Monday, September 14, 2009

Childbirth (PG-13)

You know how they're sure Christ wasn't Irish?
They couldn't find three wise men or a virgin in all of Ireland.

The husband is Irish. Come on, he's IRISH. They are good at many things, but they are experts at few.

1. Drinking
2. Fighting
3. Storytelling
4. Playing musical instruments
5. Being policemen

Ah.. so the littlest one is 3 now and the time is upon us that my husband is dying for more kids. We have 2 already. I'm down for having as many kids as he wants, as I want lots, too. I don't mind poopy diapers, teething, drooling, fevers, diaper rash, sleepless nights, mass confusion, delirium, etc.

Kids are worth every ounce of pain in the butt they can be. I have realized since having kids I would make a fantastic Marine. I can multi-task on no sleep, no food, and with someone screaming in my ear all the time.

I remember with the last little one I happened to go into labor during an evening when multiple tornadoes had spawned. Apparently my children insist on a grand entrance. I knew I was in early labor, so what, like any woman I decided to go shoe shopping at Marshall's. Turned out to be not such a great idea. I got to the store (through the tornado and torrential downpour) only to end up LOCKED inside the store. No joke. Their company policy is to lock all shoppers inside and move them to the back of the store away from glass during tornado sirens.

We were all herded to the back like cattle and at that moment I sort of raised my hand and said, "Um... excuse me. How long are we going to be locked in here?". The store manager who was NOT thrilled at this question just rolled her eyes at me.

It was then that I busted out the cell phone and as we all stood there in the dark I said, "Hi sweetie. Where are you? Oh you're at the jail with a warrant arrest? Oh.. uh.. ok..". The hubs knew something wasn't right so I broke the silence with.."Well, there is no reason to panic but I am in labor so I just wanted to let you know".

The store manager happily escorted me to the front of the store and led me out like an unwanted customer! I was never so happy. Can you imagine? Locked inside Marshall's in the dark in LABOR??

Anyway, of course when I broke the news to the hubs he drove like a madman through the next tornado to try to get home to me. Thank God for the police car that day.

He met me at home where I had the genius idea of trying to shower- in the dark- with NO electricity- in late JULY. Yeah, gotta love the pregnant brain. Then I rushed around trying to find my hospital bag in the dark. It was like 8,000 degrees in our house because apparently during the previous several-tornado-hours I was out shoe shopping, the power went out. Lovely. Just what I needed.

So we rushed to the hospital and went through the whole hours-long thing where they make sure you aren't some paranoid first time mother with gas, and then finally got admitted to a room.

For some reason I seem to have a life filled with Twin Peaks experiences. I got into the room and no joke the air conditioning was out. I thought it was strange and when I asked if it was just me noticing it was AFRICA hot in there, the nurse told me that all the power was out and that the hospital was running on generators. Yeah.. that's exactly what you want to hear while you're in labor in July.

So anyway... I was about ten days early and was really wanting to get things going so I tried to be a good student and put my Bradley Method classes to work. Ok, scroll up and remember I said my husband is IRISH. Bradley is a method of husband-coached childbirth. Seriously people, put down your drinks because you are going to either choke or pee in your pants when you read this.

As I began to writhe in pain, wishing for death, my husband decided to be a 'good coach'. He was taught in Bradley class that he should think of some really special, fond thoughts that could help me find a place of peace and relaxation. The teacher had suggested talking about a second honeymoon, visualizing the place, the romance, the relaxation, etc.

So what does the hubs decide to do? He leans over all sweet and snuggles up to my ear. I then hear the following words whispered into my ear: "Pretend you're riding your bike. It's a Huffy. You're doing a wheelie."..... I couldn't tell you what he said beyond that because I was laughing so hard the nurse outside in the hall thought I was on hard drugs! God love the man. He is just hilarious.

Labor was moving along and then I got hung up around 4 centimeters. The hubs was terrified of falling asleep during the lulls in my agony so he pressed on, delirious. He kept trying to tell me how proud he was of me and how wonderful it was going to be to meet our baby. So, like any good wife, what did I do?

I asked him to get into the jacuzzi tub with me in our room. And I proceeded to make the water 8,000 degrees. I was in labor and from all the sweating and agonizing somehow I became chilly and thought a hot bath sounded soo good. Here I am weighing in at a huge amount I shall not disclose because I am far too vain, and I look at him and ask, "Well, aren't you going to get in and rub my back?".

I could tell he wanted to die, right there in the hospital bathroom, right at that very moment. There was no way in hell he wanted to get any closer as he was already dying from the steam and the lack of air conditioning in the whole hospital. (Of course I had no recollection of any of this until watching the video a year later)

But since he is an amazingly awesome husband, he sunk into the tub trying to hide the fact that he felt like he was being burned at the stake. The nurse came in a short time later (notice how they don't really care if you are concerned with modesty of any sort?)

She must have noticed my husband falling unconscious or something because it was then she suggested we should get out of the tub. She said, "I think you've scalded your baby long enough..... and your husband, too". I know my husband wanted to give her a high-five, but he acted like everything was just great.

We meandered back into the room where I put on my ugly mu-mu gown and began bouncing on the exercise ball. I can only imagine how terribly unattractive this must have been to my husband. I looked heinous but he stayed by my side and made sure I didn't fall off and give myself a concussion. He was great. The contractions were NOT.

They decided after many hours and unsuccessful attempts to get me really moving to start pumping me full of pitocin. I would rather have my fingernails removed without anesthetic than go through that ever again.

My poor husband saw me do everything short of spinning my head all the way around and spit pea soup. It - was - NOT - pretty.

I wanted him to feel proud being the coach, the hubs, the tough cop who could handle anything. That's what the Bradley Method is all about. The hubs taking charge, the hubs running the show. My hubs... he wanted to run... OUT THE DOOR!

I was all screaming and crying and then thirty seconds later I would be fine and nearly dozing off to sleep.. only to be hit by another contraction and all of the savagery would start again. I probably reminded him of the worst bi-polar citizen he had ever dealt with while at work. It's the only way I know how to put it from his perspective. Sheesh.

He was getting used to dealing with my kicking, pushing, throwing, cussing, etc. (oh did I mention he had short change the day or two before labor? yeah worked midnights then switched to afternoons and wham I went into labor) The poor guy was barely conscious and trying to hold on..

but the end was nowhere in sight. Every time he would get comfortable I would start yelling about how I needed him to help me move my HUGE FAT BUTT into some other unattractive position so I could yell about my misery some more. And he did it all with kindness and compassion.

Soon a team of nurses made their way into my room. Seriously, I thought something must have been wrong. "Did I yell that loud?", I thought to myself. "Are they kicking me out?". Sheesh.

Nope, turns out it was a group of doctors and students who wanted to use my nether-lands as a practice arena. I was so mentally and physically exhausted I just said, "ok". I figured there I was sprawled out like a bad science experiment - why not?

The first gal "checked me", then the next, then the third.. by that point I was irritated and my husband was in complete shock. He had never witnessed anyone put their ENTIRE FOREARM into any part of my body and when we got to person number 3 he thought he was hallucinating.

I was irritated and I am not the nicest person when in that state so I made the following inappropriate, smart-alek remark, "Well gee folks, while we're at it why don't we set up a number dispenser in the waiting room and we can just let everybody have a turn".

Uh... yeah doctors don't share the same sense of humor as me. Didn't go over so well. But it did get them out of my body parts and out of my room.

Next thing you know I passed transition and was unconscious for a couple of peaceful minutes.. who knows, maybe I passed out from the pain. Anyway, it felt like sleep and I woke up to the doc coming in telling me to push. So I pushed and he asked if I wanted a break.. told him "nope" and pushed two more times. He told me to catch the baby.

I grabbed my baby, terrified he would slither out of my hands, and brought him up to my chest. I was expecting him to be ugly as sin like some kind of slime-covered alien, but he wasn't.

He was PERFECT. He was BEAUTIFUL.. and he looked exactly like the hubs. He had a little swoop of brown hair perfectly swirled into a quiff on the top of his head. All the nurses busted out laughing at how he was born looking like he had just come from the barbershop.

The hubs stood there in awe, crying like a school girl. I asked for a kiss. We hugged, we laughed, we cried. It was one of the best days of my life.


  1. I LOVED this story.

    I had our first in Okinawa Japan and thought someone should kill me because I had no idea what all the damn chattering in Japanese was about. And everytime I would scream, they'd all hide their faces behind their hands and giggle.

    The second in Hawaii and all I could think was "shit, I am TOTALLY screwed for bikini season".

    Thanks for sharing, as a former Marine, you're TOTALLY not ready ;) I figured the same my first husband was abusive. Turns out, it's TOTALLY different!!!

    Just kidding. Glad to have found you.

  2. I had the nurses and students checking me too. It was awful. I think I will say no next time. What a crazy story! Seriously! I guess it makes for a memorable occasion. Going natural was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm on video saying, "no matter what happens next time, do not let me do this. Ever again!"

    What a great story you have.