Friday, September 11, 2009

Not today

This week has been rough for me, physically, and in ways that have made me think that labor is imminent. Not the tell-tale signs like water breaking or regularly spaced contractions -- the only sure things, really -- but other signs that mimicked the way I felt in the week leading up to Zeke's birth.

Then yesterday I found out that a number of my coworkers are essentially placing bets on my delivery date, with more than a few of them picking this weekend. One of them in particular, who claims to have a penchant for accurately picking the delivery dates of her friends and relatives, is convinced I will have the baby on Monday, September 14th.

Yesterday afternoon she was leaving the office and made a point of saying good-bye to me.

"I'm not going to see you," she said.

"Why, are you going on vacation?" I asked.

"No, but I'm not going to be here tomorrow."

"Well, then I'll see you Monday," I responded.

"I don't think so. If I see you at all, it will only be for half a day, but at around 11 or so you're going to be heading into the hospital to have your baby."

She was so matter-of-fact and certain about it.

"OK, you need to stop it, because you're seriously freaking me out," I scolded her.

But then I woke up this morning feeling very off. Sharp pains way down in my abdomen. Feelings of stretching and mild cramping. A couple of other signs that I won't go into because they're gross.

"Fuck," I thought.

Because as uncomfortable as I am, as difficult as it is to get any decent sleep, as hard as it is to chase Zeke around and get him up and dressed and off to school every morning, I really, really did not want to have a baby today. I don't want The Joey's birthday to be September 11.

The memories are still too raw and vivid.

I remember so distinctly everything about that day. I was driving to work in Atlanta, and waiting in the turn lane to go left onto Peachtree Road from Roxboro, when the second plane hit the tower, when it was obvious that this was a terrorist attack, not some weird accident as initially thought (or at least, as was being reported on the radio station I was listening to).

I got to the office and turned on the TV in our conference room. I stood there, sobbing, watching the towers burn and then crumble. Then the news and the rumors started flying. That all air traffic was being grounded. That there had been bomb threats on the State Department. That the Pentagon had been hit. That nobody knew where the President was because Air Force One was flying around avoiding attack.

At the time of the attacks, my mother, who was stationed in the U.S. Embassy in Papua New Guinea, was in the air on a flight from San Francisco to Sydney, travelling back from a visit home. I kept thinking, "what if American diplomats or diplomatic posts are being targeted?" And my dad was supposed to be in a meeting in the State Department in Washington, which as far as I knew, was under attack as well. I couldn't get through to anyone in my family. Then there was a bomb scare in my office building, so they sent everyone home. I spent the rest of the day in a daze, sitting on my couch watching the TV coverage, trying to get in touch with my brothers and my father and eventually my mother. And they were all fine, but until I knew for sure -- particularly about my mom and dad -- I was terrified.

That night I went over to Kathleen's. She and Rich were set to get married in 11 days. Mindy and Chris came over there as well, and we sat there eating pizza and talking and trying to make sense of the world. We were all shocked and horrified and saddened, but I think we all took some comfort in spending some time together.

So I didn't want to have any association between this day in history, and my daughter.

I had an appointment with my OB. Sitting there in the waiting room, there was a woman with a beautiful, tiny 2 1/2 week old baby girl. And I guess in addition to my physical discomfort, my hormones are raging, or maybe I was just nervous and more than a little tired, because I burst into tears at the sight of that baby. And then I was thinking about Zeke and how much I love him and how funny and sweet he is, and I started to cry again. And then I thought about what it would be like when I hold The Joey for the first time, and introduce her to her big brother, and I started to cry more.

But the good news is, I'm not in labor. I'm not having regular contractions, and while my cervix is certainly getting ready to open, it's not dilated to the point that I need to start heading into the hospital. After talking to my doctor, we decided to move the induction date up to September 24, so one way or another, I will be holding my new daughter 2 weeks from today. That's enough time to "respect her lung development" (as my OB put it), but also is an appropriate time to "kick her out" out respect to me and my physical needs (also as my OB put it -- have I mentioned I love her?).

So it might be Monday, as my coworker predicted. It might be next week. It might be on the 24th.

But it won't be today. Thank God.


  1. the main thing, no matter when your baby is born, is that you both be healthy.
    hoping all the best for you on your excellent adventure!

  2. I'm a total stranger to you. A woman in Norway who accidentaly came across your blogg, via Stripedsocksandskippyjeans/Elizabeth. I so enjoy your blogg. Your straight from the heart, no nonsens, tell it like it is style is something I really like.
    Your thoughts about 9/11 and the birth of your babygirl, had me in tears... My own children were 7 and 8 that day. I remember being terrified because I was at work, they were home from school and were watching it all on tv. Not having anyone to explaine why or how... It's affected people in Europe too. And I worked for an American company thar had offices in WTC, we lost collegues....

    Anyway... I'll keep reading your blogg. I love it. You're a straight from the heart woman!

    Lots of love and best wishes for the birth of your dauhther,
    Elisabeth in Norway

  3. Seraphine -- so true. The health and safety of the baby is the most important thing. But I'd still like her to have a nice, normal birthday that doesn't have any yucky associations.

    Elisabeth -- thank you so much!! What a lovely comment. I'm honored that you feel that my writing is worthy of your time. :)

  4. Anonymous10:20 AM

    My godsister tried her damndest not to have her daughter on 9/11 but it was unavoidable. The little booger was determined to make her appearance on that day. Seven years later, she's as healthy & as fiesty as ever.

    So even if Joey was born on 9/11, it would've still be a celebration of what GOD blessed you with & not a reminder of Satan took away.

    Be blessed, my friend.