Monday, 2 February, 9:00 AM
My doctor tells me that I am dilated to a three, meaning my cervix has opened to three centimeters, and that I'm in perfect condition to be induced. I don't want to be induced, not with my garlic hemorrhoids, but he says that he's going to be on vacation for most of the week and that I may go into labor when he isn't in town. He looks at us and asks us if we'd like to do it today. Today? You mean, this day? The day that is this one? Like, TO-DAY?

Jon and I give each other a look that says Was there anything we wanted to get done before the birth of the baby? Aside from 1) A honeymoon to Paris and 2) Extensive experimentation with hard drugs, I can't think of anything, so we both shout, "YES!" Normally we would have said "FUCK YES!" but my doctor is very Mormon and I don't want to upset the man who will be holding sharp instruments near my vagina.

The doctor makes a call to the hospital and they say we should go home, pack a bag, take a shower, and wait for a call that should come by 11 AM, the earliest that they will have a free room.

Monday, 11:00 AM
We're showered. We're packed. We've called the family including my mother, the Avon World Sales Leader, who is canceling a flight to LA so that she can be here for the birth. We're staring at the phone. The phone isn't ringing.

    Monday, 11:05 AM
    Ring, damn phone! RING! Why won't you ring?

    Monday, 11:07 AM
    I ask Jon to check and make sure the phone is working.

    Monday, 11:08 AM
    Jon assures me that the phone is working.

    Monday, 11:09 AM
    The phone isn't ringing. I begin to hyperventilate.

    Monday, 11:15 AM
    The phone isn't ringing. I begin to pace the floor.

Monday, 12:00 PM
I call the hospital to let them know that they are torturing me and that I may sue. They say that the woman who is giving birth in the room that they are going to give to me just needs to push the baby out. They say the room will definitely be ready in about four hours. FOUR HOURS? I DON'T HAVE FOUR HOURS. WHO HAS FOUR HOURS?

Monday, 12:15 PM
We throw everything into the truck, including the dog, and head to Jon's mother's house where Chuck will be staying for the next five days. We make sure that we notice how cold it is outside, how cold and gray and dirty, so that when we tell my daughter about the day she was born we can begin by saying, "It was a cold and gray and dirty day in February." That just sounds like something a parent would say. We're going to be parents!

Monday, 1:30 PM
HOLY SHIT WE'RE GOING TO BE PARENTS. I begin to change my mind about the whole thing. I don't want to give birth. I start to voice my concern out loud. Jon's mother, a woman who has given birth six times, gives me a look that says I pretty much need to shut up. I shut up.

Monday, 2:00 PM
There's that back pain again. I guess I'm going to need to go poop in about three hours.

Monday, 3:00 PM
I'm still having back pain. I convince Jon to call the hospital to check on our room even though it's only been three hours. The hospital says that the room will definitely be ready by 4:30 and that in order to get the room we should be there at exactly 4:30. I suggest we leave immediately even though the hospital is only 15 minutes away. Jon is reluctant to indulge my irrational behavior, but we prepare to leave anyway. We give instructions to his mother concerning the dog: No potato chips. No raw meat. Make him work for treats.

Monday, 3:15 PM
We leave Jon's mom's house. Chuck receives his first potato chip.

Monday, 3:30 PM
Jon is driving slowly. We try to enjoy our last car ride as a childless couple. This is the last car ride of our old life. That sounds like a Richard Marx song: The Last Car Ride of Our Old Life. I feel like I'm going to throw up.

Monday, 4:00 PM
We arrive at the hospital and carry all of our luggage up to the fourth floor. I want to tell every single person I see that I am going to have a baby. I have to physically restrain myself from singing in the elevator.

Monday, 4:05 PM
The nurses sitting behind the desk in the labor and delivery area regret to inform us that they gave away our room TWO MINUTES AGO to a woman delivering triplets prematurely. TRIPLETS? WHATEVER, TRIPLETS. They can just go ahead and tell that triplet woman to step, bitch, because I am here to deliver my baby. Do you hear me? I AM HERE TO DELIVER MY BABY.

Monday, 4:07 PM
Despite Jon's best efforts to comfort me I warn the nurses behind the desk that the Avon World Sales Leader has cancelled a flight to LA just so that she can be here when I deliver my baby, and that if they know what is best for them they will give me a room and not upset the Avon World Sales Leader.

Monday, 4:08 PM
Not wanting to upset the Avon World Sales Leader they tell me to go wait in the waiting room and that a room should definitely open up within the next hour.

Monday, 4:10 PM
We find the waiting room and it is filled with hundreds of little kids. Maybe not hundreds but it feels like hundreds with all the bratty screaming. Jon and I realize that we've made the huge mistake of trying to have this baby in Utah, the Baby Making Capital of America. It could possibly be the Baby Making Capital of the World, but there is probably a third world nation out there whose inhabitants have had no education on contraception, and that third world nation may have one or two more babies than Utah. We start to realize that we may never get a room.

Monday, 5:30 PM
Still no room, but my back pain has become really uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that I have to get up and walk around. My doctor has just delivered another woman's baby and he visits us in the waiting room. He regrets to inform us that they have AGAIN given away our room to another woman and that we may have to go home and come back tomorrow. I nearly claw his eyes out.

I mention my back pain. He asks, "How far apart are the pains?" I say, "Close enough that I'm not going anywhere."

Monday, 6:00 PM

Monday, 6:10 PM
I change into the dreaded hospital gown and I'm introduced to my nurse who is four feet tall and has a gray mustache covering her upper lip. I can't stop staring at the mustache. It's just so hairy. And thick. And mustachey. I wonder if Jon notices her mustache. How can he not notice her mustache? The nurse delivering my baby has a mustache!

Monday, 7:00 PM
I've spent the last hour giving Madame Mustache my entire oral history per hospital regulations. So many questions! None of their business! Just get this started already! GAHHH! She has a mustache!

Monday, 7:10 PM
Madame Mustache hooks me up to a contraction monitor and to the pitcocin drip, the hormone used to start contractions. We notice that even without any pitocin I am having contractions about seven minutes apart. We turn on the television to CNN Headline News, just to have some background noise. Hey! There's Janet Jackson's nipple!

Monday, 7:30 PM
I've been on the lowest dose of pitocin for about 20 minutes and my contractions are already three minutes apart and lasting 60 seconds each. These are contractions? These? These here? NO PROBLEM! I can TOTALLY handle this. This is easy! They are uncomfortable, yes, but to someone who has been constipated her whole life THESE ARE NOTHING! Contractions, shmontractions! Hey! There's Janet Jackson's nipple again!

Monday, 8:00 PM
I'm dilated to a four. My mother, my sister, and my step-father show up. My mother, the Avon World Sales Leader, is dressed in her best business attire. She looks like she has shown up to fire Donald Trump. There is my bare vagina on the hospital bed and my mother is perfectly pressed. I hope her suit has been Scotchguarded.

We all watch Janet Jackson's nipple, again.

Monday, 9:00 PM
I'm dilated to a five. The contractions are becoming a little more intense but they are still manageable. Jon's sister who happens to be a labor and delivery nurse at another hospital shows up. Madame Mustache informs us that her shift has ended and that another nurse will be taking care of us. What? No more mustache? But I wanted my baby to be delivered by The Mustache! Come back, Mustache!!!

Monday, 9:30 PM
New nurse arrives and she doesn't have a mustache. In fact, she's perfectly harmless and boring. Nurses should be required to have mustaches.

Monday, 9:45 PM
Jon's sister is showing Jon how to help me breathe. The contractions are intense enough now that I really need his help.

Hew, hew, hew, hew heeeeeeeee.
Hew, hew, hew, hew heeeeeeeee.
Hew, hew, hew, hew heeeeeeeee.

Jon is wonderful. He is right beside me holding my hand. We can't believe how easy this is! Bring on the baby!

Oh, hey everybody, there's Janet Jackson's nipple again!