You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Labor Day : Part 1

Today marks 1 week of my daughter's birth. She's been here a WHOLE week; it's hard to believe. It's also hard to believe how fast a day goes by when you seem to be doing nothing. Nothing other than feeding and changing diapers and saying, "Go to sleep little baby..."

Despite her having a real name I've been calling her the following:

Peanut head
Pumpkin head - and its corollary: Pumpkin doodle
Squeak monkey

and Smalls

She is small. But loud. And strong. And can fill a diaper like nobody's business.

So far this past week has been busy. People visiting. Her first doctor's appointment. Going outside for a walk around the block.

I knew she was going to arrive before her due date, so last Friday I had a hunch after I visited the doctor. I cleaned out my desk. Typed the very last page of the novel, and printed it out. Then I went home and cleaned. Friday night I had mild contractions. I knew what they were; it wasn't a result of eating too much chili.

The next morning they were still there. So I spent the day doing all the laundry, vacuuming, and mopping of floors. I scrubbed the bathroom and the kitchen sink. I was rushing around like a squirrel on Meth. Faster, faster, more, more. Gotta get it done before... I was acting as if I would never again be able to clean my house or fold towels or have things put in order, ever again, which for a person like me is like telling a boozer they'll never have another taste of whiskey for the rest of their life.

That afternoon we went over to visit the nephews and have dinner. Pork chops and mashed potatoes. Pumpkin pie. Around pie time (6 pm) the contractions got stronger.
They went from being a cramp that was annoying, to a cramp that could hurt a small farm animal. Say a chicken or a duck. Bad enough to make me close my eyes and change my breathing.
I knew it was going to get worse.

Around 7:30 I told Matt I wanted to go. Go home. I didn't want to be in a situation where I would frighten my in laws with my drunk trucker swearing. I wasn't quite sure what I was capable of or how bad it was going to get.

In the car I said to Matt. "Whatever I do, ignore me. Just concentrate on what you're doing."

During the fifteen minute trip, the cramps progressed from Chicken/duck strangulation to Goat/Pig. I think I actually moaned at one point. A loud, ugly moan. A moan that would make someone think, "Someone is eviscerating a very angry donkey."

And by the time we got home and I was laying in bed, rolling around like Linda Blair, the contractions had progressed to something that would eviscerate a donkey.

I tried my breathing. It worked. Sort of. Time seemed to lose meaning. It narrowed down into segments of 9 minutes. Then 7 minutes. Then 6 minutes. The labor sheet I had received said that the contractions should be about 5 minutes apart, very uncomfortable, and last an hour.

Is donkey evisceration the same as being uncomfortable?
I'm going with yes.

I called the clinic and talked to the midwife. She said if I wanted I could go to the hospital and have them check.
At this point I was wanting to pop out of my skin. I didn't want to be at home anymore. I wanted the hospital. Where there were professionals.

Matt asked me if I wanted to wait any longer at home. I think I could only say, "I want to go. Now!"

So we went.

By now it was almost midnight.

Our neighbors were outside, sitting around the bonfire and drinking wine. I staggered to the garage and got in the car. As we drove past I knew they knew where we were going.

It was baby time.

Up next: The hospital

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