Something to Prove: A Birth Story
A black car slowed down and pulled up to the curb. A woman inside rolled her window down and gave me an over-dramatic frown. She pointed to my belly and shook her head back and forth, slowly. Obviously she disapproved. I glanced down at my considerable belly and gave it a little rub.
The women, who I had seen at the dog park a couple of times with her Shelties, offered me a ride home (three times). I politely declined her offer (three times) before giving her a forced smile and little wave goodbye. She pulled away from the curb and continued on her way. The minute she was out of sight, my fake smile turned into one of contempt. I knew that the lady had meant well, but I couldn't help but feel annoyed at her belly pointing and assumption that a woman in my “condition” was incapable of taking her dog for a walk.
It was nearly October in Florida but that didn't mean fall was in the air. It was still a sweltering 95 degrees. There wasn't a cloud in the sky or any wind in the air. After walking for about a mile, the heat really started to get the best of me. My shirt was sticking to my back and belly. Sweat was dripping off my face and running down my things. And, despite the SPF 70 I put on prior to leaving the house, I could feel the sun burning the back of my neck. It didn't help that I was a bit dizzy, too.
Being 9 months pregnant in the Florida heat can be a stinky, sweaty mess (not to mention super uncomfortable).
I decided to throw in the towel and head for home. Before I was even a quarter of the way back, I found myself wishing that the women I had turned down for a ride three times would show up again and offer it a fourth time. I was starting to feel nauseated and faint, on top of the already disconcerting dizziness. I was sweating so profusely that not only my shirt, but also my pants were soaked. There wasn't a dry spot on them. I started to think that the lady in the car was right – I shouldn't be walking in this heat – at least not while I was this pregnant. I was due in a week.
I forced myself to push through the rest of the walk and eventually made it home. As soon as I got inside, I changed out of my sweaty clothes and lay down on my bed mostly naked in an attempt to cool down. After a few minutes I had cooled down considerably and was ready to get dressed the rest of the way. As soon as I stood up, something caught my attention. My underwear – the new, clean ones I had just put on a few minutes earlier – were wet again.
I wondered if this was it, the day I was going to meet my daughter. I knew at 39 weeks there was a good chance this was just false labor, but I couldn't help but get excited. My heart began to race and a smile spread wide across my face. It was time to call my husband (oh yeah, and the doctor too).