I should have known that things wouldn’t go as planned when at 32 weeks we discovered that the little “girl” I was carrying, was in fact a boy. Fortunately the only change we had to make was removing “her” name from the nursery door. We left the new name off until after the birth. Just in case!
Dylan, (Baby was indeed a boy) was due on January 12th. As I had had a very uneventful pregnancy with everything progressing smoothly, there was nothing to indicate that he would arrive early. Except of course that my obstetrician was going away, and all along I had been slightly apprehensive that he would miss the actual delivery. He had however, as doctors do, assured me that this baby was not coming early.
By late November my father had been telling everyone who cared to listen, that this baby was going to be his Christmas grandchild and would most definitely arrive on Christmas day. I, of course, had more faith in my doctor’s predictions and grew rather tired of my dad insisting that he knew better. As things turned out, I should have listened to Dad…
On Christmas Eve I had my final check-up before the start of the holidays. As my doctor was far away on vacation, I paid a visit to his stand-in: a woman whom I liked immediately. I had been feeling a bit off color for a few days prior to my appointment, as well as having had moderate backache. For this reason the doctor decided to do a quick internal check, where she discovered that I was 2 cms. dilated, but was quite convinced that I still had a few days to go.
That night my husband, Brad, and I had invited our family for Christmas Eve dinner, and it was during the festivities that I felt the first twinges of real labour.
I was convinced that I would need to be rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night, so was quite surprised when I awoke on Christmas morning to discover that I was still pregnant. It didn’t take long however before the contractions steadily got stronger and closer together. The strange thing was that they weren’t at all painful, but were strong enough that anyone looking at my enormous belly could see them. It was around this point that I felt that I’d be more comfortable in hospital, so we packed the car and off we went.
Things progressed really slowly, and I had to endure some really painful examinations. The doctor discovered that my cervix had slipped back and would need to be moved for me to be able to push the baby out. At the same time they broke my water, which was to help speed things up. The “simple” procedure of moving my cervix was the most painful thing I experienced during the entire labour, and the contractions I started having shortly after that were very intense. During all this my wonderful husband held my hand, massaged my back and basically kept me going. I could never have done it without him.
At this point we thought that I would still give birth naturally and that the problem with my cervix was over. It was two hours later that I was checked again. The doctor, expecting to find that I was dilating quite rapidly, was surprised to find that I hadn’t dilated further at all, and on top of that my cervix had slipped again.
Then I started to get worried. I couldn’t believe that after so many hours of intense contractions I just wasn’t dilating, and I didn’t know how I’d face them moving my cervix again. Fortunately my doctor wasn’t taking any chances and decided to do an emergency C-section as the baby was beginning to show signs of distress. From then, everything ran like clockwork, and at 5 p.m. on Christmas Day 2003 I gave birth to Dylan Garth… the most beautiful, perfect child. Just like my dad had said.
Sadly my father passed away most unexpectedly three months later, and now Dylan will never know his grandfather. But, at least one day, I’ll be able to tell my son about his grandpa Cassie and how he was born on Christmas Day just for him.