Can you believe I'm old enough to have an adult for a child?! I can't believe it. Man, I'm getting old. I never feel old on MY birthday, just my son's.
Eighteen years ago today, very early in the morning, I woke up with minor cramps. It was about 4:30am. I didn't feel that my sleep was interrupted because I'd been put on quarters for nearly two weeks with high blood pressure. (For you civilian types, 'quarters' is when you're assigned to your home instead of your work location because of an illness.) At any rate, I was sleeping whenever I wanted. So, waking up early was no big deal.
When my husband woke up for work, he asked me how I was feeling. We talked about it a little, but neither of us wanted to jinx it, so we didn't mention that 'today could be the day'.
I should mention here that my son was born one week after Desert Storm started and my husband and I were both active duty in the Air Force, stationed at the Academy in Colorado Springs. So, our office was working two 12 hour shifts around the clock. My husband was working the day shift; our friend Joe was working the night shift. Joe lived only a few blocks away. So, depending on when I went into labor, either my husband or Joe would get me to the hospital.
At about 9:00am, I had been tracking my contractions for a couple/few hours and decided that maybe I needed to head to the hospital. My water hadn't broken. My contractions weren't unbearable. But I was on quarters due to high blood pressure. I lived 15+ miles away from the hospital. And this was my first pregnancy, so I was a bit anxious.
My husband was now at work, so I called Joe. He answered the phone, but he WASN'T awake. I kept trying to wake him up, but I couldn't do it. He had only been home from his 12-hour shift for an hour or so and was in bed, dead to the world. In hindsite, it probably would have made more sense to just drive over to his place and wake him up. But instead, I decided to drive myself to the hospital. Honestly, I felt like I was doing okay... as long as I didn't have to DO anything during a contraction. I drove in the right lane of three available to me and just gripped the steering wheel tighter during contractions. I wasn't all that worried.
About a mile or so from the gate at the Air Force Academy, I started to panic. I was stuck in a line of traffic waiting to get on base. They were checking all ID's and random cars... essentially being a bottle-neck for previously moving traffic. I just kept telling myself that if my water broke and traffic wasn't moving, I'd pull over and walk up to the gate and tell them to get me to the hospital. But that didn't happen. I ultimately got through the gate without issue.
When I got to the Communications Squadron, where my husband and I both worked, my co-workers kept saying things like, "If you're walking and talking and DRIVING yourself up Academy Blvd, you are NOT going to have a baby today."
Five hours later, (a couple of those hours fairly exciting) the doctor said, "Congratulations, it's a boy!" He was 6 lbs. 15 oz. and 19" long. He had ten fingers and ten toes and a little bit of hair. And I was never more impressed with how absolutely PERFECT God makes each one of us. He had the tiniest, most beautiful fingers... with fingernails! They curled up into little fists and were still only the size of the average walnut.