I was pretty calm for the trip into town, all things considered.
GoodMan needed to go in to work that day, and since my mom lived a few blocks from the hospital, it seemed a logical place to go to wait until the contractions were bad enough that I needed to go get admitted. I had no doubt that this would be the result of my unsubtle wakeup call that morning.
The day was mostly spent waiting out the spasms, reading, fielding my mom’s solicitous questions, and just trying to relax. I was getting more and more nervous as the day wore on. GoodMan must have called at least five times that day, asking how I was, if I needed to go to the hospital, whether my mom was driving me crazy yet. Fine, no, yes.
At around 5 that evening, your dad called to say that some friends wanted to take him for a quick drink to celebrate his impending fatherhood. I don’t know if he just didn’t beleive me or what, because he wanted to go out with them. By this time, the contractions were coming about once every twenty minutes and getting more than a little uncomfortable, but I didn’t want to limit his celebration time, so I agreed, but not before extracting his promise that he would be there to take me to the hospital when it was time. My mom kept offering to take me, but the simple fact was, I wanted my husband there, and no one else.
7:00. GoodMan called to let me know that immediately upon walking in the door to the bar, he was “impelled” to down an entire supersize margarita. Quarters is a bitch. He was now a little buzzed but still okay. Was I okay?
I’m a little irritated now. Yes, I was okay, but dammit, I wanted my husband. I was scared, and uncomfortable, and I wanted him there. Again, though, I didn’t want to ruin his fun, so I said that for now I was okay but I’d like for him to start thinking about coming to get me.
8:00. He’s now too drunk to drive. He needs a little bit of time to sober up, then he’ll be home right away. The contractions are about fifteen minutes apart and I’m having to bite my lip to stop from howling every time they struck. My mom is getting more and more anxious, offering several times to drive me. I finally snapped at her.
“I am going to the hospital with my husband or I am having this goddammed baby right here on the living room floor. That’s the deal.”
8:45. GoodMan is finally ready to drive home. He arrives 15 minutes later smelling like a bottle of tequila. I am more than eager to get to the hospital so we piled into the car and off we went.
In the hospital parking lot, I could barely walk from the car to the doors. GoodMan was a wreck. He was trying to help me walk, then he abandoned me to run and get the door, then saw that I couldn’t walk, then ran back, then the door closed, then he tried to help me and open the door at the same time…he was a bundle of nerves. If I wasn’t gasping in pain and just wanting to cut my body in half at the rib cage, I would have found it hilarious.
Once we had finally navigated the tricky entrance, a hospital janitor-type saw our predicament and suggested to your dad that he find me a wheelchair.
I wanted to kiss the guy. I just don’t think he wanted a kiss from a heavily pregnant, swearing and disheveled pregnant lady, or you bet your ass I would have.
We made it upstairs in one piece. Both of us. The nurses cast sidelong looks at your dad, who in his anxious state was hovering over me like a bee over a flower, completely oblivious to the smell of alcohol coming off him in waves. I was giggling hysterically by the time they wheeled me into the room that I would stay in for the next 36 hours. Where I would come out, a mom.
We didn’t call any family or anyone. I have never understood the logic of allowing mother in laws or other visitors into the delivery room. I mean, I loved your grandma like nobody’s business, but I still didn’t feel like an up-close and personal view into my most private spots was anywhere near warranted. I didn’t want my mom there, I didn’t want my friends, I allowed GoodMan to have a video recorder but only up until, you know, the legs went up and the curtains got drawn. I didn’t want spectators, I wanted participants. Just me, and your dad, and you, when you finally decided to grace us with your presence.
I’m glad we did it that way.
Next: chapter twenty-one.