Recommended: watching your co-workers react to someone’s water breaking. It’s exhilarating, high-energy drama.
It all started around 4:30 on Wednesday. I was REALLY BUSY, working HARD and DILIGENTLY, when Sandy walked over to my desk, looking all pale and scared-rabbit. All I managed to decipher from her hushed tone was “bathroom” and “water broke.”
I immediately started to panic because we have two pregnant girls in our department, and neither of them should be walking around, breaking water.
But then I heard “travel office” and my compassion dulled a bit, because it was just one of “Those People” who share the same floor as us but aren’t cool enough to be a real part of our department, yet they like to swipe our food when we have parties like that’s going to infuse them with our Awesome.
Sandy, Barb and Sue were all in the bathroom together, probably saying disparaging things about me, when the owner of the broken water called out from behind a stall that she needed someone to get one of the travel office ladies. Right now, I’m picturing the “Fuck off” look that likely had taken over Barb’s face, until she learned that this poor girl was pregnant and splashing around back there in amniotic fluid.
Somehow, Sandy was able to slink back over to my desk to tell me what was happening.
“I’m really bad in emergencies,” she said in a small voice. So now I know that Sandy and I would make the worst superhero team in the history of comic books. In the background of each cell, you’d see Sandy, paralyzed and pale-faced with her emanating fear blending into the gray background, while I’m throwing up all over my cape.
It didn’t take long for a small crowd to form by the bathroom. Kristen stopped by my desk, having just broken through the crowd of birth fans. “I’m the girl you want in an emergency,” she said, all smiles, as if there wasn’t some pregnant lady spilling baby juice all over the department. “But, I’m going to Starbucks!” There’s our third superhero, drinking a latte while the world collapses around her. Sometimes I go out for drinks after work with Kristen and Sandy, and now I’m starting to rethink this. I feel so unsafe!
Meanwhile, Sue was marching all over the floor with her game face on. I’m not sure where she was marching to, but I know it wasn’t to pilfer through Barb’s snack drawer like it usually is. She was going to call 911 but said the girl had asked her not to because she didn’t want to ride in an ambulance. Sue disappeared around the corner, and I assumed she was going to her office to retrieve her forceps. And Barb was running around, looking for spare clothes to give the girl who was apparently pretty drenched. She was going to steal Wendy’s gym clothes but thought better of it and ended up giving the girl a pair of her own sweatpants.
All this fuss over spare clothes when someone could have just asked Gayle. She could have crocheted something right quick with a nice Navajo pattern. She probably would have given the girl matching earrings too, and maybe even thrown in a floral headband for the baby.
DO NOT FORGET THAT SANDY WAS THERE TOO! Barb re-worked the script every time she recounted the bathroom horrors to other co-workers, completely writing Sandy out of it. If you ask me, that’s discrimination against scared people and I don’t think Sandy should stand for it.
I bet when Barb tells her non-Law Firm friends about Waterbreak ’11, it entails her ripping the door right off the bathroom stall and delivering one of “those babies” right then and there with her auxiliary knapsack of obstetric apparati.
Something like an hour had gone by before Sandy finally snapped out of it and realized she had a towel that she could contribute. She walked by later, triumphantly holding up the soggy towel in garbage bag. She was going to take it home as a souvenir, but Sue convinced her to throw it out, which I think is rude because people should be allowed to collect the things they want to collect.
Me? I just sat there and watched all the adults handle business. It was exciting. I’m glad no one asked me to help. I mean, YES—I was a Girl Scout, but the only thing that taught me was how to dance to NKOTB’s “Funky, Funky Christmas” and to Quick! Find a man to do everything for me. (Couldn’t find a man, but Henry will do.)
Later that evening, the travel lady we dislike the most came over with her scary, soul-piercing eyes to tell us that the girl’s husband had come to pick her up and she was currently en route to the hospital.
“I’m going to have nightmares,” Barb said after the travel lady walked away. She was probably talking about the entire odyssey, but I was still shivering from the icy-penetration of travel lady’s eyes. All I could picture was a stork with travel lady’s head on it, so I told Barb about it in hopes of planting the image into her subconscious and it growing into some gnarly night-terror.
And then, because catastrophes totally wind up my giddy-box, I laughed about this so hard that I started crying at my desk.
[I didn’t want to post this until I knew for sure that everything was OK. Travel Girl had the baby that night; she was 2 months premature, but they are both doing fine. Barb prefaced her email to me about it with: “I know you don’t care, but…” I do care! Kind of!]