Saturday was Conner’s 13th birthday.
Today is Tuesday.
So much for a timely birthday post.
Devin & Conner’s dad and I were in the middle of a divorce when Conner was born. Great timing, right? With each pregnancy, I had pre-term labor issues and each baby was born about 3 weeks early.
The evening of November 14, 1996 I was home with Devin, who had just turned 4. I remember the time-line of that night based on what was on TV. I was watching the first round Jeopardy when I felt the first little tinge of a contraction…. shortly after 7:00. By the time the show was over at 7:30, those contractions were darn uncomfortable.
By 8:00, I was in obvious discomfort and little Devin brought down every single stuffed animal he owned and lined them up on either side of me on the couch in an attempt to comfort me. I must have looked like ET, when he hid in Elliot’s closet amongst the stuffed animals.
By 8:15 I had called my friend to have her take me to the hospital and bring a sitter for Devin.
By 8:20, Devin was scared of me because I was making strange noises and whining.
By 8:45 my friend had arrived but I now refused to get off the couch as it hurt too much to move.
By 9:00 they wedged me into the car.
By 9:10 they realized I would not make it to the hospital where I was pre-registered. They would need to take me to the closest hospital.
Now you may be asking yourself, why didn’t she register at the closest hospital to begin with? Well I was a Kaiser patient and Bess Kaiser, the closest hospital, was in the process of closing. They would have been closed by the time my actual due-date rolled around. Because Conner was early, we ended up going to Bess Kaiser, which was only open to emergencies.
A baby being born on the side of a freeway? I consider that an emergency. So did my friend. She pulled off the freeway and rolled up to the Emergency entrance. I waddled into the ER like someone in a bad comedy. I’m havin’ a baaaaaayby! Help me!
Here’s a big problem with a hospital operating with a skeleton crew…. not a whole heck of a lot of anesthesiologists to go around. I was told that the one anesthesiologist on duty was in surgery.
Is the patient out…? So… why can’t the guy come and give me an epidural now?
Some pain killers?
A hammer to knock myself out…?
No pain management options for me. Not even a bullet to bite on.
My friend got up to the room in time to hear the ER doc on duty give me instructions to push. As this young doctor was down South, getting ready to catch the baby, I did what he asked me to do. Problem is, I came in howling and crying and the staff was scrambling. No one bothered to ask me if my water had broken yet. It hadn’t. When I pushed for the first time, my water broke. All over the doctor.
I remember very clearly seeing a sheet of liquid cover the doctor. It was like someone had thrown a bucket of water in his face. He was shocked and, unfortunately, had his mouth open a little bit. He sputtered. He shuddered. He spit out amniotic fluid and told me to wait a minute before I pushed again. In the middle of all of my pain, I was laughing hysterically at this dripping doctor. I am certain he did not like me much.
Screaming and yelling, probably scaring everyone within the sound of my voice, I pushed a few more times and out popped Conner. The cord was a bit tangled. As this still dripping doctor tried to untangle it, Conner sent out a little fountain of pee-pee…. all. over. the. doctor.
The doctor finished up whatever he needed to do to be rid of me and then headed for the showers. And probably the pharmacy to get something for himself.
There was a TV on in the room. It was a Thursday night… ER was in its first half hour. I consulted the TV Guide in my head. From Jeopardy to ER, that meant that my first “Hmm. Was that a contraction?” to “Here’s your baby!” took about 3 hours. Fast, furious and painful. I wondered if it was a harbinger as to what Conner’s personality would be like.
Conner was a great baby. A sweet personality, a good sleeper, with a good appetite. He was such a blessing, because as a newly single mom with a 4 year old and a newborn, I sure needed a break.
He was funny. Very much a little bruiser. For sure all boy. He was loud and rambunctious.
He was hard to contain. Hard to cuddle him when he was younger. Go, go, go.
While he cleans up beautifully….
… he is famous for his ham-handedness.
I’ve seen him get peanut butter on his ear.
I watched him try to leave for school one morning with a single oat from his morning oatmeal stuck on his shirt in the center of his back.
We’ve seen him drop food on the floor and quickly say, “5 second rule!” but pick up the dropped food with his toes.
His handwriting is atrocious.
He reminds us of Pig-Pen from the Peanuts comic strip.
His room is always a mess.
We would love it if we could hand down his clothing to Mitchell, but nothing survives Conner.
Click on the picture below to clearly see the peanut butter and sand on his face and the sunscreen on his hat…
He may be messy, but Conner has a great spirit and a loving heart.
It is Conner who is more excited to give than to receive at Christmas time.
It is Conner who delights in hand making cards and creating “clues” that lead people to their gifts on their birthdays.
It is Conner who has confused me the most, but made me laugh the hardest.
Conner keeps things interesting.
We love him so much.
Happy birthday, Con Man!