Baby boy, you were a big surprise. Your sister was only 8 months old when we found out your were on your way, and you’ve been surprising us ever since! Your due date was January 5th, and my goal was getting through the holidays with you still in my belly. I was sure you’d be early, as that seemed to be the trend with my pregnancies, but as long as you weren’t a Christmas baby, I was happy!
Your grandma came to spend Christmas with us, which was lovely as you were so large in my tummy and I couldn’t do very much. Christmas came and went, and there you were, safely in my belly. On the 26th of December, we thought it would be a good idea to visit Ikea. I’m not sure why we went there or what we bought, but I do know I did a lot of walking…and I suppose that’s what made you decide it was time to make your debut early!
On the 27th of December, Grandma had an early flight back to the US. Daddy got up and took her to the airport, and around 5 am, when he returned, I was already counting contractions. I let your daddy sleep for about 30 minutes and then couldn’t wait any longer — the contractions were getting painful and really close together, and I knew we needed to get going. We called Tia Katia to come stay with your brother and sister, who were still deep asleep in their beds. While we waited for Katia to arrive, I did my best to hurry your daddy along — the poor man was so tired! He started moving faster though when I confessed that I was terrified you were going to be born in the car if we didn’t get to the hospital soon!
On our race into Lisbon, Daddy ran two red lights (for which we definitely got tickets) in his hurry to make sure you didn’t come out just yet. We arrived at the hospital around 7 am, and I was already 4 cm dilated. I didn’t have to wait too long for an epidural, thankfully. I had decided to have an epidural only, but no other medications to speed up my labor — you were plenty fast on your own! And honestly, you were determined to get out with some killer contractions — I had to have two “top ups” of that epidural during labor.
Once the epidural finally kicked in, I realized that I was starving. I begged for jello or juice or anything — and one sweet nurse brought me a few pieces of candy and some apple juice. I don’t know her name, and I never saw her again, but she holds a very special place in my heart!
It wasn’t long before the time came to push. I felt you move down and the pressure of your tiny body, and I knew we were both ready. Three pushes was all it took, and you were out. They placed you on my chest and the doctor said, “It’s a boy!”
Up until that moment, I was sure you were a girl. In fact, no one ever knew, but our sonogram technician had let feminine pronouns slip out every now and then (“a bebe”; “o coração dela), and daddy and I had been planning on a girl. So, when the doctor declared you to be a boy, I turned to your dad in disbelief and asked him, “wait, what? It’s a boy???” With one look, he confirmed it, and I started crying. I was not disappointed at all — just surprised! And miraculously — we just happened to have had the perfect boy’s name picked out. Had you been a girl, we wouldn’t have known what to call you! You snuggled right up to me and I couldn’t believe how blessed we were. Your ten little fingers, ten little toes, two chubby little cheeks — you were more than we could have ever prayed for!