I sit on the couch and time contractions. In the space of an hour they have gotten so close together and so intense, too intense to walk or talk through, that I decide to call the hospital. I explain to the nurse that the contractions are every five minutes. She asks me, on a scale from one to ten, ten being the worst pain you can imagine, where’s your pain? I try to think, try to place myself on this scale. The worst pain I can imagine? Is this it? I think I’m a seven or an eight. The nurse replies, I want you to call back when you’re at nine, labour at home for another hour or two.
Read the full essay in Sea & Cedar magazine.