Jimmy and I walked from our apartment over to the nearby grocery store to pick up a few things. There was a cold north wind. It was about 10 at night.
The traditional thing happened. While standing in line in the checkout, my water broke, and I was a mess. I told Jimmy, "I'm going outside." It seemed to take him forever to come out of the store, and, meanwhile, I was all wet, freezing, very self-conscious, and did I mention freezing? And we still had to walk home.
Once home, Jimmy called his family, and the babysitter, and we grabbed the pre-packed bag and headed for the hospital.
Jimmy's family celebrates births, so both his parents and two or three sisters were there, as well as my babysitter with the girls, who were 12 and 8 at the time. It was a party!
However, the fetal monitor told a non-party story. The baby's heart rate was dropping during contractions, as expected, but it wasn't coming back up. Time for the doctor to come in.
My doctor looked like Sherman Helmsley, and had large amounts of gold hanging off him. bracelets, rings, neck chains--he looked like a refugee from the 70's rather than a successful obstetrician in 1990. We had a good relationship. When we realized that a successful birth would require a Caesarian section, he asked me if I would prefer a general or spinal anesthetic. I chose to be awake when my son was born. I have never regretted that.
Now, 17 years later, I have this lanky blond, handsome son, who makes me proud of him each and every day.
Happy Birthday, Brendan!