The New Normal: A Birth StoryPilar Clark
But, as soon as my very own baby maker found itself knocked up, watching The Belly became a weird spectator sport. Like American Gladiator. With ninjas. Because that’s what happens when you’re pregnant with a giant squid with a taste for bagel dogs and orange juice.
By the time actual labor started, the gladiator ninjas borrowed some of Jean Claude Van Damme’s roundhouse kicks and delivered a few swift yet stealthy ones directly to my junk. Times eleventy.
Jeff had just hoisted me into bed with enough strategically placed pillows to try and make the hugeness more comfortable. Exhausted, he had vampired onto the narrow edge of the bed that was left at the summit of Mount Preggamanjaro and was snoring away, while I was trying to figure out if my lady parts were finally being leveled by the Braxton-Hicks that had started when I was about two seconds pregnant, or if something more, um, crappy was going on.
For the next six hours, cramps gleefully gave me the finger, which is how I think they were cheering on the Damme ninjas.
Then, I popped. (That’s popped. Not pooped, in case you weren’t sure what ended up happening).
Relieved that the collective muscles from brussels were taking a breather every few minutes, I decided it was a great time to take a leisurely shower and shave what I could reach, while Jeff ran around like a crazy person and forgot to time contractions.
The 15-minute ride to the hospital was a slow-motion blur with sparkly excitement wrapped in jangled nerves. I remember Jeff’s hands being cold as he squeezed mine over the console in the car, and the Labor & Delivery nurses holding my numb legs up near my ears, and my OB smelling like coffee and soap.
Ten hours, a full-length mirror (I insisted on watching), a serious hemorrhage and a herniated belly button later, I pushed out a 10-lb. 1 oz. boy so deliciously ginormous, I was surprised he didn’t come with a mustache suitable for combing.
As Jeff and I snuggled with our new baby boy in the hospital room, whisper-singing “Happy Birthday” to the coolest thing we had ever made together, little did we know that this would be the start of the hardest, most beautiful thing ever.