Sunday, August 9, 2009

And then there was Munchkin

The summer of 2001 was a tough one for me. I was hugely pregnant in South Florida, which is way too close to the equator for anyone to be pregnant during the summer months. I believe that health insurance plans should cover a flight, hotel, and hospital stay in a cold climate for mothers living in any latitude lower than 30. I mean, most plans cover the epidural, right? Living for months as a swollen watermelon in 90+ degree temperatures is equally cruel.

But I digress.

So I was hugely pregnant, hot, sweaty, a mother of a very active toddler, newly single, and living with my parents.

Not exactly how I had expected my life to be at 24 years old.

Sometime in the first few days of August I acquired a gigantic hemorrhoid that caused me to cry like a baby and beg my obstetrician to induce my labor. I knew my baby was ready, I knew she was overcooked, and all I could think about was getting her out of me.

My evil obstetrician looked through my teary eyed pleas and denied any sort of induction. I was sent home to cry for another week.

My sister and I took to taking long walks in the evenings trying to push me into labor. She bought me Raspberry Leaf Tea and forced me to drink it. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. During one of these walks I said to my sister "If for some reason I have to go in for a c-section, will you come in with me?" And my sister responded quickly, "Of course, honey."

That is what we call foreshadowing, my friends.

August 8th was my due date and I had still had no signs of labor. So I did the unthinkable... the thing your mother may have done back in the 60s and 70s... but the thing that is severely frowned on by today's standards.

I drank castor oil.

And then I spent the next hour or so in the bathroom wanting to die and being just a little worried I would pass my baby right there in the toilet along with everything I'd eaten throughout my entire pregnancy.

But you know what? After that hour was done, I went into labor.

Good, strong, real, contractions regularly every 4 minutes labor.

I arrived at the hospital in good spirits knowing that finally I would be having my baby. I was admitted, it was confirmed that I was dialating, and then the pain really started.

The pain was so bad I actually tried to run away from my body at one point. I literally got out of the bed, bared my gigantic white ass to the room, and tried to run away from the pain.

It didn't work.

While waiting for the saint that was the anesthesiologist to bring me an epidural I screamed at my mother and sister and threw small items at them when they giggled.

And then the epidural came and all was good.

I endured the humiliating "checks" like a champ. Every hour or so a nurse would come in and violate me in ways that I would never allow a man I loved to do, give a report to the room, and walk out.

And then the nurse made a strange face when she "checked" me. And she called in another nurse, who also fisted "checked" me. And they both made faces at each other. And the told me the baby was breach.... they thought....

So then my doctor came in and she also "checked" me and she also made a strange face. And then the nurse did it again and the other nurse did it again and I didn't even have time to be concerned with the fact that I was being passed around like a drunk stripper at a bachelor party because what the hell was wrong with my baby??!

So the doctor ordered an ultrasound machine to be brought in and that's when they discovered that my little girl was preparing to enter the world face first.

All that poking and prodding the nurses were doing, trying to figure out what part of my baby they were feeling, was to my poor little girl's face.

After an hour or so more of labor baby hadn't moved at all and that's when my doctor told me she wanted me to go in for surgery. It was time to get my little girl out... she'd been stuck in the birth canal for just too long and hadn't made even a smidge of progress. There was no way I was going to be able to deliver naturally.

So I agreed. And my sister's face went white.

It was about two milliseconds before I was somehow transported into the operating room and they were prepping me for surgery. I was scared-to-death while they prepped me. I kept turning to the anesthesiologist and asking him to get my sister (who evidently couldn't come in until I was good and prepped) and finally finally she was there.

And as I laid there on my back, my sister looked over the half sheet placed at my neck and said over and over again "Can you feel that??!?" "Are you sure you can't feel that??!?" "Oh my Gosh!" and was great comfort to me in my time of need.

And then there was a huge amount of tugging and pulling... and then she cried. And then I cried. And then they showed me her beautiful face with her bruised little eyes because the nurses had poked them so much while "checking" me and my heart immediately doubled in size with love for her.

And then the doctor said to the nurse "Hand me that bladder."

And that's when my sister asked the anethesiologist "Is it warm in here?"

And then there was much commotion to "GET THE SISTER OUT" before she passed out cold on the floor.

She came into the world at 4:42 AM on August 9th, 2001, weighing in at 9 pounds, 8 ounces (remember how I knew she was overcooked the week before?? yeah....) and today she is EIGHT.

Happy Birthday, Munchkin!