To begin this story about 1984, I must first back up a bit into 1983. Two days before Christmas, 9 months pregnant, I am visiting my Mom in Dallas when I get the call. They had a nice military base hospital in Dallas, and I was hoping to deliver with my Mom by my side. Being in the military was my first mistake, before my Navy-issued son came into the picture. My doctor says I must come back to the hospital, I am building up fluid around my son, and could have serious problems if I don’t. The first snow and ice storm to hit the area in 20 years hits, but my family pack me into the van, and we slide our way across town arriving after only 3 hours, to the airport that is only half an hour away. I arrive safely back home, at the armpit of the world’s very own Biloxi Naval Base hospital, where I get to spend Christmas alone.
I am forced to stay in this hospital for a month and a half longer, racing with the Eskimo women, according to my doctor, who will sometimes be pregnant for 11 months due to the seasons or some such nonsense. I sneak out almost daily, driving a friend’s car, and bring back the only thing that makes me smile; pizza. I walk to the beach each day and back, hoping to jump-start my delivery. I walk the stairs of the hospital hallways each night, trying to drop him with each step and strain. I begin to gain more fluid, gaining up to 30 extra pounds in just one month, insuring I will never be seen in a bikini for the rest of my life.
I am forced to be induced 13 times, breaking national and international records alike. Only to have labor start, hurt for a few hours, then stop about the same time my son decides to become breach. The doctor comes in, smooshes him around proper like, and we try again the next day. In case you don’t know this, military doctors do not like to do C-sections; they would much rather torture you repeatedly for months on end. My doctors words before he left to go on a 2 week ski trip are: If you don’t deliver before I get back, we will do a c-section when I return. I hate this man, with every inch of my enormous waddle.
On Valentines day, I am upset, due to the worthless, selfish, unloving father of my child, and decide; that’s it. I’m outta here. I pack up my stuff, and load up the car, and drive all the way home, so hugely pregnant, I can barely reach the wheel.
1984 is already in full swing, as I enjoy a few minutes alone, not being prodded and poked and stabbed with needles. A few hours later I go into labor. I know its labor, but I refuse to drive back to the hospital. Instead I am feeding my cat, listening to some Pink Floyd, sipping on a coffee, and swinging on the front porch swing, counting the minutes between each contraction.
I wait until I can’t take it any more, which is the next day, before finally calling the ambulance. The pain is out of control, and I seriously think I’m about to deliver the entire trip back. I arrive to cheers from the E.R. crew, who all know me by name. They quickly check me out, and decide I have time to put the epidural in, because if they don’t I will kill one of them slowly and painfully with a pair of forceps. After an entire month of inducing, I cannot take any pain at all, my body has been pushed to its final limits; they quickly hook me up.
They wheel me into the delivery room, spread eagle and facing the only door in the room, with a small foot square window right across from my vagina. Hospital workers, doctors, nurses, maintenance guys, all parade by the window, looking in at my wide open vagina, waving and holding up their thumbs. So proud I am finally about to burst, they each take a second to smile at me. I finally lose it, and demand they cover the stupid window, right as my stupid doctor waltzes in. He’s laughing, in a great mood, patting me on the knee, and telling me what a good job I am doing. He asks if I want a Big Mac from McDonald’s, like he’s gonna leave to go get it. I want to shove the spreaders up his ass, but they won’t let me.
It’s about 2 minutes before 2pm, and I am determined to get this done and over with in time to watch General Hospital. So, ya, one last enormous push, and out comes the well-baked child I created, pissed off at having to leave his nice warm jacuzzi and lap pool. The day after Valentines will never be the same again. Besides the incredible joy of finally having my son in the world, my greatest joy that day was spraying my doctor in the face with 30 pounds of nasty-ass fluid as he told me to:
“Push like you’re pushing me off a cliff.”
Well done, Momma. Well done.