Some folks have written, "Oh, dear Contemplative Chaplain, sweet kind and lovely woman who really doesn't look ten pounds overweight, do please tell us about the birth of your adorable son." So, of course I must oblige. And, actually, it was just one person and she is very nice and gives me way, way too much leeway in her requests. She knows who she is.
However, given the fact that I'm not so great about keeping Grayson's baby book up to date and recognize that this blog might be one of the only ways he knows his history, and that I seem to like sharing intimate details online, and some of you actually do wonder how this little person came into being, and I need a topic to write about, here goes.
As many of you know, I was getting frustrated beyond belief with the last stages of this pregnancy. The puking, my God the puking, which was supposed to end with the first trimester...the inability to make it up a flight of stairs without getting breathless...the fact that my belly was large enough that there was nowhere for the dog to sleep on the couch next to me anymore...the fact that I had to give up working at a job I love before it was technically "time."
On my first day of maternity leave, Karen the mother and I shopped like maniacal OCD women on ritalin. We hit Babies R Us for more receiving blankets, Target for a CD player for the baby's room, JC Penney for nursing bras, Olive Garden for lunch, Borders for just a few more board books to add to the already overflowing bookshelves, Macy's for hospital pajamas, and Starbucks for an afternoon snack (as we hadn't eaten in approximately forty-five minutes). And so, it was no surprise to me in the 70+ degree weather (the first warm spell of Indiana spring) that my feet were swollen to twice their size and my wedding band was cutting off circulation to my head (thus explaining the weird lightheadedness and visual disturbances).
On Tuesday, I decided to spend my day with my feet propped up on the couch. I, thankfully, decided to take off my wedding band (remember this detail for later), and moved hardly at all that day. When R. got home from teaching I moaned and groaned to him about water retention, being a beached-whale, yadda-yadda-yadda. He kissed me on the forehead and reminded me that I was, simply put, pregnant.
However, that swelling I mentioned, the feet and the hands. It did not go away. And my reassuring pregnancy tomes were no help. They all said, "Yes, swelling is normal in the third trimester, but if it doesn't go away overnight, perhaps you should call your doctor. Actually, listen to us and call your doctor Right Now. We mean it, don't pass go and don't collect twho hundred dollars, just call them now, fattie." On Wednesday morning, the feet could no longer fit into slippers and the fingers, they were adorable little sausages. I decided to heed the pregnancy tomes and call my doctor, twelve hours later than I probably should have (thank God I took off that wedding band, or it would have been sawed off...).
I, though, am a clean freak and had made an appointment to have the windows cleaned on that Wednesday morning. And, of course, I didn't want a doctor's appointment to interfere with my need for bird poop to be eliminated from my bathroom window. Certainly not. And so, despite my swelling, well, I had to get up at 8:00 a.m. for the nice cleaning men to come over. As they were concentrating on my windows, and as R. was grumbling about why I had agreed to such an early morning visit from the aforementioned cleaners, I decided to call the doctor. The very nice nurse on the phone listened to my predicament and said, "Um....so your shoes don't fit? And it has only gotten worse? Um...I don't want to alarm you, but we need you to come in RIGHT NOW. And, have you packed a hospital bag? Maybe you should throw it in the car, just in case." Oh. Well. Okay.
I lumbered up the stairs to tell R. who said cautiously, "Do you want me to stay home and go with you?" I was, in a moment of completely uncharacteristic anti-hypochondriasis, adamant, "Nah...it's probably nothing." Besides, the windows had just been cleaned and I certainly needed to enjoy them before blue jays had their way with them. I called my mother, gave her the scoop, told her it was probably nothing, hung up. Two minutes later she called back and said, "I think I'll just meet you there, so you're not alone." As the office was only a few minutes from her house I didn't object, figured she was just being an overprotective parent. I added a few more things to the "just in case" bag (included Constant Comment teabags, James Taylor CDs, and peanut M&M's) and zipped it up, kissed R. goodbye as he left for work, received the invoice from the window washers, put the dog in her crate, and hauled my pregnant belly to the doctor's office.
And now, dear readers, the baby is crying...and so...I leave you in suspense as you wait for Birth Story Part Deux. But ask yourselves, "Will she indeed be admitted to the hospital? And will R. get there in time if she does? Will she ever become unswollen? And will her windows be as clean as she hoped?" Tune in next time...soon.