It seems to be working a bit backwards, but I think that it's a good idea to get some of this down while it is still relatively fresh.
On October 5th at 9 in the morning, I was getting ready to go to work, and Horyon was having trouble eating breakfast. She told me that she was having some pains that might be false contractions. It was still 8 days before Maxine's due date, so we didn't really expect anything. I had read that only 8-10% of babies arrive on or before their due dates, and that first time mothers often deliver 2-3 weeks late. Still, I was a bit worried. I asked Horyon if I should drive instead of biking, in case she needed a ride to the hospital. She said no, get on your bike and ride!
Whoops. Sorry about that. Horyon didn't say that, the rock supergroup Queen did, in their song "Bicycle Races". But it's a good line, and if she had known it, I'm sure Horyon would have used it.
Anyway, I did get on my bike and ride. Horyon called after lunch to tell me that she had called her folks, had lunch with them that day. Her father picked her up around 11:30, and they stopped by the Megamart (a big supermarket) to pick up a couple of things, walked around for 20 minutes or so before heading home. They had lunch, and Horyon was still feeling cramps in her stomach and lower.
Around 3:00 she told her parents she wanted to go to the hospital. They told her it was unlikely that anything was happening this early, but she didn't listen. Thank God.
When they checked in, the nurse told her that there were three other patients ahead of her, and did she want to be seen before the other women? She was demure, and told the nurse that she would wait. By the time the 2nd woman had gone in to the office, Horyon had set aside demure mode and gone into what's-happening-to-my-body mode. She was shown in, and hopped up on the table for the exam. (Well, "hopped" my not be the best word, considering the way she was sitting down and getting up at that point, but I digress.) The doctor took a look at how things were going and immediately told her that she would be having her baby that evening, as she was already dilated 3 cm.
Being the polite family that they are, they waited until 4:00 when they knew my classes were finished before calling me. I was so excited that I left my planning notebook in the classroom I had just finished in.
I pedaled home at record speed, and got another call, this time from Horyon. She told me that I didn't need to hurry, as she was in the collective delivery room, no family allowed. They were waiting for a family delivery room to empty, but until then I wouldn't be able to see her.
So I took a shower. At that point it was more than a luxury. If I had gone to the hospital smelling like I did, I could have cleared any room in the place with the power of my b.o. alone. I then grabbed some clean clothes, a book, my camera, my mp3 player, and my car keys, and left.
I got to the hospital by 5:15 or so, and her mother and I were escorted to the family delivery room at 5:30. They told us that Horyon would be along in 5 minutes or so, so we sat around for about 45 minutes. I think the nurse told us it would be 5 more minutes a couple of times, but I've been in this country long enough to ignore that sort of thing.
When they brought Horyon in, she had be epiduralated (not sure of the verb there, but mine sounds good, right?), shaved, and scared silly by a nurse saying, "That's funny, I wonder why we can't hear the baby's heart-beat?" Bad nurse! Foolish nurse! Scaring my honey like that! She was worked up enough that the doctor had to come and confirm that everything was just fine, and please continue with what you were doing, thank you very much.
Hence our wait in the family delivery room.
And on that note, I will leave you with the promise to finish sometime in the near future.