When In Doubt

April 25th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

She’s wearing a hat. It’s one of those floppy, brimmed hats fishermen wear to keep the sun off their necks. She is holding her belly as expectant mothers often do during the third trimester. By the ninth month, the skin is drawn so impossibly taut; the constant touch is there to almost reassure herself. And in this photo, she is smiling big. I remember that moment so vividly. So clear that you’re told, “No, you’re confusing memory with seeing the photo over the years.” No, I remember it. I can hear the sounds. The beach. We talked near the showers where I rinsed off the sand and salt. The overcast was clearing; the warm late summer sun breaking through.

But maybe this I do see in the picture, or maybe it is in my memory and so I project it when I look at that photo. Past the big smile and the playful hat, way back in her eyes there’s some anxiety. It was the due date. She woke me that morning animated. There was some wetness. Did her water break? But it was more a few drops than a puddle. And it stopped. After some debate, we decided to go for a long walk at the beach. You know, get her going. Later that evening, the baby showing no sign of budging, she decided to call just to be sure. We were told to come in. The test came back as trace amniotic fluid. The amniotic sac can spring a pin hole sized leak. Who knew? In our case, the trickle that stopped was explained by the baby’s positioning pressing against and thus plugging the hole.

Because the sterile environment had been compromised all day, they put her and the baby on antibiotics. Our son was born meconium and with an elevated temperature. I do not want to be an alarmist. And having been one, I know that expectant, 1st time parents comprise as jumpy a group as there is. So calmly, I suggest: Near your due date, when in doubt, check it out.

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