'Twas the night before labor and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring (my husband was out).
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.
I was "due" Christmas Day, and I'd just left them there.
The dog-child was nestled all snug in her bed,
blissfully clueless to what was ahead.
And I with my yoga pants, Pillow-Throne like a Queen,
had just settled down for night sweats and creepy dreams.
When down in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,
I waddled downstairs to see what was the matter. (And to pee.)
My husband had entered, and gave me a wink.
I gagged when he kissed me (Ugh, what was that STINK?)!
But then I felt better and asked what he ate...
and got really mad when he said it was cake.
"I LOVE CAKE!" I shouted! "Would it kill you to share?!
I'm PREGNANT, remember? As if YOU care!"
When what to my super-mad eyes should appear,
but a doggie bag! CAKE! And he brought me root beer!
"Oh babe, you're the best!" I said, starting to sob.
Then I ate up that cake like it was my job.
I knew sleep would evade me, so I got the idea
That my house should be streamlined, like the catalog from IKEA!
I mopped and I scrubbed, I moved this, I moved that,
Then I practiced (again) wearing a stuffed bear in a wrap.
I nibbled leftover Thai food, and a pineapple core.
These "natural induction" tricks were becoming a chore.
My hubby begged me, "take a break from it all!"
So I sat, sipped my root beer, and bounced on my ball.
More rapid than eagles the reflux it came,
and I belched and ate Tums and I called him by name:
"Now Ethan! Now Jacob! Don't make mommy shout!
Whatever your name is, we're DONE here! GET OUT!"
As dry heaves that follow every good cry,
my sweet husband grabbed me, wiped a tear from my eye.
"He's coming," he promised. "No one's pregnant forever!"
I knew he was right, but growled, "Never say never!"
And then, like a tinkling, I felt down below...
It's wet! It's my water! THUNDER CATS ARE GO!!!!
"Call the doula!" I shouted! "Tonight is the night!"
And he stared back at me like a deer in headlights.
I called her myself and was happy I did.
Her calm voice helped me feel much less scared, more excited!
"Could still be a while," she said. "Relax. Soak it in.
Enjoy your last moments before it begins."
So we packed up our things, got our ducks in a row,
Snuggled up on the couch to catch up on our shows.
As I sat on a towel ('cause you know, I was leaking)
I heard a soft sound, like a little mouse squeaking.
His eyes, how they twinkled! My husband was crying!
(I'd say this surprised me... But I would be lying.)
He kissed me deeply (NOW he's ready for action?!?)
Hellooooooo oxytocin! Now THAT'S a contraction!
A squeeze of my hand and a kiss on my head,
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
I spoke not a word, fixed my make-up and hair
(Gotta prep for the pictures now, while I still care!)
Then just for a moment, with tears in my eyes,
I looked in the mirror and felt a surprise.
I was happy, SO happy, to be here at the beginning.
My heart was so full and my mind was just spinning.
I looked at myself and said "YES. Finally."
To my big belly, "THANK YOU, for coming to me!"
I knew it would get harder, and crazier yet,
so I wanted to say it before I'd forget.
"It's been worth it, SO worth it, to change our family."
Happy New Year to all! Happy "FINALLY!" to ME!
To every mother birthing this holiday season (or anytime, ever. to all of you.) ~
A Merry, Peaceful, Joyous "FINALLY!" to YOU.
Ali Fallis, Kansas City Birth Doula