This is the Story of a Girl.
Lila was born on a hot summer day in a small desert town at the edge of the California farm belt after a difficult labor and with a father nowhere in sight.
The day before, my father had dragged my mother out into the blistering heat to barbecue and drink with some of his friends and their wives – despite the fact that she was nine months pregnant and on bedrest.
She didn’t want to go to with him. She was already miserable from the heat and so incredibly uncomfortable in her body. The scratchy dress that was the only thing she owned that would still stretch around her bulging belly stuck to her like a sweaty glove on the drive over.
She never really enjoyed those gatherings that revolved mostly around cars and beer. The wives were kind (as were some of the men) and tried to include her. But she was quiet, didn’t drink and didn’t have much in common with them. She struggled to be part of the conversation and would have preferred to stay at home by herself.
She tried to be an obedient wife though and do what her husband wanted, so she went along and sat in a lawn chair with her feet in a kiddie pool that one of the wives had generously filled with water and placed in the shade for her.
While everyone else enjoyed themselves, she sat having silent contractions until she couldn’t take them anymore.
When the time finally came to go to the hospital, my father was so drunk that he couldn’t even find the keys in his pocket.
My mother started to panic when she realized that she couldn’t drive herself to the hospital but one of the sober wives said she would take her.
When she arrived at the hospital her mother and twin sister were already there waiting for her. She was so grateful to see them that she burst into tears.
The next twenty-four hours were excruciating and long. Her doctor told her repeatedly that the baby was taking its sweet time as if that would somehow make it easier.
She was in and out of sleep and a drug-induced haze and was ready to give up when the doctor said that the baby was in distress and they were going to have to do an emergency c-section.
She was wheeled quickly into the operating room with her twin sister holding her hand and yelling for her own mother, who had just stepped out to get some coffee, when things finally kicked into high gear. A natural birth occurred at the last possible second.
My mother was so weak and depleted by that point that she passed out in exhaustion and didn’t even get to see her baby girl’s sweet face until the following day.
All characters and events in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Image: Vickee Boyd
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