Once checked in and brought to the maternity ward around 8 AM, I was informed that the labor and delivery rooms were occupied. Coincidentally with women from our Lamaze class. They'd elected to receive epidurals which was making their labor time longer. I was assured that my grueling time on the thin mattress/gurney like bed wouldn't be all day. This would eventually become a bold face lie. All the necessary IV hookups were made. The waiting began. It didn't take too long for me to see Pitocin aided contractions registering on the monitor. Nothing major. I figured this would be a piece of cake. Still, I was starving and it didn't help any that my (ex) husband complained about his own hunger.
Hours ticked by. Several exams would come and go. The perk was that a truly handsome intern would massage my feet after checking my vitals as part of his learning experience. I can't recall the young man's name, but he asked if I didn't mind him being part of my birthing team. He was kind and compassionate; a contrast to Nurse Ratchet who kept insisting (later) that my contractions weren't big enough to be painful. After my head spun around 8 times and steam blew out of my ears like a cartoon cat, Ratchet stopped suggesting the marvel of technology knew more than my vagina. In an effort to keep this story in a positive light I will not mention the numerous times my (ex) husband vacated the room when it came time for a doctor to go elbow deep in my pregnancy zone to check my progress. It made the poor baby squeamish and uncomfortable to see a man down yonder in my paw paw patch. F*@ker.
I'd like to say time flew by, but it didn't. I watched the clock and kept praying one of the labor and delivery rooms would become available to me. The back labor I experienced was excruciating, but little ol' me was determined to keep things as drug free as possible. That would later change. Still on the 2 inch gurney like bed, I awaited my sister Maureen's arrival. She'd take care of things in a manner my son's father didn't seem capable of doing.
Once Maureen did arrive some time between 3:00 and 4:00, Father of the Year bolted to get something to eat. Off the hospital campus, mind you. The cafeteria was just across the hall but he left the premises in search of something else -- perhaps his manhood. He was gone an extended period of time.
My contractions became stronger. After another examination it became obvious my sweet little shmoopy wanted to greet the outside world sunny side up, as my dad would say. This meant back labor was even more intense. This is when I tossed aside my 'no drugs' in birth policy and begged for an epidural. Too late! I was too far dilated. All they could do was give me Demerol to ease the pain. I took it. Begged for it. Loved it. Wanted a hell of a lot more of it. It was at that moment in time I understood why people did drugs. Oooooh, sweet relief. If not for Maureen I would have passed out hyperventilating. She got nose to nose with me and helped me breathe. If necessary, she would have body slammed Nurse Ratchet for insisting my contractions weren't much to write home about. The time came when they'd break my water. Once again it was good to have my big sister championing for me. The nurses and doctors thought they'd have plenty of time to dilly dally while I lay on that torture board of a bed. Maureen told them to think otherwise and not to stray too far. She insisted that Rapier women dilate fast after our water is broken. Her insistence made an impact. She was spot on. This event took place around 5:00 PM.
FINALLY! A labor and delivery room opened up. All the time prior I could hear my former classmates hootin' and a-hollerin' like cats in heat. I think they'd watched far too many movies of exaggerated birthing. They had freakin' epidurals and were screaming like banshees. I guess it made for good video taping to show friends and family at their next soiree. Anyway, I was high on Demerol and being wheeled into the LD room. During that time I experienced a huge contraction and had to breathe myself through it. At least in my drugged up state of mind I recall letting everybody know, "I did it! I breathed through it!" As I said, my memory of the entire thing is shoddy. What I do remember is the nurse telling me what was going to happen on my next contraction and what amazing, relief I felt when she let me finally push. Nothing in this world compares to the first time when I could just let it all go.
In between contractions I managed to ask my (ex) husband if he remembered to feed the cats. Then, there was a burst of laughter as I took on the persona of Max Cady (Robert DeNiro) in "Cape Fear" when he says, "come out, come out wherever you are" in that twisted southern accent.
At some point my suspicions that dear husband wouldn't be able to stomach the miracle of birth came to fruition. He began to gag and became faint. He switched places with Maureen who'd been up by my head coaching me. Her loving touch was always felt with each contraction and push. Like so many women, I had to have an episiotomy. 'Bee sting' my doctor would insist as he gave me a shot and made the incision. BULL HOCKEY!! It's like having a hive of hornets go to town in vajayjayville.
At approximately 7:10 PM my little boo-boo bear would be welcomed by the loving face of his Aunt Maureen, doctors, nurses and interns. We had quite a cheering squad that evening. Remember, he couldn't be turned around because he was just too big. With both shoulders popping out at the same time (yeah, big ouch) we learned that we could finally put a name to our bouncing bundle of love. A boy. I had no desire to find out ahead of time the sex of our child. Weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces, he let out a squawk. I think I was too exhausted to cry, but it changed my life forever in the best possible way. My squishy faced little boy would bring me the greatest joys life can create.
Mancub and I have had our share of heartbreaks and struggles over the years. Through it all we've had each other. It was never questioned or argued that wherever I went; he went. My little sidekick. He's now about 6 feet 3 inches tall and 215 pounds. I can rest my head on his shoulder when he hugs me -- he claims he'll never be too old to hug his mama ... and he does so very often.
My baby is sixteen years old today. There's no greater reward in life than seeing him become such an amazing human being. He makes motherhood effortless. While I miss the days that he'd curl up on me to take a nap on the couch, it is an phenomenal reward to see him as a compassionate young man. Rather than him babbling from the backseat in his car seat, he rides shot gun in the front seat and we have conversations about life or make up lyrics to songs as we motor along the highway. No more is he a picky eater who hates milk. Now, he goes through five gallons a week and manages to eat whatever I put before him and asks for more.
In a word, my son is AMAZING.
|Lake Michigan, Michigan City, Indiana|
Happy SIXTEENTH birthday, Mancub. "I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be."