Monday, August 26, 2013

August Wells: A Birth Story, Part I

Thursday night July 18th, the movie Sleepless in Seattle played in the quiet space of our corner apartment.  It was an unusual quiet in our home that evening, a rare ceasing of activity and errands and obligations and rushing.  Read: A rare ceasing from the neurotic nesting that had overtaken me in the past couple months.  Neal and I had just come home from Chipotle where I sat across from him in that ever-familiar line of booths, gulping down an icy fountain Coke (my irresistible craving of the third trimester) and tried to breathe.

Earlier that evening Neal picked me up from my 39 week OB appointment.  When I slid into the car in my coral maxi dress, dressed up as I always did for my baby appointments,  he asked "So?  Anything?"  Feeling shaky and excited that I actually had news to share, I told him that our doctor said she thought I'd have the baby this weekend, a week before my due date.  I was thrilled to have news about dilation and effacement and all those words that you begin hoping for in those last weeks but I also felt panic rise, mixed with doubt.  Mentally, I wasn't ready yet.  I felt normal, good even.  I wasn't feeling "done" with pregnancy the way I hear women feel at the end.  The next day was to be my last day of work before maternity leave and after that, I had planned a week to prepare for baby, for birth, for motherhood, for change.

In the car on the way to dinner I didn't call anyone with the news from the doctor appointment.  Calling my bestie Kirra would just upset her for nothing; she was in CA and would worry that she wouldn't make it home in time.  Calling my mom and Tiff would just create agitation and excitement needlessly, since I really didn't feel like the baby was coming.  But at the same time, somewhere somehow in some part of me I must have known, because when Neal asked what errands I wanted to do after Chipotle I said, "Nothing.  Let's just go home and watch a movie."  Strange for me to suggest it, strange for him to agree to it, but it's what we did.

While I watched the lights of Seattle light the screen of the movie, I remember noticing the lights of Chicago slowly come on through our floor-to-ceiling corner windows in a sky not yet dark, but lit in a summer twilight kind of way.  We never watch movies that early, and almost never on week nights.  But there we were, and I will always remember how that night felt.  Like our life took a slow, deep inhale while we held each other in the quiet of our home.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Kirra said...

Can I just say I love that Sleepless in Seattle was the movie you guys watched this night! Meg Ryan forever! Ok.

I cannot wait to read the rest of these.

I love him. I love you.