And so, the babe arrived.

It has been a little over three months since our daughter R was born. You are probably guessing that since I was once a homeschooling mom that I would likely choose to do something radical and anti-establishment, like give birth to the babe at home. How dare you make such an absolutely correct assumption.

It went like this.

For over four weeks, I had contractions that would start around nine in the evening and would last between an hour to three hours, about five to ten minutes apart. They were annoying as heck.

Random know-it all neighbor or friend: "Oh, La Mai, you having the Braxton-Hicks contractions again?"
Me: "Yes, I am." (#$$%@@#@@%@%$@%$@%$@#!)
Random know-it-all neighbor or friend: "Oh that's too bad. You being an older mother-to-be and all...."
Me: "Yeah, really, I'm OK."
Random know-it-all neighbor or friend: "And you're what...past your due date by over a week? You really should go to the hospital."
Me: "I will." (To see you recuperate after I punch your lights out.)

That's how my pregnancy went toward its final days. Lots of comments from well-meaning folks. Lots of "And my daughter was C-sectioned twice for breech babies" talk (I was working with not one, but two physicians who knew how to turn babies). No one knew that my hospital was located right at Beth La Mai Medical Center. It was a decision that my husband and I made after learning that 1) the C-section rate in New York City is probably higher than is reported at 30-40%, depending on the practitioner and/or hospital and 2) I would not be able to labor freely, as I had for A and 3) I was older, which would make any physician want to induce or section me for "safety reasons" and 4) if I went past my due date by two weeks, even if that due date was dead wrong, I would certainly be induced or sectioned. That last thing is standard procedure in all New York hospitals, and it is a regulation that is on the books.

As I approached and easily went past my due date, I held firm to my decision to go natural when the baby was ready. It was hard to wait and my mother was driving me nuts with her worry. My midwife asked me to stop engaging my mother in due date talk and gave me helpful tips on switching the subject. I learned the art of switching the subject rather well, as my mother called me from Florida three to five times a day.

After one month of fake-o contractions, again around nine in the evening, I felt something. Then it went away. But then it came back. And it hurt. We were watching a movie featuring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci (yes, that one) when suddenly, now nine days past my due date, I heard "pop" while sitting on the sofa.

Three and a half hours later, Baby LaMai was born.

[Note: I just found this in the archives. It is September 2014. Decided to publish.]