May 21, 2012

Some Greater Awakening: Part One

"And the children solemnly wait for the ice cream vendor.  Out into the cool of the evening strolls the pretender"- Jackson Browne

  For purposes of this blog, I shall refer to my daughter as The Pretender.  This is because, as you might imagine- but not fully, because she does it so often it has driven her mother and I to the very brink of madness- she wants to live in her imagination.  Fine.  All well and good.  Where I fall short in The Pretender's eyes, is that I do not desire to dwell full time in this magical land with her.  "Let's pretend we're a guy and a girl and we're playing a game"  "Let's pretend I'm a doggie that you're adopting from the animal shelter"  "Let's pretend I'm a dolphin and you're the mama and dada dolphin".


The day before The Pretender was due to be born, we visited the hospital, and a few things happened.  Without boring you unnecessarily, a worker there worried us about our baby, and a midwife ended up saying "Why don't you come in tomorrow and induce labor, and by noon you could be holding your baby?  Doesn't that sound good?"

It was like candy to a child.  We'd been waiting for 9 months.  Of course we said yes.  Of course we wanted to see our child (we hadn't found out the sex, either).  Of course things didn't happen this way.

You see, The Pretender does things when she wants.  We've learned this since then.  She is, in stubbornness, what would happen if you (conceptually) took a mule, a brick wall, and a porcupine quill, combined them together, and boiled them down into a very potent reduction (excuse the fancy cooking term.  I know nothing about cooking, it's just a concept that sticks with me).  Sort of like espresso.

But first we had to even get into the hospital.  They were the ones who asked us to return the next day, so obviously they'd have a place prepared for us, right?  That was what we were thinking as we went to a nice(ish) italian restaraunt.  We sat and talked and mused about how it was our last night together as a couple.  We should've heard The Pretender laughing.

Dutifully, we called the next morning, early, to tell the hospital we'd be joining them.  "No, we don't have any beds," they said.  Huh?  "Call back in three hours."  I remember holding the phone and standing there in confusion.  Were they telling us we COULDN'T have our baby?

This would go on throughout that day.  We went to the movies.  We walked around a small town close to the hospital.  And we called.  And called.  And eventually, went home.

But... but... we had made plans.  We had already conducted our "last night alone" talks!  The Pretender laughed quietly, again.  It wouldn't be the last time she confounded our plans.

The next morning, we were told to come in around noon- beds should be available by then.  Whew!  We'd have our baby that afternoon.  Or so we thought.  Idiots.

After filling out papers, ad nauseum, and various things of this type (mind you, my wife had worked at this hospital, and we had gone there for each of our pre-baby visits. And now they wanted to do this stuff?  Really?) they finally brought in the induction drug.  Ah, the silver bullet.  Now it was baby time.

They hooked up the IV, began it's flow, and... and... and nothing happened.  Nothing at all.

Looking back, The Pretender simply had other plans.  She was surely off in Heaven somewhere, busy with whatever activities little souls do before they're born (Please PLEASE don't read some sort of theological statement into this, about when life "begins", etc.).  And so, after moving us to a more permanent room, yet another night went by with my wife and I, sitting alone.  We were beginning to look at each other each night doubtful about what to say.  We drank the free ginger ale and cranberry juice.

It would be three days of waiting before anything happened.  After that, my wife would work all day before the doctors realized that the baby was holding her shoulder against mom's body in such a way that she could infinitely prevent mom from giving birth to her.  The Pretender would do things in her own time.  Then, and forever.


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