Despite the sarcasm in which I approach the dreadful V-day, I do have one good Valentine’s story, and I was saving it just for today. It was 1999 and I was a whopping 8 months pregnant. We lived in a small trailer my hubby’s parents owned to save money for our new baby. I had been on bed-rest since before Christmas, and stir-crazy doesn’t even come close to describing the angst in my heart. Lucky me, I worked for Dell Computers back then, so my health insurance was top-notch. Instead of putting me in the hospital (which I would later learn is much worse) they brought the hospital to me.
I spent my days in my king size water bed, hooked to monitors and being visited by home health nurses. I passed the time writing in journals to Blondie and her baby brother. I taught her to tie her shoes, and we watched The Little Mermaid about 174 times. I couldn’t wait to have that baby. By the time Valentine’s Day came around, my patience had worn out.
Our church was having a sweetheart’s dinner that year. I wasn’t supposed to go, but I wasn’t staying in bed another day! So hubby finally agreed to accompany me when he realized I was going with or without him. I still remember how nice the little tables were set up. They served shish-kabobs with rice pilaf. It was delicious. I was the happiest girl in the whole USA!
I remember looking up at my hubby, the glow of candle light shining on his face, and I told him “I’m so ready to have this baby!”
“Ha” He laughed, heartily I might add! “You’ve got five more weeks to go…” So by the end of dinner I made a bet that we’d have a baby by the end of the week.
That was Sunday, and guess what? I never lose a bet! At my Monday appointment the doctor feared my pre-eclampsyia was progressing, so Wednesday, 6am, my labor was induced. Twelve hours later, I had a beautiful baby boy!
What?! A boy! I forgot to mention that I was shocked to be having a boy. My dad called him the Number 1 Grandson! Of course, he had 5 daughters and 3 granddaughters, so he was over-joyed to see a boy join the ranks, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with a bouncing baby boy. (Now I know, Hot Wheels and a football- that’s all it takes!)
He was the sweetest thing, at two weeks old he already slept from 10pm til 5am. (Don’t worry, the next one paid me back for that!) He snuggled all the time. He made this cute face like he was whistling, and it scared my hubby, he thought our baby’s face might get stuck like that! He was never cranky. Sometimes in the middle of the night when I fed him, I would change his clothes just to take pictures of him. I wanted to hold on to each and every day.
I remember the day jaundice set in. I was completely prepared for it. I knew he was a premie, and breastfed, so it was likely to happen. When it did, I phoned the pediatrician and made an appointment for the next day and moved his swing under the window for some sunshine. It was my first experience with a panicked hubby. You see, my mom, his aunt, and his mom all came from the old days when all jaundice babies were put in the hospital under billirubin lights. He and I had both been jaundice babies so I had some nervous grandmother’s on my hands!
It created quite the spectacle; they had the best of intentions, but they were sure that I needed to rush the baby straight to the doctor. Armed with articles I had read from the doctor’s office magazines, I was sure he could be seen the next day. Hubby got scared, loaded us in the car, and took off towards Austin to see our pediatrician. He called them at 4:30, and told them he would be there by 5, despite the fact that it was an hour away. Sure enough, we made it. We were even pulled over for driving like bats outta hell, when Hubby points to the baby and says “my baby is orange, I have to get to the doctor NOW!” Indeed, he was orange, but I was calm, cool, and collected. I knew everything was just fine.
We got to the doctor, and my mothering was immediately validated. The pediatrician informed my hubby that he had already spoken to me on the phone, and that our premature, breastfed baby was a likely candidate for jaundice. The remedy? Extra hydration and sunshine! He also encouraged Hubby to take a gigantic chill pill, and have a little faith in the mommy of the house!
A few weeks later our baby underwent surgery for pyloric stenosis, that’s a whole other story where my Mommy instincts were spot on! Dylan rarely cried or fussed, so the pediatrician was sure his projectile vomiting was a milk allergy, but I knew that it was unlikely that he had an aversion to both formula and breast milk. I also knew I had even snuck in some Pedia-Lite that ended up coming back at me. The doctor did an ultra-sound basically to shut me up, and ended up rushing us into surgery instead! He later told me that another 48 hours and our baby’s life would have been endangered. That time the doctor said he was the one who needed to trust the mommy! Dylan definitely had a few hiccups in the beginning.
I named him Sean Dylan, Sean after his Dad, and Dylan because I loved the meaning, (and I loved Beverly Hills 90210, I won’t lie) which meant that he was “A gift from God; Faithful and true”. He was so precious. In his toddler years, he gave me “smile hugs”. He crawled to the door the second he heard his Daddy’s truck coming down the street. He adored his big sister more than anything. He hated for his feet to get dirty. He was always taking off his clothes. He was my little Dyl Pickles. And today, today he is a TEENAGER!
It’s bad enough that Blondie is 17, but now my tiny little baby who snuggled with me until his kindergarten teacher pulled him off my hip is a teenager: a truck-building, dirt-bike riding, football playing teenager! He’s a girl-liking, disastrous-room having, no homework doing teenager! And I am the mom, who watched him grow from bird baths to Little League to the football field. I am the mom who adores him, even when he thinks I have forgotten my messy middle child, and even though I’d like to pull him by the ear sometimes, I am the mom who’s life has been forever blessed by that day, in 1999, when he decided to Be Mine!
Happy Birthday Dylan!