In my pain-beclouded state of mind all of the shouting seemed a bit panicky. Hello! People deliver babies in rice fields, in their bathrooms, and on the side of the highway! Of course, I’m sure, people die in rice fields all of the time giving birth. Sometimes a completely natural thing can be rife with complications and lots of blood as we found out during my first delivery. In hindsight it is likely that the poor nurses had taken a peek at my chart; plus they couldn’t track my contractions or the baby’s heart rate since the monitor was no longer attached to my bulging belly.
Even though I wasn’t bearing down I could feel my body forcing my tiny infant down the birth canal. The delivery room began to fill with people and doctors who had come to stand by in case my own doctor didn’t make it in time. As they walked through the door they were met with a not-so-flattering view of my behind stuck up in the air; my husband claims that every single one of them visibly started at the unexpected view. At that point I didn’t care what I looked like, or what I was exposing everyone to. These people are used to blood and guts, and I’m sure they’ve seen scarier things. At least I hope so.
I distinctly remember trying my darndest to be polite as I shouted at that I had to push at anyone who dared to tell me not to. I really had no intention or desire to be one of those raving women who are presented an Oscar upon discharge for “Outstanding Screamer of the Month.” But there is a limit to how much of that sort of hold-your-legs-together-and-don’t-push nonsense a woman in labor can take. (Please note that I did nothing that could be called screaming, and I even apologized to the nurse afterward.)
Everything seemed a blur. When my water broke I was coherent enough to double-check that it was clear. I was aware of pain, aware of the baby’s knees and elbows, and I remember a doctor with a strange sort of mustache briefly appearing in my field of vision and trying to introduce himself. And then the voice of my very own wonderful doctor was heard in the room. I’m pretty sure a collective joyous shout was raised heavenward by everyone except me: he had made the mistake of telling me not to push as he rushed in the door. Really, that was just too much, and for the last time I whined that I must be allowed to push- I was going to push, and that was just it, the final word, I’m sorry but I’m going to push!
He recanted and gave me the go-ahead and I went ahead and gave it all I had. The baby came out so fast that I’m positive she would have flown clear across the room had she not still been attached to my insides. The baby whom I had been so sure would come out a rugged little boy turned out to be a lovely little lady. It was 4:01pm, a mere fifty minutes since I had checked into the hospital, and only fifteen minutes after Daddy had arrived.
Now that she’s here it seems like she’s always been a part of our lives, and I couldn’t love her more if I tried.