As I stated in the previous post, Macy's conducts its annual inventory in January. I was 37 weeks pregnant when they took the count. There was a blizzard approaching our area, so there was some concern that the drop in barometric pressure would trigger labor. The Captain was stuck in New York when the weather came, but my brother was living with us at the time. He had a big ass truck, (not as fancy as the one he just bought--I have total truck envy) and the hospital was literally two minutes from our house, so I felt confident we could make it. I crossed my legs and prayed. It worked. Two stayed put, and the Captain made it through inventory.
My sister Kate was home at the time, staying with my mother. She was visiting us on the twenty-second, and we talked about going to the mall. I was at the point where I wanted to walk the baby out of me. We got busy doing other things, and the day slipped away. She left around 7:00, and made me promise I wouldn't go to the mall alone. Well...
So I went to the mall to look at birth announcements in a card store. I squatted down to reach the lowest shelf, and Two curled up against my spine and kicked me with all his might, like a cop busting down a perp's door. My water broke.
Thankfully, the store was right near an escalator, and my car was parked just outside the doors. I moved as quickly as a could, given the fact that I was 39 weeks pregnant and leaking. I got in my Volkswagen Fox and headed home. Volkswagen no longer sells the Fox in America, and for good reason. It was a no-frills, manual everything, four-speed shift sedan. And I hesitate to say sedan. But it was safe. Because that is always the Captain's priority.
I got in my German tank and drove. I was already having contractions, which made it difficult to shift gears on the manual transmission. The mall is eight minutes from my house. When I got to the traffic light outside my town, my contractions were already less than five minutes apart.
I didn't have a cell phone in 1996, so there was no way to alert the Captain. I flung open the front door and found him in his flannels, setting up our VCR to record "Murder One," a thoroughly entertaining show that lost its way after Season Two.
"What's going on, " he asked.
"I'm having the baby," I answered.
"What do you mean, you're having the baby?"
"I'm in labor, and he's coming fast. Meet me in the bathroom with a towel and the phone!"
I called my obstetrician, a new guy that I didn't really like, and gave him the particulars. He was very sanguine about the whole affair.
"But your last birth took ten hours."
"Yes. But this is different."
"Well head over to hospital, and I'll get there as soon as I can."
I beat him there. When the nurses checked me in, I asked one of them if I could have anything for the pain. She looked at me with her beautiful hazel eyes, and said, "Honey, you're having the baby." They started looking around the ward to see if a doctor was available. My original OB was waiting on one of her patients, so she came to coach me. If I'd only pushed a little sooner, she would have been the one to catch Two. But dammit, my doctor arrived and took over. (I did get to switch back to her for all subsequent births, however, so yay!)
Two arrived in this world 159 minutes after my water broke in the Hallmark Store. He weighed seven pounds, fourteen ounces, five pounds of which was cranium. We called him Anvil Head. The whole experience left me feeling super-powerful, like I could accomplish anything.
Which is probably how we ended up with Three.
This is what the Captain and I commonly refer to as our "first family." One, Three, and Two.
Followed four years later by our "second family," Five and Four.
This concludes a year of recounting the births of the pack. Tomorrow I celebrate one year of writing The Lone Woman Diaries. Thank you for sharing it with me!