Joséphine’s Birth Story:: Overture

I stood there agape.

What did she mean I was too late?  I could see right past her into the room to where the man stood with a sign that clearly read “VOTE” with an arrow pointing to the adjoining room.

Didn’t she realize that I was going to have this baby today?  I mean I’d already been pregnant for as long as the average pachyderm.  I was not going to wait until tomorrow.  I could feel myself making faces like a codfish out of water.  I turned to Brian and I knew that it was hopeless.  I was going to miss one of the most important votes of my adult life.

“OK” I replied, utterly dejected.  And we walked out of the town hall.  “At least,”  I thought to myself “there is a blueberry muffin and a vanilla chai in my near future”.  That was a cheering thought.  And if they didn’t have blueberry, a cranberry one would do nicely.  And if there weren’t cranberry ones either, then a pumpkin spice muffin would be yummy.  No way to fail.  We bundled Sophie back into the car, closed our post office box, and dropped off a food donation at the church.  Brian pulled into the Dunkin’ Donuts and placed our order at the drive through. “I’m sorry, we’re out of vanilla chai for today.”

Really?  Was this how today was going to go?  No, I didn’t want something else.  I’d been pinning my hopes on that vanilla chai to salvage my day.  *sigh*  The muffin was delicious and I began to feel better, but not overly optimistic about things.

Twenty minutes later we were at the eye doctor’s office to get Sophie’s glasses repaired.  “Haven’t you had that baby yet?” {NOTE:: This is the wrong thing to ask a woman that is 436 days overdue}

“No,” I replied trying to be as upbeat as possible.  They had no idea of the day I was having.  We took a seat and waited our turn.  Surely we would have no trouble here.  We’d already worked all of the kinks out of Sophie’s first pair of glasses.  The optician came and took away the specs to replace the temples with shorter ones.  In a few minutes he returned to try them on her sweet little face.  “A little adjustment”… or three little adjustments.  Those things were STILL too long.  *sigh*.  “She’ll grow into them,” he said.  We thanked him and left.  Next stop, the grocery store…

Blessedly, that trip was going without a single hitch.  I could feel the rhythm coming back.  Everything was going to be fine.  We were going home to have a beautiful spaghetti and meatball supper with salad and veg and… then garlic bread happened.  Brian wanted a loaf of fresh garlic bread.  There was no fresh garlic bread.  What they had was a loaf of fresh Italian bread and a tub of some solid(at room temperature)  yellow substance pretending to be garlic butter but which was in reality a plastic facsimile or possibly a petroleum product.  We opted for a frozen loaf, which most likely contained the same repugnant substance.  But somehow its being frozen made it more palatable.

I must have looked the way I felt because Heidi, our check out lady (I love Heidi, she’s a lovely German lady who is always ready to chat a bit about nothing in particular), gave me a sympathetic look.  You know the one – sad eyes and a wry smile.  She wished me luck and that was all.  We packed the shopping into the car and headed home.  I was just looking forward to losing myself in the cooking.

Much to my surprise and pleasure, Brian wanted to learn to make meatballs.  Or maybe he sensed I needed the distraction.  Either way, we made the meatballs together.  The paste was mixed, divided, and rolled into generous balls.  They were browned and placed in a large roaster that was waiting with sauce.  We popped the pan into the oven and I went to take a nap.  Brian and the kids were going to take care of setting the table and making the spaghetti.

I woke up from my nap just as they were finishing up. Say, was that a contraction?  Excellent!  It was still light out.  Plenty of time to deliver before midnight.  An All Saints Day baby!  In the back of my mind the knowledge that I’d be missing voting the next morning pricked at my conscience.  Ah well, nothing more important than giving birth.  The fate of our nation would just have to manage without me.

Dinner was delicious.  I had seconds.  And a glass of sweet red wine.  Contractions 20-30 minutes apart.  Hooray! Dishes done and we’re moving up to 12-15 minutes apart… Still time to do this before midnight, but not time to call Sue yet.  Babies getting ready for bed and we’re 5-7 minutes apart.  Story time and warm milks, all snuggled in.  By the time the story was over, three little ones slumbered sweetly, sprawled across various laps… and the contractions had come, suddenly, to a screeching halt…

…to be continued