Eleven years ago, as I was fixing my boys frozen pizza for lunch before our planned Labor Day excursion to the pool, I noticed I was having contractions.
How strange, I thought. Which is strange since I was nine months pregnant. My due date was September 5 but I fully intended to have my baby on September 10. I figured that would be a much more convenient time since school was due to start on September 3.
However, my uterus had other ideas.
When I review my thoughts and actions of that day, I have to laugh. I sent my husband and the kids to the pool without me, telling him I’d join him in a couple of hours after getting some rest. I planned to make my contractions go away.
After they left, I called my midwife “just in case,” and took a bath and waited for my contractions to subside.
Except they did not. When I got out of the tub, the contractions were more regular. I started tracking them in a notebook and noticed that they came every two minutes.
I thought that was strange, so I decided to check my pregnancy book to see if the length of the contractions mattered more than the intervals between them.
As I sat on my birthing ball, alone in my house, paging through my book, I started to cry. I didn’t mean to cry but I couldn’t help it.
I called my midwife again and left her a message. When she called me back, I couldn’t speak because my contraction was so strong. I think that’s why she told me she’d come and check me.
I thought I’d go downstairs and wash the lunch dishes. On the way, I noticed my boys’ bedroom was messy. I straightened it up, stopping to breathe through contractions. I vacuumed and made their bed. Once downstairs, I saw a mess in the living room. I vacuumed, kicked toys to the center of the floor and picked them up. Every two minutes, I stopped and leaned over and breathed hard during contractions.
By the time I reached the kitchen, I realized I could not possibly stand at the kitchen sink and wash dishes. Instead I got a bottle of water and went upstairs to wait.
The midwife arrived at about 5 PM. I informed her I changed my mind and didn’t want to have a baby.
I telephoned my friends and told them I was in labor but not to come quite yet, that it would be awhile. When my husband called, I told him to stay at the pool with the boys.
This, my friends, is a story of denial.
Despite that denial, less than two hours after the midwife arrived, my baby girl was born. My husband came home ten minutes later. My sister and my friends arrived even later.
I will never stop being amused by the fact that I was in labor on Labor Day.
And I will never stop being thankful for the daughter God gave me.
Happy birthday to my Labor Day baby!