Following the September 11th attacks earlier in the season, the NFL postponed a week of games, resulting in Super Bowl XXXVI being rescheduled from January 27th to February 3, 2002. The big game was set to take place under heightened security at the Louisiana Superdome, where the St. Louis Rams would face the New England Patriots for the Super Bowl championship. While everyone else was excitedly getting ready for their Super Bowl party that night, I was excitedly awaiting the birth of my third child, due the following day.

At one o’clock in the afternoon on the day of the Super Bowl, I waddled around my house finishing up some last-minute nesting. I felt a few pains but continued to fuss over making every last detail in my home perfect for my new arrival. When my water broke, I knew it was time to call the doctor. As my labor pains began to worsen, I reached the doctor’s answering service and was told that he would call me right back.

When the phone rang, I picked it up and jokingly said with what laughter I could muster, “Doctor, I hope you’re not a sports fan, because my water just broke and I’m in labor.”

The doctor replied quite professionally, “I don’t watch sports. I’m a doctor. Meet me at the hospital.”

We arrived at the hospital, checked in and were assigned a room. When the contractions really started to kick in, I began to very loudly say the same things that I’m pretty sure I said while in labor with baby #2:”I must be out of my mind! God…this hurts so much, I didn’t remember how much! I can not believe I’m doing this again!”

A nurse rushed in.”Is everything okay?” she asked me.

Before I could answer, my ex-husband curled down one side of the newspaper he’d been reading.

“I have a paper cut and it really smarts.” he stated, as he extended his index finger. “Can you get me a band-aid?”

The nurse shot me a look and raised her eyebrows. Luckily, I was in too much pain to say what I was really thinking.

(Let me just note here that I did say ex husband. Enough said.)

The nurse did her best to make me comfortable, as the time and the contractions dragged on.

Somehow, I had endured 5 hours of pain…but it wasn’t over yet. I pushed the buzzer to alert the nurse. When she arrived, I said, with a flushed face and a sweaty strand of hair stuck to my lower lip, “I’m going to have this baby now!”

The nurse left the room and quickly returned with my doctor.

My ex husband was standing up in front of the TV, arm outstretched, frantically pushing the buttons to find the game. I groaned as my doctor joined him at his side.

“It was on in the doctors lounge.” I heard my OBGYN say.

“We have six minutes until kick off!” My ex husband replied.

I lifted my head. Stared at their backs and yelled, “I HAVE TO PUSH!!”

Somehow this news whipped everyone back to the reality that there was a woman in labor that actually took precedence over Tom Brady’s shot at winning the Super Bowl and the MVP.

My beautiful, healthy son Marc was born at kickoff that day…and yes, everyone missed the kickoff.

The New England Patriots won their first Super Bowl, 20 – 17, and quarterback Tom Brady did win the MVP.

I won the best gift of all.

And every year on my son’s birthday, I buy him a giant chocolate chip Super Bowl cookie with a football drawn in frosting on top. Marc loves it and it makes him feel special.

But, I’m the one who remembers the real story…everything I endured for my Super Bowl baby.

 

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