Would she come today? Tomorrow? Ever?
Me, the night before...
"What do you mean, four? Are you sure? Is the baby coming soon? What should I do?"
I pulled Archer to me. He offered me a lick of his lolly
"Here, Mommy. I have blue one," he said, pushing his lollipop into my mouth.
Archer was off school for the day for Rosh Hashanah and I had bribed him with a lollipop to escort me to my appointment.
"I'm a little worried that if you're already at 4cm, your labor may be so fast we won't be able to administer antibiotics," my doctor said, pulling his now bloodied glove out from between my legs.
So we discussed my options, whether or not I would want to go into labor naturally, knowing that there was a chance that I wouldn't have time for the three doses of antibiotics I needed to ensure I didn't pass the GBS to my baby. I was basically in a state of "slow-labor", contracting every ten minutes or so. Because of the way I was contracting, it was likely that my contractions could push me all the way to six, seven, even eight centimeters before my water broke or I went into active labor.
"Or," the doctor said, "You could meet me at the hospital in a few hours and I could break your water, get the labor going, administer the antibiotics you need..."
My first thought was Catherine and OMG, I do not want to have this baby on Wilshire Blvd during rush hour. My main concern, of course, was the GBS-- the risks of going into labor at home, on my own and how it might possibly complicate my labor and my bebe.
I agreed with my doctor that breaking my water was the best bet.
"Meet me back at the hospital around 3:00 and we'll get this party started. "
"You think I might have this baby today?"
My doctor hugged me, high-fived Archer and left the two of us alone. Moments later, I was in tears. Tears of excitement and joy and fear, maybe even a little guilt. Because Archer had been my center for so long and pretty soon I would be orbiting around someone else. My children.
"Mommy's going to have her baby, today," I said to Archer but he wasn't listening. I tried to explain to him what was about to happen, that he would go to his friend's house and then Gooey and Papa would pick him up and have a giant slumber party while Mommy and Daddy were at the hospital having a baby sister...
Archer said nothing, attentive only to his lollipop.
It wasn't until we got into the elevator on our way down to the parking garage that Archer acknowledged my words. He turned to a scrunched-up old woman, clutching her cane beside us in the elevator and proudly proclaimed, "I'm a big brother, now."
"Not yet, Archer, but soon."
I called Hal. I called my parents. I called my friends. I cried between phone calls for no reason, of maybe there was a reason. Of course there was a reason. Anticipating a birth is like anticipating a land mine. What if I were to lose an arm? A leg? My mind?
When we came home, I packed Archer's bag and waited for Hal to come home. It felt like a thousand years.
And then he was home and in a matter of moments, we were out the door, kissing Archer goodbye at our friend's house, heading to the hospital, Hal and I vibrating on nerves and nostalgia.
Remember when we were on our way to the hospital to have Archer?
Yeah. Can you believe this is going to happen again?
It's hard to, isn't it?
Are you nervous?
A little bit, are you?
And then we were there, in the triage of Good Samaritan Hospital and by 4:30pm, checked into our room with its view of downtown and the hills, and a ballpark where children played baseball.
By 4:31, Hal was pacing the room as I ever so impatiently waited for the floodgates to open...
...For my doctor to "knock knock"/"come in"/"I'm going to puncture your bag of waters, now"/ouch! /part the Red Sea...
To be continued.