After the holidays, it all started to get real for us and for EM. She had scheduled C-sections so we knew that at one of the next Dr. appointments, we’d be getting a date. Well, the doctor couldn’t get it together, she ended up in the ER a few times with contractions, it felt like we were on a constant rollercoaster. I knew that he needed to stay in there and cook a little longer, but I also knew that I wanted him here and safe with us. The more we hoped for a date, the less it seemed like we were going to get one. Every Wednesday my phone was close by and I was on pins and needles making sure laundry was done and we could pack in an instant. Between Wednesdays I packed and repacked 100 or more times.
My friends threw me a BEAUTIFUL baby shower. The love was overwhelming. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I truly believe that we have the best village. When I was diagnosed with my cancer, people rose up and rallied behind us. The love hasn’t stopped, it’s grown and continued. There will never be a way to properly show my gratitude for those around us.
On January 25th, we got the text. Our sweet boy would be born on Friday, February 3rd in the morning. We immediately began packing. Vedran made plans with work, as did I. We would leave after work on Wednesday, drive for a few hours and stop. We’d get to Florida Thursday evening. We planned to stay with Vedran’s parents but they didn’t know we were coming. They knew baby was due in mid-February and we left it at that. We didn’t want them to worry and we also wanted that surprise factor. “Surprise, your grandson is going to be born tomorrow!”
I was excited for a lot of things. I was over the moon to meet our little man, I was nervous too. I was truly excited for a road trip with my husband. Vedran can be kind of harsh, crass, a know it all. But he’s also sweet and unknowingly hilarious. Long rides in the car are when we have our best, most fun conversations. We dream out loud about things that may come true and some that we know won’t. It’s still fun. It’s a gentle reminder of why I chose him to be mine.
Well, those of you that have been following our journey, you know that NOTHING has gone as planned for us. On Monday night, January 30th, about 7 pm, we got a text from our caseworker that EM was on her way to the emergency room. She’d been nauseous and throwing up all day. She said to sit tight, it may just be the flu. Vedran got in the shower, I finished making dinner and we didn’t worry too much about it. I have a special text tone for our caseworker so that it will alert me. Vedran and I were heading to bed around 10 and my phone went off. Vedran and I immediately looked at one another. It was HER text. Our EM was being taken back for an emergency C section at that very minute. HOLY CRAP! We called my mom, threw stuff in the car and hit the road, sure that we would stop if we were tired.
We drove on pure adrenaline. We stopped for gas and to pee. We didn’t eat unless you count coffee and cheese danishes. Here’s where the crazy comes in. It’s late at night at a hospital, the social worker isn’t there. The agency caseworker got there 2 minutes after she was wheeled back. What does this mean? NOBODY had any information about EM or baby. I called the hospital around midnight and of course they couldn’t tell me anything. I called EM’s cell phone but of course she didn’t answer. We had to trust that everything was okay. Finally, at 6 am, I was able to talk to EM. She was okay. She was on some serious pain meds from the c-section and didn’t really have any information on baby. But we knew that she was okay and that was important to us. At around 10 am, we found out that baby was in the NICU. We didn’t know why or in what capacity. This is when the real worry set in. The drive went from silent, to conversation, to silent, to one of both of us crying quietly. THIS was our labor.
Finally, around noon we heard that he was in the NICU and eating like a champ. That had to be good news right? We were set to arrive around 3. Our lawyer was going to meet us there. We stopped at a rest area to clean up and change clothes, we both LOOKED like we’d driven 18 hours through the night on no sleep. We arrived at the hospital and met our lawyer. This hospital is HUGE. We navigated the maze and went to see EM. She wasn’t in her room so we headed to the NICU. While waiting for the guard to enter in our information, my heart began to race, I began to get lightheaded and everything hit me. I took a deep breath and prayed that I didn’t pass out. We got the go ahead to enter the NICU.
As we were walking in, EM was coming out of the NICU. We hugged and hugged and cried. She told us how perfect he was and how it’s a miracle. She wanted to see us meet him for the first time. We all went back and there he was. He was the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I asked the nurses if we could pick him up. We did. She asked if I wanted to feed him. I was terrified but said yes. It took both Vedran and I to get him to eat. The world around us disappeared and it was just us 3. It felt like it was always supposed to be that way from the very beginning.
We spoke with the nurses who assured us he was perfect. The nurse could tell we were exhausted. She gave us directions to the cafeteria to get food. We walked down there in silence, we ate in silence, we went to check on EM before heading back to Avery for a few hours. We were both just so overly exhausted. The nurse assured us that he would be fine and that we should go get some rest.
We kissed his sweet head and navigated our way back to the car. We were heading to Vedran’s parents’ house, unannounced. This was going to be fun!