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July 29, 2015 was a mild Wednesday morning.
I dropped my husband
off at work and I made
my way to pregnancy class.
We shared a car
back then because
I had left mine
at my parents and
I just didn’t need it.
It’s a 30 minute drive to the hospital.

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I sign in at the front
and search for my name tag.
We carousel
around the room
to each midwife
for our individual checkups.
I step onto the scale
for my weight
and we continue
our usual routine.

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Every other week
I make my way down
to Portland to meet
with the group of women
I’ve shared pregnancies with
and our midwives.

As I am checked for size.
The baby appears a bit small.
She asks me
if I have felt the baby
move lately,
and I could not recall.
We assume her to be asleep.
We hear her heart beat
through a handheld
fetal doppler.
Maybe I’m preoccupied
and unaware
when she is active?

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I had an appointment
Scheduled for
later that day.
I ask her if we could
Just do it after
our class instead.
She can’t see
why not.
Problem solved.

We start taking our seats
as we
chitter chatter
about our pregnancies.
Bemused,
I was asked
If I was even pregnant,
I looked small.
I slapped back,
yeah I’ve been
attending these meetings on my own whim.
(What else do I say?!)
The couple smiled
and gathered themselves.
Surely, it’s because
of my baggy top?

We all quiet down
as class starts.
The topic was
about delivery.
I had notes
and a few
questions to ask
during open
discussion time.

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Class ends and we small talk
while parting ways.
There is an
unspoken tension.
The end is nigh.
Which one of us
will pop first?
I bet on the lady next to me,
She’s huge!

I walk to the main clinic
and call my husband.
I let him know that
I will be heading home
right after.
He suggested I reschedule
my appointment .
It only seemed logical.
The pregnancy brain phenomenon
was great with me.
( it’s a Legitimate thing , I kid you not.
I will have another
story on that later.)

I Can’t believe
I fell subject
to a stereotype!
Anyhoo,I was
looking forward
to heading back home
and going about
the usual.
It’s a 30 minute drive
without traffic.
I do not want
to come back here.

Sitting in the waiting room
with me is a very pregnant
woman.
I’m wondering
how uncomfortable
she must be.
This is my fate.
But I only have 3 weeks left?

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Maria!!
What luck,
I got called back quick.
The nurse
hooks me up
to the monitor.
I browse
through my phone.
I glance up and
her face changes,
she drops her tools
and runs out of the room yelling.
I was stunned.
What happened?
We just heard
the heart beat
about an hour ago
everything seemed fine.
What could have happened
in this short span of time?
What are the chances?
Another nurse
scurries in with her.
I had a few questions to ask
But I let them continue,
they watched
the monitors
feed intently.

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They sigh relief.
Was this a common mistake?!
They needed me
to stay for a few hours
to make sure everything
Was still fine.
I guess we had to
see some peeks
by a certain amount
of time and we were good.

I handed my phone
over to the nurse
To explain herself.
I also texted my doula
who was on vacation.
I let her in on all
the happenings.
The nurses wanted
me to go to imaging
and get an ultrasound.
extra reassurance,
A clearer image
of course.
Such great nurses.

Honestly, must be
nothing too serious
if I’m just walking
all over this campus
in the heat of summer.

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Hot and flustered
I check into imaging.
During the ultrasound
I prod the tech
for what she’s
worth and is
deemed useless.
Finally,
the doctor walks in,
hopefully she knows
how to read a sonogram.
Somethings wrong
with the umbilical cord.

That can’t be
too serious right?

Like hiccups?

She adds,
I was probably
not going home
and I needed
to go to L&D
for continued
monitoring.

Probably?

Continued monitoring?

Why is there
so much uncertainty?

It’s either good or its bad.

I go to labor and delivery
to get the
“continued monitoring”

As I’m walking down
the hall

it starts…

to…

settle…

in…

I have toured this hall.
This is where
women are giving birth.

Wait, Why I’m here!?

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I get set up in a room
and get all hooked up
by a couple of nurses.
My midwife comes
into the room.
She tries to explain
to me what’s about to happen,
It goes over my head.
this is all
too much, too soon.
And I may not have
slept well last night
as per usual.
I appear to be listening
and in comes an Obstetrician
introducing himself
and his 2 understudies.
Is this what she was trying
to Relay to me?

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His bedside manners,
smooth and comforting
He is confident.
Takes a good look
at me and sees
I’m not chaste
to the scalpel.
He tells me
he will see me later.
Unphased I jest
hopefully not.
The midwife
was unsettled.
I still thought
I was going home.
Apathetic and in denial.
I wasn’t trying to be rude,
I just didn’t realize
that I would be
seeing him again.

They conspired and
thought the baby
would be healthier
on the outside.
I mask my surprise.
I play it cool.
We choose a natural route
because I’m savage,
but I like the knife too.
Can I call my husband?
I couldn’t put a cohesive sentence together.
I hand the nurse my phone.

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“Your having a baby today.”
Modesty was thrown out window
and all sorts of
stuff was attached.
My husband walks in.
Everything was like
an out of body experience.
How did he get here
and during rush hour?

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I made a birth plan
and it just got thrown
out the window.
It’s the stereotype,
but who cares
I want what’s best,
And on a side note
I like all the commotion
in the operating room
it’s fascinating.

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Im sitting on a table
I am getting a stick up my back
I feel week,
so I get nervous laughter
I giggle to the nurse
holding me tell her
I’ve a had spinal tap
done before
Just to show her
my confidence.
Unimpressed she
tells me to hold still
I feel it kicking in
so I don’t mind her dismissal.
I giggle within to myself, whatever.

So we paid for
a doula, now what?
We had already
taken all our
classes and we were
prepared for our
natural birth
in pool.
I was now on the
operating table
in an awkward
face up arms out
situation.
I kept asking for my husband.
He was told to change
and was waiting.
They weren’t going to
start on me
without him
in the room.
He’s gotta see it all.
He sat by my side
opposite the anesthesiologist.
My love and my drug lord.

I felt very weak
and kept asking
if I was dying.
I think I was high
but also felt like
passing out.
He confirmed again
that I was fine,
and no I was not dying
just my blood pressure dropping.
or something like that,
that I can recall.

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One, two, three, four!
The doctor called out
as he unwrapped the cord
from the baby’s neck.
She was whisked away.
What kind of technology is that?!
You couldn’t see
that from the sonogram?!
I almost lost
my little baby.
She was struggling
inside of me and
I didn’t know!
It still makes me sick.
By sheer coincidence,
we happen to reschedule
my appointment for earlier.
Thank God everything
worked out.

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At 4:29pm
Kareena, made her grand debut.

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