I am referring to the original "pins and needles" when I say that's what I'm on these last few days. Every time the phone rings I jump. My sleeping hours are semi-wakeful, expecting that nighttime call. My heart beats just a little faster than normal as I anticipate what is just ahead. I've been in nesting mode, even though it isn't my nest that's fixing to change....cleaning, tidying up loose ends, keeping the laundry all caught up, stockpiling some casseroles in the freezer.
When your daughter is expecting a baby at any minute, it ALMOST feels like you're expecting, too. In fact, you are!You so easily recall that swollenness, the back pain, the ready anticipation of every twinge that makes you want to sit down. You feel the heat for her, the tight stretch of skin across wide belly, the tiny headache of anticipation that never goes away. You tick off her list: suitcase packed, older children's bags ready to go to MawMaw's house, plenty of gas in the car, bills paid, extra food in the pantry,
It brings back overwhelming, just-like-yesterday memories. Yesterday was Sunday, and she was born on a Sunday, in the middle of a long, hot summer. A week past the due date, and every day was soooooo long. The twinges had been there for a month, but they were just that -- nothing more. Church was long, too, that morning, and the pew was unrelentingly hard, even with a thin cushion. The doctor sitting in front of me felt my can't-sit-still misery and said to come in the next day -- he might induce if the indicators were all set to green.
Home to lunch, and the body demanded a nap -- for good reason, for it was set to go to work. Awake at 3:00 and real contractions began in earnest. But there was other work to do first -- the first day of school for the older children was the next day, and the son insisted on blue jeans that were in the laundry basket. A quick wash of the last load, drying dishes put away, last-minute instructions given, the call made to the friends who would tend the older kids, and we set off. Suddenly, when we were all in the car, as the engine raced, so did my contractions! Hurry! Don't get out at the friends' house -- just push son and daughter out the slowing car and GET TO THE HOSPITAL! Thank goodness it was just around the corner!
That red-headed nurse was having a quiet Sunday afternoon, in no hurry at all -- until she gave me a quick look. Then it was a mad dash -- call the doctor -- HURRY! Don't push yet! After an interminable 15 minutes, in he comes and catches her -- Why didn't you tell me at church you were going to have this baby today? he asks, laughing. I catch my breath and say, Why did it take you so long to get here? It was now 5:32 p.m. We had left the house at 5:00.
Sunday's child is "bonny and blithe and good and gay", and Baby Sister lived up to her birth day prediciton. And now my Child Number Three is having her own Child Number Three.
We mothers wish we could do it for them -- take the pain onto ourselves, the fear, the trepidation -- but each mother must feel that herself, and it is rightly so, for the hard part only contributes to what comes next: the utter joy, the boundless love, the inner connection that never is severed.
Oh -- the phone rings! I run to it, but it is only one of our helpers on the farm -- so I'll settle back to waiting. Waiting for this blessing in the making. I'm hoping to catch up my ironing today, just in case...