My baby’s having a baby! Well, maybe. Someday. I got a sneak peek, though, of what Holly may look like with a pregnant belly when she recently texted a picture of herself, all glowy and smiling, from her child development class.
She’d apparently donned a Realityworks simulator – in this case, a "pregnancy belly" – as part of an exercise in understanding the pregnancy experience. Whoa! Took my breath away, she did, but what a fantastic opportunity for her. And what a blast from the past, for me. Seems like just yesterday when I went into labor for the first time.
“How did you know you were in labor?” Holly asked during her interview of me for a class assignment.
“My water broke,” I said. With Noah, that is. I called their dad, I called the doctor, and then I vacuumed the house. You betcha. Because if you’ve ever anticipated the imminent arrival of out-of-town guests, that’s what you do, the imminent arrival of your new baby notwithstanding.
“How long did it take, from then until the birth?” she asked.
“Hmmm, I don’t remember.”
“It was only 19 years ago. You can remember.” Silly me. A couple of my coworkers recently have learned what pregnancy and labor are like, first-hand, and so I’ve been reminded of those days. All the aches, all the pains, all the worries and fears, and the occasional tears. But mostly, I remember the joy. That’s what I think of, when I recall my pregnancies.
“I loved being pregnant,” I said to my kids a couple of weeks ago one morning before school, when I mentioned my sweet coworkers’ own impending births. My son didn’t believe me.
“You loved it? All the aches and pains? OK,” Noah said.
“I did! Well, not the round-ligament pain,” I said, figuring he may have heard of round ligaments, as he’s deep into his second anatomy and physiology class at Aurora University. He squirmed. I didn’t elaborate. “But I loved leaning back and watching the tide roll in,” I teased, recalling the nearly sci-fi proportions pregnancy takes on. There’s gotta be a surfboard in utero too, for all the action going on in there. “Hang-10!” I added. My kids rolled their eyes.
So how long was it?” Holly asked again, about my first labor and delivery experience.
“Twenty-four hours,” I said. But it was actually about 22, now that I think about it. Yes, that’s it. As for her birth? Now that’s another story altogether. My labor stretched on for days, after my contractions began in earnest, the Saturday before her Tuesday birth. Her dad and I, then at a screening of the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” never made it past the infamous sword fight that seals the female lead’s fate as a woman of great strength. It seemed Miss Holly had something to say, herself, as she made her debut at just such a pivotal moment.
I still have no idea how that movie ends. My girl and I will have to watch it together.
Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her family. Her column runs regularly in the Kane Weekend section of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.