As it is your birth month, I've been reflecting on your entrance into this world and how it foreshadowed the way in which you would live life.
You were born in the car. On Lover's Lane. In Texas. During an ice storm.
But, let me back up. 18 months before, I was very much dissatisfied how your older sister was born. I wanted something better for you and for me. For us. I wanted a water birth. Enter Dinah, our midwife. She was a short, stout, Jewish woman with unruly frizzy hair, Emcee Hammer-esque pants, and a British accent. We adored her. She was going to give us the water birth I longed for. The routine visits were, well, routine. Nothing out of the ordinary. We reached 40 weeks. Ding! You were done! I thought.
You had different plans.
I went in again at 41 weeks, getting quite anxious to hold you in my arms instead of my uterus. Dinah offered the suggestion of castor oil. Her very scientific description: it works for some and doesn't for others. Gramma and grampa had been in town, possibly more anxious than I to meet you. Grampa was leaving the next day, which is why he cheerfully offered to make me a castor oil smoothie when we returned from the birthing center.
Castor oil cannot be masked, no matter the amount of ice cream added. We thought we had at least a few hours before you would arrive, if the castor oil coaxed you out of your hiding place. Gramma and grampa went to get dinner. Chinese.
Shortly after they left, I had the urge to take some time in the ladies room. From that point, I started to have cramps, the kind you get when you've eaten something you shouldn't have. Which, I did(n't). I got in the tub, hoping the warm water would help. Your older sister sensed that something grand was about to happen, though if she only knew it would change her life, she might not have stood next to me and rubbed my back.
Daddy asked me if he should call Dinah. I didn't know. She was just getting home from her day at the birthing center. But, yes. So he called and she wanted the now contractions timed. Between 1-2 minutes. The only problem was gramma and grampa had the car. Daddy called them to have them return.
Meanwhile, he put towels in the dryer, heeding promptings he had. I put my clothes on and hobbled down to the car. By now the pain was mountainous. The contractions were hard and right on top of each other with no time to relax and recover. Yes, I was screaming with a mound of warm towels on my lap while daddy drove. Gramma sat behind me and grampa was at home waiting for the babysitter.
The roads were covered with a thick layer of ice, cars sliding all over the place. Daddy was trying to drive quickly, but carefully. Gramma wanted him to pull over. Daddy said we were almost there. Then I started to scream that I couldn't do it. Daddy looked back at gramma and said, oh, no, she says she can't do it. What are we going to do? Gramma reassured him I would, and I imagine gave him a weak smile.
Then, I felt your head crowning. You wanted to come, oh! how you wanted to come. The medical staff [Daddy and gramma] told me not to push. I couldn't not push. We pulled into Lover's Lane Birthing Center to no midwife. Your head was out. Gramma jumped out of the car and told me I needed to get the rest of you out. Daddy called onstar for someone to help us. I pushed again and gramma caught you and wrapped you in the warm towels. I held you until gramma couldn't wait any longer to see if you were another girl or a boy. Dinah pulled up and informed the onstar agent that there was no need to come. Dinah was here.
Daddy cut the cord. Our final physical separation. Gramma carried your purple, but breathing body in. I tried to get somewhat modest, though didn't really care at that moment. There were onlookers, and we joked later what a story they had to tell that day.
No water birth for us. More of an ice birth. You waited to come, but when you did, kapow! It wasn't until we got you home and gave you a bath that we discovered the fuzz on your head was red. That explained a lot. Love you, Per-per.