With all due deference to those laborers who got kids off the assembly lines and rallied for 8-hour days, my mind somehow drifts elsewhere on Labor Day.
It goes directly to a certain community hospital where I attempted to deliver my first son. My doctors, despite earlier assurances to not allow me to go past 40 weeks, were big fat liars. At 41 weeks, they sent me home. At 41 1/2 weeks, I begged. At 42 weeks, I marched into the hospital and demanded "OUT. Get it out. NOW."
One doctor, annoyed by my interrupting his golf game, yelled at me. He told me that I was only having an 8 pound baby and that I shouldn't have come in until things were "moving." I was then injected with horse dosages of pitocin and for the next 48 hours, I was prodded and turned as the baby's heart rate fluctuated wildly.
Daniel was no fool. As a nearly 11-pound, 24-inch over-cooked toddler, he knew the laws of physics were working against him. He eyed his only escape route and recognized there was no way. He dug in and refused to budge. For 48 hours. Persistent little cuss.
As I waited through several shifts in nurses and doctors from the practice, Doctor #4 decided maybe we ought to do a c-section. He was staring at the little paper print-outs of Dan's heart rate and finally appeared mildly interested.
When the anesthesiologist came in, I felt I had an advocate on my side. He muttered to the nurse, "She's been here HOW LONG and they're just deciding to do a c-section NOW??"
So after 48 hours of labor, drugs, and feeling like the worst mother in the world, they pulled out my Danny who was hungry, cranky, and asking for solid foods. He had a partially collapsed lung and required antibiotics immediately.
When they weighed him, the doctor offered up only the most passing of conciliatory words.
"Guess we were a bit off with that eight pounds, huh?"
Happy Labor Day!