's sized jars of Desitin in her garage, because you never want to be without butt ointment.

I was hoping that the baby would come in March during spring break, then I would have a couple days to recover and not miss any classes. But, he didn't want to come that soon. Like all my babies he came out well done. In fact he was so well done, that the nurse, doctor and my sister all yelled, "OH MY GOD!" He was just so fat. He looked like a four month old and filled up the hospital's acrylic bassinet. When I went down to the nursery to stare through the glass at my new beautiful baby, an older couple was standing by me and said, "Wow! That's one big baby, I feel sorry for his mom, that must have been painful!" I smiled and said, "Yes, it was."

In fact it was so painful that I screamed loud enough to scare a group of administrators that were scheduled to tour the delivery ward. They decided to postpone their visit for a quieter time. Later, some of the nurses came in to thank me.

Less than 24 hours after his birth I was home. I hated being in the hospital and I needed to get back to my studies. I missed one crucial exam in my psychology class and I really didn't want to drop the test and have it affect my grade. I begged my husband to take me and our newborn son up to campus for a scheduled study session so I could ask the professor to let me take the test. It was a very weird scene, but it played out in my favor. The professor was a man in his mid fifties and held fast to his rules. I kindly asked to schedule a time that I could take the test. His reply was, "No, I've explained that you can drop that test." I took a breath and pointed to my husband holding our baby, "I just had a baby and I need to take this test. I tried to have him over spring break, but he wouldn't come. I really don't want to drop this grade." and then the hormones took over and I started to cry, "Please. I've studied really hard and I'm ready to take the test. My doctor wouldn't let me come home any sooner....sniff, boo-hoo, sniff..I, I really need to...". The poor man was so uncomfortable,"Of course, take the test anytime. You just go home and get some rest. Take your time, it's okay." My husband escorted me back to our car and I cried all the way home and then had an hysterical laughing fit for how ridiculously pathetic I must have looked and then cried again.

I spent the last six weeks of that semester toting my newborn son to every class. I'd nurse him in the back row of the lecture auditoriums and change his diaper in the student union. I'd stay up til two or three in the morning cradling him over my shoulder while memorizing the human nervous system. It was quite an experience. Funny thing is I can't remember much about the classes I took. I know I took calculus, chemistry, biology, anatomy, speech and some other classes, but I don't remember what I learned. It's just a big blur.

I decided that I didn't want to go back to school the next fall. I looked at my two little kids and decided my future was going to be spent learning how to be the best mom I could for them. I was so grateful not to be working or going to school that life seemed pretty blissful. I had a sweet little two year old girl and a gigantic red headed boy. Life was good.


~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

HA -- My biggest was 9# 7.5 oz. My dr. always reminds of that .5 oz. He says, "I'm going to give you credit for that .5oz -- you earned it".

YIKES!!! Those big babies... there are so luvable... Ü

Anonymous said...

For your 11 year old: Happy Birthday! You are getting so grown up! Mrs. Oberg would be so proud of you now. Be a good brother, and be nice to your mom. It sounds like she deserves it. =)
love, the former Miss Raymond

jennifer said...

Maybe there was something in the water or the air in the summer of 1995 when those April 1996 babies were conceived. My soon-to-be 11 yo April boy was 9 lbs, 3 oz., and 22 1/2 inches long! BTW, there's at least one more April birthday in their Sunday school group. What was it about having a baby in April of 1996?

Robbyn said...

It's so refreshing hearing that you enjoyed staying home and being with your kids. I delayed the rest of my college, too, and now mine is 18 and going out on her own. I've worked outside of the home a lot of her older adolescence, but only enough to make ends meet...home is something special because you only have those few years before they're all grown up...I LOVE watching her grow up!

That's always job one :)

Happy birthday to your son, and delivery day to you! lol

Jessie said...

I love this post, April! You were such a trooper!

Amanda said...

Poor professor. I had a 9lb bambino. 9lbs 1 oz to be exact. He never wore those cute newborn clothes everyone gave me.