Birth Stories

Beach Day: Birth Story of William Alexandros Tuddenham

It’s Sept. 28, 2010, and it’s a perfect 91 degrees F in Athens, Greece, a great beach day. I mean, why not? So what if I’m 85 lb. over my normal weight and have high blood pressure and I’m 9 months pregnant—a beach day is a beach day.

I arrange to pick up my sister and head for the beach, which is a 20-minute drive. I go by her house, go upstairs, and all of a sudden I start seeing the little sparks that my doctor had warned me about. I, of course, ignored them because it was a beach day.

The sparks went on so I decided to call my doctor and, of course, he panics and yells at me, shouting the name of a pill that I have to take as soon as possible—that, of course, I do not have—and he says to get to the hospital.

I told my sister that I had to go to the pharmacy but she went to the beach instead. So there I am, in a tiny car (not because I’m big, it actually was tiny) sweating, fat, seeing stars, and I start driving on a crazy-busy road looking for a pharmacy. I found one and ran in—no luck, they did not have the pill. Back in the car again. Well, four pharmacies later, I found it.

Then, it’s off to my house, I get the pill, sit on the balcony with my husband, chat a bit, and decide to go have this baby. I called my mom and told her that I was going to have the baby and I will see her later. Of course, she yelled at me and requested to come with us.

Finally we got to the hospital. I was about to get the epidural but had to have an emergency C-section because of the high blood pressure.

My biggest concern was my husband who was stressed out, in a hospital waiting with hundreds of people, and a person announcing the births over a mic in heavy Greek. Lucky for him, around 20 family and friends—who are drunk and smoking—are with him. My doctor was asking if we were gypsies.

Kony and William

For me, it was simple. I got my epidural, went into the operating room with my doctor and another doctor, no nurse, (no one else was allowed in) and listened to Enola Gay and U2 while they cut me open. All of a sudden, I had a perfect baby boy laying on me. The way I had been and who I was changed forever in a second, but once that baby left my arms to get cleaned up, I thought, “Shit, my husband?!”

I told the staff I needed to see my husband NOW. After trying for a good amount of time to put some decompression socks on my spaghetti legs, they put me in a room next door to see my Nate.

All of a sudden, the door opened and 20 drunk people came in (Nate wasn’t drunk, he looked frozen), and they were all taking pictures and saying congrats. This all happened at 7 p.m. I sent Nate home to rest and sent my mom home, too, because she was too drunk and being rude, and could not stop commenting on the decor of the room.

It took 48 hours to walk again, a big fight to keep my catheter in (yes, I wanted it in), and a lot of phone calls from my doctor telling me to behave well.

My friends and family saw me suffer but I was truly having the time of my life with my new friend, William Alexandros Tuddenham, even if I missed the beach day.

Fin!

Written by Kony Filippou