I never really believed natural childbirth would hurt. I mean, I believed it was painful for other people. It just wouldn't be for me. Because, as you well know, I am special.
As we prepared for the delivery of baby number two, I was quick to inform our midwife teacher lady that I’m not afraid of pain. And when she suggested I practice making low grunting noises, which are “more efficient” during labor than, say, maniacal high-pitched banshee screams, I politely declined. “I’m not so much the screaming type,” I told her. “And grunting isn’t really my thing. I’ll just breathe inaudibly if that’s all right with you.”
Well, guess what?
When it comes to childbearing, screaming is totally my thing! Screaming is The New Black. Screaming is to me what colonoscopies are to Katie Couric. Can’t scream loud enough! Can’t be heard by enough people! Listen to me scream, America!
While I’d expected to push the baby out with stoic dignity, Patrick’s birth will go down in history as my crowning (ha ha) Hollywood moment. Actually, if there’d been a director present, he would have told me to tone the performance down a little. Too over-the-top, he’d say. Audiences won’t buy it.
But it’s not like I chose to scream. It’s more like screaming chose me. The way the devil chose Linda Blair in The Exorcist. And while some women have described natural childbirth as “a miraculous and overwhelming wave sensation,” I’d liken it more to “Satan in a mesh trucker hat, driving an 18-wheeler out of your asshole. Sideways. In an electrical storm.” Only much more painful.
So, needless to say, there was nothing stoic or dignified about my reaction.
I screamed for them to make it stop.
I screamed for them to “GET IT OUUUUUUUUUUUUUT. NOWWWWWW
I screamed for a cesarean.
Or just a chainsaw so Larry could do it.
I screamed my intention to take my show on the road and warn women of all races, colors and creeds that natural childbirth is what is known as a Very Bad Idea.
At the onset of every contraction, I would look at Larry and cry, “Oh NO!” as if it were all a huge surprise. As if I hadn’t chosen this.
Of course, the plan was to take deep cleansing breaths and “eek” the baby out slooooowly. And somebody (certainly not me) told God that plan. And everyone knows what happens when God becomes aware of your plans, right? He says, “Oh Jeez! Did you say you wanted to EEK the baby out? My administrative seraphim must have misunderstood! Hee hee hee. It says here on your order ticket that you wanted to blow the whole kid out at once, like a human cannon. Woops. My bad!”
So here I sit (gingerly), watching Patrick put another binky through its paces. And even with the tiny mesh trucker hat, he looks to me like a perfect angel. Hardly capable of inflicting any pain beyond maybe that of a sleepless night or two.
Could it be I’m already starting to forget? Not a chance..
So why did I do it? That’s another blog for another day.
And would I do it the same way again? Probably not. Though, oddly enough, I wouldn't change this experience for anything.
Would I recommend natural childbirth to friends and family?
Perhaps not recommend, but simply, tell them the truth.
It’s a real scream!