Yes, I Stopped at an Outlet Mall on the Way Home After You Told Me You Were in Labor

Oh, wow. What a beautiful experience. I’m so glad that we could share it. The birth of our son.

Well, since you ask, it did take quite a little while to get scrubbed up and put on the booties and everything. I wanted to rush right in, but you know, there’s like a whole procedure in the American Medical-Industrial Complex.

It’s like they haven’t even heard of the idea of over-sterilized. Like, what about preserving our micro-biome? Maybe I could have been present for more if we’d had a home-birth . . . but that’s not important now.

He’s beautiful. I can’t believe his fingernails. You were amazing. So brave. I’m just going to say it. So brave. It’s like, you could have done it yourself. You made it look so easy. It’s like you didn’t actually even need me here for most of it.

How long did it take for me to wash my hands and put on the hair thing and booties? Well, I’d have to approximate and say that it took me about ten minutes.

Thank you, Nurse Mathilde.

I guess you heard her. She seems to think it was more like five minutes.

What’s that?

Thank you again, Mathilde. Apparently, I thought she said “five” and she actually said “two.” I guess adrenaline expands your sense of time and distorts your perception of language.

I know that babies are tiny, but he feels like nothing. They’re so tiny, and they don’t remember very much of this, do they? Like, they don’t remember whether or not their father was actually in the delivery room, or if he was on his way in, or was still hung up in a very thorough sanitization process do they?

Uh-huh. Do you have another patients, Mathilde?

This sweater? Is it new? You must be so tired, sweetie.

You feel invigorated by this conversation? You are a fighter. I love it. Oh, he’s crying. I wonder if he needs to feed? Or maybe I should go get a nurse?

Yeah, he did stop, but I wonder if that’s normal. For a baby to cry and then just stop? Seems a little odd. I feel like I should find somebody and check.

I guess it does still have the tag on it. How odd. I would have sworn that I checked it over. Uh-huh. Not to be insensitive, but it’s probably a hormonal thing, that you want an exact timeline of events after you called and told me you were in labor, right?

Ow. Was that on purpose? You elbowed me in the eye by accident? No, I see how that could happen.

So you called and I want to emphasize that you said “I think I’m in labor.” I have to say that I heard the emphasis on the “think” there.

I’m getting to the timeline. You have such spunk, even after an amazing, natural labor, undertaken without drugs, like a hero.

Yeah, I do understand why you might think that I’m trying to distract you. The timeline.

I left the office immediately. And on my way to the car, I was literally shivering. That kind of got me thinking. Rockland Outlet Mall is right on the way home.

Well, I guess that’s relative, and I do think that a “ten-minute detour” is right on the way.

On the way there, I was thinking about new life, and the continuum of existence, and how I could use not only a sweater, but a pair of pants as well. So I hit J. Crew and GAP, because you know how J. Crew pants look on me. Weird in the crotch. Anyway, then I looked at shoes at the Nike store, and came rushing right over here.

I understand. To be fair, you only had to walk a single block. We live just around the corner from the hospital. Fine, block and half.

I’m sorry I said that. You are within your rights. But maybe you’d feel better if you ate something. Look what I brought you!

Yes, it is a half-eaten double cheeseburger with bacon, and it was in my pocket. I need to amend that timeline.

Yes, I Stopped at an Outlet Mall on the Way Home After You Told Me You Were in Labor

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