Friday, November 15, 2013

Whereupon I Give Birth And Do Jello Shots At a Hotel Party

Again, it's 1997 (I seem to be in a time warp), I'm riding in a car with my mom on the back roads of southern Wisconsin.  It's late, maybe 11pm and we are racing to Vicki's house, my Wisconsin baby shower is tomorrow, I am around 6 months pregnant.  My mom is driving fast, my mom only drives fast; we come flying over a hill and a deer races out in front of us, rights itself and runs parallel to us.  It all happens in a split second and in slow motion.  My mom and I, who are not physically affectionate by any stretch of the imagination, both put our hands out to one another at the same time.  
So, when the deer turns on it's heel back towards our car and jumps the hood missing the windshield by centimeters, we are holding hands.  We are still holding hands an hour later when we pull into Hollandale.

Flash forward a month and a half.  It's 8pm and my mom and I are back in the car.  This time we are headed for Lake Geneva.  Her friends have a house there and it's a big party weekend.  You know, because when you're seven and a half months pregnant you're all about the partying.  I'm pretty sure I've been wrangled into coming as a babysitter.  My mom and her friends need babysitters.  

I've been having stomach pains since yesterday at the Cubs game.  They played the Cardinals, they won.  At a certain point in my whining my mom says, "It kind of seems like you're stomach pains are getting regularly spaced".  Strange.  So we start timing them.  They're 8 minutes apart when we start.  Do we keep going or do we turn around?  Am I in labor?  I'm only 7 1/2 months pregnant.  Last week I went to the hospital because I was dying having gas pains.  I don't want to go back for no reason.  It's the probably the last get away I will have before this kid is born (and yes, I'm still 100% certain it's a girl).  We go back and forth, we can't decide.  My mom says, "Let's call my sister, we will do what she says, she's smarter than us."  And, Donna is smarter than us, but only book smarter, we are waaaaaay street smarter.  Donna of course says, "Turn around and go back to the hospital.  What is wrong with you two?"  So we turn around.  

Several cell phone calls are made; her friends want her to drop me off at the hospital and come up there. Thanks people I've known my whole life, I see where I rank when it comes to choosing between giving birth and getting loaded!  I begin to fear that my mom will drop me off and go.  The doctor tells me I'm not going to be leaving the hospital without my daughter.  Fine, he said "baby", whatever.  

Of course, my mom didn't leave me to go party.  She stayed with me, she delivered my daugther son, she fell in love, the rest is history.  Oh wait, the Jello shots...

I work for a company that only employs women, except for the owner.  Do I have maternity insurance? Nope.  I didn't even know maternity insurance existed.  I was 26, I got pregnant on the pill and using condoms; there were other forces at work.  One of them was not Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  They kicked my ass out of that hospital faster than you could say "hey are you sure it's a boy? It could just be an 'outie.'"  I lost a lot of blood, I think I had 2 or three transfusions.  I gave birth on Saturday at 9:53am.  By Sunday at noon I was back in my hotel room.  I wouldn't finish paying off Aidan's birth until he was entering kindergarten   My mom was still getting phone calls begging her to come up to Lake Geneva.  In all fairness, my mom was a lot of fun at a party.  

Are you wondering why I'm in a hotel room yet?  Right.  My mom sold her house really quickly and the townhouse she was buying wasn't finished being built.  It was going to be finished August 15, Aidan was due August 20something...it was perfect.  Except Aidan's birthday is July 12.  So my baby went home to a hotel.  Fine, it wasn't even a hotel.  It was Motel 6.  The one on Roosevelt Road in Lombard.  It was the only place we could find that took dogs and it was walking distance to two steak houses.  So I brought my baby home to Motel 6 and I fit right in because I had lost so much blood that I seemed really drunk.  There were a lot of drunk people around that hotel.  At 6pm, the day after I had a traumatic birth experience in which the volume of blood I had become accustomed to halved, there was a knock on our door.  My mom's friends were there to get my mom to go drink  with them meet the baby (whom I had finally accepted as a stupid boy).  Among them was a woman who would someday become my mother in law!  They had come straight from Lake Geneva and while they didn't have time to stop for baby gifts, they were kind enough to bring an entire tray of Jello shots.  I swear to God.  It is, to this day, the best "push present" I've ever received and that's saying something because Dan bought me a real Prada back pack when I had the girls.  I was exhausted, I remember thinking they stayed too long.  Although, to be fair, five minutes is too long in a hotel room with two dogs, two beds, two regular adults,  one newly drained of blood and a jaundiced preemie.  I also remember being surprised that my mom didn't leave with them.  When they left Shawna, my mom and I did some Jello shots.

Happy birthday, Mom.

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