Sunday, April 20, 2008

We're Having a Baby (Not really)

I was searching through some old papers and I came across this story that I wrote thirty years ago. I brought back some funny memories, so I thought I'd share it.

"We're having a baby." That's what he liked to say to everyone we met. "WE'RE having a baby." WE? I don't remember seeing him throw up in the morning. I can't recall his feet looking like Fred Flintstones, and I know for sure he wasn't the one using Preparation H all those months. When WE went to the OUR doctor's appointments, why did only one of us get yelled at for gaining weight?

Somehow as OUR pregnancy advanced, one of us tended to get cranky and out of sorts because of the freedom our partner still maintained. One of us felt sort of cumbersome. It was hard to remember that I'd been a willing participant in what caused this condition when my back killed me and heartburn climbed into my throat. I wanted to make him strap a ten-pound bag of sugar to his middle and walk around with his back pushed forward like someone had their foot planted firmly in the middle of it. I craved having him assume that posture while trying to sit down in a chair--better yet, try to get out of one. After all, WE were having this baby!

While WE carried the child, one of us had to get up frequently during the night to potty while one of us snored all night long. And when time came to give birth, one of us laid in bed and moaned and groaned while the other sat and read a magazine. One of us was constantly prodded and poked to determine the position of the baby WE were having, and I think it was me because I clearly remember thinking someone was outside my door handing out rubber gloves to whomever passed by. Matter of fact, I'm almost positive I recognized the custodian at one point.

How hard it must have been on hubby while WE were having this baby. When WE got ready to go to the delivery room for the C section that we didn't expect to have, I only had to lay on a gurney in pain, but he had to hide from the hordes of nurses looking for him to witness the birth. I'm not sure when he actually disappeared...I just remembering hearing his magazine hit the floor.

After they abandoned the search for him, they informed me of all the terrible things that can happen when you are under anesthesia. I was scared to death, but then WE had to have this baby. I had no choice, and no one to hold my hand. Going 'under the knife' is a scary thing in itself...especially when everyone else in the delivery room (about 45 people by my last count) were all laughing and chatting like they were at a cocktail party while I lay, cold and naked, with my gown flipped up over my head. The last thing I recall was someone saying, "Let's get this baby out of there", and I tried in vain to scream, "Not yet, I'm not asleep." I woke up in the delivery room with a little note tucked in my hand. "It's a boy!" It looked like WE had our baby. But how come I was the only one sporting stitches?

I don't mean to infer we weren't a team in this effort. It definitely was his baby and he did suffer at times. I never saw anyone with more pain reflected on their face than my husband when the doctor announced I would also be having a tubal ligation at the time of delivery. You see, hubby had just recovered from his recent vasectomy. He'd also suffered with all my nagging and whining, when when you're pregnant, you're entitled. I'm glad this was OUR last baby. I don't think HE could have withstood another pregnancy.

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