Monday, May 31, 2021

Motherhood Eve

On this day in Munich, 30 years ago, I recall wondering out loud to my husband which day in June our firstborn would arrive, as we climbed into bed. Little did I know, it would be my last day of not being a parent! I had a due date of June 3rd, but had been told to take things easy for quite some time since I'd apparently begun dilating a little too early. (I remember the feeling of a wind blowing right up inside me, I was so 'open' to the world.) My obstetrician, Dr Jutta Sadlik, was overly cautious (she WAS German), but in Germany ... you MUST follow the rules! Though she wrote a prescription for me to attend pre-natal exercise classes, she expressly dictated that I was not to participate in the pelvic opening exercises during class. I stopped going once I found that there was very little I was allowed to do - the instructor kept telling me not to do this one, then that one, and the next, and the next.

On the afternoon of Friday, May 31, I had taken a bus to the grocery store at the end of the day with the intention of Dale meeting me there after work. He had to help carry the shopping bags and lift them onto the bus since I had been instructed not to lift heavy things (even the basket of wet laundry was 'verboten' territory for me). He'd arrived a little late, and by the time he got there, I'd had to pick up the bags myself and carry them out onto the sidewalk since the store was closing. I waited for him on the sidewalk next to my bags - he'd been delayed due to a colleague's birthday celebration at the end of the work day.

When he met up with me, we boarded the bus together and headed 'home' to his boss' apartment, where we'd been living since our arrival in Germany. We ate 'frikkadels' (a meat patty not unlike a burger, though eaten without a bun) bought that afternoon at the grocery store for dinner. (I'm often teased at how often my detailed memories are tied to food and mealtimes!). As we headed to bed, we were unaware that the next chapter in our lives was imminent, and about to unfold.

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