A Birthday Story of Smookie, Boo Boo, Schmoo
This week my son turns 20 years old. If the title of this blog doesn’t make him disown me, then I should be OK sharing this story. The risk is mine. This post tests the envelope on psychic ability, determination, humor and surprise. So please read a birthday story that will at a minimum make you smile.
Before the birth, I had a pregnancy that was challenged and parents who loved the idea of grandchildren. In addition, we were well prepared for this child. He arrived two-and-half weeks early.
The Unexpected Big Day
The day before my child, who throughout his life has carried the nicknames Smookie, Boo Boo, Schmoo as well as darling child, was born. I went to a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment for 10:30 am.
During the appointment, the doctor told me to go home, call my husband and get to the hospital by 1:00 pm.
So, at 11:20, I called my husband and said, ” guess what the baby is coming today and we need to get to the hospital.” He said he would race home.
All the arrangements were made, bags packed, baby seat ready and we were set to go as soon as he got home.
Was There Psychic Abilities Displayed?
Within a few minutes of hanging up with my husband and putting our organization plan in place, I got a call from my dad.
He said, “Mar, I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but mom and I are at a rest stop on the Mass Pike. Your mom thinks you are having the baby today.
She woke up this morning at 5 am. Told me we have to get on the road, Maryanne is having the baby today. She absolutely insisted. I saw her pack faster than the Flash ( dad liked super hero comic books to read when he was sick) He said, “Sorry Cora (his nickname for me), but we will be there in 40 mins. I guess you’ll have house guests for two-and-half weeks or so.
The embarrassment and apologies in is voice were clearer than ever before.
After listening to his recitation of events, I said, “Dad, I just got back from the doctor. He said I’m having the baby today.”
“What?” was his response. So I said it again. “You’re kidding right?”
“Your mom was right?”
“How is that possible?
“Well, I’m kinda in shock too. How did she predicts this?” I said.
As we spoke in disbelief, my dad said, “I’m going to have to go tell her she was right.” Apparently something he wasn’t looking forward to.
My mom was watching my dad and could tell something was going on worth exploring.
She came over and asked my dad what was going on. He said, “She just got back from the doctor; she’s having the baby today.” Again his voice was still filled with awe
Of course there was an “I just knew it” in the background from mom.
Then we got down to business. Saying we were on our way to the hospital. We’d leave directions at the house. Get settled, and come to the hospital.
Now let me tell you, prior to this my mom has never, ever predicted correctly anything in her life. In addition, she has never ever predicted something correct after this either.
You decide if it was wishful thinking, temporary clairvoyance or a religious vision. I still can’t explain it.
However, somehow she knew and somehow convinced my father to get on the road at 7 am to drive four-and-a-half hours to get to our house.
The Hospital Arrival
Before I continue our story, let me tell you about our nurse. Her 12-hour shift was over at 7 pm that day, but she stayed until I had the baby. You can do the math on how long she was up once I finish the story.
We get to the hospital. They set us up in the birthing room. Took my vitals and put my fetal monitor on. Soon after the doctor came in and said the baby should arrive by 7 pm that evening.
Now we asked someone from the nurses’ desk to come in. We told her that two little Italian people are going to get off the elevator. They are going to look tentative and lost. Those are my parents. Send them to our room.
Maybe 30 min to an hour later, my parents got off the elevator looking tentative and lost. The nurse said, “Are you the Panaros?”
My parents said, “Yes.”
And they were escorted to my room. So there we sat, talking and waiting. After a bit, the doctor said things weren’t moving fast enough. He was going to give me something to speed up labor.
Shortly after this, I was to have an epidermal and prepare for the more severe contractions.
My nurse was with me all the way.
She told me I was the most polite pregnant women she ever met. As contraction became stronger, I said things like, “Hmm that one was much stronger than the last one.” “If you have a sec, is it possible to have a few more ice chips please?” etc.
Then the Unexpected Happened
One of my doctor’s patients had an emergency situation. Immediate surgery was necessary. There were no other doctors to cover. So they had to slow down my birthing process.
So now I received a drip bag of something to slow the contractions.
Yup, I was having contractions, but they were slowed down until the doctor was available again.
This went on for hours.
At about 10 pm, a multi-episode documentary of the Kennedy’s was on. My husband, like any good New England Irish descendant, felt compelled to watch.
My parents were moved to a room where they were given blankets and a place to sleep. They were all set.
There I laid, contracting, looking at the ceiling, enjoying ice chips and my epidermal. I also was having a lovely conversation with our nurse. Since her shift ended at 7 pm, she had signed out, but told my new nurse she’d take are of things.
We talked about our families. The baby. Work. My pregnancies. Her pregnancies. Made light of the situation. Laughed at different experiences. Amazed at all the things we had in common. Really just a lovely chat.
Around 1 am, the doctor came in. Checked everything out and said, take her off the slow down medicine to speed up labor. His ideal was that I’d have the baby by 7 am. He was going to get some sleep until I was ready. He told the nurse what to look for to start the pushing and then call him.
Well based on the directions given, I was able to move things along much quicker. The doctor was called at 4 am and told this was going to happen soon.
The doctor got there still somewhat tired. That concerned me a little, My husband was still enjoying the Kennedy documentary. I guess it was more interesting.
The doctor called him over and asked him if he wanted to be above the sheet or below. He chose above but peaked below until he saw the top of my son’s head.
Now we had been at the hospital for over 14 hours and were in the wee hours of the morning and my husband never took off his suit coat. .
We were getting close to the final pushes. The doctor asked if I was ready.
I looked at my husband and said, “please take your suit coat off.:”
He did; and then I gave birth at 4:39 am.
I was given my son right away. And the first thing he did was snuggle and hold my finger. I melted. He had me at hello.
When I was pregnant, he was very active at night. Many times pushing up on my stomach. I would put my hand over what I believe was his hand or foot and talk to him. Coincidence? Don’t really know.
He was, and remains, an absolutely beautiful and perfect child.
Could There Be More to A Birthday Story? Yes!
My parents came in about 30 minutes later. They were thrilled. He was held. My dad couldn’t have held china more delicately. I will always remember my dad’s face from that day. They used to call my son our baby. Meaning their’s too.
After being up for close to 24 hours, our nurse went home.
The day went well. Local family, friends and kids came to the hospital. Everyone agreed with me that he was the perfect child.
But, What Is His Name? The Negotiation
The name I had chosen for him was Bryce. His father wanted him named after him. So, he went unnamed.
My husband’s greatest objections were related to all the things that rhymes with Bryce that school children could use.
My son uses his middle name as his first. I can’t imagine calling him anything else. But back to our story …
The social worker came in three times to get the name for the birth certificate.
“Hello,” the cheerful woman entered the room with a song in her voice. “So I’m here to get your child’s name for the birth certificate.”
We told her we are still deciding.
The second time she came in was 3 hours later. She nicely asked. “So, what’s your sweet child’s name?”
I told her we were having trouble deciding. I made my case for Bryce.
Her face said it all. She was uncomfortable. She said she’d be back later..
More discussion without resolution went on.
The social worker came in again. We told her we still didn’t know. Then she said, “Look the baby can’t leave the hospital without a name or birth certificate. I’ll be outside.”
So negotiations moved to a new level.
“What’s it going to take to get him named after me?” my husband asked.
My requests were simple. I wanted to pick both godparents (love you Julie and Frankie). That he needed to be my slave for life. And finally, I wanted, on demand, a gift far more expensive than we can afford.
He called my bluff and agreed.
His godparents were my choice. I’m still waiting for the other two things. I’ve waited 20 years. Might as well hang on a little longer.
That Has to Be the End of A Birthday Story? Sorry No, But We Are Close
We brought our son home. Our neighbors had decorated the outside of our house. So sweet. We showed our son around the house and his new room. Of course we explained he’d be in the bassinet in our room for a while. He seemed to understand and was fine with it.
However, that night he didn’t seem right. I walked around with him. My husband walked around with him. He was turning an odd color. We left the doctor a message and headed back to the hospital.
Thank goodness my parents were there to hold down the fort.
Our son had jaundice. They said we got there just in time.
For 4 days he was in the hospital in an incubator. They gave us a room on the floor. The doctor said expect to be here for 10 days. Holy!
Apparently it takes one day for each bilirubin number to drop.
Everyday I sat near his incubator. All day, just rubbing his arm and talking to him as he lay in his light bulb suit.
The night of the third day the doctor came in and said his levels have dropped to normal. He asked what I had done. I told him and he was surprised.
As I understand it, at the time, there were a lot of studies on the healing powers of touch and comforting communication. He just had never seen it work before.
So, the next day we brought our healthy baby home.
Now he’s a man turning 20. Studying film and producing shorts and TV shows with his heart set on Hollywood.
I’ve called dibs on red carpet events; but think there will be another round of negotiations. This time I’ll be prepared.
Happy Birthday Boo Boo Schmoo
Love you more than words. Support you more than anyone. And, will always have your back and hold you in my heart.
If you want to wish my son a happy birthday please write or comment below.