“Now honey, you do not have anything to worry about. The first baby always takes a long time. You just be patient and go about your normal day ’cause you got awhile,” she said as I imagined that grin spreading so wide she might snicker.
“Ok… so don’t bother coming in until contractions are five minutes apart?”
“Uh, yea… you do that.”
I do not think she knows what she is talking about. The pain was radiating from my back to my belly and down the front of my thighs, like a jolt of electricity was coursing through me. Each wave would stop me dead in my tracks and I would have to wait until the rush ran over me and out my toes. I’m hungry. Subway is not far. I can make it to Subway. My husband was working on base and knew he probably would not be able to make it home for lunch. I really had not much energy to go to the grocery because I had been feeling like utter crap… I was two weeks over due.
I have my hospital bag in the car already, so if I need to make a detour I can. I went through the house and turned everything off and waddled down the front steps to my car in the humid coastal air. Fear and excitement permeated my thoughts on my way to Subway. Just after a few bites of my sandwich, the baby started kicking, flipping, squirming… as if he were swimming down to the light. But, the nurse said I got a long while before the baby comes.
I finished my meal and stood up. The current passed again from my back to my belly and down my thighs… but this time I felt the urge to squat. I did. In front of everyone. Abruptly, every thing shifted. suddenly my belly that pushed my breasts and lungs up fell low. The pain of the contractions intensified and quickened in speed. Oh shit! She doesn’t know what she is talking about!
I shuffled as quickly as possible to my car… legs splayed, trying to hold my rotund belly up so nothing would fall out. The front gate is not far, I can make it at least to the MP’s. I drove as fast as I could until I got to the gate… MP’s were inspecting some cars, but I had my DoD sticker and they flagged me through. I did not bother telling them I was in labor because they all looked like babies and would not know what to do to help me. I picked up speed and weaved around the slow cars on the four lane highway down the forest to the hospital. My hands clenched the steering wheel each time the tide of pain came crashing on me. I felt that the pain made me so strong that my fingers would go through the rubber, like squishing clay between them.
I pulled up to the E.R. left my keys in the ignition and wobbled in. The gurney came up from behind me so fast that it just hit me enough to make me fall back and lay down. I widened my thighs as far as they would go.
“Oh now honey… the baby is crowning. You should have gotten here sooner.”
“Bitch!” It was the same nurse that had told me I had all day to go.
I was trying to catch my breathe between each wave of pain. I knew for sure I was dying. There is no way someone can go through that much pain and survive… God is not that cruel, he would surely put me out of my misery and let me die. The nurses were running about trying to set up the room for my baby to arrive.
“Just hold on. Do not push!”
“I cannot help it! I have no control!”
“Yes you do. You can stop pushing.”
“How the hell would a man know? Have you given birth before?”
He turned to the nurses and started throwing commands while putting his hand against the baby’s head. Ha! He thinks he is going to stop this baby from coming out!” Another contraction and I was bearing down on every bone I had in my lower half. My body knew what to do and there was nothing my mind could do to stop it. This was happening… and it was happening now!
“Aaaaggghhhhh! GOD! Help me!”
“We are trying to help you. You just have to listen to us.”
“I was talking to God! Not you!”
I took the very deepest breathe I could. I filled every nook of my lungs and used every muscle I had (especially the ones I didn’t know existed) from the muscles of my scalp to the ones in my thumb to the muscles lurking deep in me in the nether region of all that is holy. I bored down impelling that baby out. A sudden flush and I felt human again. No pain, just very sore.
“It’s a boy! A big boy!”
“Nine pounds and four ounces!” The nurse continued with “congratulations.”