This week’s throwback entry is from two years ago. Happy birthday to my sweet two-year-old!
Jack—it’s here! Your birth day. I know this because my water broke at 2:15 a.m. I woke up and felt a little gush. Then a few minutes later I felt another little gush, so I got up to go to the toilet and found that my pants were pretty wet. And as I peed—yep!—a bunch more fluid ran out. I half-laughed, half-cried on the toilet and said aloud, “Oh, I am not ready for this.” You’re three weeks early, you little scamp! My hospital bag wasn’t even packed!!
I came back to bed and gently woke up your father. We called the doctor and she said to head to the hospital. On the way there I texted Miss Sasha so someone at work would know. I was supposed to work for three more weeks, but it appears that you have other things in mind for me. Anyway, the hospital knew I was coming and wheeled me up to L & D. I gave a urine sample and got into a gown and now I’ve just been in this bed, waiting, your dad next to me trying to catch some sleep on the sofa bed.
We have one nurse that I love, but it isn’t Carol. This is because when checking my amniotic fluid, Carol used the cotton swab as a javelin. I am just now starting to feel back to normal after she poked the bejesus out of my very sensitive bladder. Your dad went to the nurses’ desk and got me a clipboard of paper and a pen, because I really just wanted to write. Writing is such a great comfort to me, Jack. It’s the first thing I think of when I feel scattered and afraid. I’m too keyed up to read and definitely too keyed up to sleep!
We can hear your heartbeat (because of the fetal monitor). Your dad said it was nice white noise for sleeping. Javelin Carol said to get rest because the current plan is to let nature take its course, and it’s going to be a looong day.
Sometimes I can’t believe this is real, Jack. It seems unbelievable that you’re almost here. Everything about life sometimes seems totally unreal, and more so between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m., when you’re in a hospital bed scared and exhilarated all at the same time, listening to the heartbeat of an amazing being that you made.
OK, so they’ve started me on Pitocin, but so far I’ve felt only mild tightening, no real pain. I had another cervix check and thankfully it wasn’t as painful as Carol with that fucking cotton swab javelin. I just texted Uncle Ray and he said not to be scared because “God will provide.” He made me laugh so hard that more fluid gushed out of my vagina. He was not particularly happy to hear this when I reported it to him, though.
I am very scared. Scared that you won’t get here safely, then scared that once you’re here I won’t be able to give you everything you need. Will your dad still love me? Will he still desire me? Will I be normal? Will I go crazy and have to go on more crazy meds?
Me, to your father: “Stop making me laugh and I’ll stop splooshing!”
Your Uncle Ray and I have an interesting history with hospitals. He drove me to one in college, mostly because I was anxiety-ridden and thought I had a brain tumor, but that’s another story. Anyway, there are two salient memories from that experience. One is Ray kept filching latex gloves from the receptacle on the wall, because he likes them. The second is that he read aloud to me from Nadine Gordimer’s short story collection Jump while I was lying in the hospital bed. I think of that as one of my fondest memories because even though it was a horrible time in my life, he made it bearable.
Guess what—I’m finally having contractions 5 minutes apart.
Let the games begin!
[Jack was born that afternoon at 4:09 p.m. via c-section.]