Of course, in the general way of things, no one can really know when a baby will be born. “Baby come when baby ready” they told me. Babies laugh at due dates, and this one was no exception. The due date was August 17. No one really explained that it was a guesstamate. What I really wanted was a firm promise that baby would move out on time. By the 17th, I had one dress into which I could fit – two if I didn’t breathe. And I waited.
The room and crib were ready for the baby. I made a blanket and curtains. The cat had inspected the facility and called it good. And I waited.
The days dragged by. I had my suitcase packed and repacked along with a bag for the baby. We had to tote our own baby clothes and diapers to the hospital. We bought a few dozen of soft, white terry cloth diapers which were fashioned in an almost square. Almost square is not the same as actually square, and they gave me fits trying to make them to have even sides. This was a world where Onesies had not yet invaded. And my parents were coming to visit at the end of August. Surely the baby would have exited by then? And I waited.
On the evening of August 26, the baby was creating a ruckus. Harry called the doctor in the morning and she told us to come in. The baby wasn’t quite as ready to meet us face to face as we had hoped, but given that I was already exhausted, the doctor opted to induce. It was a long, uncomfortable day. Harry was convinced that all babies were ugly, and I insisted that all babies are beautiful. It gave us a nice distraction during the ensuing hours. And I waited.
Then, things began to move. The nurse told me I was walking to the delivery room and assisted me over. At that point Harry decided that he needed a break from rubbing my back and giving me ice chips. He left to go find something to eat and almost missed the main event. He was there, though, when, after the doctor delivered the baby’s head, and I asked if it was a boy or a girl. When Harry finally saw her, he was smitten and said she was beautiful. Reliable witnesses stated that when they allowed him to wheel our little Elisabeth Louise to the nursery, his feet never once touched the ground. The waiting was over.
Later they brought her to me and put her in my arms. I sat there fascinated by each perfect little fingernail. I was afraid to move, terrified of doing the wrong thing and thereby ruining her entire life. I loved her and was scared she would not like me. Harry said, “She’ll love you. Don’t worry.” I wasn’t convinced, but it turned out he was right. What I didn’t know was just how much my life would change.
What are some of the big changes you’ve experienced in your life?