I woke up at 5:30 in the morning. I thought I was wetting the bed, but my water had not so much broken as sprung a leak. I felt the first contraction, and called Loki, who was at work. While I waited for him to come home, I turned on the TV and watched the movie Party Girl, where Parker Posey plays a Club Kid who discovers a love of the Dewey Decimal system.
We got to the hospital around 7, I was having contractions, but they were all over the place: 13 minutes apart, then 6 minutes apart, then 12 minutes apart, etc. But they admitted me, and soon enough, the contractions were coming hard and heavy. And back to back, which meant that I would have 2 minutes of contraction, and then 30 seconds in between to recover.
Sidebar: Everyone always makes jokes about pushing the baby out, but the part of labor and delivery that is hardest, in my opinion, are the contractions. They feel like the worst menstrual cramp you've ever had, doused with gasoline and set on fire. Pushing the baby out is sweet relief after that.
It wasn't easy, but it was fast: at 11:08 a.m., Maeve was born. She weighed 6 lbs, 13 oz., and was 18 inches long. When we went for her first checkup, a week later, she had lost a whole pound, and it took her 2 months to gain that one pound back. So my time off from work was spent going to the doctor every other day, getting tons of tests done on a tiny screaming baby, all the while knowing in my heart that she was just fine.
So Happy Birthday, my Monkey.