Now, I have to start by explaining what I thought childbirth was going to be like. I pictured myself lying in a soft, comfortable bed with half a dozen fluffy pillows, my hair cascading around me like an angel’s halo. My cheeks would be flushed to a magnificent shade of rose, perfectly matching the bouquets of flowers placed around me. Hubby would be at my side, gently caressing my hand. I would slowly close my eyes and drift off, and when I awakened, a perfect baby would be in my arms. I was SO sure this was how it would happen, because that’s how it happened in movies.
No one warned me that the intense pain of contractions was capable of completely transforming a person. My first clue was when Hubby drove over railroad tracks on the way to the hospital, causing my pain to increase. I glared at him with flames shooting out of my eyes. “You drive over one more railroad track and I’m going to kill you!” He must have believed me because I could see him thinking hard about how he could do that. He was much relieved when we pulled up to the hospital, and he was still alive.
I tried so hard to be a tough little trooper, because I wanted to be the best woman in labor the hospital had ever had. Nowadays, women get epidurals in the parking lot, but thirty years ago they only gave them to the screamers. But, screaming was not part of my pretty little picture, so I remained quiet. Until I glanced at Hubby, sitting next to my bed, looking almost smug. I whispered something in his direction, so he would come closer. I then grabbed his shirt by the collar, and with Herculean strength, pulled him right up to my face and told him “YOU, go find the doctor and tell him I’ve changed my mind…I...DON’T…WANT…TO…HAVE…A…BABY!” He smiled nervously and wiggled out of my grasp as another contraction consumed me.
Moments later, I could hear him whispering with the nurse. I could imagine their conversation. “Is it normal for women in labor to display a lot of anger?” he asked. And, the nurse told him it was a perfectly normal reaction to the pain. “What about her head spinning all the way around? And, I swear I heard her speaking in Latin.” Now, now, this is a tough time for fathers because they feel so helpless. Why don’t you get a wet washcloth for her forehead, and I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.” Just then, I pointed at him from my bed and snarled “WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?”
Fast forward--more contractions, ouch-ouch, time to push, push-push, baby is born, and placed in my arms. There, this was what I had been waiting for. I was finally going to get my Hollywood moment. I looked lovingly at Hubby “We did it…we have our brand new baby.” I could see he wanted to say something. I knew he was searching for just the right words. “Sweetheart, I need to tell you something…when you were pushing, your face was DARK purple! I didn’t know a face could get that color!” CUT!!!
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