On a sweltering July day, my son was born after three days of mild, aggravated “is-it-time?” labor. I was sick of going to the hospital and being rejected because I wasn’t prepared. The night before I gave birth, I made the decision to keep moving until the baby decided to exit my body.
I was large, it was hot, and I was three days past my due date. My sister was visiting us at the time, and we were living with my mother. She decided to go to the mall with me in order to make me as happy as possible. We took a short, half-mile stroll to the mall where we had lunch at a family-friendly restaurant. Every now and again, as a contraction blasted through my body, I would stop pushing my 14-month-old daughter in her stroller and lean over, using the stroller as support. Strangers would stop and look at me all day as I tried to cope with my misery. When a contraction hit me at one point after my sister had stopped in a Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee, I held the back of the chair and closed my eyes while breathing through the discomfort. When I opened my eyes, I was looking into the eyes of a woman sitting nearby who pleaded with me not to deliver the baby there.
By late afternoon, I was certain it was time because the contractions were strong enough and frequent enough. We returned home after a half-mile stroll, where we awaited my mother’s arrival. To meet us at the hospital, I called my husband and asked him to do so. When my mother arrived home and found me on the floor on all fours, breathing through another contraction, she immediately recognized that this was the real deal. While my sister drove me to the hospital, I left my kid with my mother.
A cute little tangent… I’m a great fan of Family Guy, and one scene in one of the episodes was all about Wilfred Brimley and the medical advertisements he currently appears in. All during my pregnancy, the mere mention of this scenario would make me giggle uncontrollably. This scene came to mind as soon as I registered myself, my sister wheeled me to labor and delivery, and we were on our way there. I started laughing so hard that tears started rolling down my cheeks.
My sister was concerned that if the nurses saw me laughing, they would send me back home. Instead, the nurses misunderstood my laughter-related tears for ones caused by pain, and they continued to comfort me despite my discomfort. I received a short epidural and, like with my daughter, was informed that I wouldn’t give birth for several hours. Less than 5 hours after I checked in, I had my baby. At 11:12 p.m., Perrin Eugene was born, weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces, and measuring 21 inches long.
—Kimberly L., Manchester, New Hampshire