Monday, August 31, 2009

It’s all about the Pelvis, Baby

Like old war stories and legendary football game tales, for we women, the births of our children represent something to be proud of-- a battle we’ve fought and won. I pull out my childbirth memories for certain circumstances, such as when a “First Time Preggo” needs advice...or to embarrass my husband by using graphic, textbook names for things. All I have to do is say, “Episiotomy,” and Fred cowers. Episiotomy is a good power-word to to get him to leave the room so I can paint-on my mustache removing cream in privacy.

Today is my son Jon’s 20th birthday. As an additional birthday gift, I promised him that this year, I would not remind him, at certain important times of the day, what it was like in my “Labor and Delivery” room 20 years ago. I might have gone a bit overboard last year, when at 8:30 pm, I said, “You’re crowning!” He didn’t like that much, but I enjoy reminding him that I went through Hell to get him into this world. It’s all part of the mother-guilt continuum. In my defense, as the mother of two boys, I still consider it my duty to “out-gross” them now and then.

There’s a world-wide, centuries-old, sisterhood for women--where the only joiner fee is to have actual birth experience to share. Each birth is different and special. Each birth has its “Slasher Movie” elements, too. In fact, I think some thriller movies must record actual women in their 2nd stages of labor.

My birthing story begins with a claim... that the “Giving Birth Act” simply has to do with getting an oblong peg through a round hole. The complexities enter into the picture based on the size differential.

I’ve been told all my life that I had wide hips. A doctor even congratulated me once for my hip breadth, saying that I should have no problem delivering children. It turns out he was snorting too much K-Y Jelly. For birthing---it’s ALL ABOUT THE PELVIS...and mine is the size of a cheeto.

As for the oblong peg...a successful vaginal birth also depends on the circumference of your baby’s head (Fred are you still with me?). With Jon, he decided to stay in the womb an extra 2 weeks past his due date for the sole purpose, apparently, of enlarging his head. Ultra-sound images suggested I was either about to deliver a nearing 12-pound baby...or a manatee.

My August 30th, 1989 performance of “Pushing a Manatee through a Cheeto” was one for the record books. At one point I was on all FOURS, feeling more like a mare in a barn stall than a woman, praying for death. Unnatural sounds came out of all orifices. My eyeballs bulged, my ears and nose grew. I even think I pushed a unicorn-horn out my forehead. When Jon finally emerged, after 8 hours, I expected him to be hideous, a side-ways-football-headed “Stewie” from “Family Guy.” But he was an 8 lb. 12 oz. adorable doll with a perfectly normal head. No explanation from the doctor, no, “I’m so sorry, Heidi, for scaring the unicorn-horn out of you...our ultrasound machine must be on the fritz.”

Oh well, I got a good story out of it. And a wonderful son.


Marniferous said...

Oh my God, you are hilarious. Thank you for writing!

dawn said...

Funny, funny, funny! Your poor, poor Cheeto!

Margo Berendsen said...

Oh my gosh this was funny! I can so relate! I about died when you mentioned pushing a unicorn horn through your forehead.

Found you via DL Hammon's recycling blog posts idea.

DL Hammons said...

That was hilarious!! I'm so glad you linked to that. Our first child was also 2 weeks overdue, ended up just over 10 lbs and ended up causing his mother to endure multiple...multiple stitches and weeks on a blow-up cushion. She walked into the hospital for the delivery of our second child yelling for drugs!!!!

ssaretsky said...

I am now feeling fortunate that I was defective and needed C-sections on all three! I have three seperats scars from MD's that apparently were unable to color in the lines as children, but there was no grunting involved! Great writing, Heidi, as always! I'm going to check you in April for your remaining unicorn bump!