February 5, 2008
Another Birth Day
It was February 4th, 1992, I was due in 16 days with my first child. I kissed my husband goodbye and he drove off to the airport to leave for a business trip in West Virginia. Then I jumped into Sir Jazz Carr, my Mustang II, and drove up to my parents' house where I'd meet my sister and she'd go to birth class with me, standing in for Stan that night. We got to the hospital around 7:20pm and went into the ladies room where I had a strange occurance that I immediately reported to my birth class teacher who was standing there washing her hands. She said, "Hm. Sometimes that's how it is when the water breaks." I said, and I quote, "My water can't break, my husband's plane is leaving right now." Heh heh. So I went to birth class with paper towels in my tights, just in case, feeling uncomfortable, distracted and strangely confused.
When we got back to mom's house, Jul and I sat and watched television. I kept feeling and noticing little strange things, but I didn't know what to make of them. After all, it was my first child...I was due in over two weeks...and I knew for sure that new babies wouldn't come when daddies were on airplanes flying away. Finally, Jul made me call the midwife, who wanted to meet me in the hospital. I woke my mom and she grunted, assuming I was overreacting.
I wasn't overreacting, sure enough, my water had broken at the very minute Stan's plane was taking off. And sure enough, I was progressing in labor, and sure enough, Stan wouldn't make it back in time. Heck, at that point he wasn't even at his hotel. We left a message at the front desk and when he did arrive and the clerk said, "Which one of you is Stan?" his heart sunk. He began frantically trying to get a flight back, which he couldn't until morning. He threatened to drive it alone in a rental car, but I forbid it. So, I spent the night laboring alone in the birthing room. It wasn't so bad, really.
The next morning at 8:15 Seth was born. At 8:10, or so, Stan happened to call and my mom gave him a blow by blow report while he stood in the Pittsburgh airport. "Is that the baby crying?!" "No," Mom answered, "that's Jennie. The baby's not born yet." I sure don't remember crying, I thought I was tough as nails, actually, but perhaps not quiet as a mouse. Stan made it to the hospital around 10 or 11 and I will never forget the sight of him sitting in the room with Seth in his arms.
One thing I'm amazed at is how my kids are the exact same people now that they were in the hospital the day they were born. And Seth, at 2pm, held in the window of the hospital in my arms, peered outside as if he had plans and was waiting for a ride. I know a 6 hour old baby can't see out a window to the street, but you'll just have to trust me on this, he was looking. And he's been looking ever since. He's 16 today, almost an adult, "coming into his own." He's out right now with friends, left right after his dinner and cake. "Thank you for dinner, Mom," and hugged me on his way out.
I like this picture of him in Disney a few years ago because it feels like the last time he was my little boy. It's unbelievable and wonderful to see him grow into an adult, but I can't help longing for the times when he was still a boy. He was still out running wild around the neighborhood, but he was still mine.