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Crapping Cement, 12-Year-Old Doctors, and Home Birth Fail: Which Sucks Most? (Week 1)

Crapping Cement, 12-Year-Old Doctors, and Home Birth Fail: Which Sucks Most? (Week 1)



Healthy Mommy Fact 101: I’ve always preferred to sleep odd hours or not at all. Ergo my needing to take a nap after Daddy’s alarms sounded and he zombied his way to the coffee pot. I kissed him good morning and fell into a dreamless sleep. Or perhaps my dreams were of giving birth and, as an adaptive function, I can’t recall them. Kudos, Mindblock, kudos.

At 10.38 AM I woke up having peed myself.

A lot.

How swell. Lovely. Neato. Let’s not share that one with the group.

After intense self-criticism of which morphed into profuse laughing, there on the pot I remembered something:

I’m pregnant. Like, forty, maybe forty-one weeks preggo. Reeeeeally pregnant.

My water broke.

I called up the midwife. She told me I should start experiencing contractions soon.

“What if I already am?” I asked. “I have little cramps and pain in my back.” But, alas, Midwife told me I’d just know when it was the real deal. And [Mommy]? If contractions don’t kick in within a certain window, we’ll have to talk about alternative birth routes.

“NO!” I said. “No. They’ll kick in. I’m having the baby at home.”

put on your swimsuit!

put on your swimsuit!


Yesterday was spent with a makeshift towel diaper around my waist all day because, who knew, a girl can leak a hot tub. And not get contractions. And lose electricity when there’s so much snow outside the university shut down. And wonder if anything ever goes as planned.

Finally, around 2 or 3 AM last night, legitimate contractions fisted their invisible claws around the territory in which you live and jolted what felt like the most intense magnetic frequencies through the uterus, ligaments, muscles, bones, centering everything into powerhouses of pain discomfort.

But, chill, Self: apparently they get worse.

As if pregnancy such a long study session you forget the real test will happen, everything was palpable now, very real—and very cool—to know you were all the closer to arriving. This was the end of it.

I’d never been so nervous in my life.


I spent a lot of time telling Daddy and Midwives that I deal best with pain–er, “discomfort”–when I’m alone. I heard again and again that, when giving birth, a girl forgets to be modest or courteous. Maybe on the modesty thing, DEFINITELY on the courtesy. Your daddy would sometimes appear and rub my back or feet or calves per my incessant ordering him not to, and it reminded me of how loved I am.

Daddy is sweet.

Yes, I brag about my sweet husbands.

Midwives and doctors measure to see how close a gal is to giving birth based on how much her lady goods have opened up (TMI? I’m sure you’ll know about the birds and the bees once you read this), but the thing with gals whose water has broken well in advance is you don’t want to over-measure because you don’t want to get bacteria in the uterus since the protective barrier (water bag) has already broken. Of course, by now, mine was long gone.

Hosptial. Hospital. Hospital.

The notion was throbbing through my thick skull. Flashes of fluorescent lights, cold white tile, scalpels, foot-long needles . . .

“I AM DOING THIS AT HOME!” I told Midwives (the second had come once I reached 7 cm dilated, around midnight) and Husband.

Then they took my temperature again.


And convened in the living room, too many rooms away to hear, but I got the message loud and clear.

Open Book Daddy came back to the bedroom. “Pack me a bag,” I told him, and then I went and stood, barefoot, in the snow.

The entire way to the hospital I had contractions topped with a profound desire to push what felt like a cinder block out my —. The roads were desolate; what kind of crazy cat would risk travel in these conditions? With every paralyzing contraction and urge to PUSHPUSHPUSH I envisioned careening into a ditch where I’d give birth in the snow and earn a spot on the news as one of those chicks who gave birth on the side of the road.

And people call me dramatic.

As if disassociated from myself, I felt as if I was watching somebody else’s birth story.

. . . having a baby . . .

. . . in active labor . . .

. . . 8 cm dilated . . .

. . . 100.4 temperature . . .

. . . 40 hours since water broke . . .

. . . tried a home birth . . .

My doctor was a a 12-year-old boy. Amid some SERIOUS CONTRACTIONS and my seriously fighting the urge to PUSHPUSHPUSH, nurses were asking me if I had a name for you and were you a boy or girl. I got a flush of antibiotics to reduce my fever. Apparently I was less than thrilled about the antibiotics: “NO MEDICINE, DANG IT!” I ripped the needle from the back of my hand, breaking the needle so that part of it was lodged up my vein.

But, you know, when you’re birthing a cinder block, maybe a needle fragment stuck in your vein will tickle.

“Okay, you can push,” 12-year-old Doc said.


“Just take a big breath in and bear down and push.”

Yeah, tickle, tickle.

Between some pushes it genuinely felt like I had an entire house coming out my butt, but it didn’t hurt, the pushing. I pushed a HOUSE out my bottom and can say it didn’t hurt; the desire to GET [YOU] OUT was such a . . . relief.

The last push is actually a taste of comedy inserted in a drama; you plopped out like a slippery fish squeezing out of a pipe in which it was stuck. The doctor set you on my chest. The midwife reminded me to remind him not to cut the cord until it stopped pulsing, which was in no time.

Because I’d held a baby once in my life and was unable to fathom motherhood, I’d envision time being an essential factor in mother-baby bonding. I’ve appreciated some of my friends’ candor in telling me yes, it took time, it was a process; after all, you don’t know the little entity that exited you: what’s their personality like? How will you shape them? How will they shape you?

It’s all right if you feel that way, I’d heard.

But the healthy “beautiful baby boy!” in my arms?

It was, right away, a love I’d never known existed, one I know I don’t deserve, but one I know I can never live without.


dad and son


hospital birth

natural birth hospital

baby boy

natural birth

natural hospital birth


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