16 years ago today I lost about 12 pounds and gained a brand new title in life…Mom.
The road to motherhood was interrupted by one small but very scary bump in the road, pre-term labor. But I was lucky to be able to stop it early enough and keep Zach cooking long enough to deliver a healthy baby. I made it to 35 weeks.
At 2 in the morning I was startled awake by a feeling of extreme wetness. I had no idea what was going on but my first thought was that I wet my pants. I was only 35 weeks for heaven’s sake, there was no way that my water should have broken, but it did. And I was headed for motherhood five weeks early.
I did what any sane, rational, soon to be mother would do. I got up, turned on every light in the house and called the doctor who assured me it would be hours before I needed to make my way to the hospital. It was during this time that Stan stumbled out of bed and asked what any sane, rational person would ask when it’s 2 in the morning and the house is ablaze like a wildfire out of control…”what the HELL is going on?” I asked him how he felt about becoming a dad on February 25, 1996 and his response was “I think I’ll go back to bed. Tell me when the contractions start.” Ooooof, not quite the way I pictured the scenario in my head but there was not much about my pregnancy that followed the script I had plotted out in my head so I rolled with his response and went into the soon to be occupied nursery. I plopped my large body down in the rocker and began to rock furiously, waiting to see how long it would be before baby Zachary would start making his desire to greet the world, and his parents, known.
I didn’t have long to wait. The contractions started almost immediately and I called each and every one of them out to Stan as he tried to catch some shut eye. By 6 a.m. I knew it was time to leave for the hospital. The contractions were fast and furious.
The trip to the hospital was one of the most excruciating car rides I have ever endured with every bump and turn sending shockwaves of pain ripping through my entire body. I got checked in to my room and “settled” into a bed, anxiously awaiting the arrival of drugs and a new life in the world. I was given a small dose of stadol to take the edge off, with the nurses telling me it was too soon for the epidural I so badly wanted. The drugs worked a for a little while and I was able to doze on and off. It wasn’t long after the administering of drugs that I turned into Regan from “The Exorcist.” My head began to spin around and I became a woman possessed. Stan was trying so hard to comfort me but my voice was demonic as I told him to “Get the nurse NOW and STOP PETTING ME…DON’T TOUCH MY BED!”
It turns out it was time for Zach to be born…the doctor was nowhere near the hospital and the nurses were completely unprepared for the rapid arrival of a baby who had been trying desperately to be born for five weeks. Dr. Griggs came flying in at the last possible second, catching Zach as he made his arrival into the world. It was when Zach was handed to me that the strangest feeling washed over me. I gazed down at this tiny, screaming baby who was all mine and I looked a him with a feeling of love more intense than any I had ever known. But it was also while I was looking at him with my heart bursting with joy that he peed on me…yes, I got peed on. I had never been peed on before and here I was a brand spanking new mama and I got peed on…welcome to motherhood. As I kept gazing, lovingly, at my new pride and joy I realized I had given birth to a Sleestak. Yep, one of those creepy, lizardlike creatures from “Land of the Lost”…here he was in all of his glory, nestled in the crook of my arm. He had a pointy, misshapen head. He was skinny and well…ugly. My newborn baby was a Sleestak and we named him Zach!
Luckily, I was so enthralled with my screaming, funny looking Sleestak that love outweighed everything else. I was a mama now. And I was in heaven.
I can’t believe 16 years have passed so quickly. I used to be able to hold Zach in one arm as I vacuumed and did what needed to be done. Now he towers over me at nearly 6’1″. He is a man-child and I couldn’t be more proud of him. His Sleestak looks are long gone and now I look at him in awe as I see his honey brown eyes sparkling under the veil of long dark eyelashes. His wit and humor never ceases to amaze me. And his big bear hugs melt my heart. He is the kindest soul with a heart of gold and I couldn’t be more proud of the young man he has become. The title I gained on this day 16 years ago is the one I cherish the most…Mom.
I love you, Zachary Paul Pokrywka.