Caretaker, with ten minutes to go

AWW, 3/07/12
Non-subject: caretaker

January 12, 1988. My husband, John, and I paced the Valley Hills shopping mall hoping I wasn't in false labor...again. My pains and so-called contractrations were mainly in my lower back, in the same area of my back where as a teenager I suffered horrid menstrual cramps.

I stopped walking and pressed my back into one of the large indoor columns along the wide corridor on the 2nd floor of the mall. Pressure felt good.

At some point I decided it was time to go to the hospital.

My first child, Sarah, was born on January 14. I'd been in labor for 36 hours. John and I were both exhausted. I imagine Sarah was too, but she couldn't tell us.

Sarah had had a rough time in the womb. The maximum sleep I ever got while pregnant was four hours at a time. At four hours, I'd awake in the throws of an asthma attack. Sarah must have felt my anxiety and heard the wheezing while nestled in the amniotic fluid. We must have taken at least two trips a month to the hospital emergency room.

Every living thing has no choice about his or her or its birth, nor a choice about where he or she or it is born.

Once born, every thing becomes a caretaker of something.


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