A few weeks ago, Jacque called me up and said those scary six words:
"Will you do me a favor?"
Don't get me wrong, I'm cool with doing favors. "Do me a favor and pass the salt."
It's when someone specifically calls you and asks for the favor in a somewhat doomsday tone that I get nervous.
"Oh, God. No. Okay what?"
"If I go into labor and Chris can't make it in time, can I come pick you up on the way to the hospital?"
That didn't seem like such a big deal to me, but I had to laugh. She wanted to pick me up on the way?
"Of course you can. But um . . . I can come pick you up, you know."
"No no no! There may not be time! You can just drive from your place when I get there."
So it was set in stone. I was the official back-up driver. What a big responsibility!
I've spent the last few weeks gearing myself up to wake right away to her ringtone. I've been having trouble sleeping and wake up to every little noise.
Friday, I was up late and didn't go to bed until 1:30 AM. I guess that would be Saturday morning, but you catch my drift.
I always set approximately ten alarms when I go to bed. It's not so much that I can't get up to one alarm. I've done it before. I'm just paranoid that maybe one won't go off or somehow I'll be so tired that I'll sleep through it. Therefore, the ten alarms, a bunch on my phone and one alarm clock.
Sometime after going to bed, my phone started ringing. I remember waking up and thinking "It's already morning?" I don't remember what the sound was or even what I did to turn the sound off, but I remember waking.
Apparently, I slept for awhile more, because at 2:50 AM, I jumped awake, thinking "My other alarms didn't go off! I'm going to be late for work!"
I looked at the clock and was totally confused. I wasn't sure if the clock was wrong or if I had dreamed about the phone alarm sounding.
I found my phone under the pillow and saw the light was blinking. Immediately, I knew I was in trouble. Then I saw I had a missed call and it was from Jacque. Whoops!
Luckily, the message was all about how Chris was taking her to the birthing center. So I'd skirted a "I had to have my baby in the bathroom!" catastrophe. Phew!
Of course, now I was totally awake. Could it be the long-awaited kiddo was finally showing up? I couldn't get back to sleep, so I did what any sane person would do and wrote a letter to the baby.
I finally fell back to sleep at somewhere around 5:30 and was up at seven, doing laundry and wondering what was happening.
Work took my mind off the baby for a little while. Why does everyone in the world decide to come to the bank on Saturday mornings?
As soon as we locked the doors, I pulled my phone out of my bag to see that I had missed yet another call from Jacque's mobile. I assumed everything was over, so I called back.
Chris answered and I rushed into "What's going on? Do you have a baby?"
"She's actually doing that right now. Can we call you back?"
"Of course of course bye!" And I laughed--what was he doing answering the phone?
So I waited and waited and waited to hear what was happening. I think maybe I napped for a minute or two. Then I finally got a call from Jacque. She sounded tired but was prepared for me to come visit.
And here's the part where we all take a great sigh of relief that I wasn't the driver. I passed that stupid place five times before I realized it! There's great big letters on the building that say "BIRTHING CENTER." I think maybe I'm half-blind.
Jacque's mom was holding Evan when I walked in and Chris was trying to catch up on his sleep. I had all these thoughts of how tired and dead Jacque was going to look because that's friggin hard work, pushing out a baby!
Much to my surprise, Jacque looked really good! I mean, she wasn't all primped like she was going out on the town, or anything, but she looked a bazillion times better than I expected. Maybe squeezing kids out isn't as hard as I thought!
Another surprise was Evan's hair. It's curly and blond like his momma's. And there's a ton of it!
Now, I'm no big fan of babies. Newborns, especially, scare the crap out of me. I've never even held a baby on the day it was born, but for some reason, me and Evan was tight!
I picked him up and he just looked at me for awhile. That kid must be an old soul. Most babies, after being in the womb and staring at nothing but Mommy's insides all day, find seeing so much other stuff scary. They'll keep their eyes closed. But not Evan. He had his eyes wide open and was checking out everything.
He hadn't even slept since he'd been born. He had to be worn out, but was just so interested, he had to stay awake.
I did get him to fall asleep. I thought that was very Auntieish of me. "Yeah, he was just waiting to see me before he took a nap."
I handed Evan over to Grandma, so she could rock him, and listened to all the details; Jacque didn't like the mirror, but loved the drugs and Chris got a leg cramp.
I didn't want to stay too long. I knew everyone needed some rest before the rest of the world came to see them. So I snapped a few pictures, and started packing my stuff.
"I keep telling Jacque she's really got a friend in you!" Grandma Kooz said.
"Yeah right! I'm such a great friend, I don't answer I'm-Going-Into-Labor calls when I'm the backup driver! Yay me!"