The man has an orgasm. You end up pregnant…probably orgasmless. Tell me how is this fair? God, what were you thinking?
In primary school I thought sex was something adults did to have kids, I didn’t realize they did it for fun. And then I thought that it would be great if you only got pregnant from sex when you were ready for kids. But then actually I don’t think the human race would sustain itself cause WHO on earth is ever truly ready for this?
We went for the last ultrasound before the due date. “Aw look the baby has hair, how precious!” My obgyn was so into it and I most certainly was not. The thought of something growing inside my body that has HAIR, oh God. An awful memory of my sister chasing me around with a hand full of hair popped into my head and I felt my salivary glands contract, ready to throw up. It reminds me of spiders, GYAD. I couldn’t cope.
Again, his head was like those big swirly lollipops so we had to make a plan of action. I started losing confidence in the whole situation and the image of the Rottweiler-Chihuahua wouldn’t leave my brain. Why not do a planned c-section? I mean, I didn’t want one purely because it cost $30,000. Why didn’t I become a human doctor? And that was just for the surgery! Deep down I knew it wasn’t coming out on its own, no way Jose and I wished my doctor had known that too. The plan was to sweep membranes today. If no labour overnight, meet in hospital the next day for 8 am where we will do another membrane sweep and surely labour will begin. Yes, surely.
Membrane sweep. Sounds pretty basic, I can do that…um not what I expected. It’s like if you were blindfolded and testing chocolate but someone switched it for a sausage. Not. What. You. Expected. The doctor’s fingers go up inside of your once precious, once personal zone, prodding the baby’s head then they rip the amniotic sac apart from the uterine wall (Doctors, is that right?). This stimulates prostaglandin (a hormone) to induce labour, open the cervix and stimulate contractions. Annnnnd….nothin. All night, still nothing. Baby still high up, right under my brand new boobs that I truly loved and wished they’d never leave.
8am the next day we reached the hospital, more scared than ever. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything besides ice. Ice? Really! Steups. Anyway…we did membrane sweep number 2. I felt like I was in rigor mortis, my body stiff, holding my breath. “Breathe and relax!” Said my doctor. HA! Relax? Easy for you to say, lady. We were no longer friends. It hurt too much. My paparazzi emphasized the importance of breathing while I rolled my eyes.
Above. My last pregnant outfit. Couldn’t they have something a bit more flattering, jees.
Time was passing with no progress and it was now time to break the ‘bag’ of amniotic fluid. Great. Feeling myself starting to hyperventilate as she approached me with a HOOK. A long, skinny plastic HOOK measuring approximately 1 foot long, I think. Jesus Lord what the actual F is happening here? Um can one of the 1,000 family members in the room please save me from this barbarian?
She hooked me, ripping the sac. I felt warmth all around me. Okay no problem, the baby was going to come soon and it will all be over and done with. And will never happen again. Mom, remember those diapers I laughed at and vowed to the gods that I would never wear? Can you please bring them for me NOW?
And….nothing, again. It was now time for the big guns. They attached me to a fluid bag spiked with Pitocin (Oxytocin) to stimulate uterine contractions. One of my aunts came to massage my feet to help calm me down (and I will forever be grateful for that) while all the rest of my family limed in the room. Support, yes. Kind of weird, also yes.
“Lucky us, we got the biggest room in the hospital!”
The nurse strapped a band around my tummy that connects to a magical machine which measures the intensity of contractions. It was in the 20’s and I felt nothing, yay! “When it’s in the 80’s that’s labour strength contractions” the doctor said. Gosh us women are built so strong! If I was at 25 and feeling nothing then at 80 I’d maybe just feel a pinch and the baby will fly out and then it will be over for good.
A few more hours passed and I felt a pinch. Then a swirl. Then a swirling pinching swirl. Okay I’m up to 50 so makes sense that I’m feeling it now, no problem here we go. I used to get real bad period cramps, I can definitely do labour cramps.
Still only allowed ice. Ice IS water! How am I not allowed water? What about coke, can I please have a coke? “No.” Can I have some pain killers? “Nope.” Please? Sniff sniff.
The numbers climbed rapidly. 75…89…140. My boobs were still resting on my tummy, the baby hadn’t dropped even a little and I was only 4 cm dilated. The fact that I was dilated at all though, gave me some hope that he was coming. You know on tv how people scream? They scream and cuss and cuff their husbands. I was so excited to do that. I was going to cuss and shout about how dare he do this to me and then the baby would come out and I’d be all lovely and euphoric and forget I even had any pain at all! But I couldn’t make a peep. I was passing out from the pain. I could barely have even moved and only had about 20 seconds in between each contraction to catch myself and remember I was alive. My doctor came (again) and prodded me. FOR GOD’S SAKE LADY WHAT’S YOUR OBSESSION WITH MY VAGINA. I was angry and she was as calm as a lake. “Steffi, the baby’s head is swelling and I am concerned for his safety. He hasn’t dropped into your pelvis, it’s been 10 hours and you still haven’t dilated. We need to perform an emergency c-section.”
OH, NOW YOU WANNA DO A C-SECTION? WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS.
“But the anesthetist cannot be here for another hour.”
.Let’s back track a bit.
So in Port of Spain there are 2 options for private hospitals that my doctor uses. The reason I chose this particular hospital is because she assured me that this hospital always has an anesthetist on site. And I knew there would be a complication, so felt more comfortable knowing there was always staff in case I needed a c-section. So what the hell was she even on about? Of course there was an anesthetist, she guaranteed me of that and thats why we were here! Alas, no anesthetist.
So I had to sit tight, no food, drinks, pain relief, nothing until he arrived. 1 hour of induced labour feels like 1,000 years of torture. And 1,000 years later the anesthetist arrived with a book of paperwork Don Quixote style thick, I think. For. Me. To. Sign. Really?
In between contractions he read it to me. “Would you like general or local anesthesia?” Local. “Do you understand that the risks of an epidural are paralysis, seizure, infection bla, bla…” and his voice faded away each time I was hit with the next crunch. I could barely get the words out…yes damn it I understand just GET IT OUT OF ME. I had to then sign paper after paper…after paper. Another 1,000 years passed and they wheeled me into the OR. The last thing I remember was the most worried eyes I’d ever seen on a human being (besides in movies) and I thought, oh my God dad am I dying?
I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw our (mine and the baby’s) pediatrician standing in the OR waiting for us. He emanated good vibes. He was gentle and kind and reassured me that I can sit upright through the pain and stay still for the needle that was about to puncture into my spine (the same one that can paralyze me). His aura was overbearing and I felt calm for the first time since I set foot in the hospital. It was done in 2 seconds and I couldn’t feel the ice anywhere from midway down my chest to my feet. I was ready for surgery.
The anesthetist asked permission to push from the top of my chest to get the baby out as he was basically taking up my whole entire body. Soon after that, the baby was out and in my face. Well his little balls were in my face, to show me that it was a boy. It’s a boy? Wait, it’s a real human? He looked a strange hint of blue and they took him away while the doctor stitched my wound closed. I felt weird. I wanted to meet him.
She finished suturing me and they removed the drape that they had previously hung up between my face and my punkie. My legs were spread eagled, everything exposed to all 6 strangers in the room and for a second I felt mortified. Couldn’t they have the decency to close them for me? I was paralyzed over here! It was almost inhumane. Then I remembered that they had just safely removed a baby human from my body and I felt thankful instead.
The morphine was like how I imagine crack is (probably really good lol) and put me into a total daze. I finally got that delicious coke and was rolled to see the baby (after everyone else…again, where’s the fairness). I felt love. Real, true, I’d-kill-anyone-who-tries-to-harm-you-or-makes-you-sad type of love that you can’t really explain. I held him close and everyone tried to explain how to breast feed. I felt like a war had just come to an end, emotionally and physically now that the pregnancy was finally over.
Little did I know, the war had only just begun.
Below. Mister Charlie Roy
“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”