Thirteen Years Ago…
Thirteen years and one day ago – three days before the baby was due – we were at some friends’ house. They had adopted two little girls from the Philippines and were having a party to celebrate. At this party, my nine-months-pregnant self indulged in lots of food and corn chips. How I love corn chips!
I went to bed that night not feeling too well. I put it down to gorging myself silly with all that corn chips and tried to get some sleep.
I awoke not too much longer when those little aches became something more than just some tummy pains. Mr Yewnique wanted to know if we should call the Birth Centre to let them know what was happening.
At this point, the reader needs to know that our firstborn took his own sweet time. Well over twenty hours of labour he caused me. Went to the hospital in great excitement only to be told I wasn’t ready and got sent home again. So, I wasn’t about to go through that again. Besides, I had the little matter of the Avon Order Form.
Back in those days, I earned a little side income by being an Avon Lady. When I say ‘little side income’, I mean any profit I made (if any) was enough to buy a bag of corn chip. A little one. Maybe. Let’s just say I’m a terrible salesperson, but I also don’t know how to say ‘No’. In other words, if you are in the multi-level marketing industry I am the perfect sucker to get to sign up to be your Downline. Just don’t expect any great returns.
So, this baby could not have chosen a worse time (in my mind) to be born when I had an Order Form to fill of my customers’ orders so it could be submitted to my District Leader the following day. There was also the other matter of the unpacked things. That’s right – I hadn’t packed a thing yet. Three days before my due date and I hadn’t packed.
I had to make a decision: Pack or Avon? I chose the latter.
There I was, filling in that order form in between contractions. For once, my ineptitude at selling things was a blessing because I only had about three customers’ orders to write down. Whenever a contraction came along, I paced up and down our hallway, but once it eased I was back at the dining room table writing down the number of lipsticks and powders so that my valued customers would get their order in a timely manner. The contractions were coming quicker and closer and stronger by this time, and still I soldiered on with my Avon duty.
Then, during one of my pacing routines, my water broke. My dedicated husband, who was sleeping through all this, finally got out bed and asked me again whether I really thought we should hold off calling the birth centre any longer. I pushed past him to get into the shower to wash the gunk off my legs and pondered his question.
While I was in the shower, the baby made her way even more down the birth canal. This baby was ready to be born.
‘Call an ambulance!’ I yelled over the noise of the shower.
‘An ambulance or the birth centre?’
He called the birth centre.
Husband came back and calmly said, ‘They said to go in now.’ I shook my head at him and he insisted, ‘Yes!’ Poor guy. He didn’t know what I knew. There wasn’t time to get out of the shower, get changed, wake the two-year-old, get in the car and go to the birth centre. There just wasn’t. Oh, and did I mention that I hadn’t packed yet? If we went, there was a very high probability that we were going to have to pull over and have a roadside delivery.*
My husband started going around the bedroom putting things in my bag while I was still standing there under the shower. It was at this time, that I felt myself opening up and the baby’s head coming through.
‘The baby’s coming!’ I yelled to my husband.
‘What, right now??’
One push – yes, that’s all it took – and she slid out into my ready arms. ‘It’s a girl! She’s beautiful!’
* Interestingly, when we took our daughter in for her week-old check-up, there was a newspaper clipping there of a woman who did just that.