Yesterday was Cameron’s birthday. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 5 years. It seemed like it took a lifetime for Brendan to reach age 5, but almost no time at all for Cameron to reach the same milestone. I can still remember having him like it was just yesterday.
Late in the evening on March 31, I began to have contractions so Matt and I headed up to the hospital. They monitored me all night long, and Matt and I began to think we’d be having a April Fools Day baby (which would have been quite fitting for Mr. Cameron). But around 9:00 in the morning they said it was a false alarm and sent us home. There’s nothing like spending 12 hours in a hospital and coming home still pregnant. That stunk worse than anything.
I went back to work on the 2nd and had the joyous task of explaining to everyone why I’d called in the day before saying I was having the baby and yet didn’t. In retrospect I wish I’d just called in that second day as well. As it turned out it was my last day of work before having the baby anyway.
At the time I was working an odd shift of Saturday to Wednesday each week. So Thursday the 3rd was my regular day off. I took Brendan to pre-school and headed over to my obstetricians office for a follow up appointment. As I stood at the desk chatting with the nurses one of them looked at me funny and asked me to come into the back because she wanted to take my blood pressure. Not really understanding why she’d given me the funny look, I complied.
She took it and found it was through the roof. If I remember correctly I was at 152/104. She took it again to be sure and got a very similar result. She called the doctor in and showed him the results. He had me lie flat on the table and took it again. The results improved slightly. Then he had me lie flat for 10 minutes before they took it again. That time the result improved greatly. Then he had me sit up and they took my pressure one last time. It went up almost as high as it had been originally.
Well, that settled it. I was put on bed rest immediately. I was told to go home, and get directly in bed. He said not to stop and do anything else, and to only get up for restroom breaks. Everything else would have to be done by someone else. That someone else being Matt. Given how much of a control freak I am, being on bed rest and having to ask someone else to do things for me did not sit very well with me, but I didn’t have any choice. In the meantime, the doctor went ahead and scheduled me to be induced on April 10.
So I headed home and got ready for a week long stay in bed. Someone had to go and pick Brendan up from pre-school for me, and take care of him until Matt got home from work. I’ll admit it, Thursday night was really kind of fun. In the late stages of my pregnancy I didn’t have the energy to keep up with a rambunctious 4 year old, especially one who was still in the middle of being potty trained. So having an excuse that first night to lay in my bed while Matt tended to him was a bit of a relief.
Friday, with Matt at work and Brendan at daycare, I had the house to myself and I expected the bliss I’d experienced the night before to continue. I moved to the couch first thing in the morning, and had TV, movies, video games, books, sewing, and snacks all set up on the coffee table. I was set. The fun lasted a couple of hours, but then boredom set in. There’s only so much sitting still I can do. There’s nothing good on daytime TV, I wasn’t in the mood to watch a movie, I’d played video games until they gave me a headache, I couldn’t seem to focus on the book I was reading, and sewing took too much concentration. So I sat there and snacked, and snacked, and snacked.
It was a relief to have Matt and Brendan come home that night just for the company. Saturday and Sunday were much the same with the difference being that Matt and Brendan were home with me all day. By the time the weekend was over I was ready for the two of them to go back to work and daycare because it was so frustrating to have them fuss over me. I made it through Monday simply because it was nice to have some peace and quiet again.
But by Tuesday I’d had enough. I woke up cranky and irritable. When Matt called to let me know he’d made it to work, I sobbed into the phone that I couldn’t get through another two days of this torture. He reassured me as much as he could, and we hung up with me still feeling trapped and depressed. A couple hours later I was watching game shows on TV when I realized I was having contractions. They weren’t too painful, but quite distracting.
I called Matt at work, just to keep him in the loop. He asked if I wanted to call the doctor, and I told him not at that point because it was probably just false labor again. But after we hung up I wrote down the time that each contraction occurred (it’s not like I had much else occupying my time). They were getting closer together and when I noticed they were a little over 5 minutes apart I called my doctor.
Like me he figured it was probably false labor again, but he told me to come down to his office and he’d check me out. I had my dad pick me up since I wasn’t allowed to drive and he took me down to the doctor. My mom met us there and relieved my dad to go back to work. The doctor did an exam and found I was already dialated to 7 cm. This was no false alarm. He came out to the waiting room and told my mom to get me over to the hospital and not to make any other stops on the way. (in case you’re wondering the hospital was only a couple miles from the doctors office, he figured we had time to make it there–and he was right)
Meanwhile I called Matt and told him we were really having the baby this time. He said he just needed to do turnover of his work, since he’d be starting his paternity leave and he’d be there ASAP. Again he only worked a couple miles from the hospital so time should have been no issue.
I got checked into the hospital around 1, and from there things progressed quite quickly. The doctor and Matt both arrived around 1:30, and the doctor broke my water. After that my contractions quickly became unbearable and I wanted an epidural. Unfortunately I was already almost fully dialated so that was no longer an option. They finally gave me a spinal block to help dull the pain, and at 2:22 Cameron was born.
In retrospect I probably should have called the doctor as soon as I started having contractions, because we cut that a little closer than I would have liked. But having just had a false alarm I didn’t want to jump the gun again. Knowing what I do now, it really doesn’t surprise me that Cameron made such a speedy entrance into the world. He’s always going at full speed. He never walks from point A to point B, he runs, skips, jumps, and crashes his way there.
Getting up for school was less difficult than it’s ever been. Knowing he got to take treats to for his class had him ready and raring to go. After school, we came home and had a quick lunch before taking him for his Kindergarten physical. Had I known how wild and crazy he was going to be that day I would have scheduled it differently. In the waiting room, and then the exam room he was unable to sit still. He climbed over anything he could get onto and insisted on yelling out anything he wanted to say.
But, amazingly, he was extremely cooperative with the doctor and nurse. Usually getting him to do what they need him to takes quite a bit of effort and occasionally having me hold him down so they can do it. I was impressed with how well behaved he was, even if he was being a bit crazy in between times. Finally the doctor finished the exam and said the nurse would be back in to give Cameron a couple of shots that he needed to get into Kindergarten.
From my experience doing this same exam with Brendan, I knew he’d probably need shots but unlike Brendan I did not pre-warn him. Brendan did better knowing in advance and preparing himself for the shots. With Cameron I just said the nurse would be back in to do a couple of things and as long as he followed her instructions I’d take him out for birthday icecream. The nurse told him to lay on the table and told me to give him a big hug. He happened to have his blanket with him and as he laid down it fell over his eyes.
I left the blanked over his eyes and leaned in to hold him down. What I love about the nurse is that she does shots lightning fast. Before he could even cry out from the unexpected pain, she was done and was sticking on the first band aid. He was mad as a hornet at me for letting her do that to him, but calmed down when I reminded him of the ice cream.
He spent his afternoon “recovering” in the living room with his chocolate shake. Then daddy surprised him by coming home early to play Skylanders with him. His requested dinner was macaroni and cheese, and oreo cookie cake. Not the healthiest, but you’re only 5 once.
The only sour note of the evening came from Brendan. He was all out of sorts since someone else was getting all the presents and attention, and spent much of the evening having meltdowns in his bedroom. Cameron didn’t seem to be affected by his brothers actions too much. As he climed into bed for the night he said he’d had a really good birthday.