Seven months into my pregnancy, I start to ask the universe just how much worse it can get. Life tip? Never ask this. Because I did, and they told me it was kidney stones.
The thing about kidney stones is, they hurt just as much as labor itself but without the cute baby-shaped treat that pops out at the end. Plus, there’s also not a whole lot that they can do about them when you’re pregnant, so my only choice is to wait.
So every day I wait through waves of pain while both of these suckers grow inside me. My little baby stones and my regular little baby too.
While I wait, I find myself in and out of the hospital with kidney complications. Ultimately, the doctor ends up putting me on bed rest.
When my next appointment comes, I’m running late as usual. Leaving my belongings in the car, I hurry inside the doctor’s office. I quickly and silently sign my name on the sign-in sheet and then slip into the closest chair as if I’ve been here the whole time. Glancing around the room, I calmly pick up a magazine.
Put on your “I’ve been here” face.
To my surprise, they call my name next. I hurriedly put the magazine back and start waddling in her direction. She greets me with a smile and leads me to the room. The doctor comes in flashing me his big pretty smile.
His familiar face puts me at ease immediately. He’s been my doctor since I was 19. This isn’t our first rodeo by any means.
“How are you feeling?” He asks, seemingly genuinely concerned for me.
“Hanging in there I suppose,” I reply while brushing my messy hair from my face.
He pauses while reviewing my chart.
His usual friendly expression is now absent. His eyebrows burrow together in concern. I instinctively start to panic. His lips begin moving. He’s speaking to me, I’m sure, but I can’t hear a thing he’s saying. Something about delivering the baby today.
It’s still too early. I have 5 weeks left.
I realize in this moment that I haven’t picked out a baby name or packed an overnight bag yet.
Oh shit. Out of all the things, you just had to procrastinate this?
A few painful hours later, the nurse is placing my baby in my arms. Staring at her face, the entire room goes still.
Her big wide eyes gaze up into mine and she blinks slowly at me like a cat. Soaking in her features, I’m completely mesmerized by how little she looks like me. The resemblance to Jose however is uncanny. She lets out a small sigh, right before she drifts off to sleep.
Gazing into her sleeping expression, I realize that I hate the thought of going back to work. It dawns on me right there in the hospital bed, that all of the pregnancy complications have taken my entire paid vacation plus my allotted sick time.
Pretty soon I will be both out of money and out of time. Again. The story of my life.
Holding her close, I push that thought momentarily out of my mind. When I look up, Jose is staring at both of us with tears in his eyes.
I wonder if now is a good time to ask for a sandwich?