As I write this post I cannot help but think back to what I was doing exactly three years ago today. At this time (being almost 8pm on October 6th, 2005), I was settling down to watch Survivor Guatemala when the phone rang. It was the nurse telling me to come in to be induced, they were ready for me to deliver.
Wait - let me back up a bit. That sounds way more dramatic than need be.
Let's back up to 5am, three years ago today:
I woke up a split second before it happened: my water broke. It was one of those split second wake-ups, like the one you get right before a charlie horse where you have enough time to register "I'm awake, but why?" before the real reason hits you. But in my case, it was just moments before my water sprung a leak. Maybe I should call it her water, as opposed to my water, since she was the one in it, but I was the actual pool that held the water so I guess it's my water... hmmm, that one is a thinker.
Anyhow, I managed to sit up and shuffle to the door to tell SB what just happened. He was already awake, on the computer, surfing, and enjoying his coffee. All was good.
We were both oblivious to how our peace and quiet mornings were ceasing to be the norm, and morphing into the seldom seen. We were oblivious to many things at that time. Ignorance is bliss.
I think that even if given the chance to really know how tough it is to raise children and survive the no sleep days & nights, even if given the chance to really understand what parenting really includes, to read all the fine print, I wouldn't have asked for that foresight. If we knew, what we know now, we may have never signed up for parenthood. Nah, wait - life without the kidlet? No I wouldn't change that, we wouldn't change it for the world... well maybe - depends on what time of day you ask me. Anyhow, despite everything, the fact is I'm a parent now and that is not going to change.
So back to breaking water. Nothing much else happened except the water breaking. No contractions, no blood, nothing really to report except a slow leak. As the hours past, still nothing happened. I called triage and they told me if nothing happened in the next two hours, come on down. So two hours past, nothing happened so we headed on down. We were the next contestants on "The Price of Getting Jiggy".
We made our way to the hospital but I decided to bring nothing with me. I knew, just knew, they were going to send me home so I didn't bring my stuff and we took the subway. Oh yes we did.
AND .... they sent me home. But not after monitoring me for a while and asking politely if a med student could do my vitals and history, you know, for practice. Being agreeable, I said yes and the student stepped forward to start the history namblepample.
As the examination progressed, he asked to lift my shirt so he could examine mah non-contracting belly. Now usually I would insert a joke right here about med students asking me lifting my shirt, but this post is about the birth of my only child and that would be inappropriate. But feel free to make up your own and leave it in the comments.
So yes, med student asks me to lift my XXL Roots mens long-sleeved tshirt which barely met the top of my totally stretched out university sweatpants (the ones that say Dal across the butt but due to the stretching there really was enough space for "Dalhouse University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Established 1818 ora et labora, visit our website at www.dal.com"). I obliged the curious med student, lifted my shirt and was more than a bit shocked when the student reeled back and exclaimed "what is that?" while pointing at my non-contracting belly.
Um, pretty much the very words you do not want to hear a doctor (as junior as he may have been) say/scream while pointing at you and your "poppin' fresh, still in the belly" baby.
Turns out, sheltered-upbringing Doogie had never seen a belly button piercing before. Poor kid.
I must admit it was stretched and if you were squinting while looking at it, it MIGHT look like I had three belly buttons which um yah... would raise some questions about just how many umbilical cords I was strapped to in utero but whatever, no need to point and exclaim I'm a freak. But he was lucky - I was giddy from impending parenthood, so he was off the hook and no one screamed back at anyone.
So yes, I got sent back home - on the subway - feeling very proud for being so in-tune with my ability to predict the future. I was told to expect a call beckoning me back in, unless my labour started first.
And they called six hours later, just as Survivor was to start. I remember thinking "f**k, I really wanted to watch the show first... oh wait, I'm going to have a bayyyyyyyyy-beeeeeee". No seriously, I remember thinking that. I also remember commending myself on ordering the PVR in the weeks previous to this moment, because I was not so oblivious to parenthood, to know we were not going to be able to flake out and watch tv when we wanted, for as long as we wanted when we had a baby on board.
That was the last time I ever felt so prepared.
Tomorrow, she will be three. And three is bound to get up, demand food and drink plus a show, and at some point, smack me in the face to remind me how much three has brought into our lives.