21. Sometimes… There’s a video.

Here is the video of my performance in the 2012 Austin Listen to Your Mother Show, for which I read an essay about August and Pearl:

Advertisements

20. Sometimes new old memories resurface.

The night that August died, we had a number of hours at the hospital before his birth, waiting for my labor to pick back up again so I could push him out. We waited and waited. I even snoozed some. I’d been in transition when we got there, and stayed in that state for all those hours; I was totally unaware of most things happening around me, including the fact that Erik had to call our families and tell them what was happening. His parents came up from San Antonio; my mom and stepdad and my siblings and their families all came to the hospital too. I was so out of it; I was alternately apologizing to everyone, as if I’d somehow caused the awful situation we were in, and giggling about ridiculous things, like the fart that slipped out while my mother and mother-in-law both stood by my bed.

August was born late at night. We left the hospital the next morning. My dad rang our doorbell at noon; he had caught the first flight out from Boston, where he lives, to Austin. As soon as I opened the front door, he broke down crying, and I did too. We cried and hugged. It was an awful moment, and also a lovely one. I was so glad he was there; that he’d come as quickly as he could, and was at my house less than twelve hours after August had been born.

I hadn’t thought about that in a long time. Then, tonight, I was thinking about how both August and Pearl were born well after their due dates — August was 11 days past due, Pearl nine — and both times, as my due dates came and went, we had family in town, waiting around for the baby to come. I remember feeling so pressured; I wanted the baby to come too, dammit! And I would go to my prenatal appointments — the 40-week appointment, then another at 41 weeks — and the midwife would check me out and tell me, “No, this baby isn’t coming yet…” and I would just feel so frustrated. (After August was born and died, I remember wishing I’d been more patient and graceful; if I’d only known my pregnancy was all the time I’d have with him, I would have kept him in even longer! I assured myself I’d never be so impatient again, if we had another child. Then Pearl was nine days past due, and I was every bit as frustrated and impatient. I guess that’s just how it goes, when you have that 40-week mark stuck in your head.)

Anyway, tonight I was remembering those days before the two babies’ births, and musing that maybe it would be good just to have the family come after the baby is born next time, instead of before — since clearly I gestate longer than other women… And then I remembered that moment of opening the front door and my dad standing there, breaking down in tears. And it all washed over me again, fresh all over again.