Better Than Watching the Ball Drop

The best thing I ever did on New Year’s Eve was have a baby – which incidentally is nothing LIKE what you see in picture. I remember my doctor calling his pals from the delivery room. “I’ll be there by 9:00!” he gaily told them and that sure put me in MY place. Working to get a human born, hearing all that praise and encouragement from the nursing staff gets you thinking you’ve got the Baby Jesus Himself ready to make an entrance. Then it turns out you’re just some hurdle the doc is trying to clear before he can go back to doing what he’s really interested in doing…

David and I had gone to the hospital at dawn to have this first child of ours and I was ready for anything: I had the lemon drops to suck on and the cornstarch for massaging my mountain of a belly. I had my picture of a tree to pin to the wall and help me get to my happy place…

As for Dave, he had the sports pages and the latest spy novel, the dog.

Together we saw the sun rise and sink away again; saw the team of nurses change and give way to a new team.

The doc thought Pitocin would get him to his party a lot sooner so Pitocin it was.

I did my breathing.

I used up a whole box of cornstarch for the massage, which, by the way,helps not at all.

I looked at my picture of the tree pinned to the wall.

Dave fell asleep.

They they turned up the drip on the Pitocin and all hell broke loose.

When I finally begged loud enough for the epidural, the anesthesiologist showed up and took so much time asking me how much I weighed that I grabbed hold of his shirtfront and growled at him in the voice of Satan himself.

Then… peace.

Relief from pain.

And a special new epidural ward where none of us needed to suck lemon drops or massage our bellies or pretend that the sight of a tree in a forest could help with the pain.

The child came at 7:30 with this pointy little jaw she began leading with right out of the gate. She was a lovely little soul in spite of the iron will that strong jaw foretold, quiet and considerate too.

The jaw stayed strong and the will emerged but still she was sweet, and careful, and kind.

She is all that even today.

So Happy Birthday to you Carrie M. In six more weeks you’ll have your own first daughter and we’ll have another picture then.

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