How do I love thee? Pounce!


When I went into labor with my first baby, I wasn’t sure what was happening. That might sound odd but, the thing is, I’d been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for months. I was so used to my uterus misbehaving that I’d gotten handy at ignoring it. I was 41 weeks pregnant, but I’ve never been one of those women to fuss and moan through the end of a pregnancy and wish it over. I was pretty comfortable and content.


So, when I felt a trickle run down my leg, I didn’t know what to make of it. What in the world? It didn’t hurt. And there wasn’t much of it. I kind of shrugged and moved on. But, then, the next time I stood up, it happened again.


Surely this isn’t what it’s like when your water breaks, is it? I’d always imagined something far more dramatic.


I decided to go lie on my bed for awhile. I’d heard that, sometimes, the baby’s head can act as a “cork”, so I thought this would give me a more definitive answer. I had a stopwatch with me and attempted to time the occasional squeezing sensations I felt.


Honestly? I was bored.


My husband came up to check on me, and I was debating if I should call the doctor. It was just after midnight at this point. I really wasn’t sure what I should do, but I was really sick of just lying there on a towel on the bed.


I sighed. 


He tried to console me. Comfort me. Rationalize things with me.


I wasn’t too interested in that.


Then he wiggled his fingers on the footboard of the bed.


And she pounced.



Our young cat found his moving fingers too enticing to ignore. From my vantage point, all I could see were her white paws flashing up along the edge the bed. Occasionally, a striped leg would appear.


I couldn’t stop laughing.


And my husband, dear man that he is, just kept letting that cat attack him.


Later that day, as we snuggled a newborn son who had, in fact, arrived at 8 am that day, I noticed how scratched-up his hand was.


“Why’d you let her keep attacking you like that?” I asked, a bit mortified at his battle-wounds.


He just shrugged.


“It’s what you needed. And,” he looked down at our son, “it’s a whole lot less than you endured.”

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3 comments to How do I love thee? Pounce!

  • mlearley

    Aw so sweet!

    With our first child, I started having contractions in the middle of the night too. I remember us sitting in the livingroom watching TV, timing contractions to pass the time. Very slowly our dog comes walking out of our bedroom and looks at us like, “What in the world are you doing up at this hour?” We laughed at her! I love how animals can be a form of entertainment and peace.

  • Labor is so weird! The first time I never had a “real” contraction until I was actually starting labor but I knew immediately what it was because it was so different from the B-H ones. With these other two, I’ve had contractions of varying intensity for weeks and never knew whether it was going to be the REAL time.

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