Day of Birth

For this 52 week writing challenge prompt, “a story that takes place the year you were born,” I decided to tell the story I’ve heard so many times from my mom about the day I was born, in my own words and how I heard the story. Happy Thanksgiving reading!

“GET! ME! TO! THE! HOS.PIT.AAAAAALLLL!” she screamed like a banshee.

“I’m trying!” he hadn’t meant to shout. It was stressful trying to navigate Miami traffic with a woman giving labor in the backseat though.

“Just hang in there, Sony.” Her brother-in-law’s already high pitched voice sounded squeakier and more anxious than usual.

She gritted her teeth and tried to keep the screams down, but it was hard. After nearly 10 months of being pregnant, the same day a C-section is scheduled, the damn baby decided to be born mere hours before she was supposed to be at the hospital.

Her husband ran red light after red light, honking viciously at other drivers to move out of his way. “Damn it, where’s a cop when you need one?” He was trying to get a police officer’s attention to get him an escort to clear the way to the hospital. No such luck this day, though.

As he approached a railway in the path, he didn’t slow down, but instead sped up and flew over the tracks. The motion set another screaming wave from the back seat. “Watch it, you idiot. The baby just almost flew out of here.”

He muttered curses under his breath in Spanish. It shouldn’t have taken this long to get to the hospital, but that’s Miami for you. A simple three-mile route turned into a zig zagging journey through back streets and side roads avoiding traffic and took three times as long to get to your destination.

When they finally got there, her brother-in-law jumped out of the car and ran for help. She got lucky and was put directly on a gurney and transferred to the elevator to get her to a room. The baby was stubborn though, and started crowning in the cramped space shared with strangers. Her worst fear had come true. Her legs spread and her business open to the public, giving birth. She screamed more in frustration and embarrassment than from pain.

The doctor barely had time to get in the room. None of the usual prep for a birthing was done. No time to stand on ceremony. The baby came on her own time, disregarding her parents’ careful plans and strategies.

Nearly an hour later, they held the baby in their arms, the mother sweating and eyes closed, the father’s hands shaking, and the brother-in-law dozing off in the waiting room.

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