This morning at the doctor we found out that I am dilated to a “1 plus some” (the actual medical term he used) and 70% effaced. For those who aren’t familiar with what this means, let’s just say that there’s this thing that has to open up to the size of a LARGE BAGEL before the baby can move down the birth canal. We’re talking about a steroid-injected bagel full of carbohydrates, the ones that count for two full meals worth of calories. A big, big bagel. And when the thing gets to be the size of a big, big bagel I will most likely be in the middle of calling several nurses “low-class motherfucking hacks, you bitches!” because I will be at the height of labor and the thing that is now open to the size of a big, big bagel will be ripping apart the lower half of my body. It’s at this point in the schedule that my husband has been instructed to say to me,
“At least we’re not re-wiring the kitchen,” which should not only calm me down but make me really, really happy. Right now that thing that is going to open up to the size of a big, big bagel is the size of a small steroid-deprived Cheerio, and that means I probably won’t go into labor until 2008.
Which reminds me, I’m hungry.
Saturday morning I experienced about four hours of false labor. I knew it was false because every seven or eight minutes I would turn to Jon and say excitedly, “My lower back hurts!” And he would in turn say, “That’s awesome!” I’m pretty sure that during real labor I won’t be uttering any decipherable words or giving Jon any impression that what I’m feeling is in any way awesome. I haven’t given Jon too much in the way of instructions or rules as to how to coach me through labor, except that he not get within a foot of my face with his own face. I imagine that my sense of personal space will become especially pronounced during contractions, and I can’t be held responsible if I bite off his nose.
I mentioned the false labor to his mother last night. We were giving her a ride to a small town in northern Utah, and she immediately perked up and demanded, “Don’t you DARE have that baby in this car! I don’t have my good scissors!”
Even if she had only had her bad scissors I’m pretty sure she could have totally delivered this baby. Jon’s mother is one of the most lovely, talented people in the world, and she’s constantly blurting out little insane snippets of wisdom that make you want to scoop her up, put her in your pocket and take her home. A few months ago she warned me, “Cover up that belly! That baby is going to catch a cold and come out diseased!” Last night she explained, “The reason you’re so uncomfortable is because of all that working out you’re doing! Those stomach muscles are restricting that baby!” These observations are usually followed by a sigh and a mumbling to herself about “you crazy kids,” and she usually sends us home with a quilt she’s made in less than two days and leftover homemade potato casserole. I’m constantly thanking Jon for being born to such a cool woman because I saw the first few seasons of “The Sopranos” and I know the risks involved with inheriting mother-in-laws.
The more I get to know her the more I understand some of my husband’s more idiosyncratic personality traits, the most adorable of which is his habit of suddenly blurting out something that makes no sense and has no context. We can be sitting in the car driving down the freeway in silence when out of nowhere he will say something like, “Junior Wixom had trouble doing that.” He’s either continuing a conversation he was having with someone not in the car or completing a thought he started in 1988, but I’ll have no idea who or what Junior Wixom is or what the that is that he has trouble doing. And when I look at him like You do realize that you just said that out loud, right? he always has this great way of connecting what he’s just blurted out with something totally relevant, like, “Junior Wixom had trouble doing that, and I think you’re really beautiful.” And with that sort of connection he can talk about Junior Wixom and the trouble with doing that all he damn well pleases.
I have every inclination to believe that this child will be born with the same blurting out disease, much like my brother’s second child who once announced to a car full of unsuspecting adults, “My mom has fur on her bottom system.” I’m actually looking forward to the years of hilarity this child will provide just by virtue of being her father’s daughter and her grandmother’s granddaughter, and I fully expect her to tell her first grade teacher that the reason she can’t complete her homework is because she caught a cold and came out diseased!