Such questions bring me right back to Megan's birth experience. Allow me to share the warm memories of my 1938497475438924278957-12348725975982 hour labor and the 984372590402 hours of pushing that resulted in an emergency c-section anyway, leaving me with the cutest baby in the whole world and TWO areas that hurt rather than just one.
Picture this . . . It was 2 days PAST my due date. I left my teaching job 2 weeks before because, quite frankly, I couldn't find clothes big enough to cover my entire belly (perhaps due to the 60-70 pounds of "baby fat" I was carrying around.)
It was Father's Day (June 18) and contractions woke me up at about 6 am. By afternoon, they went away and I carried on as usual and went to my mom's for a Father's Day celebration. We left when I got a terrible backache. I came home and got into the bathtub to ease the pain. I was in the tub for hours and hours and hours while John fell asleep. (not that I'm STILL HOLDING THAT AGAINST HIM or anything.) It was fine, seriously. I mean, why shouldn't he have gone to sleep while he wife was in agonizing, miserable pain?
I finally couldn't take one more second and told John to take me to the hospital. Remember my plan to have my hair done, cute sweatsuit on, blah blah blah? Ummmm yeah, forgot all about that. (When it was time to come home from the hospital, John gave me what I wore to the hospital to wear home. I looked at him and screamed, "YOU LET ME WEAR THAT OUT OF THE HOUSE???????" Yeah, so much for my plan.)
I started begging for an epidural as soon as we got to the hospital, before we even arrived at Labor and Delivery. As a matter of fact, I think I may have begged a custodian for an epidural on the way up. While in triage, I had to go walk for an hour so they could "see what my cervix would do." They wanted to make sure I was really in labor and not just faking it, apparently. (John was thinking, "I'm pretty sure she's really in labor. Did you see what she's wearing? She made me stop on the way to the hospital so she could pee pee on the side of the road. This person in front of me is not behaving at all like my wife. She is in labor alright!"
Next, the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural FINALLY and said, "Wow. You look different. The last time I saw you, you were on all fours with your a$$ in the air." He seriously said that. He was a pretty funny guy, only I didn't think that was funny at all.
The doctor came in to break my water and realized it was already broken. What??? How does your water break and you just don't notice??? Then I remembered back to the unholy pain of the bathtub and realized it happened way back then. "No wonder your contractions were so strong so early on!" Wow, if I hadn't been on an IV drip, catheterized, internally baby monitorized, and paralyzed from the boobs down I would have gotten out of bed and gone on a murderous rampage, starting with the triage nurses that made me walk around to make sure I was really in labor. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
By now, it was morning and I had missed an entire night of sleep. I was hungry but no one cared. John went to get some food (because I insisted he eat.) I was so annoyed when he listened to me and told him, "In saying go eat John I really meant you better not eat a single bite until I'm allowed to, dammit." I don't know why he was so confused.
So I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. I said words so terrible I'm not even sure I know how to spell them. I was pushing so long the nurses had a shift change. Suddenly, I had a completely new woman elbow deep (or so it seemed) in my ladyflower. I was thinking, "Geesh. Do I know you? No time for small talk or the 'getting to know you' awkwardness. Just dive right in." My eyes were almost swollen shut, I had broken numerous blood vessels on my face, and I still didn't have a baby. The doctor came in and asked the nurses, "How long has she been at this? There is no excuse for this!" He told me that after 2 and a half hours of pushing my brains out, Megan just wasn't coming that way. She wasn't even close enough to use forcep or vacuum extraction, both of which sounded scary painful anyway. She was stuck, so it was off for an emergency c-section.
And this is how this story ends . . .
No, it didn't end with me wearing lipstick as I planned. I wasn't wearing make up and my hair was a wreck. But in that moment I realized none of that mattered anymore. I had the most beautiful baby girl in the whole world. In that instant, I became a mother and I haven't been the same since.
She was 8 pounds and 11 ounces and 20 inches long, perfectly healthy, and absolutely gorgeous.
I have to admit, I did feel a bit defeated. Childbirth was really the first thing I ever put my mind to that I wasn't able to accomplish. I felt a bit cheated out of the birth experience.
So now . . . when I think about trying again . . . I'm almost tempted. Then I remember the nakedness, the stirrups, the broken blood vessels.
No thanks, this time I'm gonna try to wear some lipstick.