In which I come to terms with the truth that I know “nothing ’bout birthin’ no babies!”
This was my plan for The Bee’s delivery:
- A book to read while I had contractions. My sister had been sent home so many times due to false labor that she delivered Pop in the parking lot. I was determined NOT to be sent home and wanted something to occupy myself when alone and had tossed in a copy of Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower”.
- A deck of Uno cards so that I could play a few games with Pop. Pop had asked if she could visit me in the hospital during The Bee’s delivery as she had been born in the parking lot and felt robbed of the hospital experience.
- Music. I wanted a specific song played when The Bee was born (I want to say something by Sarah McLaughlin, a favorite of mine at the time).
- Lipstick. Postpartum pictures always showed a woman looking like she had went through a few rounds with Tyson and *I* was not about that life.
- A change of clothes, specifically a decent looking robe. See above
- Snacks. Cause snacks.
What no one told me (or maybe they did and I engaged my selective hearing) was that delivering a baby was, nothing quite as chaotic as dramatized on television but there is no way to plan for it either.
Oh yes, I had a plan. Delivery was going to be a breeze and I was determined to ride it out. The Bee was due on March 8th and when she showed no signs of ever vacating my body, the OB told me to return in two days so that they could run tests, possibly induce. The Dad and I headed home (after retrieving our car from the tow lot…shakes fist at the city of Philadelphia and myself for not being able to read a street sign) and I ate and went to bed. The next day The Dad left me home with breakfast, a movie and the promise of a half day of work so that if I needed anything he would be there and then the contractions started.
Yo! It started out like mild cramps and quickly became the most epic cramps ever. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat (the horror!) and will forever associate Nick Nolte’s Affliction with pain (this is the movie The Dad watched as I writhed in pain and considered never having sex again.) Little did I know that the worst was yet to come.
After speaking to everyone in my family, his family and a few friends, I fell into a restless sleep that was punctuated by the feeling that someone was squeezing my sides while punching me in the back and kicking me in the lady parts.
The next day, after The Dad had a good night’s sleep and I had used all of the hot water taking showers to “help with the pain”, we headed to the hospital, me making The Dad promise I wouldn’t give birth in the car and telling The Bee to hang on and wait until we got downtown in case she had any other ideas. Arriving at the hospital I was admitted and whisked upstairs to a room to wait for the OB on call to tell me that it wasn’t time and that I had to walk the halls or possibly go home.
Pop and I walked and walked and walked that hall because I was going to force dilation or make a scene when they tried to send me home. And then I peed on myself, a practice more commonly known as “my water broke.” You know, all of those scenes in movies when a woman notices a puddle on the ground and then waddles away to deliver moments later? Not true. When my water broke it felt like I peed my pants, there was no puddle just enough liquid to make me feel like I needed an adult diaper, and I STILL had to wait another seven hours before meeting The Bee.
Hooked up to my IV, I was reminded that I had a book to read as well as UNO cards and I may or may not have cursed at The Dad who left after taunting me with the hoagie he was going to eat. It was at this point that I gave up on any sense of shame as a myriad of people trooped in and out of my room. Legs splayed, butt out I did not care who saw Rachee in all of her glory. I was in pain and at that point would have done just about anything to make it stop. Suffering through another contraction, I almost broke an intern’s fingers and passive aggressively told a nurse what she could do with the pillow she offered. Relief came in the form in the anesthesiologist, who I may or may not have promised to name my baby after, as he administered the glorious, glorious pain reliever.
At this point I was hungry, ready for birth to be over and really wanted to watch TV. A game show called Greed was going to be starting soon and I really wanted to keep up my Friday night tradition of watching. The Bee decided to make her appearance then, rushing into the world mere minutes after I was told I was fully dilated.
As I held that little brown ball, I knew that there was no amount of lipstick or music that could have made this moment any more perfect than it already was. My book, forgotten, the Uno cards, unused. I hugged my little girl and suddenly wondered…”Who let me have a baby?”
This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie thought she had the perfect husband, until she finds him and another woman in a compromising position in their own apartment. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
Get you copy here: [AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”0062283103″]