Today is going to be marked down in the history books as the most memorable 4th of July ever.
I flew to Arizona this week to help my daughter with her new baby. Only the baby didn’t come as predicted. I arrived and tried the “ok I am here – you may have the baby” speech that worked on me 26 years ago when my father arrived in anticipation of the birth of my first child. Nope. As my daughter was not having contractions – at least not hard and consistent – I resigned myself to spending the week with my daughter, my SOMH, and my oh so very precious 20 month old grandson.
Last night, the 3rd of July, my daughter was called in for an elective induction procedure involving a gel at can be inserted three times over 2-3 hour periods. She had been on this waiting list and we were sure, as this was a long weekend, it would not happen. We were wrong. At 11:30 p.m., they called and my daughter came shrieking out of the bedroom…”they called, they called!!!” In my sleepy, disoriented stare, I jumped up, ran in circles, told her to calm down, and in my calmest voice, told her to “breathe”. Then I stopped and said “wait, what is happening?” By then she was on the phone with her husband who had been at the mosque, and in the most amazing multi-tasking fashion, managed to get dressed, brush her hair, talk to her husband and bark instructions to me about the toddler peacefully sleeping in his bed.
Needless to say, there was NO sleeping that night. I received periodic texts from my daughter who informed me that a cockroach crawled on her hand in the car (we have determined it was a leaf) and that she only needed one gel application to begin laboring. Apparently, my daughter doesn’t have a high tolerance for pain. She was, to hear her tell it, SCREAMING in pain. She begged for drugs and they gave her something to calm her. It only made her sleepy so she loudly complained that she needed more time between contractions. There is no drug for that. Apparently, when she reached 5 cm, they prepared to give the epidural. She had it, but it didn’t take. Not at all. I cannot write what it is I am sure she must have been saying…err…screaming. She pushed her precious son out in three pushes. I received the news at 7:55 a.m. from my SOMH…proud baba! The first text from my daughter was obscene exclamations…and “you chose to do it without medication?!?!? What the hell is wrong with you?”
Shortly before 10 a.m., my SOMH picked me and his older (so cool to say that) son up and off we went to visit. He asked me to drive as he could not stay awake. Trust me…when he needs to sleep, he cannot be awakened. He went right to sleep in the hospital room when we got back and I snuggled my new grandson, while tired momma got her snuggles from her other son.
But this happy and joyous story has a slight selfish downside…as it is still Ramadan, I have been fasting. Technically, I would be excused as I am traveling, but I am with my Muslim family so fasting is not difficult. Only its Arizona … in July … with nonstop unpredictability and routine changes. The migraine that has decided to join me started the day I left (and had to deal with flight delays, new itinerary, etc.) and despite medication, will not leave. As momma, baba and new baby are staying at the hospital, I could not let the pain overtake me when I had my grandson in my care. This child is stealthy. Very well behaved, mind you, but moves from point A to Z in a split second and finds the one object he really should not have (my iPad, eyeglasses, pointy screwdriver, blade to the food processor). I felt I had no choice but to break my fast so I could down a double dose of headache meds. I haven’t eaten anything except a piece of bread, but my stomach is rebelling from the pain. It’s not gone, but subdued.
At home, my grandson and I decided to pack a bit as tomorrow is moving day to a bigger apartment. I packed, he unpacked. I decided we should play instead. Well my grandson had A LOT to say. He chattered on in his special toddler language for at least 1/2 hour nonstop. He has serious conversations with his water bottle and the pie tin. He spins himself around in circles and kicked the soccer ball, all the while discussing somethings very serious. It was adorable but exhausting. You know the conversation where they are definitely trying to convey something and you playfully agree and then they pause, waiting for you to do whatever it is you just agreed to. I love those moments. The intent conversation. But now, I am relishing the silence. Habibi is in bed…sound asleep…I managed to make sense out of the kitchen packing and cannot hold my eyes open, but I want to regroup. I need to sleep…my headache demands it. But it is too quiet now…