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!
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.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
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?