The hospital called the afternoon before to give us our arrival time: 6am. Good. First surgery of the day, no anxious waiting around, no time for anxiety bowels. My parents came over at 5:30, my dad to stay until the big boys woke up, my mom to ride with us to the hospital.
And little Harry, absolutely no clue what he was about to experience.
When we last left off, I was on an oxytocin drip and having contractions. Still, after a few hours, I hadn't progressed much beyond where I was to begin with. I wasn't surprised, because with both Ethan and Oliver, the labor was slow until the breaking of the bag of waters.
I had to wait for my doctor until almost 4:30 to break my water, because he was delivering some other lady's baby. Ugh, people, amiright?
I've got a thing with pregnancies. I make great babies, but it takes a toll.
We stayed on top of monitoring all the possible conditions, which did absolutely nothing to prevent the onslaught of those conditions. Only this time I also had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder prior to pregnancy, so they'd be watching the baby extra closely as well. Knowledge is power! I mean, terror!
We went back to the beach, and it was wonderful. We went to the aquarium, and it was great fun. We faffed about, drove into Oriental a few more times. I'm actually going to do a Travel, In Brief post about Oriental, but I will say that for having been there for only two weeks, I started to feel like a local.
Over the weekend, my parents came out to River Camp. My 91-year-old grandmother lives with them, as well as a dog who suffers from mental illness—sociopathy, I think. I convinced them to put the dog in a kennel for the weekend, and my brother and sister-in-law stayed at the house with Nanny.
While my friend Lisa bikes the entire East Coast Greenway, our family has sacrificially signed up for a two-week stint of doggy sitting at Lisa’s river house. Our turn came up for River Camp on Saturday. We've been here for six days so far, and it's been glorious. Mostly.
Lately, the weeks have been flying by (cliche), but the speedy passage of time has just further added to the minor funk I've been in. Ethan is finishing 4th grade, Oliver is prepping for kindergarten, Harry is sleeping in his own room, the whales are dying because of plastic. Also I have wolf-face disease. Anyway, life is fleeting. (<—name that quote! It’s an obscure one…)
Almost ten years ago, I attended a reading by David Sedaris. Some unlucky circumstances led me to leave after several hours, before my turn to meet him and get an autograph. Last night, Noah surprised me by taking me to a reading for David’s new book, Calypso. I finally got the autograph and, incidentally, David sort of called me a hooker. Don’t worry, it wasn’t mean or #metoo. For one thing, he’s gay, so I’m certain he wouldn’t have been interested in my services anyway.
More often than not lately, parenting has felt like a delightful surprise. It's not always, of course. Sometimes it's like having an upset feral cat around while I'm trying to do...well, anything. Anything is difficult when you're responsible for an upset feral cat.
When so many good days line up with very few blips, it's easy to remember what makes parenting the best, most challenging yet rewarding responsibility I've ever chosen. It’s also impossible not to think about the time I was a foster parent, about our foster baby, and what might have been.