Yesterday I took E to a small birthday party for one of her best little friends. There were only two other kids there and I didn’t know their parents, though I had met one boy’s mother through the daycare. My belly is getting big and there is no not noticing this pregnancy. Both moms asked me when I was due and I found it very difficult to answer their question. I am due May 15, but that date means very little to me (except that it was my dear friend Molly‘s son Conner’s due date, too) (and somehow I feel like there is a kind of protection in the coincidence). This baby will be born a couple of weeks before his due date if all goes well, and so mid-May feels to me like another planet, a far-off distant time I cannot imagine happening. I decided that I didn’t want to make evasions or talk around my particular reality, so I said, ‘The baby is due May 15, but will be delivered at least two weeks early. So, we’re hoping to meet him in very early May.’ One mom asked me if I was having a scheduled c-section and when I said yes, she said that’s what she’d do if she were to become pregnant again (which, she assured me, she never would). The way she said this rubbed me the wrong way; I wanted to assure her that I was not having a c-section because I wanted one, because it was more convenient, or less harrowing, or whatever. I told her about A being stillborn and explained that we were taking the most cautious and careful approach. ‘Oh,’ she says. And then…

And then she launched into a long, long story about her labour with Z. ‘I had a c-section with Z,” she said. ‘I was in labour for five days. FIVE DAYS. I was so exhausted, so tired. FIVE DAYS. And then when it was finally getting to be time to actually deliver, there were no rooms at the hospital. I couldn’t get my epidural because I was being kept in admitting. You know, I wanted the natural birth, no drugs, birthing tub all of that, but by the time I was really doing it, I just wanted the epidural and then I couldn’t get it. We were supposed to get one of those really great birthing suites, with the tub and the big windows and everything, you know the ones, but then there weren’t any available. You hear about that happening, don’t you? You hear about how there are some people who don’t get to use the really awesome birthing rooms. Well, we were those people!’

‘We were those people,’ she repeats, shaking her head in bemused disbelief.

Those people. Who didn’t get the room they wanted.

Lady, I just told you that my baby died and you just told me that you didn’t get the room you wanted.

The mind boggles.

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