Today is my good friend Jenny’s due date with her second baby girl. I very vividly remember my due date with my second baby girl, and the zoo incident that happened that day. So this post is for Jenny, whose sunny side up baby is due today, though she most likely won’t make her entrance just yet.
2 days before Mayzie’s due date I woke up to somewhat strong contractions that were pretty regular. I timed them as they crawled around from my spine to my belly button and back again. I woke up Andy and made him sit with me, partly because the first time around I labored by myself through half of the night watching him sleep and I swore I would never do that again. It was only an hour before he had to be up to take me to my midwife appointment anyway. The contractions kept coming, but didn’t really get much stronger. We went to see the midwife. She put me on a monitor and left Andy and I to watch the lines and try to keep Annika under wraps in the room full of things she couldn’t touch. At one point during the half hour I was on the monitor, Andy left to go to the restroom, leaving me alone on a monitor with a very wiggly 2 year old. It was a quick trip, but I did have to sit up and pick up Annika at some point to keep her from breaking anything. When the midwife came back, she told me she thought that Miss Mayzie was probably on her way very soon, like the next 24 hours soon, so we should get everything ready. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure she thought the 2 peaks in the lines from when I sat up and picked Annika up were stronger contractions, but I don’t know for sure. The midwife also got really excited because she was on call for that evening, meaning that SHE would get to attend Mayzie’s birth as she had Annika’s. I got even more excited, because I REALLY like her and we made a great team.
So we went home. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, and the contractions weren’t really getting closer together or stronger. So I sent Andy to work and my good friend Kristi came over to watch me sit on an exercise ball and Annika run around like the wild girl that she is. We called my mother in law to tell her to go ahead and start the 8 hour drive up to Cleveland, and that we would keep her posted. We went about the day, and the contractions would stop and start and stop and start and never really get stronger. Andy came home. Kristi left, and then my MIL arrived.
I thought, “Oh awesome! Did I just call my MIL up here for nothing?”
The next day, the same thing. Contractions stopping and starting but never getting really stronger. I now know that I was most likely having something like a prodromal labor, which is a really long warm up to the big show. It was no fun, and I really wish I didn’t know that word at all. Basically I sat all day on the exercise ball again while my MIL watched me and laughed every time my nostrils flared because she knew I was having another contraction.
Then came Mayzie’s due date. It was a really hot day in July, and at this point I was soo sick of being in the house, and so were my MIL and Annika. I had really wanted to have Mayzie on her due date because it was my grandmother’s birthday, so we decided to try to walk her out of me on the hills of the Cleveland Zoo. We walked to the farthest point in the zoo, up and down several hills, and I drank water like it was my job. Annika got to run around and she was having a great time, until she wasn’t anymore. She had had enough, in that way that a 2 year old can just have enough and throw down like it is the end of the world. She completely lost it next to the Giraffes. I love the giraffes, they are my favorite, but 2 year old tantrums are NOT my favorite at all. Nana (my MIL) offered to carry Annika, but she was having none of it. She wanted mama to carry her and only Mama.
Ummm, yeah, remember that part about it being Mayzie’s due date? So there I am a full 40 weeks pregnant, with a screaming and kicking 2 year old who only wants ME to carry her. I picked her up and started to walk, which of course hurt my back like hell. I thought, “I only have to get her to the car,” but I only made it about 50 meters before I had to take a break between the rhinos and the monkeys. I should also mention that our car was one mile away from this point, and I’m not exaggerating.
This is when the genius of my MIL really shined! She flagged down a zoo worker who was driving a golf cart and asked the girl if she would drive us to our car. I protested. Surely there were other people who needed this service more than I did and it wasn’t this girl’s job to cart people to their car. (In retrospect, yes, I do indeed have trouble asking for help when I quite obviously need and deserve it.) The girl said ok after some minor convincing on the part of my MIL, and we climbed aboard.
The first question the girl asked me, naturally, “So, when are you due?”
I replied, “Today,” and I will NEVER forget the look of sheer terror and amazement that came over her face. My MIL, in the backseat with Annika, giggled that knowing laugh, and we sped off in the golf cart to our car in the furthest parking lot from the zoo gate.
That evening, we laughed about how silly I was and hoped that Mayzie would come out soon so that my MIL could stay to help us out while I was in the hospital. She did and she did.
Instead of a picture of me 9 months pregnant, you get a picture of us the day Mayzie was conceived. Trust me, I look waaay better this way.