Just before Labor Day nine years ago, I was so pregnant.
It was early September at the end of a long, hot, pregnant summer. Our second baby boy – our Cupcake – wasn’t due until the end of the month.
I’m sweating just thinking about it.
As fortune would have it, my doctor, who had delivered our first son – the Lovebug – two years prior, would soon propose a mercifully close induction date. When Lovebug came along, he stunned us all by weighing nearly a full pound more at the time of his arrival than he’d measured at his last sonogram a week before. Instead of weighing in at the estimated 8 pounds, 10 ounces – a weight which had caused my doctor’s eyes to open a bit larger as she gently asked if I wanted to consider a c-section – Lovebug greeted us in 9 pounds, 8.2 ounces of chubby baby deliciousness.
And if that hefty, unanticipated birth weight hadn’t been dramatic enough, he’d also brought with him an arm that didn’t want to come out at the same time the rest of him did. This meant that my doctor had to resort to breaking his arm to deliver him. With my firstborn’s traumatic birth still lingering vividly in her memory, my doctor proposed an induction date that would deliver our Cupcake at full term without leaving him in my sweltering womb to grow to the same pudgy rotundity of his older brother.
I happily agreed to her proposal.
But then I paused.
The doctor’s proposed induction date would be the Sunday before Labor Day. Since inductions sometimes moved slowly, I reasoned there would be the possibility that I’d still be in labor *on* Labor Day.
This would not do.
I began praying immediately, and asking others to join me, not to end so long and hot and pregnant a summer with what I viewed as a cruelly ironic date on which to give birth.
When the big day came, I labored as long as I could bear without the aid of medical pain relief, then as long as I could bear without the epidural. Then there were of course moments of confused baby in distress as I hunched over to receive the epidural, causing Cupcake to think I was pushing. After that episode necessitated an IV drug to slow labor down, I felt I was right back in the lamentable predicament of being faced with a Labor Day labor and delivery.
But Cupcake and I persevered, and even though I couldn’t feel my legs when delivery time came, the attending nurse tied a knot in a towel and told me to pull while she held steady. Within a mercifully short amount of time, Cupcake arrived, a sweet 7 pound, 2 ounce bundle of non-Labor-Day-delivered bliss.
Thus it was that my prayers were answered: I delivered a precious baby boy I could cuddled and nurse – rather than deliver – on Labor Day.