A lot of my columns deal with the now, the present, where my very exciting life is today. But what about the beginning of my “adventures in boy motherhood”? Was I this nuts all those years ago? What was I like when the nurse walked into my father’s office and said the magical words, “It’s positive”? What was my relationship with husband #1 like?
So I would like to take you all back in time for a little while. When life was simpler, when there were no tuition bills or mortgage payments. (There was rent. Don’t worry. We weren’t homeless). When the biggest thing we had to worry about was how to set the clock on the VCR (hey kids, a VCR is what came before DVDs…)
It was January 1996 when I discovered I was pregnant with son #1. We were very excited. My mother was excited about my being able to fit into maternity clothes, but we soon learned that Pea in the Pod (a maternity store — don’t know if it is still around) was made for women who weigh as much as an actual pea, even while pregnant. Fortunately, we discovered a maternity store that did amazing things with very large tablecloths to fit the bigger pregnant women. So clothing was taken care of. Which, as you can imagine, was a very good thing.
When we went for the sonogram, I wanted to find out what I was having, since I was spending so much time with the magical creature who was swimming around my very ample belly, but I didn’t share the secret with anyone… In fact, husband #1 didn’t even know that I knew. What did that mean? That I could give him a really hard time about names for a girl, because I knew we weren’t having one! (Ok, I guess that proves I was difficult even back in 1996. Oh well.)
As I got bigger, things got more comical. Like the time I fell out of bed and our neighbors thought there was an earthquake in Englewood. Or when we were staying at some hotel and I leaned back on the chair I was sitting on and, yes, the whole chair fell backwards and I chipped my front teeth and husband #1 couldn’t stop laughing at the beached whale who was stuck on the floor in the chair. See, even in 1996 he wasn’t so helpful…touché.
But then there was Lamaze class. For those of you who don’t know what Lamaze is, it’s the art of delivering a baby without medical or pharmaceutical intervention using breathing techniques. I was determined to deliver my angel without using drugs. I listened to everything my teacher told me, which included making a mix tape to listen to while I was in labor. (A mix tape is a tape you would make of all the different songs you like.) What made me think of this time in my life was when I went to see the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”— which was amazing — and one of the songs Queen performed was on my tape. The tape that I listened and labored to for almost 22 hours with no pain medication. I was having contractions on a rocking chair that didn’t rock and I wanted to throw it out the window. I was having contractions on the floor, sitting on the bed, back on the chair, standing on my head, waking up the hallway, screaming down the hallway, but I was listening to my relaxing mix tape where Queen was finding somebody to love me, Billy Joel was telling me this was the time to remember, and Sting was saying free, free, set them free… Ahh, good memories.
Part of Lamaze class is massaging your partner, making them feel safe and loved. We were surrounded by a class filled with partners rubbing each other’s backs, holding each other’s hands, telling each other how much they loved them and how they were there for them. There was so much love in the room that I took one look at husband#1 and I said (well, possibly yelled) “Get your hands off of me!!!!!” And then the teacher came over to us and informed us that if we couldn’t behave, we would be asked to leave the class. (At least they didn’t tell us that we would have to give the baby back….)
Yes, that was 1996, the year my life changed forever. And what did my helpful, supportive partner do while I was in labor for a full 24 hours and 31 minutes? He watched playoff baseball, and that’s ok, because that is how we roll. And after all of that, son #1 turned out just fine…
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck looks forward to sharing more exciting stories from her sordid past. And she hopes you will enjoy them!