I started feeling a bit better in a few days and gave Val an "I told you so" look. Doctors? Pfft!
Val smirked at me and shook his head but didn't push the issue. "Why don't we go out to the theater now that you're feeling better?" he suggested. I'd been talking about some show I'd wanted to see for weeks and I was pleased to see he remembered.
Unfortunately our evening was cut short when the stomach flu came back with a vengeance. I spent the whole second act in the restroom with Val pacing outside in the hall. As soon as I emerged, he looked me square in the face and sternly told me I WOULD be going to the doctor this time.
The following day, I went to the doctor alone because Val was working with Jag on business matters. I considered leaving, since Val wasn't here to force me to go. Surely I could just tell him I went and be done with it, but by now I actually wanted some relief.
I wasn't expecting the news I got - though I'm not sure why it came as such a surprise. "I'm having a baby" I said in a dream like state. I don't know if anyone was even around to hear me but I hadn't said it for their sakes - merely my own.
When I told Val, he was very excited at the prospect of us having a baby. I'd been given dozens of handouts by the doctor but Val soon declared they weren't enough and we needed a pregnancy book or two. Unfortunately funds were a bit tight for a trip to the bookstore so we headed to the library.
After reading all the various worst case scenarios, Val tried to keep me out of the garden - arguing that the extended sun exposure, the chemicals, the...well everything...would be a threat to the baby but I used all natural fertilizers and would not give up my garden for nine months unless the doctor said I had to. Thankfully the doctor sided with me.
The six months or so of the pregnancy seemed to rush by in a blur. We both wanted a girl but had chosen to be surprised at delivery. Val started working on one of the extra bedrooms right away and when he refused to let me help - I didn't really protest. I told him, more or less, what I wanted and let him do the work.
I was at the end of my second trimester when he suggested we go for a walk one early summer evening. We found our way to the park and I was feeling kind of tired so we both sat on the bench to rest before heading home.
If early pregnancy flew by, it came to grinding halt about the time I reached my eighth month. Suddenly it seemed as if time had stopped as we waited for our little babe to join us.
Val, ever interested in my expanding belly and our baby, didn't seem to notice that time had stopped. He gave me back massages and spent many moments talking to our baby and reassuring me that he or she would join the world soon enough.
All that was fine and dandy until my due date came and went. I was officially overdue and I was convinced I would be pregnant forever - or at least for two years or more like elephants. Maybe I'd also deliver a fifty pound child - it felt like I was already carrying fifty pounds of baby as it was!
I spent some time online at various pregnancy and baby forums. While I rarely posted anything, I lurked extensively and saw many recommendations to jump start labor. Some of them sounded horrifying but there were a few more basic ones, like exercising. Exercising, in moderation, couldn't do any harm...
I don't know if it was the jumping jacks, the evening Val and I had spent in bed or if it was just time - but I woke up in the wee hours of the morning feeling horrible and sore. I waddled my way downstairs to get a drink and felt the first of many contractions to come.
Val heard the shattering of glass as I dropped the cup of water and came stumbling down the stairs. "Cin?!" he asked frantically looking around for something. He told me later he thought someone had broken a window or something.
"Val..." I said through gritted teeth, "Val, I think it's time..."
As leery as I was of doctors, Val was not agreeable to a home birth (this time), so he grabbed my hospital bag and we were off. We weren't even in a labor and delivery room when I felt the urge to push. "No Cin! Not yet!"
"I can't exactly help it!" I shouted back at him. A young looking nurse started directing us to a room and started to hook me up to all sorts of monitors and devices. "No time!" I screamed at her. "The baby is coming!"
"Oh I doubt it ma'am...but I'll check..." she took her sweet time pulling on a pair of gloves. But in a moment her face was replaced with shock. "Um..." she looked toward the door in panic - there was no doctor to be found. "I'm going to go find a doctor." She was out the door before either of us could protest.
"Val! You need to get down there...this baby is coming with or without medical personnel!" Val looked startled and a little horrified but nodded finally.
The doctor came in, ushered by the nurse, two minutes after our son Rum was born.
I checked myself and Rum out of the hospital only a few hours later and we all went home.