Part of that exhaustion comes from wanting to be a good host for everyone and realizing that once a critical mass of people is reached (about fifteen), hostlets break off and groups form to play games. But I still want to be everyone to everyone and have fun and smile and cheerfully work my way through better than thirty full place settings.
Dad forgot his pie, his jell-o, and his salad. Pie and jell-o should still be good.
I gained maybe one pound over the holiday; I have begun to dislike eating large quantities. Mostly because I have an instinctual purging response to being full, and throwing up is Not A Good Thing. I want to go back to exercising. I want my heels to stop aching horribly with every step (my fault; wore bad shoes for a week or two and strained them). I want to be the girl I was when I was sixteen and beautiful and didn't know it.
The baby, from Thursday? We pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed - we all push, it's a strange symbiosis. When I say "And breathe..." every woman in the room takes a deep breath, holds it, and tenses up through the push. We pushed. Baby refused, stalwartly, to move. Dr. V came and examined. "Sunny-side up." Occiput posterior; baby's face battering itself against the pelvic bone. He got the vacuum and did a deft little twisting manoeuvre that freed the baby to be delivered in one smooth motion. I watched. He looked at me. "Why don't you," he suggested, "go meet my other patient?" I'd been there all day, O Best Beloved, in the hopes of getting that delivery. Who was I to turn down another chance?
She was at 5 cm or so, the new patient, and it was her first baby. I begged the night shift secretary to page me if anything happened. Dr. V told me sotto voce to call every hour and check up on her, if I wanted to be in on it. "They never page." I went home. I called an hour later. "7 cm." I'll be in in half an hour or so. I didn't have time to call back. Five minutes after that my pager shrilled and I called back. "She's complete. Come quickly."
Sprinted to the hospital - a three-minute drive away. Beat Dr. V there by a few seconds, enough for me to get my breath only. We ran into the room. There she was, whimpering and sobbing. Seems she'd sat up to get an epidural and then felt massive pressure. Complete. No epidural. And there we went.
She was a champion mother. Through my inexpert delivery (I almost dropped the baby, I am certain, it came out so oddly and so wriggly) and the second-degree laceration (Dr. V did the repair) she didn't scream. She made noises and cried but so would anyone. And the baby was beautiful, the best narcotic any mother can have. "Ow, it hur--ohhhh, baby!" If you've ever seen it, you know what I mean.
So what about today? Today comes later, O Best Beloved. I am here late for a woman whose strip suddenly says 9cm and I must go investigate.