Lucky seven (haibun)

Many years ago they were expecting their first child.  They had impatiently waited seven years but felt blessed to have finally been given this chance.  Her husband was out playing a hockey game with his buddies.  She had a visitor with her all evening so she wouldn’t be alone since November 6th was the due date.  The television was on low and they were chatting like they always did since they were twelve years old.

She was sitting in the lazy boy since it was the only chair that was comfortable for her pudgy size. She stopped counting the weight she had gained after thirty-seven pounds.  Her back was sore so she slipped a small pillow in the small (ha that was funny) of her back.  Once in a while she kept looking at her watch.  Her friend did not have children and asked her why she was checking her watch so often.

“The contractions are every fifteen minutes, just checking to see if that is going to change…much.  It doesn’t seem to hurt too much.”

They were giggling out of their anticipation for the arrival of the baby. She had told the technician when she had the ultrasound not to tell her the sex of the baby.  She preferred a surprise hoping it might motivate her if the labour got too painful at the end.

Her friend left at eleven, and her husband arrived a few minutes later.  He went straight to bed since he had to get up early for work the next morning.  She had been off work for two weeks now.  She went to bed shortly after and had not told him about her contractions in case they were false labour.   Her grandmother had always told her if the pain wakes you up, then they are real.

She got to sleep fairly quickly but was awakened every ten to twelve minute all night long.  She didn’t want to wake her husband in case she was to be in labour many hours at the hospital and she wanted to stay in the comfort of her home as long as possible.  How she wished her grandmother could be with her.  But GrandMaman had just turned 78 and probably would not be able to go through a whole night with her at the hospital.  She would still wait. By 7 am, she phoned her friend who had two children to ask her questions and see if it was too soon to leave.  Contractions were about 7 minutes apart and getting very painful.  Her friend told her calmly, it was time to go to hospital.

She made a cup a tea and toast and woke up her husband telling him, “C’est le temps d’aller à l’hôpital.”  They both felt a bit awkward and nervous.  He was not aware of her intense contractions since he had slept all night through that so he seemed ill prepared for her whimpering and breathing in the car.  On the drive to the hospital when she got a contraction she would ask him to drive a bit slower on the twisting road by the river.  At each contraction he would jokingly sing, “I can’t get no contraction!”  They would laugh nervously trying to make light of the most important day of both their lives…their first child would be here soon.

At the hospital, he must not have realized how much in pain she was, he parked the car in the visitors’ parking lot and they walked laboriously to the entrance.  They had to stop twice so she could catch her breath during the painful contractions…he laughing…a bit giddy like a kid not sure what he was supposed to do would continue singing Mik Jagger’s song alterered to “his satisfaction”!

Four hours docteur Ronaldo Morriconni almost didn’t make it on time and  their son was born  six minutes after noon, softly crying and peeing on the doctor. Served him right for being late but the doctor just chuckled; he loved babies.  Daddy almost fainted at the most crucial moment and the nurse just shouted to him to sit down because they had more kind of busy at the moment.

They checked to see if baby was fine and breathing okay and then laid him on her belly while the doctor finished up what he had to do.  It was a nice distraction.  Baby seemed to recognize her voice and she held him to her breast as he seemed to know already what to do…a real natural!

That was thirty seven years ago. After seven years of marriage, the seventh grandchild was born on the 7th of November and christened on the 7th of January, his father’s birthday.

Oli-G Nov 7/78

November seventh
blessed with a healthy son
Olivier

© Tournesol ’15

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