The waiting is the hardest part? No, actually, it’s the peeing every 10 minutes.
That song really would be very different if Tom Petty had been a pregnant woman…..
My due date was June 14 and up until mid-May, things had been just ridiculously easy, I thought. But then, the weird insomnia/reverse sleeping pattern started to get me down. I would lay awake on the couch all night long, itching like a dirty old hound dog, desperately trying to distract myself by reading. For about a 3-week stretch, I read one book a night on D’s kindle. It had to be a very specific type of book. I usually read history or non-fiction, but now I could only read very lighthearted, silly fluff. Anything even slightly edgy would bring me way down. I was pretty isolated at this point. D and everyone else had to work, so I had no one to hang out with during the days. Our families live hours outside of New York, so I couldn’t go visit anyone. I refused to leave the island of Manhattan, because I didn’t want to be more than a 15-minute cab ride to my doctor.
D’s birthday is at the end of May, and that’s the last time I left the apartment except for doctor’s appointments until the day the baby was born three weeks later. That may not seem like a long time, but it seemed endless to me. I tried to go out, but by then, the sciatica had kicked back in. It wasn’t even close to as bad as it was in 2002, but I still was in pain and could only shuffle along at a snail’s pace. I would get dressed and ready to go out. We live one long block away from Riverside Park, and I had been walking there every day. But now, I would drag myself down the 4 flights of stairs and barely make it to the corner. While waiting for the light to change, it never failed. I’d have to pee. So, I’d turn around and head back up those 4 flights. I was so short-of-breath that I would have to stop at every half-flight to catch my breath. By the time I’d make it back to my front door, I’d be so desperate that most of the time, I just didn’t make it. I could try to change and head back outside, but I didn’t think I’d make it any further than the first time, so usually I would just give up. I’d wait all day for D to get home to have a few hours of human companionship, but then he would go to sleep, and the long night would stretch before me again.
Then my lower legs swelled up and I had piano legs complete with cankles. I could sink a finger up to the first knuckle in my shins. My legs looked like they were made out of raw dough.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore, Dr. Cleary decided that a c-section was the best course of action. I was not in the least distressed by this news. I know that some women are adamantly opposed to c-sections, but I’m not. In fact, I think the whole term “natural childbirth” is just bullshit. Tell me what’s natural about writhing in agony for 24 to 36 hours without drugs? Nothing! At least, that’s not in my nature.
The date was set! June 7!
Next time: The happy day!
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