“Will you hang up the damn phone and drive?”
Peter’s eyes widened, but he didn’t respond in words. Instead, he closed his cell phone and drove on to the hospital. I wasn’t surprised that my parents hadn’t answered. It was almost 2:00 am. I didn’t want Peter trying to leave a message when he needed to focus on driving. I knew we had plenty of time to try to call them later.
Peter offered to drop me off at the Emergency Room entrance, but I told him I could walk from the parking lot. I said the same thing to the attendant at the door when he offered me a wheelchair.
“I’ll be fine.”
It was true. I was fine. Sure, I led us the wrong way at first, but we eventually found the elevators that took us to the birthing unit. I was in discomfort, but I wasn’t positive I was having contractions.
I’m going to be one of those first-timers they send home because she overreacted, I thought.
We got checked in. I was taken back to one of the monitoring rooms. I changed into a gown and sat in a chair. The nurse asked me to get up on the bed so she could examine me. She moved calmly and deliberately, taking her time hooking me up to the monitoring equipment.
“Okay, let’s take a look.”
And then the tempo picked up.
Suddenly there were more nurses. I was told to lay back and the bed was being moved to the delivery room.
I was hooked up to an IV. The nurse kept asking where the OB was. The discomfort was turning into pain. I was told to push.
“I think I’d like some drugs now,” I told the nurse.
“I’m sorry, honey,” she said, “it’s too late.”
There I was, the world’s biggest wimp, about to go through natural childbirth. There was no time to try to call my parents again. Peter was busy holding my leg on one side, a nurse was on the other. Finally the OB was the there. I was pushing, I was tired, but there was no going back.
Just a few minutes past 4:00 am, less than two hours after arriving at the hospital, Philip was born. Six years ago today, I was calling into work to say I wouldn’t be showing up because I had just had a baby.
Happy birthday, Philip. Thanks for being the best excuse for calling off from work ever.