Every year as the 4th of July approaches my thoughts turn to my oldest son. I remember his “first” Fourth of July just scant days before his arrival.
I was young, and scared, thrilled and pregnant; expecting my first child twenty three years ago on the 4th of July. I had worked throughout my entire pregnancy until at 32 weeks I had to call my husband who was at work and my mother in law who lived just a few blocks away. Though it was too early, I was sure I was in labor and I was.
After rushing to the hospital, frightened and worried we had to take some time to decide exactly what form of treatment we would do. Did we let the labor continue and see what happen? But this could mean a having “preemie” baby and possible complications. Did we use the medication available, spend days in the hospital leaving only to be put on bed rest? The medical treatment also offered with its own set of possible complications both to my health and the health of the baby.
What to do? Opting for medication I spent 72 horrible hours on IV medications to stop the labor. When I was finally released, I was required to take a prescription every three hours. Every two days I was monitored with doctor’s visits and ultrasounds. The whole family breathed a sigh of relief as each day passed brought me that much closer to my delivery date. Each test also showed a healthy and growing baby boy.
As the 4th of July arrives it is Independence Day in more than one way for me. I have been taken off the medication. The baby looks healthy and I’m advised that “If you go into labor after today you can complete the delivery.” While I still have to take it easy, no more bed rest in a hot, hot house (we had window unit air conditioners) is required and I know that within just a short period of time that my son will arrive.
I sit on a blanket, underneath a tree in my neighborhood park. My hand is resting on my belly; after all it’s so big where else would I put it? The fireworks are exploding all around me with the spectacular colors of red, blue, green, gold and purple. The child within me moves and I count my blessings.
The 4th of July will also hold a special place in my heart. Not only could I celebrate my own version of “Independence Day” knowing that I could now celebrate fully the joy of my pregnancy again, but that soon my newborn son was preparing for his own “Independence Day” when he leaves mom for just the first of many times throughout his life.
It was just away, as he decided to make his appearance on July 9. Happy Early Birthday!