Women are fascinated with birth stories, especially when we are pregnant. We will listen to horror stories about 48 hour labors and huge babies all while envisioning our own serene birth experience. At least I did anyway. I was sure those women had a hard time because they were whiners, liked to complain, weren't in control, you name it, because I knew that wasn't going to happen to me.
I was going to give birth surrounded by mood lighting and soft music, never breaking a sweat or smearing my make up and my delightful newborn was going to come gurgling happily into the world, already potty trained.
Then I woke up. I think all birth stories should be the same- PAIN, PAIN, PAIN, and a baby with a head the size of a cannon ball pees, poops and throws up on you, all at the same time, forever and ever, the end.
I don't want you to get the wrong idea, I absolutely adore Mo and being her Mom is the greatest gift I could have ever received, but did she really need to push her way into the world using my girlie bits as a portal?
Most of the time when I tell people my birth story they call me a sissy and tell me I had it easy. What the freak ever!
It all started exactly as I had pictured, there was no pain, I was practically running laps around the hospital when the doctor told me to walk for an hour. This is gonna be a piece of cake- nothing hurts- life is good.
I was doing perfectly fine, not feeling any pain until the doctor decided I needed pitocin, lots and lots of pitocin, then suddenly I was kicking nurses, screaming and arching up off the bed like I was having Rosemary's baby!
It's too late for an epidural. Exactly what in the hell does that mean? Too late to wake up the anesthesiologist? Cause as long as I'm feeling pain, it's not too late. But that is what the wonderful doctor said and no one would give me drugs. I begged, I cried, I promised to never do it again if they would just please, sweet Mary mother of Jesus- give me a fucking epidural! No dice.
I realize I was only in labor for 45 minutes but we all know time is relative. 45 minutes spent lying on a beach passes in a heartbeat. 45 minutes spent trying to expel a human being from your body lasts about 27 years.
I had my support team, baby's Daddy, my mother and my mother-in-law, all there to help welcome Mo into the world. I wanted them dead. Don't touch me, don't look at me, don't talk to me, stop breathing. Someone rub my back right now, don't touch me, rub my back, don't touch me, why won't you rub my back? I think my head may have been spinning around at that point.
Finally the doctor said I could push, all I remember is the nurse telling me not to push with my face, I had no idea what she was talking about, she told me to be quiet I was scaring the other patients, so I kicked her. I wanted her dead too. Then the doctor told me to stop pushing, Mo was face up and I think he was trying to turn her but I couldn't have stopped pushing if my life depended on it. Mo was like a freight train, she saw the light and was going for it.
Then suddenly, my vagina no longer hurt and the doctor was holding my daughter up for me to see for the first time. All I could think was "Thank God that thing is out of me."
I think I must have temporarily lost my hearing because I never heard Mo cry although everyone said she did. When they handed her to me she was wrapped up like a little baby burrito. I knew in that instant what everyone meant when they said you have no idea how much you can love another human being until you have a baby, because the first time I looked at her I felt like my heart was so big I could no longer breathe.
I started crying, I loved her so. I looked at my little red baby with the head full of black hair and said, "I hope you don't mind being an only child because Mommy is never doing that dumb shit again."
Then when her Daddy bent down to kiss her I started crying harder because I realized she looked like a troll, a cute troll, but a troll none the less.
Lots of sunshine and roses and mood music there, let me tell you. By the next day I was convinced she was the most beautiful baby in the world and the smartest, there wasn't anything my baby couldn't do. I completely forgot I thought she looked like a troll until her newborn pictures came in the mail and as cute as they were I had to laugh at my beautiful little troll baby.
This time 18 years ago I was going through the IVF process that would bring Mo to us. I can honestly say, she was worth every bit of it.