4 + 77 + 58 = Baby

I awoke at 5am on Saturday, October 14, 1995.

I was sore. I was more tired when I got up than I was when I went to bed just a few hours before. We had plans to go to the San Diego Wild Animal Park that day, and, while I was excited to go, I was dreading it. I was well over 40 weeks pregnant. We went to the Park. We walked as much as possible. We rode the train/tram where we had to, and every time I needed to. We left at around 5pm. We made it home safely and Barry was tired, so he went to bed early.

I finally laid down to try to sleep at midnight. (I’ve never been much of a sleeper) 17 minutes later I was up again. It was 12:17am on Sunday morning. I was FINALLY in labor. I’d been awake for 19 hours already.

A day went by. Still in labor. No baby.

ANOTHER day went by. Still in labor. Still no baby.

I had called the (naval) hospital multiple times, and they wouldn’t even see me until the contractions were three minutes apart. They’d been five minutes apart for two solid days EVER!. I still hadn’t slept. It was around 3am Tuesday (don’t skip over that like it doesn’t mean anything…IT. WAS. TUESDAY.) morning when they finally got to 3 minutes. We went to the hospital. It was one of the few times I’d ever gone anywhere in San Diego that was 24 minutes away, and it took us 24 minutes (ok…less…Barry was driving) to get there.

Side note: We had to take my mom’s car because I could sort-of fall into it (but someone had to push me the rest of the way into it, and then someone had to pull me out of it. Sometimes that was a stranger at the grocery store-most of the time, by then, it was Barry). I hadn’t been able to get into our Tracker for months. The last time I drove it was my last day of teaching preschool. I’d managed to get into it fine, but when I tried to get out, I couldn’t. I was stuck behind the wheel. I finally ended up having to scooch little bits at a time to get off my seat, turn myself over, wriggle my way between the two front seats and then crawl over the back seat where I flopped like a fish when I landed in the back. I then opened the door and rolled out. If I had scooched out the door, I would’ve landed on my bum in my driveway. I couldn’t turn to get my feet under myself. Where I lived, it could have been hours before someone found me sprawled out on the ground like a beached whale. By then I would’ve been so hungry that I would have eaten whomever tried to help me. I chose the safer route for everyone.

Around 8:30am, they gave me an epidural.

Around 9:30am it kicked in and I passed out.

At 9:43am they made me wake up because it was time for me to become a Mommy.

Jessup Burton Schuler came into this world at 10:17am on Tuesday, October 17, 1995. (AT 10:17 ON 10/17)

I’d been awake for 77 hours and 15 minutes.

I’d been in labor for 58 hours.

He was a perfect 7 lb. 14 oz. baby boy. 21 inches long.

He weighs a little more now, and he’s definitely taller, but he’s still my perfect gift from God. There’s never been a day when he hasn’t been worth every second!

Happy birthday, Jessup! I love you so much!

Dear Jessup,

I cannot believe how two screwed up people like your dad and me have been so blessed to raise such a fine young man. You are a fantastic, kind, honest, true, thoughtful young man, and I’m more proud of you than I could ever say. You know where you stand, you’re strong and unwavering in your beliefs, and you’re a gentleman. (It’s kind of like you came out of the 50’s) It’s been a pleasure to know you, and to be able to help guide you through childhood. I know, beyond shadow of a doubt, that my father would have loved to have known you and would have been proud of the man you’re becoming. I’m proud that you carry his name, and I have no doubt that you will wear it with integrity throughout your life. You remind me of him often. You have his quick wit, his love for laughter, ability to take time and get it right, and his sense of self. You know who you are and you’re not going to change with the seasons. You’re very strong in your faith, and you’re determined to do the right thing. Every time. I’m excited to see where life takes you and what plans God has in store for you. I’m so proud to be your Mom.

So…that’s the story. I’m grateful for a great story, but even more grateful for a great son!

(P.S. His due date was September 20)

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