Saturday, October 17, 2009

Birthin' Stories

Birthin' Stories

Pregnant broads are SO touchy, particularly those that are knocked up for the first time. I think it's because there's this ridiculous air of mystery and reverance that surrounds the process of procreation. What a load of nonsense! Once you've done it, you realize that it's uncomfortable and messy and more than just a little bit dehumanizing and degrading. You read those bloody hippie birthin' books, and they make it seem like you're going to poot out your little angel sprog on a misty cloud haze of spun sugar and rose petals. It's more like those scenes in "All Creatures Great and Small" when Mr. 'erriott reaches elbow-deep up a cow to pull out a calf.

I was telling birthin' stories at my class to this pregnant lady. I stated that it's not a good ideal to give birth near a holiday, because the real nurses are all on vacation and you get stuck with surly rent-a-nurse substitutes. I know for a fact that this is true.

My second son, who was the colicky spawn of Satan, was born the day before Thanksgiving. It took three nurses to get me off the gurney and in to the bed. Mind you, I was a mite heftier back then, but give me a break; these people are supposed to be professionals and they treated me as though I were an unwieldy sofa. Have you ever had a team of retarded nurses try to roll you on to a bed after major abdominal surgery? I'd just had a cesarean, and was numb from the waist down but not numb ENOUGH, evidently, because I nearly passed out. It's very unpleasant to have a fresh incision shifted about because some silly bint is heaving you around bodily.

I was up all night, every night I was in the hospital because the nasty nursery rent-a-nurses would not keep any babies in the nursery if they cried. My kid cried, and I'm guessing other babies cried, too. Evidently, the noise was interrupting their card game or their sex-toy party or whatever it was they were doing. So I had this red squalling lump from the pit of hell attached to my breast all night. He was so attached because he would only shut up if he had a mouth full of nipple.

This is why I was awake at 2AM the first night. My legs were still numb, and I could not get out of bed unassisted, but the evil little black-eyed Dominican nurse decided she wanted to take out my catheter NOW. And she did, despite my protests.

"But I can't move my legs yet, I won't be able to go to the toilet."

"You can wait until morning," she said, and proceeded to pull out my catheter in a manner that can be best described as the motion and force that one would use to start a gas engine lawnmower. A lawnmower that had sat in the yard all winter uncovered, and had bad plugs.

I think I screamed. You'd think someone who was not evil and crazy might have come to see what the matter was, but no one did.

The second night, I asked for pain pills around 7. Around 11, no one had brought any but I really had to pee and I wanted to leave the screaming baby unattended in the room in hopes that someone would come and kidnap him.

It hurt to move. I made it to the can, and sat on the bowl crying and passing huge post-partum clots and wishing that my husband was there so that he could help me back to bed and also so I could spit on him (it would have hurt too much to hit him).

After about fifteen minutes, I hobbled back to bed. It hurt to try and pick up the baby after I was in bed, because I had to twist to do it, so I picked him up before trying to get back in to bed. That hurt just as bad, so I sat there and cried for a while.

Let me just say that I am not a crier. People who cry a lot piss me off, generally, so if I'm crying, things must be really bad. This pain was really bad, and could have been avoided if the stupid rent-a-nurse had brought me some bloody Percocet.

I buzzed for the nurse.

"What??" someone bellowed.

"I need help," I said. Which is their job, is it not?

After a bit, some nurse came in, and she was irritated that I'd called. I told her that I needed some pain killers. She sucked her teeth and sighed, and looked at my chart. Then she kind of started, and said, "Oh, you should have had painkillers hours ago."

"Well, I asked but no one brought any. And so now it hurts so bad I can't move."

So she helped me in to bed, gave me an extra dose, and took little Damien down to the nursery.

This is the same night I told the nursery Nazi when she said that she was going to bring the baby to me to feed because he was crying, I said to give the little bastard some formula, because I didn't want him. I know I can't be the only mom whose ever said that sort of thing, but given the expression on her face, I must be one of the few.

This is how it was, you see. And then I got the little squalling lump of doom home, and he was not too terrible for the first few weeks. He slept for four-hour chunks, which is not bad for a newborn.

And then the colic hit at four weeks, and lasted until 8 weeks. Five hours of constant screaming every night, and sometimes a few more hours around midnight.

During a midnight screaming fit, I was sitting on the couch covered in spit-up and leaking breast milk from my cracked nipples and watching 'Rosemary's Baby.' I told my son that he was a stupid baby, and I didn't like him very much. I really, really meant it. He didn't care, he just kept screaming and turning red.

The colic stopped at 8 weeks, and I believe that this was because in the wee hours one morning I informed the little bastard spawn from hell that if he kept it up, I was going to throw him out the fucking window.

So I'm telling my baby stories, because I think they're entertaining and I was conversing with someone else who'd had an evil baby and we seemed to piss off the first-time-pregnant mom.

I told her I wasn't trying to scare her, and she goes "Yeah, right," and didn't say anything else.

Perhaps she'll think of me some time in the middle of the night, when she's trying to rock a screaming baby and she's covered in puke and hasn't slept more than an hour at a time for weeks and her raw and bleeding nipples are sticking to her nursing bra. I won't be thinking of her; I'll be fast asleep in my baby-less house.

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