It’s the Little Things That Get Ya

My daughter is going to be eleven in December, so it’s fast approaching the time when I will be able to look back and laugh at the experiences I had at the hospital on the night she was born. I’m not quite there yet. Give me eleven more years.

But, what the hell, I’ll share. Because, really, the good folks at Clark Memorial Hospital deserve a big ol’ thanks for nothing, and I’m just the person to provide it.

My daughter was and is a beautiful gift, but I feel sure I could have given birth to her in equal comfort in the back of a moving taxi cab, with Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler duking it out on the seat next to me.

I’ll just share the highlights. The first one involves Nurse Wai Chu Pu, who administered an enema. My understanding is that this is done to remove any possible blockage which might make it more difficult for the baby to get through the birth canal.

But, what I don’t get is the part where I found myself on a hospital toilet, expelling the foulest, most stench-filled diarrhea I could possibly imagine when, without so much as a how-do-you-do, the nurse traipses right in on me to tell me where she laid my hospital gown.

Couldn’t this earth-shattering bit of news have been shared from the other side of the closed bathroom door? Was it urgent enough to even merit a knock, let alone your rudely interrupting what I considered a private and solemn moment with my bowels to stand there in front of me and whistle like some strange, shit-loving robin?

I found it disconcerting to say the least. I’d have been embarrassed for my own mother to walk in on me at that particular venture, so if you wanted my opinion about your chances on Broadway, you picked a bad time.

Anyway, after my spirit was sufficiently broken by Nurse Wai Chu Pu and others like her, it was time to have my dilation checked. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, I’ll clue you in. It’s quite simple, really. Every hour or so leading up to the actual birth, a nurse will check on your progress by matter-of-factly sticking a finger in your hoo-ha to see if there’s enough room in there for the baby get out.


Beware of Nurse Krueger who has fingernails FOUR INCHES LONG!

I thought, maybe, since she had gloves on, that I might not notice her razor sharp talons too much. I was wrong…Oh, Jesus…So wrong.

So, while she was busy impaling me, I was thinking to myself, “Didn’t we have a town meeting and burn you in a furnace?”

But, like I said, my spirit was broken by then. So, rather than politely asking if another nurse could check my dilation next time it might need checking, I just hoped I wouldn’t get her again. Unfortunately, I did. Over and over.


Long fingernails are fine if you’re Donna Summer or Ivana Trump. But, if you happen to be a nurse in Obstetrics, have some mercy and trim your fucking nails. Nobody should have to put an eye-patch on their newborn* infant just because you want to look glam.

Thank you. That is all.

There were other minor annoyances that night – like my epidural wearing off before I gave birth. My sister, who watched the delivery, says I was in enough pain that I was ready to give up and leave the baby in. I vaguely recall that.

And yet, to this very day, when people use the words “pain of childbirth”, I don’t think about the delivery. Instead, I’m reminded of the whistler and the woman with claws for hands. And that, my friends, should be very telling.

*NOTE: I’ve never actually heard of a case where a baby got poked in the eye while they were checking dilation on the mother, but it seems entirely possible.

On a somewhat related note, can you imagine anything cuter than baby pirates?
I can’t.

Comments 8

  • ohmygodohmygodohmygod…that was both horrible AND hysterical. I suddenly feel much better about my whole wisdom tooth incident. Thank you.

  • because if there was ever a time in which i was contemplating children in the future, that just crushed it.

    … what can i say? … long fingernails and i don’t get along.

  • What can I say? First, I apologize. Second, I’m honored to have ruined such an important decision for you.

  • That’s what my obnoxious husband is for. Thanks to your informative PSA, I will now warn him that while I am incapacitated, one of his duties is to look out for Nurse Freddie Kruger.

    Even if I’m wallowing in childbirth Hell, Andrew’s spirit will NOT be broken. In fact, I happily anticipate nurses such as those you speak of cowering in fear when he walks by with ice chips. 🙂

    If anyone who is freaked out by this story needs a backup hubby for your delivery, he is available for either appointments and/or to train your significant other in being just like him. (He’s also tried to hire himself out as a corporate hitman– sort of like “the Bobs” in Office Space, so if you need one of those, you know who to go to.)

    I liked this story–I’m sure you use it on your daughter when she’s wicked “you know what I had to go through to have you?” If not, you ought to. 🙂 Maybe during the teen years it will be helpful….

  • Yeah, the wife had some difficulties with her OB leading up to the delivery. But the thing I remember most, and will never, ever forget, is the sound that my wife made when the baby’s head finally emerged.

  • The birth of my daughter pales in comparison. I was in labor for three days, but I didn’t go through any of THAT! You poor thing!

  • Baby pirates?!? How adorable!

  • Note to Self: Add nail clippers for nurse to Birthing plan..

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