Four years ago this week, this is what I was doing. While I had contractions every five minutes 24 hours a day, I spent my time alternately walking around the neighborhood by myself--it was eerily quiet since most everyone was at work--and sitting in the glider rocker in the nursery, emailing my friends and listening to John Mellencamp's "Trouble No More." The highlight of the week was Wednesday, my OB appointment. She said, "It's actually hurting me to look at you. Let's put you out of your misery." She set me up for Saturday (earliest available bed), and I spent the rest of the week waiting, but happy knowing the end was in sight.
Friday night we rented a Harry Potter movie, I'm not sure which one, and I don't remember anything about it. I couldn't sit still or lie still. Too jittery. I brought the ironing board in front of the TV and ironed every single thing we would be wearing in the morning (and those of you who know me know how rare that is) and checked and rechecked everything in my suitcase. I was bringing a lot of DVDs. I'm not sure when I thought I'd be able to watch "Sliding Doors" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral," but...I was optimistic. I might have fallen asleep for an hour or two.
I was up at 4:30 and in the shower. I said one last prayer. Not, "please let me be OK" or "please let it not hurt too bad" or "please let the baby be healthy." I just prayed, "Dear God, please let this baby be a girl." We got in the car around 5:00, and Darren had to stop at Dunkin Donuts to get his coffee. Someday I want to be in a commercial for Dunkin Donuts as the only couple who stopped on their way to the hospital to have a baby because Dad had to have his DD coffee. I saw a suspicious-looking guy walk in in a hooded sweatshirt with his hands in the pockets and was sure he would shoot everyone in there. I was so mad at Darren. How could he get killed on the morning his first child was supposed to be born? But I guess Mr. Sweatshirt was just chilly and wanted his coffee too.
It was foggy all the way to the hospital.
We got there without incident, parked, and walked in. Right outside the doors, near a bush, was a tiny baby bunny. We'd been calling the baby "Puppy-Bunny" (Puppy for a boy, Bunny for a girl). We looked at each other and said, "It's a sign!" I got all checked in and hooked up and monitored. Boring. Uncomfortable. The nurse kept asking me, "From 1 to 10, what's your pain level?" and I kept saying, "2" until I finally thought as I was dozing off, "Next time I'm going to say 3 1/2" when...Bang! Darren rushed out to the nurses station and said, "Her water broke! Her water broke!" They were a lot less excited about this than we were. Oh, and the next time she asked me about pain I almost punched her and said, "Five hundred thirty seven. Get.my.epidural."
The epidural man came around 12:30, and life got a lot better. I told him I loved him. I bet he's heard that a lot. I fell asleep. At 4:00, the nurse gently woke me and said, "Honey, it's time."
An hour and twenty minutes later, the doctor said it's time for a C-section. She'd try with a vacuum, but the baby's heart rate is slowing. She said, "Give me everything you've got!" After an entire week of contractions, a day of Pitocin, and an hour and twenty minutes of pushing, I didn't have much left. But I thought, not "I can't wait to see the baby!" but: "After all this, you better believe I'm not having a C-section!" and I gave it everything I had and the next thing I heard was, "It's a GIRL!"
It's a girl.
Thank you, God.
Happy birthday, sweet girl. I love you even more today.