In the Historic district of the town where we now live, there is a tradition of hanging May Day flower baskets on your front door or porch, which are judged by the local gardening club. Judging aside, it’s a gorgeous tradition – how fun to walk through the streets of town when every door is adorned with bright bouquets?
Kenny wanted to participate with me, so we each made baskets, and hung them on the front corner of our house:
Kenny’s basket was a beach pail, decorated with Lightening McQueen stickers and colored pipe cleaners (and the scraps of my ribbons) and filled with herbs and grass from our back yard. Mine was about a half and half combination of flowers from our garden (azaleas, cockles, lilies, mint stalks and some random purple weeds that were really quite pretty) and some bought from the garden club’s flower sale (tulips and snap dragons).
We were pretty proud of our artistic endeavors and even hid in the window to watch when the judges stopped by our house. Kenny was beyond ecstatic that he received a ribbon. (I didn’t tell him that it was “just for participating” because he was in the kid’s category… how could I think to take away from his exuberant joy??) I got a little “thank you for your entry” postcard on mine, but no ribbon, and Kenny shared my disappointment with an unusual level of empathy for a little guy his age. The best part of it all was that he and I went out to breakfast together, then spent a half hour walking hand in hand on the streets surrounding ours to look at the entries together, just the two of us. It redeemed the strife of the day before.
The second half of the day was way too busy… Kenny had a t-ball game, then we all went over to our old house, which we are maintaining as a rental property, to do some work. After three hours, we were all exhausted, the boys were feeling ignored and Casey’s incisions were aching. We got home just in time to shower so that Casey and I could go out for a date night – something that we’ve not done nearly enough in the past few months. The boys’ favorite sitter arrived and they barely noticed that we left, and Casey and I walked the town, “detoxing” from the tough afternoon, before settling at an outdoor cafe with live music. We had a fantastic time – we were admittedly new people by the time, dinner was through – both of us recharged and relaxed. We even waited 45 minutes in line for ice cream cones by the docks (silly, yes, but boy was it good!!) before walking back home and going to bed.
That’s were the fun ended. I woke up at 1 am with contractions so strong I was clawing at the sheets and sweating like I was running. I tried to walk around, but found myself every 7 minutes or so clinging to the wall, scratching and moaning in pain. Casey woke up to the sound of my sobs and gasps for breath. He was ready to go to the hospital, but I decided to take a shower first. After 30 minutes under the hot water, the contractions dulled enough that I could breathe again. I crawled weakly back to bed and fell into a fitful sleep, waking up every 15 minutes or so until morning.
I decided to go to the hospital and get checked this morning, even though the contractions had nearly subsided. Casey took the kids to the park. When I got there, they hooked me up to the monitors to check both the baby and the contractions, and when the doctor came in, she looked at the tape and said, “Well, you’re definitely having legitimate contractions. Let’s see how far along you are.”
Bitter, bitter disappointment ensued. “Wow. You’re completely closed! I can’t believe it, but you haven’t even really started labor…” She was entirely sympathetic, but I burst into tears as soon as she left. How can I endure this much pain and have NOTHING to show for it??? The nurses were sympathetic, too, and told me to “hang in there” and “don’t hesitate to come back if they get worse.” I have been in a pout ever since. Get worse? I was trying to eat the plaster off the walls, I was hurting so bad last night. I’ve been in labor before, and I tell you, nothing I felt when I was in labor with Kenny hurt worse than what I went through last night. So not fair. If I can’t trust my own body, what can I trust???