For some reason when a person is pregnant or adopting, all of society seems to feel responsible for passing on every horror story ever known. First, they try to excuse themselves by vilifying "those other people" saying something to the effect of "Are other people telling you all kinds of awful scary stories? Isn't that rude? Why do people do that? So anyway, here's the horrid series of excruciating things that happened to my friend.....".
I chose to ignore things that did not sound enjoyable. In fact I didn't want to know anything about the birth process at all. I had educated myself to the nth degree on pregnancy as well as on caring for the actual baby. I figured I would know soon enough about the delivery and since I had never heard of a birth where the child simply floated out of the mom on a cloud of cotton candy, anything else just could not be good and I was not interested. As I began to resemble a UPS truck I had conflicting feelings. On one side I couldn't wait for the delivery because I was so constantly, painfully, uncomfortable. Plus, you know, then I would have a baby. On the other side, at least I knew she was taken care of in there. On the outside with just me? Not so sure. See, she was safe in there and had all of her accessories providing for her every need!
Picking up where I left off, The Husband and I went to my lovely birthing suite at the hospital. It was wonderful. They had recently renovated the entire baby wing and so the rooms were private and beautifully decorated. It was not hospital-ish at all. But apparently, Teena was not interested and had no intention of showing up for her party that day. I began to get hungry and inquired about dinner.
Here was something horrible about childbirth that no one had told me. You don't get to eat. BAH!!! See, prior to being pregnant I had a full range of bad habits that I enjoyed but quit. So I transferred all of my bad habits onto cheesecake and ice cream and chocolate and damnit, I wanted to eat!!! Fear must have taken over the nurses station because they let me eat and promised me morphine too. Woo hoo!
Still, Teena was not inspired. Fine with me, I was enjoying the nice hospital. We relaxed, even though I was really nervous, and watched some TV. Talked on the phone a lot. I was not having contractions or any pain at all so everything was great as far as I was concerned. I got to have the bed to myself and make it go up, down and sideways!
The next day however, all those nice nurses had gone home and were replaced by motivated, determined nurses with an agenda. First thing on the agenda- wake me up at 6 AM. Second thing- move that baby on out. I got up to take care of some stuff like putting in my contact lenses so I could see this baby for example, when pain started to hit. Really hit. Hit hard. Eye twitching teeth clenching toe contorting pain. Bad pain. Now mind you, all those "helpful" people who had told me the grizzly details of delivery, had said that labor pain is about as bad as some really strong menstrual cramps. (I don't know, I'm guessing someone probably told me it would be worse and I probably chose to ignore them and continue my denial.) Anyway, that was a BIG FAT LIE because I was about to clench my hands right through the faucet and I was only getting started. I could have bent metal sink fixtures right then and there.
Fast forward to the nice epidural man and I could speak again without gasping frantically. There I was trying to push out a pick up truck every few minutes with my private lady business flapping in the breeze for all of Green Bay to see for like, 5 hours with no luck. Even with the determined nurses doing all kinds of voodoo down there, still no Teena. I don't understand it actually, seems like I should have pushed out all kinds of things by then.
Along comes my doctor and by now she is waiting to meet Teena too. And she is getting impatient with Teena's lack of urgency so she gave out a few orders to people and suddenly my pretty room is a real hospital room with equipment and metal tables with scary looking stuff. The word "vacuum" is mentioned and although I had been getting tired I was suddenly in SERIOUS pain and more pain is coming and people are yelling at me to PUSH and it freaking HURTS really BAD and the vacuum broke. Broke! So the doctor started over with it and again with the pain that is even worse than before and I didn't think I could handle it before so now its really bad and with the pushing and the vacuum and I am not kidding the damn thing broke again. It kept losing it's suction or something but who cared by then because that kind of pain can kill you or make you wish you were dead. By the fourth time the vacuum was reinserted I was done. I was screaming and surely terrifying other patients. Pain like I have never felt before, not one tenth of that pain. I could have sawed my own arm off with a toenail and had less pain. It was so bad I didn't even realize when she was almost there and I started to sit up and OH WHOA LOOK AT THAT there was half of Teena! Huh. I went back down and pushed some more and there she was!
They layed her on me right away for a minute and then took her to clean off all of her accessories. She did not cry and we did not name her right away. Serena had been one of our name choices and I thought she was so calm, maybe Serena should be it. Thankfully we went another direction because that would not have suited her after all. So, there she was. I know all parents say their baby is the prettiest but they are wrong because ours was the prettiest. She really was. Still is!