Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kate Miller 46: Waiting...

Would this baby ever come? Kate couldn't fathom it...what would it be like to not be pregnant?

46. Waiting…
Mrs. Laurie Wills arrived in Virginia not a moment too soon. It was August 21, a full week before Kate’s due date, though Kate would have much preferred if it was a full week after her due date and made no bones about saying so. She greeted her mother with a hug, and they laughed together as they simultaneously groaned while easing into the car. Laurie suffered from a bad back and neck, made worse by the long cross-country flights, and Kate suffered from, well...pregnancy.
What a boon it was to have some company in her misery! And, being family, they laughed over the same inane jokes and then laughed again at their laughing. Mister endured it all with abundant grace, goodnaturedly shaking his head at their giggles, running the AC nonstop, toting laundry up and down the stairs, and hauling groceries in from the car.
At home, Laurie and Kate read murder mysteries aloud, alternating chapters and often taking spontaneous naps...sometimes mid-sentence. There were no spurts of energy. But when there were spurts of being rather less tired than usual, Laurie would drag Kate to the grocery store and back again. And on such occasions, Kate would consider the state to which she had fallen and feel exceedingly sorry for herself. Only a month ago, she had been climbing mountains (granted, she climbed very slowly), but now she could barely make it to Costco and back. As a matter of fact, she could barely even get dressed by herself for the pain in her back and legs.
going to the pool with friends 
Five days before the due date, Mister left for a wedding in Atlanta. Many of their friends thought Kate was crazy to okay these travel plans, widening their eyes and shaking their heads when they heard of it. But Glen was a good friend from college, and Kate wanted Mister to be able to go if at all possible. And these plans had the benefit of helping her to desire the baby to come late…
And it was a good thing too, because Mister went and came back; and the due date came and went; and nothing happened. Kate’s friend, Lise, and her two kids came to visit and play in their community pool with her. Lise laughed as Kate submitted to (and even requested) much splashing and dumping of water from the 2-year-old, Mary. They talked about pregnancy and late babies, and finally Lise asked, “You do know...he has to come out at some point.”
Kate smiled, but shook her head. “No. I don’t think so. After all, I’ve always been pregnant, and I always will be pregnant.”
Lise gave an understanding laugh and Mary dumped another bucket of water on Kate’s head. “Don’t worry, Kate,” Lise said, “I’m pretty sure time will prove you wrong.”
Mister took Kate for long walks, being patient with her slowness and stopping when she needed to rest. Laurie liked walks, but she was accustomed to Alaska weather and wouldn’t even contemplate stepping outside for more than a few minutes at a time. She merely asked that they give her an estimate for how long they would be gone, which time and again they failed to give accurately. But how was Kate to know? Honestly, when she could barely put on her shorts in the morning, how could she have guessed she could walk three and a half miles?
A couple days later Kate woke up at 5AM having a contraction. Wow, that’s a strong one! she thought. About ten minutes later, she had another. The middle and lower part of her back felt like it was locked in a tightening vice grip. These were different. This must be the real thing. She rolled over and gently poked a mound of blankets.
“Dear?” she said.
“I’m going to get up.”
“I’m having contractions.”
“Okay,” came a suspiciously uninterested and sleepy response.
She gave the mound an indulgent smile and slid off the bed and went downstairs to sit on the heating pad. But Mister appeared only a few minutes later, vague concern in his squinting, blinking eyes. He got her some water and the doctor’s phone number and a pen to keep track of the contractions. He hovered for a little bit, and finally asked,
“Are you all right?”
Kate smiled and answered the question he was really asking. “Yes. You can go back to bed. I’ll be fine for a while.”