It was the Friday night before Christmas Day. I was 35 weeks pregnant with my son, Keegan. I had been out earlier that evening to run a few errands and also decided that I should start keeping the car filled with gas, so I stopped at the station by my house and filled up. I had even placed my hospital bags in the car that evening. My husband, John, and I had a quiet night in and watched something on television. I can’t remember what it was, probably some sort of movie. When it was over, I gave John a kiss goodnight, gathered all the energy I had and hoisted myself up off of the couch. I looked at the Christmas tree. I love Christmas, but pregnancy was getting the better of me by this point. As I walked past our tree I said to John, “I don’t think I can do this 5 more weeks.” We laughed.
I nestled down in the master bedroom of our suburban home. I’d had the bed to myself for a couple of weeks. John willingly moved into the guest bedroom so I could have the entire bed. I had quite the collection going of all sorts of pillows and blankets. Like any pregnant woman, I woke up several times throughout the night. And then, unbeknownst to me at the time, I woke up for good at 2:30am. I didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. I wasn’t sure why I had woken up. No dream that I could recall. Nonetheless, I was awake, so I decided to get up and use the restroom. As soon as I sat up, I knew what had happened. My water broke. It was early. I felt a bit of panic set in and tried to relax. I called my doctor’s overnight nurse. She confirmed what I believed to be true and told me it was time to head into the hospital. I would be induced and Keegan would need to be born in a matter of hours. I wasn’t even registered as a patient yet.
I gathered myself and went to wake up John in the guest room. He is not a morning person, but this news certainly had his attention. We were both feeling all kinds of emotions. Excited, scared, happy, uncertain, nervous. The hospital was about a 30 minute ride in the rain. We got to the Emergency Room at about 3:30 in the morning. I was admitted rather quickly and then we began to wait. We were told to expect Keegan to spend a couple of weeks in the NICU. That was scary. But we notified our close family and friends of the situation and tried to rest. I just tried to stay as relaxed as possible and save all my energy for the delivery. We didn’t tell too many people right away as we didn’t know what we were going to be getting into.
I chose to deliver at my local hospital. I absolutely love my OB/GYN, and knew I didn’t want anyone else to deliver Keegan. Even though it was Christmas weekend, I knew she would come. After a full day of active labor, that evening I was finally ready. My doctor arrived and after just 5 contractions, Keegan was born. I wasn’t expecting to get to hold him. There were several NICU nurses on standby ready to take him to make sure he was okay. But Keegan entered this world crying loudly and it was the best sound I’d ever heard! In an instant, my doctor handed him up to me and I held my precious baby boy in my arms for the very first time. Sheer joy and comfort overtook my whole being. I knew he was okay.
One of the perks about delivering at this particular hospital was that Keegan was cared for in the very room I delivered him in. The nurses cared for him and I was able to see him the whole time. John was overcome with emotion and seeing the tears stream down his face while he looked at his son was so very lovely. He undoubtedly felt relief, too. Our son was healthy. Our son was strong. Thankfully, he didn’t need any time in the NICU.
My Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin had been anxiously awaiting Keegan’s arrival. They live in Pennsylvania and made the trip down to the hospital in Nashville. My Uncle, ever the jokester, knocked on our door and said “Did someone order a pizza?” We all laughed and gushed over our newest family member. It was Christmas Day and we were ready to be discharged. We packed up all our belongings and bundled up our pride and joy. John brought the car around and my Uncle pushed Keegan and I out on a wheelchair. We brought Keegan home and then our adventure as parents really began! I sat on the couch in the same spot I had just a few nights before, looking at the tree and holding my son. The sweetest gift.