In honor of the Maiden’s sixth birthday, a tale of mother and child.
I peered across the room at the glowing red numbers. One in the morning.
I’d only been asleep an hour, but this wasn’t unusual. At just ten days shy of my due date I was making hourly bathroom runs all day and night.
This time, though, I didn’t nod off afterward.
Restless, I shifted pillows and creaked the bedsprings and sipped water and stared at the clock and planned out my morning and used the bathroom again.
Sleep still eluded me.
My stomach was starting to bother me. Dinner had been, like always, bland–I couldn’t handle anything with spice or zest or heck, flavor–yet there was an unpleasant bloated feeling and I couldn’t make myself comfortable. I decided to get up and walk around for a bit. Maybe surf the web for more cute baby clothes or see if anyone else on the “birth club” boards was still up–something to keep my mind off the cramps until they faded.
I waddled over the piles of hospital bag items that I’d decided to reorganize the night before but hadn’t finished. No need to deal with those right now, I thought. I swiveled the office chair around so that my feet could rest comfortably on the desk.
An hour later, the gas cramps were still there, but stronger.
I started to wonder.
I shook the Man awake. It was 2:30 by now. “I have these weird cramps,” I said. “Do you think it’s labor?”
“No,” he said groggily, and turned over. “Just gas.”
He later told me he just said that because he was scared it might be the real thing.
I went back to the computer. Now my back was hurting, too. I tried Googling cramps and back pain and labor, but either the archaic search algorithms couldn’t understand my query or else I was having the weirdest labor ever.
Everyone said labor involved a squeezing feeling. So maybe it really was just gas?
I repacked my bag anyways.
I took a shower.
I applied makeup and blow-dried my hair—if this was it, if I was about to be sweating and screaming and pushing a human being out of me, I’d be doing it in style, darn it.
The makeup would be totally worn off by the end.
It was just after four in the morning. The cramps were still there, but by now they were becoming overpowered by the increasingly horrible back pain that had started to roll through me in waves.
Google still turned up nothing, and the message forums I frequented were maddeningly silent.
So I decided to call in the experts—or at least the one expert who wouldn’t be mad if I woke her up at 4:30 in the morning and it turned out to be nothing.
My mom said this was it.
Oh my gosh! I was going to have this baby.
To be continued tomorrow! Scroll up to the top of the page to subscribe to the Twisting Kaleidoscope and don’t miss a post!