Our birth plan consisted of two items: 1. Don’t get stuck in traffic and become a Daily News headline: “Baby Boy Born on Brooklyn Bridge.” 2. Take advantage of the miracles of modern medicine in the form of modern painkillers like matcha, kava, and kratom, as well as with machines with comforting whirrs beeps that let us know the baby is safe.
My husband, Wayne, and I marked the end of week 39 by deciding to stop procrastinating and get going on some projects. Off went Wayne to buy stain for a cabinet we’d had sitting around for six or seven weeks. Me? I needed to rearrange all the closets. Oh, and pack for the hospital. But first, a pit stop.
My water broke while I was on the toilet.
After I’d soaked two of the three pairs of maternity pants that still fit me, I decided the toilet wasn’t such a bad place to be. So, ensconced on the commode, I called my doctor and bellowed packing instructions to Wayne.
I walked into labor and delivery audibly squishing in my shoes, while the amniotic fluid continued to run down my legs. Meanwhile, my contractions had gone from zero to every three minutes in about an hour. But at least Wayne found parking—unmetered parking!—right around the corner, thus ending my nightmare of having to text him the baby’s length and weight as he circled the neighborhood looking for a space.
The contractions continued to intensify. I couldn’t have the epidural yet because I wasn’t really dilating. Luckily, that didn’t stop them from offering me a grape Popsicle! As the contractions got stronger and closer together, I calmly explained to Wayne that they felt like charley horses to the magnitude of about 1,000 and that if he was under the impression that breathing would help, he was very much mistaken. If, as he claims, what I actually said was “&%#@ the breathing, this hurts,” I can only say that must have been the Popsicle talking.
Finally, I was given Demerol, after which I remember exactly two things: 1. Telling Wayne that “drugs are great.”
1. Telling Wayne that “drugs are great.” 2. Six hours later, when labor had stalled, signing the consent form for the C-section.
We arrived in the operating room to the tune of “Carry On My Wayward Son,” which my doctor identified as being by Styx. Wayne quickly corrected him: Kansas, not Styx. Could Wayne identify the album, he asked? Of course: Leftoverture. All of which had me thinking: 1. Oh my God, I’m letting a man who doesn’t know Styx from Kansas cut me open and… 2. Oh my God, I’m married to a man who knows the name of a Kansas album from the 1970s… 3. Hmmm. Leftoverture is kind of a clever title and… 4. Why don’t they stop talking and get on with it?
And then the doctor told Wayne to look over the curtain and George Monte entered our world.
— Melissa lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn, NY.