My Sister’s Baby
"Shut up. I do not hate babies," my sister responded after I could not hide my astonishment at her announcement.
Although my mind was full of visions of her beating me up when I was little and she was in charge, I gave her a hug anyway and told her that I hoped she would be happy. Why not? She was married and financially independent; in fact, her work was extremely important to her. She even invited me into the delivery room as her second coach.
Upon first inspection, the room looked nothing like the pea green tiled delivery rooms so often depicted on television. The floors, although scuffed and well used, were hardwood and the walls were lined in soft shades of pink and blue in an attempt to please either sex. There was a pink vinyl couch that folded out into a bed and an inviting wooden rocker for guests. It had the atmosphere of a tacky doctor's office where they try to make you comfortable, but the sheer knowledge of where you are always cancels out all efforts. Even with all attempts the hospital made, the sterility of the room was evident. The hum from the baby monitor served as a constant irritant and occasionally her I.V. monitor would scare us all with its obnoxious warning that her fluids were low. A bright red bin clung to the wall inviting syringes and sharps and reminding us that a nurse would be in shortly to poke her somewhere else. A curtain hung from the ceiling to help give her a sense of privacy. I thought it seemed slightly ironic considering everyone was coming in and out to examine her most private of parts.
I couldn't help but to anxiously pace the floor and wonder why she was so composed. She had never even held a baby before, but before she was to get the chance she was going to have to incur some of the worst pain imaginable. Her whole life she has had a deathly fear of needles, even doctors, but, as I glanced over she sat on the bed as serenely as if she were in church, worried about little more than the income cut they were going to incur while she was out on maternity leave. I finally broke down and timidly asked her why she was so composed, almost afraid that in asking I might jinx it.
She quickly informed me, "Because I am ready to get this damn thing out of my stomach. You try carrying around a 27 pound deformity for nine months, and the momentary pain becomes nothing. Anything to get this pregnancy over with."
I laughed to myself as I watched her lying there bitching because she was hungry. I could just see her struggling to squeeze her swollen feet into heels as she had so many times in the previous nine months, fussing the whole time about how it seemed so ridiculous that her feet were involved in the situation.
"My feet weren't involved in the conception; why the hell are they a part of it now? Every part of me is messed up. Why couldn't God just leave my feet the hell alone," she would explain to anyone who would...