Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Thirteen years ago we lived in Cambridge MA on the 24th floor of 60 Wadsworth Street. Just the two of us (cue the Bill Withers song). In a corner, two bedroom apartment with sweeping views of Boston, the Charles River, and points west, it was as good as it gets when it came to M.I.T. family housing. Any M.I.T. housing for that matter. Thanks to being close to my "time of confinement” (exact words of my ob/gyn in her note to housing) and pulling #2 in the housing lottery we found ourselves in one of the sweetest apartments around.

Thirteen years ago yesterday was a Sunday. A lazy Sunday. We had our friends the Durfee’s over for dinner and while we were eating, the phone rang. It was someone at the sleep clinic at Beth Israel Hospital calling to let Michael know they had a cancellation. They’d cancelled his appointment for that evening earlier in the day but at the last minute asked if he could come in anyway.

As an aside, this thrilled me in ways I cannot say. I had been slowly losing my mind with my beloved’s snoring and I had high hopes this new-fangled CPAP machine would solve my problems. Fast forward 13 years and I’d say it did help a whole heck of a lot. Though I still wear ear plugs at night (I NEED them now even when I sleep alone), the sounds emanating from Michael’s side of the bed are sort of Darth Vader as a fighter pilot, white noise.

Michael packed himself a bag and before he left, stopped at our big white board and told me he was leaving a number where he could be reached. I told him not to bother; he’d be home before I was up in the morning. Besides, I told him, I wasn’t due for another month.

Every Sunday night I talk to my parents. That night we talked for awhile and soon after their call, my brother Tom called. I remember laying on the futon talking and watching TV when suddenly I heard something in one of the bedrooms. I stood up to see what it was when Uh-Oh! Tom was treated to the sounds of a serious freak out as I looked to see I’d suffered a pretty serious water breakage. No drip, drip, drip for this girl. He told me to keep cool, get some towels, call Michael. I hung up and carefully walked with the towel at my feet to the white board. There was the number.

The technicians at the sleep clinic woke Michael, pulled the sticky electrodes from his head, and sent him on his way. After a quick stop at a bodega for juice, pads and Pop Tarts we were reunited.

The thing is, I was supposed to have A MONTH! I was in no way prepared aside from the crib with pink bedding we’d purchased from another family in the building. I had no bag packed, no diapers purchased, I even left dirty dishes in the sink from dinner because I was wiped out. I really thought I would be like everyone else I knew. LATE.

After a bumpy Jeep ride back to Boston (Brigham and Women’s Hospital is down the street from Beth Israel) we checked in but nothing much happened until the morning when it was determined that I needed to be induced. I didn’t have an opinion one way or the other; what did I know? I had big plans to do this thing without painkillers but at the time I had no idea what pitocin could do to a person. To me. Things I’m sure God never intended. Not long after the drip began I was begging Michael to take me home. Can’t we just forget this ever happened?

But no, we couldn’t. After an AMAZING epidural I gave birth to Michael Jr. at 4:33 p.m. Weighing in at 5 lb. 12 oz. and just 17 ½ inches long, he was the tiniest baby I’d ever laid eyes on. And beautiful. I’d get weepy just looking at him and it wasn’t the post partum talking either (that would be later watching sappy commercials and worrying constantly that someone would steal him). I was enthralled.

Today my tiniest baby turned 13. He’s not all teenager yet but he’s well on his way. I hope he knows how wanted he was and how loved he is. How much he’s brought to our lives.
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  1. I had to ask if I could go to the front of the line at the bodega since my wife's water broke and I had to go get her to take her to the hospital. A person in front of me saw my Brass Rat and said you went to MIT, you must be honest and let me go to the front of the line. The cashier wanted to give me a pair of gag glasses for buying the strangest grouping of items. You know, I guy buying pads, pop tarts, & apple juice. And my hair was all messed up with the gel/glue stuff that they used to connect the sensors to my head. They just pulled them off & my hair was spiked.

    MIchael Jr.'s first act was peeing on the nurse. I took him after that that. Hey, he needed to empty his bladder.

  2. That's so adorable. Happy 13, big guy!


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