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Friday, July 21, 2017

A child is born

I miss blogging. I miss it as a creative outlet. I miss it as a historical record.

Mostly, I miss all the attention.

A lot has happened since my last post. A reality show host became president. Katy Perry got a pixie cut. I GAVE BIRTH to the delightful Martha Williamson. Anna got rhabdo from CrossFit. They called off the search for MH370. Max and Natalie had a baby! I gasped as a Nordstrom sales associate announced that my bra size is now a 34E.

So much to unpack. Let's start with the birth.

It sounds like I'm kidding when I say that I had no idea it would hurt so bad, but I genuinely had no idea it would hurt so bad. Somewhere in the back of my mind I faintly remembered hearing that labor was painful, but that didn't apply to me! I was going to get an epidural at the first whiff of a contraction. I would feel a bit crampy, b-line it for the hospital and order a milkshake as they stuck a giant, drug-filled needle into my back.

Lamaze classes? More like scaremongering propaganda sessions backed by Big Aromatherapy and their cronies in the natural childbirth lobby. No thanks! I didn't need to sit in a room with a bunch of other couples, fresh faced from their pregnancy photoshoots, and subject myself to their absurd anxieties.

Well. I get it now.

Sometimes, even if you meet the "criteria" (1-minute contractions, 5 minutes apart for more than an hour), you still can't get the epidural. Why? Your cervix is the size of a pea and won't budge. The hospital is full of other human mammals pushing out offspring. The hospital staff are assholes. Who knows? All I know is that I was turned away twice and in labor for two days. At one point I was splashing around in the bathtub like a wounded manatee, wailing like a banshee while Andy placed a slice of Freschetta atop my throbbing abdomen. But for the first time in my life, even pizza didn't help.



Hollywood made me assume that pushing was the painful part of labor. It's not. At least not for me. The painful part is the CONTRACTIONS. "What do contractions feel like?" I've since Googled that on a few occasions and never found a satisfactory answer. The closest description I read was that it feels like bad cramps...except also with someone stabbing you repeatedly in the stomach.

Now too much time has passed to describe it accurately. I can't find the words. I can't access the memories. What everyone says is true: your body forces you to forget. It's a survival mechanism.

OK, that's probably good enough for now. I don't want to use up all my good material in the first blog post back.


P.S. For the record, I stand by my decision to skip the childbirth classes. Nothing could have prepared me for the pain. And the other couples would have annoyed me. And the classes are long and would have cut into my last remaining childless weekends.

P.P.S. I did eventually get the epidural!

P.P.P.S. My reward for the pains of childbirth, your reward for having to look at the photo above of me in the bath:

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