Darling rides Boon
Today is Darling’s birthday. As is customary, she’ll be showered with gifts in celebration. But I’m the one who went through the agonizing labor. I’m the one who carried that 10 lb, 3 oz beach ball of a baby around inside of me, causing stretch marks and sagging body parts that playtex cannot put right ever again. Why is it she’s getting all the attention?
Perhaps it’s because she was born looking like a smurf. We called her Smurfette for a good many years. Darling was growing at a pretty good rate while inside my body. Due on Jan 1, the Dr. tried to induce labor just prior to Christmas. He said she was getting big, and a 7 lb baby would be easier to deliver for everyone involved (but mostly me, right?) than an 8 lb baby. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that he didn’t want to be called in during the holidays. But Darling didn’t want out. She was snug and comfy and pretty darned stubborn.
Darling and Honey…the US Olympic Swim Team
I got through Christmas with no signs of a child wanting to enter this world. City Boy was anxious. Not that he was looking forward to another screaming infant in the house, but he wanted the tax deduction. But still…Darling wasn’t budging. New Year’s Day came and went with her perfectly content to stay where she was. The Dr. did some more measuring and felt we really needed to try to induce labor again. I was on board with that idea. I could feel elbows and knees in my ribs. My belly was swollen up big enough for most people to think I was having twins.
Early in the morning of January 3, I went into the hospital for some drugs. Good drugs. Drugs that would make this little monster living inside of me want to exit. I sat and waited for them to take effect. I waited. And I waited. And the little monster slept, because it was too early in the morning, after all, and monsters rarely get out of bed before noon. The Dr and I were both determined, however, so more drugs came at noon. And this time the little monster got angry. It began clanging around and raising an almighty ruckus, and I turned to City Boy and screamed at him words that would make a sailor blush. He still has marks on the palm of his hand where I dug my fingernails deep in an attempt to make him feel the pain I was going through.
Darling dances (sort of…)
For four hours…four long, wretched hours that monster banged and clanged and clamored inside me. And while I was sure I was going to give birth, the rest of my body yawned and said, “Nope, not today.” So the Dr came and gave me another drug. “This one should knock off the pain so you can get some rest tonight. If it’s real labor and not just the petocin, then you’ll probably have a baby tonight. But if it’s the drug, you’ll be able to relax.”
I wanted to kill someone. Anyone. Didn’t matter who.
Once the pain killer hit my blood stream, every muscle in my body went limp. I could breath. I closed my eyes with a sigh of relief…and felt my water break. The Dr came running back in and started telling me to push. Okay…
“Are you going to push?”
The happy drugs, you see, were working and I was feeling no pain. I barely felt any contractions. And that was a bit of a problem, because that poor little monster was trying to enter the world and needed to be helped along by a pair of forceps wrapped around her face. And that is what turned it blue…and caused us to call her Smurfette.
Darling during one of our hikes last year.
So here we are, 14 years later. Her face is no longer blue, but she still doesn’t like to get out of bed before noon. Of course, she won’t really be 14 until later today…and she’s completely bummed that the first day back to school after Christmas is always her birthday, so that’s where she’s at right now. But tonight? Tonight we shall celebrate! In the meantime, I’d better go buy her a birthday present.
Happy Birthday, Darling!
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