The clock in the hallway at the hospital also displayed the date: July 30th. It flashed it over and over and over as though it was taunting me: “You’re never going to make it to November 1st with that baby.” After the ultrasound, my doctor said the baby, my second, probably weighed about 2 pounds. And yet, he wanted to come out then, 11 weeks premature.
I spent the next five days in the hospital trying to prevent labor. One night, I awoke to find a nurse watching my fetal monitor.
“Every time your bladder fills, you get contractions,” she observed. And so, I got up every hour to empty my bladder. I did that for another week at home, putting a clock under my pillow that announced, “It is 2 o’clock a.m….It is 3 o’clock a.m….It is 4 o’clock am.” I wanted to throw it in the toilet.
One day in August, someone asked me, “Do you want a boy or a girl?”
“I want a Libra,” I replied.
Miraculously, my baby made it to full-term (unlike big bro, who arrived five weeks early), but he almost didn’t make it to the hospital. My water broke while we were watching ER, ironically. The doctor said to go the maternity ward in in the morning. But by 11:30 p.m., we were barreling down the highway, my husband driving as safely as possible while dodging traffic and our 19-month-old pointing at the headlights from passing cars and saying “Hoo!” I, too, said “Hoo,” as in “Hee-hee-hoo-hoo…get me to the hospital…this baby is coming now!”
When we got to the hospital, my husband had to move the car seat and our toddler to my parents’ car, so my father had the unfortunate duty of pushing all 188 pounds of late-stage laboring me down the hall and up the elevator as fast as he possibly could. When we reached the nurse’s station, I shouted, “This baby is coming NOW!” They dismissed me as a panicked new mother– until they discovered that I was barely holding that baby in.
About 11 minutes later, Christopher was born, not on July 30th, but on October 16th, 11 years ago today. The doctor almost didn’t make it there in time; she’d gotten behind a car with the license plate: “NO RUSH.” Um, yes there was, pal.
So, Happy Birthday to my boy-in-a-hurry. Happy Birthday to my Libra.