I think the most exciting news of this year is the arrival of Madsen Grey. He is already his mother's favorite for saving her a lot of grief and arriving what she likes to call "fashionably early"-3 weeks to be exact. And, in addition to saving his oh-so-thankful mother from stretch marks by arriving when he did, he somehow managed to make labor seem...um, yeah this is the right word...fun. As a matter-of-fact, if the big man upstairs hadn't been looking out for this numb-uterus and owner, I probably would have had the horor (oops! If you're not reading this out loud you may have missed what we in the business like to call a Freudian slip-get it? horor would be pronounced horror?), I mean honor of delivering at home.
Less than a week had gone by and a super-duper amount of settling had been done thanks to mamma-Debbi's magically gifted homemaking abilities and Jen's amazingly high 8-months-pregnant-in-the-heat-of-the-Texas-summer energy levels and surprisingly unobtrusively sized belly. Miraculously all the boxes were unpacked and most of the cleaning done. There was just the matter of the yard...the time had come for some serious yard work. During the 1.5 months the house had sat on the market the grass/weeds had sprung up at a surprisingly healthy rate. Fortunately it is a fairly common thing for Texan's to have their yards professionally maintained and an observant fellow with a mower and a mission noticed the atrocity and snatched up our keep-him-busy business. Unfortunately, in order to do his thang a pile of bricks had to be moved from the back of the half-acre lot to the porch behind the house. Feeling more than up to it, don't-tell-my-doctor-I'm-doing-heavy-lifting-Jen and her mom tackled the task only to have to call it quits to check in with the pesky over protective doctor who insisted on meeting with her once a week! Jen met with the mowing-service before she left and promised to return with payment after her doctor's appointment (you can probably see where this is going). So they started mowing the ludicrously large yard and we (my mom and I) left for a routine check-up.
Meanwhile, at the doctor's office...
Dr. Ogdee reported to Jen that she was between 1 and 2 centimeters dilated (not uncommon for a woman so far along) and, as a matter of course, sent her to labor and delivery to have her regular weekly non-stress test. Here they hooked up the monitors and after some time a nurse came in confused and asked Jen who sat so casually watching Ellen "you can't feel that?"
"What? I feel the baby moving, is that what you're talking about?" Jen asked a little suspicious of the nurse's tone.
"No, you are contracting every 3 or 4 minutes" the nurse replied incredulously.
"I am?" a completely, until that point, bored Jen asked...and she was.
The nurse called the doctor who came down and checked Jen again to reveal she had dilated to a stunning 4 in the course of the hour and, without ever suspecting a thing, she was in active labor. "But I can't be in active labor!" she thought, "I have to get home to pay the lawn guy!" The doctor told the grandmother-to-be to call the father-to-be in San Antonio and tell him to put the pedal to the metal if he wanted to witness the birth of his first...son or daughter?...it was still a mystery. Jen's water broke before she ever suspected a thing and there was no turning back now-lawn maintenance be damned! Mark called to express his skepticism and report that he didn't want to make the 4 hour drive if this was some kind of false alarm, good-old-regular-joe Jen had to explain to fancy-medical-degree Doctor Rogers that there was no turning back after the water broke. He packed like a madman and started the 4 hour drive home. About this time Jen was dilated to a 6 and it was looking like "daddy" might not make it so to slow the process down Jen asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist looked skeptically at Jen and said, "are you sure you need an epidural? You don't look like most women I deal with, you look...well, gorgeous." As flattered as this mother-to-be was she had greater desires for Mark's company than to satisfy her pioneer-heritage womanly curiosity of "could I do it without any meds?" All the while Jen is looking at the clock wondering what is going through the lawn maintenance guys head at this moment. Mark arrived in enough time to impatiently observe how "boring" all his 15 minutes of waiting was and then the real action began-it was time to push! Unfortunately things were moving more quickly than anyone expected and the doctor had not graced us with his good presence yet (something ridiculous about being at home eating dinner and spending time with his family before the long night of labor and delivery!). The nurse, uninterested in delivering the baby herself (where are all the adventurous spirits when you need them?) told Jen to stop pushing and just chillax for awhile. Of course Jen was impatient but otherwise very comfortable. After what seemed an interminably long time the doctor showed and it was only a few minutes after that that a poor nameless 5 pound 10 ounce baby boy was born into a strange world where mom was still feeling like she could go home and put in some real labor around the house. AND..."What about the lawn guy!?"
Well, it turns out he wasn't too worried when we didn't show (after all, he knows where we live). He popped in the next day when my mom was home getting me some supplies (I didn't even have a hospital bag packed at this point let alone have anything with me) to collect.
So...there he was, our little stranger. All we knew about him was that he liked to kick in the evenings, he was obviously very sympathetic to his mother, and he felt the most appropriate "hello, I'm your son" face was a cross between a monkey and a pirate (one eye open with his little lips pressed in an "o" and saying "ooo ooo"). Poor little fella didn't even have a name! We suspected it would be a boy for the simple fact that we could not decide on any boy's names, and isn't that just the way life goes sometimes? It took one very persistent birth certificate official (who I might add, could moonlight as a travel agent for all the guilt trips she sent us on over not having a name), to get us serious about brainstorming. We wrote some ideas up on the white board in my recovery room and inquired of the constant stream of visitors for their votes. We settled on Madsen Grey Rogers but we affectionately call him "monkey." He came home with us less than 48 hours later and we've been enjoying the thrills of new parenthood, new homeownership, and Texas for about 3 months now.
Stay tuned for the next blog where the Rogers discover all the joys of buying a fixer-upper!