She didn’t sleep well on Monday night. Her back ached and her belly had grown big and the baby seemed to be somersaulting all night long. Every time she turned, her stomach tightened and shifted, a little uncomfortable and definitely weird. “Little alien baby,” she whispered wryly, “please don’t burst out like in the movie.” She lay on her back and watched the mound of her belly move and peak and then shift over to the other side. It sometimes felt like being on the inside of a punching bag…
Her husband– God, how she loved that word! –slept soundly by her side and since she knew he had to get up for work in about four more hours, she decided to go into the other room and not disturb him with her restlessness. As there was no sleeping and she needed to pee again, she struggled to sit up and waddled to the bathroom. The jungle print wallpaper now made her smile. It was really starting to grow on her after only a few months, especially now that she was feeling rather ele-phantastic — she smiled to herself over her new word when another dull ache began in her lower back. And as she stood to pull up the enormous but comfy granny panties, warm liquid trickled down her leg — pinkish warm liquid, she noticed after quickly turning on the lights.
Oh, shit, shit, shit, she thought, it’s really happening! I don’t think I’m ready yet. Since it was more like a trickle and not a gush of liquid, she grabbed a towel and slowly made her way back to the darkened bedroom. “Honey, honey, wake up,” she whispered urgently, shaking his shoulder, then a little louder and harder as another cramp made her lower back seize up. “What?” he came awake with a start. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” He reached for her in the darkness, but she was already moving away.
“Oh, God, we need to call the doctor. I think my water broke!” “Okay, okay, right. You’re sure?” “Well, yeah, pretty sure. It’s definitely wet and kind of pinkish and I think I remember that from lamaze…” her voice trailed off and she grimaced as a rolling wave of pain gripped her lower body and forced her to sit down on the edge of the bed. “We call the doctor then go, right, isn’t that right?” Panic was definitely creeping into her voice as her belly started to tighten again.
“I’ll call the doctor,” he said, grabbing his phone, wide awake and scrolling through the contacts now. Dr. Russell’s answering service picked up on the second ring and yes, he was on call and would meet them at the hospital. “It’s okay, we’re okay,” he muttered to himself while pulling on sweats. “Phone, car keys, take the bag…”
“How about helping the bag get some clothes on?” She winced as another contraction rolled through her. He quickly found her pants and helped her slip a big shirt on over her head. “You stay here and I’ll bring the car up to the front,” he said. “But let me grab a garbage bag for you to sit on.”
“A garbage bag? You want me to sit on a garbage bag?” “Well, uh, the seats are leather, babe, and just in case…” he trailed off after seeing the disbelief on her face. “Well, anyway, let me just grab one and put your overnight bag in the car,” he muttered. “Then I’ll help you down the stairs.”
She had closed her eyes for what seemed like just a second when he was gently pulling her to her feet and guiding her slowly down the front steps of the two-flat. When he opened the passenger door of the old Monte Carlo, she saw that there was indeed a big, white plastic bag over the seat.
As another contraction came, she backed into the car and plopped gracelessly onto the seat, struggling to reach the seatbelt behind her and fasten it below the bulge. He took off from the curb and she could feel herself sliding on that damn bag in her seat. “For God’s sake, slow down a little,” she snapped. “I’d like to get there in one piece! And this plastic is slippery.”
“Sorry,” he said, glancing quickly at her as the car slowed to the speed limit. “I’ll just feel better when we’re at the hospital.” “Mm-hmm, yeah, me, too. I’m not sure I can really do this, though. I wish I could change my mind,” her voice wavered a little. He reached for her hand and closed his big warm fingers around her cold one. How could he always be so warm? “Baby, you’re going to do great, so great,” he said. “I guess it’s too late to change my mind anyway, right? Oh, Jesus Effin’ Christ, that hurt like hell! Maybe you better go faster!”
“But, you said the plastic — uh, sure, good idea,” he said as she gripped his hand so hard he thought he felt the bones crunch. Glancing over at her, he saw the murderous look on her face and decided to just drive. Almost there now, then he pulled up to the emergency entrance and went to get a wheelchair so she wouldn’t have to walk.
“I can walk,” she snapped at him. “I’m not a fucking invalid, you know!” “Yep, that’s right, that’s exactly right, let’s just get you inside and checked in.” He tried to make his voice reassuring, because he could tell she was scared and, to be honest, so was he. A baby, they were having a baby. God, what the hell were they thinking?
But, he also thought as he guided her into the hospital, it would be nice if he could do something right. And never having really seen this side of her before, he thought he’d better feel his way very carefully before he said anything else… ~ Diane D.
Photo from Pinterest