“Wooohhh…Weeehhh, park right here,” I managed to murmur.
Jamal jumped out and ran around to open my door.
“Wooohhh…weeehhh, ok, let this one pass and then we can go in.”
Leaving the car parked at the main entrance, we made our way to Saint Barnabas’s check-in. Thank God for the tour of the maternity ward we took just two weeks prior; my husband knew exactly where to go. When we entered the small registration area, there was only one other couple seated and waiting patiently. The wife looked like an old pro at this, while her husband looked as though he wished the cord blood-banking kit he was fumbling with would turn into some playoff game. The clerk kindly motioned us pass them into her office.
“Is this your first child?” “Yes.” “How far along are you?” “38 weeks.” I answered a few more questions when I felt another contraction coming. My ego begged me to control my reaction as best I could. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. “Date of birth?’ “Hold on,” I winced. “Wooohhh… weeehhh.” I gripped the desk. The moaning began; the sizzle in my back grew. Twenty seconds later, I came out of my trance and picked up where the questioning left off.
Within the next minute, I heard similar moans brewing in the waiting room. The Old Pro started off with heavy breathing, which quickly evolved to her standing to her feet, clutching her lower back, and then scaling the wall behind her. A few breaths more and she sat back down as though nothing happened. Her husband never blinked. I sat terrified.
I finished up with the clerk, and my husband helped me to the chairs across from the couple. Here we go again. Another contraction came, and it was my turn to grunt, growl and grimace. As I came off of my high, the Old Pro kicked into gear. We lobbed contractions back and forth several times, while laughing in between at the game of Womb Wimbledon we were competing in. Within ten minutes we wished each other well, and she was taken to her room. Believe it or not, that exchange helped ease my fears of what was to come in the birthing room.