It's Daughter's birthday today. She was actually born on a Friday, too. Since labor stories are for women as war stories are to old soldiers, I'm going to pull up my rocking chair and share this one.
11 a.m. -- I see something that gives me pause, so I call the doctor. It's "the show," one of those terms that has surely come down from the olden days. Labor could start any time now, although it could as much as 48 hours away.
I phone my mom, who will be babysitting Small Son if it's time to go to the hospital. Do not call husband at work, because it could be awhile yet.
11:30 - 2 p.m. -- Feed Small Son and actually manage to have a nap. So does Small Son, who usually believed sleep was for others. Awakened by pain and thus the realization that it will not be 48 hours before labor commences.
Call husband at work. He says, "No!" as in "You can't be serious!" because (a) he had no warning when he left for work that this was The Day and (b) he was going to wallpaper the baby's room over the weekend (she wasn't due until the 25th and Small Son was born at least a week after his due date). "Yes," says I.
Then I call Mom, who has been ready to go and no doubt perched in anticipation by the phone since 11 a.m. "We'll be right there!"
Mom and Dad arrive about 3 p.m. Husband arrives closer to 4 p.m., having been told there was no real rush (the pains weren't close together). He also arrives with a take-out dinner of Kentucky Fried Chicken, as he was dinner deprived during labor for Small Son and believes it could be a long night.
We drive to the hospital in a car that now smells of fried chicken.
We arrive at the hospital about 5:30 p.m.. I immediately ask for an epidural. I get one. This baby's in a hurry, however. No one need break my water this time. It breaks as they're wheeling me from the labor to the delivery room (no fancy birthing suites back in the day). I apologize profusely, as if I have committed a serious breech of birthing etiquette.
At 8 p.m., the baby is born. Excited husband exclaims, "It's a boy!" The doctor, in a sort of Huh? voice, says, "No it's not. It's a girl." (Let me be clear: darling husband does not care what sex the baby is. He's thrilled all has gone well and we have a healthy baby. We are very aware that this is not always the case.)
Excited Husband makes the phone calls (because back in the day, only husbands were allowed to attend the birth and frankly, that's the way I would have wanted it).
Husband goes home, where folks have kept Small Son up so he can be awake when Daddy gets home.
Mom thinks I will now have a good night's sleep. Little does she know, the adrenalin keeps me awake. All night long. But in a good way.
Our baby girl's been making us happy and proud parents ever since.