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Sunday, January 30, 2005

Pregnant Pauses

Five years ago this week, I anxiously awaited the birth of my son. Time doesn't just fly by, it takes the supersonic elevator through your life.

Funny thing about giving birth, most of the articles written about it say you won't remember the pain. They were, of course, written by men. Seventeen hours of hard labor and I won't remember it? Please. Go sell that to someone with a lower forehead than me.

There are things in labor you can do without fear of reprisal that normally could cause divorce, banishment, or just a good ole slap in the face. I discovered this with the birth of our first child, the Drama Diva. Using the F word had never been done in front of my mother, at least not out of my mouth, but with contractions wrenching my body I spewed forth the mother of all cuss words. The irony is instead of telling her to F off, I screamed " 'F' ME!" a phrase used during football practice at OSU when someone screwed up.
My mother pursed her lips and replied, "That's how you got here."

I respect nurses but when an eight pound baby is clinging on to my uterus and won't come out, don't come into my room with the pain medication in your hand and STOP to discuss your dinner plans with another nurse. Again, labor afforded me the opportunity to tell the two anorexic medical professionals just where to put their dinner plans, DO YOUR JOB!

Then there was the anesthesiologist. Maybe he skipped the class where you actually LISTEN to your patient tell you the epidural isn't working. In any event, he took his life into his own hands by sassing me in front of my husband (he stands 6'7" barefoot and at that time could pick up a small Datsun truck without breaking a sweat.)
My husband grabbed the offensive doctor by the collar and pulled him across the hospital bed. In a normal situation, I would have played peacemaker but at that particular moment, I was voting for bloodshed or bruising. Both my father and father-in-law had to forcibly remove my husband from the room while the disheveled doctor fiddled with my epidural line.

My mother-in-law actually whispered in my ear: "You need to calm down, you're getting (Hubby) all worked up."

I'm having a baby here and you're worred about getting him worked up?

Out came the F word again.

With my son's birth, I was ready to use the free verbal abuse pass. In my mind I had a whole slew of phrases just waiting for the right moment during labor to unleash upon unsuspecting nurses, my husband, his family, my family, and a nun if they dared to enter my room. Maybe it was being at a Catholic hospital this time, but God decided to cheat me out of cursing everyone by forcing an emergency C-section after eight hours. I was just getting warmed up, too.

So here it is, five years later and I have to admit I miss pregnancy. I miss the heartburn, the belching, the pooting, the stretchmarks, the weight gain, the mood swings...am I crazy? I don't miss THOSE things, but there is nothing like holding your baby for the first time. Smelling their heads, caressing the tiniest hands, and kissing a gift only God could create.

To all those about to rock the cradle, I salute you.


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