16 years ago today, I weighed 50 pounds more than I do right now. 16 years ago today, I was 35 weeks pregnant (yes, I gained a lot of weight in 35 weeks ~ I was huge) and I just getting off of five weeks of bed rest …trying to keep baby Zachary from coming too early. 16 years ago today, I was not yet a mama.
In January of 1996 Stan and I moved from Manhattan, Kansas to Sierra Vista, Arizona. Stan had a Military Intelligence course he had to complete and Ft. Huachuca, Arizona was the place to do it. When I was 26 weeks pregnant we loaded up our cars and hitched up our two boats ~ yes, I know the whole boat in Arizona thing was a bit ridiculous but we didn’t know where we were going to end up after his course was over so we brought the boats with us to the canyons and deserts of Arid-zona.
It was an interesting time, settling in to a new house being hugely pregnant but we moved there with three other couples so we were fully stocked with friends and I could lean on them if I needed to. I never, one time, slowed down on the down hill side of my pregnancy and I think that may have been my undoing when it came to me going into pre-term labor.
I was 30 weeks pregnant the day I went into labor the first time. One of my girlfriends, who had moved to Arizona with us, was due the next day and she was dying to get moving from being pregnant to being a mama. She called me and asked me if I wanted to go four-wheeling with her to set her labor into motion. I had a four wheel drive Explorer and a huge sense of adventure so off we went to explore the canyons of Arizona!! Keep in mind this is prior to cell phones being anything more than a giant bag phone, with extremely limited coverage…especially in canyons. We were having a blast cruising up and down the dirt roads; headed to a little lake tucked way back in the way-out-there parts of Arizona. The roads were up and down, bumpy and lumpy and I was flying…until the car started to list painfully to one side. I was having a hard time keeping the wheel straight and the car on the road. I pulled over, opened my door and checked the tires…it seems the tires didn’t like the dirt roads and my rear driver side tire was shredded so badly it looked like burnt spaghetti. Uh-Ohhhhhh! The two hugely pregnant women rolled out of the car to inspect the damage…well, SHIT!
OK, so here we are in the canyon, no cell phone, on dirt roads, never changed a tire before in our lives…we’re pretty much in a pickle. But we are bulling through. The spare tire is located under the body of the Explorer so I haul my round body under the car to try and lower the spare. I’m sure we looked like an extreme comedy of errors out there…the two of us. Dumbasses! Luck was on our side, landing a Canadian couple in our midst and then a park ranger. Those three must have thought we were two of the craziest women around, with our giant bellies protruding proudly outward, trying hard to change a tire on the dirt road.
Tire changed, extreme thanks given we head home with our tails slightly between our legs.
I drop off my girlfriend and tell her I’m out for a power walk. I park the car and head out, wondering the whole time how I’m gonna tell Stan the news about the tire and the whole four-wheeling experience. My power walk was complete and I really wasn’t feeling well so I sat down to rest. My stomach was killing me and it was so hard to walk. But I was still trying to plug along.
Stan got home and I gave him the whole “What do you want first, the good news or the bad news?” I told him about the tire, the four-wheeling and how we were helped by three kind souls. Stan wasn’t mad or even stunned by my story, I guess by this time he was used to my antics and just chalked it up to me being me.
After chatting with me for a little bit longer and me telling him I wasn’t feeling well so not to expect dinner, he went out for a run. By the time he got back I couldn’t walk. I was in so much pain. My legs wouldn’t support me and my belly was on fire. The doctor was called and off we went for the emergency room where I was told I was in true pre-term labor…dilated and effaced. Drugs were administered, bed rest ordered and my ass was in the hospital for the next 24 hours. DAMN, what had I done?
I landed in the hospital only one more time after that and tried hard to stay true to bed rest but the meds they gave me to stop labor caused a jittery-ness that couldn’t be eased by sitting around. It was an excruciating long five weeks for me ~ I can’t even imagine all of the mamas out there who stay on bed rest for months to deliver a healthy baby…God love them! I was very fortunate it was only five weeks and I kept myself out of the hospital….
To be continued…for the love of Zach and motherhood…