It’s a girl! Introducing Brennyn Claire to our family!
Well now that’s she’s here I can only think “Well of course she’s a girl! What the hell would we do with a boy? Deep down I knew all along she was a she.” But of course, I did not. I wavered back and forth. Certain at different times that she was a girl, then a boy, then girl again. For simple spite, the last few weeks had me wishing for a girl only because I became increasingly annoyed at the people telling me I was having a boy. No doubt, no way, no how lady, you are having a BOY. Plllplllplll is me sticking my tongue out to all those people. WRONG. I am mature like that.
Brennyn arrived one week late. This pissed me off at first. But the three days leading up to her birthday were my best days of pregnancy. I felt fabulous, healthy, beautiful and ready. Not pretend talking through my ass ready. Really calm, at peace, prepared ready.
Then one day I sat on the kitchen floor and started flinging tupperware out of the cupboard and over my shoulder. Then I separated them into piles. Then I wiped down the cupboards. Then I purged all those with missing pieces. Then I put the remaining pieces back inside in the most organized and beautifully piled Tupperware cupboard you ever did see. Somewhere in all that piling it occurred to me I would be having the baby today.
I had a doctor appointment that afternoon, one that I had been certain I would never need. We prepared for an inducement the next day and I was all set up for an 8am arrival at the hospital. I suspected I would not need it but kept this to myself. I had already ‘felt funny’, certain I was going into labour several other times in the 2 weeks prior to this day. What the hell did I know. Besides, what was I going to say when Doc asked me how I felt “Yo Doc, I’m having this baby today! How do I know? Well, I like totally cleaned the Tupperware cupboard this morning.” So I was surprised while leaving the Doc’s office when he said “See you tomorrow, if not tonight first…”
And so he did.
At about 5pm I started having contractions about 10 minutes apart. I went to the store, picked my daughter up from daycare and went home to set up her new pool. You know you’re a mom when you can simultaneously sit by the pool playing catch with the beach ball, have a conversation with your husband and have contractions every 6 minutes. I handled it so well that once they started to get harder and closer and I escaped to the bathroom (# 2’s are a sure sign of real labour don’t yah know) and Kaya came racing in to pee herself and I’m trying to be all calm and cool with her but can not move for fear of screaming a scream that would haunt my daughter for life so I yell for Bal to take her upstairs to pee but the tone in my voice scares Kaya so she starts crying and I am at a loss so I yell for Bal again and all I get in return is a
“I’M DRAINING THE POOL!” said with disgust and contempt for my constant nagging
and then all I can do is breathe heavily through ANOTHER-MOTHER-FUCKER-THESE-ARE-GETTING-EVIL-CONTRACTION and laugh because draining the pool is so much more demanding and important than GIVING BIRTH TO A HUMAN BEING WITH HALF OF YOUR DNA YOU, YOU, YOU POOL BOY YOU…
Phew. I feel better now thanks. ‘I’m draining the pool’ Unbelievable… (Can I just say he totally redeems himself later by being a superstar partner. He rubbed and massaged my back the entire time fulfilling on demand my pleasant ‘requests’ for harder, lower, stop and anything else I may need. I can’t imagine doing that without a masseuse!)
It does not take long to be contracting every 3 minutes for 1 minute at a time. Time to go to the hospital.
We go and I see immediately that the nurses do not believe I am very far into labour and they are thinking they will be sending me home. My mantra becomes ‘Kiss My Ass’. Simple if not eloquent. The ER doc checks me and I am 6cm dilated. The nurse looks visibly shocked. Kiss my Ass. Kiss my Ass. Followed by evil laughter. Mwahahahahahaha…
The rest is a blur. We get put in our room, I walk to the delivery room and I tell them I need to push. It is happening very quickly. My doctor has not arrived at the hospital yet so I’m told I can not push. “Pant like a dog!” my nurse cheers. Seriously, KISS MY ASS. But then I do it. I pant like a dog. And it totally works.
Nurse Big Bird (so named because she’s a giant, has bright yellow hair and is obnoxiously happy) suggests I push using the bar. The bar whereby you stand (STAND?), drape yourself over or on or something that I describe in the first paragraph here. “No.” I say. Hoo Hoo Hee… Hoo Hoo Hee… Breathing through a contraction and a short temper here. “No really, it works great!” perky Big Bird insists. “NO!” I yell which is so much more polite than “KISS MY ASS BIG BIRD!” but she goes all mime and leaves the room insulted anyways.
Doc arrives. I can push. Hallelujah. I push. IT HURTS. IT REALLY HURTS. HOLY FUCKER IT HURTS. I may scream. I definitely panic. I do NOT want to push. “IT HURTS!” I yell. Doc chuckles, “Of course it hurts. It’s supposed to hurt.” I don’t remember what else he says but I know he calms me. He reassures me. I can do this. I have done this. Okay, let’s go.
The most amazing phenomena in this miracle of life and gestation and birth, in my opinion, is the one where you truly do forget the PAIN. Crazy ass pain. Pain of the you should be dying sort not the exact opposite sort. PAIN. Forgotten. How does that happen? You have a sense that yes it hurt but was it really that bad. So-Totally-That-Bad people. Yet you don’t know it because the brain has helped you forget. Even as I type this I am thinking “Did it hurt that bad?” 2 weeks later and I’m already forgetting. Fortunately I wrote in my journal only hours after the delivery. Babe on my chest sleeping and me jotting notes on the real experience. Reading these notes it is very apparent that it hurt BAD.
Is that clear enough?
Hurt. Pain. Ouch. To the max.
Okay whatever, push, push, push. Feel head. Goopy but cool. push, push, push.
Head out. Stop. I watch the head come out. I am mesmerized. That head coming out is the best feeling in the universe. Seriously. Better than orgasm, chocolate or victory. Better, even, then 8 hours uninterrupted sleep. It is unexplainable so I won’t. But if you have done it, you know women. You know.
I watch the rest of the body come out too. I didn’t watch with Kaya. My head must have been back in relief and exhaustion or something. But I watch this time. The whole flow and catch and scoop and glide right onto my bare skin still attached by umbilical cord, newly attached by love at first sight. With Kaya she had possible meconium ingested and the cord had been wrapped around her neck so they took her to the table to clear her and wipe her down a bit before coming to me. This was different. This was beauty. This was how it was meant to be.
My baby lay on me calm and gorgeous. I am in awe that she was in me and now on me. Only I didn’t know she was a she. I am so mesmerized by studying her face and features and hair and noting that rooting mouth and squirming body already trying to find it’s away to nourishment. The previous month I had been highly anticipating what the sex would be. But now the baby was out and on me and it does not occur to me at all to find out the sex. I stare in wonder and rub her and fall in love with her without once considering if this being is male or female. Bal is doing the same until finally it occurs to him. “I didn’t see what we had.” he almost whispers. I cry out “Oh yah!” and immediately go further down her body for a peek. It’s a girl! It seems so obvious in that moment. A girl.