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.