March 23, 2007

Childbirth: Off the Record

On the record: Oh boy, I'm so excited to have this baby! Motherhood is delightful and the delivery will be worth it no matter what happens.

Off the record: Holy heffalumps, I'm about to deliver a stinkin' baby. This is going to hurt.

I wasn't scared the first time. I figured the thing would just come out. It had to, right?

Wrong. I spent four hours pushing trying to deliver Pixie. "Push," they told me. "You're almost there!" I just laughed derisively. Yeah, right. I thought. I'll "push" out a baby. Had these people ever taken an anatomy class? What total nonsense. Regardless, I pushed when they told me to and wasn't surprised when I'd made zero progress after more than two hours. I'm not sure how Pixie finally made it out, but it certainly wasn't any doing of mine. The kid probably just got sick of me and decided to blow the joint after seeing I wasn't going to be doing her any favors.

And now I have to go back and do it all again. This time I'm a bit wiser. I know when they say "push" what they really mean is, "make a silly face to take your mind off the excruciating pain that you're about to experience." When they say "you're almost there" what they really mean is, "my shift ends in five minutes, I'll tell you whatever you want to hear so you don't scream at me." When they offer me a cup of ice chips to ease my discomfort I can only think of Dumbo's Magic Feather. Childbirth is someone's sick inside joke - unfortunately, I'm on the outside.

The human body is a ridiculous thing. It has all kinds of extra accessories of no value at all. The pinky toe, the appendix, an entire extra kidney, but somehow we aren't equipped with a easy-seal Gladlock zipper across our fronts to take out our bowling ball headed babies. Our bodies couldn't be bothered with the trivial detail of propagation. Women are tough, we've made do with these shoddy accommodations, but at some point an official complaint needs to be lodged.

I keep giving people that stupid fake smile when they ask how I'm feeling. I cheerfully say, "I'm feeling great, can't wait to get the thing out." I'm pretty sure they aren't looking for my honest response of "Save me! Hide me! They're going to kill me!" Besides, you never know who's in on this childbirth conspiracy and I'd hate to make matters worse.

On the record: Childbirth is a magical blessing that women are privileged to endure. Men are really missing out on this amazing experience.

Off the record: Anyone know of a good sex-change doctor?

19 comments:

Day said...

One word:
EPIDURAL!!!!!!!!

cruncha said...

Be glad you are delivering a bowling ball instead of King Kong. . . My last baby was 10 lbs. I hope your new baby is a nice 7 lbs. Good luck!!

Lug Nutmegger said...

After the debacle of our first sons birth (9lb. 12oz., which the Dr. originally guessed at 7lbs.), two broken collar bones and a misshapen head from the vaccum they attached to rip him out of there (which looked like the Dr. was boating a marlin), we decided, along with our NEW Dr. that we would have a C-Section for our second son. Good thing we did because like Cruncha's, he was a 10lb. 2oz. monster. The original incision was too small and they had to slice my wife from hip-to-hip to get him out. My wife came out looking like David Copperfield's assistant after a botched "saw the woman in half" trick.

My wife still has some issues resulting from the birth of our first son. Both boys are doing well now and are our pride and joy. BTW, we don't have a girl yet so if you have another girl and you want to make a trade my youngest is only a year and a clean one-owner. No bad habits yet except he eats us out of house and home. At one year he is 32 inches long and 26 1/2 lbs.

Anywho, GOOD LUCK!! I truly hope all goes well.

Oh, this is my first comment but I often visit your hilarious blog.

Lug

Adam said...

day: i second your remarks. alas, i am not in charge. this time i am going to ask if they can at least give me some morphine or something, since sarah refuses.

tarable said...

Thanks for the birth control reminder!

Sarah said...

Last time I went au natural and spent the next month laying on the couch moaning. I may just have to try the epidural route this time to see which I like better.

Cruncha, 10 pounds is ridiculously big. My 7 pounder took 4 hours, I can't imagine what would happen if I had a 10er. Those are the kind of babies who give birth to YOU.

Thanks for coming out of the closet lug! Nothing like having a totally wretched birth story to get the people talking. I love the David Copperfield analogy - so sad, so true.

It makes me laugh when people "accidentally" get pregnant.
"So were you trying?"
"No."
"So were you taking birth control?"
"No."

I thought health class was mandatory these days...

In Summary:
Sorry to drop a depressing birthing post on everyone, but I'm sick, sick, sick of the happy face that childbirth gets when there are so many things that can go wrong. It's good to be optimistic, but let's be realistic here and be prepared for the crumminess of it all as well.

Gravida 0 said...

It is good for those of us who have never been preg-o to understand that our questions and comments can be annoying. I honestly don't know if it would be better to ignore the pregnancy and talk about regular stuff or if the expectant mother can't think about anything else and would love to unload on a willing friend.

I guess starting the convo with "What have you been up to lately?" leaves it up to the pregnant responder.

gravida 0 said...

So, Sarah, don't save us by being perky when you aren't feeling it. If someone asks how you are feeling, it's their fault for asking if you give them more than they bargained for!!

LeMasters said...

I'm curious about your refusal to use an epidural. Blog about that. Most who go natural talk about the wonderful experience it is, but you're the first I've known who is honest about the pain but doesn't want to quell it.

AzĂșcar said...

I had an epidural last time and I'm not planning on one this time. I honestly think it slowed down my pushing and made the whole thing longer than it needed to be. I am honestly NOT scared or terrified, although my Other Half certainly is.

I just want this kid out because I'm SICK of having to go to work everyday.

Marie said...

If that's what you call a "depressing" post then your humor standards are too high. And if pain is the ultimate source of all humor, then I guess childbirth would have to be the funniest thing known to man. Or woman, anyway.

I like Carol Burnett's childbirth image: "take your bottom lip, and pull it over your head."

So looking forward to that. Good luck.

Suzie Petunia said...

The epidurals have been the reason why it has been so hard to push out my babies- I can't feel anything! But that won't stop me from having another one (epidural)! When is your due date? Do you still not know the gender of baby #2?

The Wiz said...

If my birth stories are any indication (and I'm fully aware that we are not related and so my birth experiences are nothing like yours) the second one takes a lot less time to push out. 3rd one too.

First baby - 1 hour pushing.
Second baby - 20 minutes pushing.
Third baby - 3 pushes total. Not kidding.

I'm scared to have a fourth for fear I'll have it in a parking lot somewhere.

I had epidurals all 3 times. Highly recommended, but ask if they can give you enough so you can still feel pressure when you need to push. That's how I was, and the 3rd one they gave me too much, (my fault since I told them I hate pain a lot) and pushing wasn't as fun, but it was still really short, so hey! Epidurals have never slowed me down, even though I've always heard that they do.

On the record: I'm just so glad the labor is over and I can enjoy my baby.

Off the record: I'm so thrilled to not be pregnant anymore I would have gone through anything. Could you take the kid to the nursery please so I can sleep now?

Catherine said...

My first birth was an epidural. It was sort of like going to the dentist to have a tooth pulled. It took longer then it should have, the lights were bright, the poking around with the needle was worse than the extraction, and by the time the thing came out I hated the nurse who hovered near by to lamely take silent notes.

As you know: kids 2,3 and 4 were natural and awesome. I think perhaps you need a different midwife who doesn't tell you to push 3.5 hours too early. They didn't tell me to push until I could already see the little warm animals myself. Midwife just stood ready to splash us with olive oil so that my newbies smelled like a fresh little salad.

You'll do fine. No way will be hard as last time.

kaff said...

Since you are so experienced with childbirth now, would you like to be my surrogate :)

chronicler said...

the doctor, after delivering the most recent grandchild by c-section, remarked that "back in the day they did everything they could to make sure this woman delivered the old fashioned way, the way they were meant to. so after four hours of pushing a completely mis-shapen head and forcep delivery, they would spend 2.5 hours sewing this woman back together." He then said, "i'm glad I am not as dumb any more., saves a lot of people, mostly new mothers, a lot of unnecessary pain, and later problems." I'm glad he's gotten to be such a smart guy. He even took the time to stitch her up instead of staple her. No scar, it looks like. Yes!

s'mee said...

Any woman who has given birth knows exactly how the man who built a boat in his basement feels like... fine, but now that it's finished, how do we get it out?

On the record: all 5 of my children were delivered *naturally*.
Off the record: Where birth is concerned, there is no such thing as natural. There is nothing natural about it. : O

gravida 6 para 5014 said...

Yes things can go wrong...

Best of luck to you.

Colleen said...

I love love loved my doctor. After like 20 minutes of pushing, he told me that a little nick down there would get things going. A little shot and one little tear later, we had ourselves a little blondie. I always thought episiotomies were a horrible, horrible idea, but my recovery was great, not even an aspirin. So forgo the epidural and don't be afraid of an episiotomy!