Inductions and Raccoons
Imagine if you will….. my due date had long since passed (ten days prior to be exact) and I was large enough that if something didn’t happen soon I was going to need my own postal code. I was participating in all the old wives’ tales in order to encourage the arrival of my new bundle of joy…. we had been walking one mile a night for weeks and weeks… I was drinking raspberry tea… riding in bumping shit-spreading trucks…. and having plenty of sex (as much as a two-ton tessy can handle I’d imagine)…. and still no baby. I had gotten to the point where if one more person commented on the size of my stomach or the fact that I was over-due, I was going to start swearing (or hitting people). But the end was in sight… it was a Wednesday and my doctor had decided that I had waited long enough and that the following morning at 8a.m. I was to be induced and we would try to bring this baby into this world whether it agreed or not.
I was as calm as a person can be when they realize that this is their last night of complete and utter selfishness for a very long time to come. So I did what any other pregnant woman would do in my situation… I had a beer… and then took off to the barn to check on the new kittens that we had gotten from my mom just a little while before that. They were cute.. and some had already gone missing… and something had definitely been eating all their food…. I was bound and determined to figure out what because Paul definitely wouldn’t… and I was going to be in the hospital for a while and wanted to make sure everything was a-okay before I left.
I dawned the only clothing I could find that fit me… as barely anything did now that I was the size of an ocean liner and waddled my way to the barn. It’s not an awfully far ways from the house… probably about 200yards… which was far enough for me in all my pregnant glory (especially in the dusk). I tiptoed as quiet as a church mouse up to the door of the bar and karate chopped it open… okay, okay…. I unlatched it and slowly pushed it open with all the stealth of 007. Just as I got the door open enough to spy into the barn a raccoon darted away from the food dish and up the ladder to the loft… turning to look down at me through the man hole one last time before disappearing into darkness.
Well, if you have ever wanted to see a pregnant lady run at full tilt across a gopher hole infested corral and almost rip her shirt off as she snags it on the fence attempting to sneak through the stupid gate that was made for stupid not pregnant people (I’ll have you know I am quite fond of this gate when I am normal sized)… then you could have had your dreams come true that night as that is exactly what I did. Have I ever told you I am not a runner?? Not athletic by any stretch of the imagination… but I ran that night… and then I died… panting on the deck… hands on my knees…. gasping all the air that my body could hold into my lungs… and since baby was taking up so much room… there was alot of gasping and not alot of breathing. Paul came outside to see why on earth I was dying on the deck. “Gasp… gasp… gun….gasp…gasp… coons…..gasp..pant….cough….. deep breath… follow me…” So Paul grabbed his boots and away we went to the shop to grab the gun from the gun cabinet.
I wait for Paul outside, still reeling from my mad dash. He comes out of the shop and tosses me the 22… in his hand is the shotgun… and the hundred candle power flashlight we use to check cows during calving… although, come to think of it… we don’t check them at night… so I don’t actually know why we have the flashlight… must be for farming instead of ranching… note to self… ask Paul if he has ever used that flashlight other than on late night hunting trips… ANYWAY… I stand there… holding the 22 in my hand looking at Paul as though he has lost his mind… are pregnant people even allowed to shoot guns??? I am not saying I don’t know how to shoot a gun… I have shot my fair share of gophers and annoying birds (some of those right off the deck of my house… or even out my kitchen window I will have you know)… but I was pregnant… VERY pregnant… like ten days overdue pregnant… and pretty sure I wasn’t suppose to be shooting a gun… wouldn’t the blast send me into labor or something?? I wasn’t sure… but I did know one thing… I had missed out on alot of fun things because of this damn pregnancy and if he was willing to give me a gun I wasn’t going to spoil that by drawing attention to the fact that I was pregnant… I was definitely going to go with it.
As we walked briskly towards the barn I filled Paul in on what I had seen. We came up with a super good plan..we would both go upstairs into the loft and see what we could find out…. so we made our ascent… Paul went first… then I handed him the guns… then I climbed up the rickity ladder rungs to the loft… I was greeted by a nice little challenge as the square entrance hole to the loft atop the ladder was roughly two feet by two feet (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration)… and my belly and I barely squeaked through… in fact… I think I got a teeny tiny scrape…. Once up in the loft we looked around… we could tell that raccoons were definitely living up there but there wasn’t one up there at that moment. We walked around searching for exit holes that the coon could have taken… at one point my foot went through a rotten floorboard and I almost pissed my pants… I let out a little squeal… last thing I needed was for my two hundred pounds of baby and me to go crashing through the floor to the ground below… I could only imagine what sort of labor that would trigger… and speaking of triggers… I did have a loaded 22 in my hand…
We regrouped in the middle of the loft and came up with a new plan… there was an old pig barn attached to the barn and the roof of it was sort of attached to the loft and we could hear sounds of a coon (or some other animal)… Paul was going to wait for me to get down the ladder and outside the barn… then he was going to go over to the roof and either make alot of noise and hope to scare it out… or shoot it if he could. If the raccoon escaped to the outside world.. lo and behold… there I would be… waiting patiently with my 22 and the aim of a army sharpshooter (at least I think that’s what Paul would be hoping as he didn’t want to get caught by a stray bullet). It took me awhile to get down… and there I stood, waiting for this nasty varmit to come out of the loft so I could end his cat killing parade at my farm. Nothing… not a peep… Paul made noise… he shot some shells… no raccoons retreated… after awhile Paul gave up and came down. We decided that the coons had heard us and while I made my painfully slow descent they had already escaped and were long gone.
We decided to head back to the house as it was nearing 10pm and we were suppose to be at the hospital at 7am. (an hour’s drive away)… As we walked back to the house I chuckled thinking of how the whole situation must have looked to an outsider… and a few days later when my doctor asked me where I got my scrape on my belly from and I said “oh just squeezing through the loft door on a coon hunt” he laughed and mentioned it looked pretty new for it to have been that. I told him the story of the night before our induction and he just stared at me with big eyes… I’m sure he was wondering whether I was kidding or not… and if I wasn’t…. was he sure that I should be allowed to take this baby home with me or not.