my most laborious post to date
congratulations, it's a pineapple!
so, for the curious, here's how it all went down: as you may have heard, mrs nice guy lost her mucus plug early wednesday morning. can i say those magic words one more time? mucus plug. el pluggo del mucusa. mr mucus pluggy. seamus mcmucus pluggity o'snotcork. uh. sorry, that last one was a typo.
anyway mrs nice guy's timing was spot-on because we had an appointment with our totally awesome midwife a couple of hours later. the fun fact from that visit was that mrs nice guy had put on eight pounds of water weight in ONE WEEK. poor thing. i tried sticking her with a needle to see if the water would drain out, but she was all "ow" and "stop it" and such. whatever. the midwife sentenced her to bedrest and told her to drink lots of nettle tea for her vexing pregnancy (incidentally, do you know how fucking hard it is to find nettle tea? mr nice guy went to no fewer than FOUR hippy tea-toting granola shacks before lunch on wednesday and utterly failed to locate a single nettle. i did score some wicked patchouli, though, which is nice). so then the midwife swabbed the amniotic sac -- which sounds like the title of an insane miscegenation of a star trek episode and a pirate adventure story. but that's what apparently ultimately triggered her labor. so those of you who are overdue: swab the sac, matey! arrgh!
ahem. where was i? oh yes. mrs nice guy went home and i went to work. where she called me at about 11 am to tell me she was having cramps. our due date still being a week away and all, i thought braxton hicks had returned for another round of fake contractions. so i said: "yer fine. rub some dirt in it and walk it off, champ."
well, no. looking back now, we both agree that she was in active labor by around 6 pm, which is funny because right about that time i was just
i got home at around 7:30 only to find her curled up on the bed. i asked her how she was doing and she said something along the lines of "sdljcuzz hnoicx!" i asked her if i could fix her something to eat. she said "WHAT IS YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM TIME MY CONTRACTIONS AND CALL THE MIDWIFE." after recovering from a brief blackout and frequently checking in with our midwife, i summoned our crunchy-french-canadian-earth-mother-doula at around 9:30.
crunchy-french-canadian-earth-mother-doula upon entering the boudoir to find mrs nice guy balled up on the bed eating her pillow: oooh, helloooo. thees ees so beeyootiful.
mrs nice guy: mmmpphhrrRRROOOOOOOUUUUUUGHGGGGGHHHHW
and then the doula--she who eats placentas--practiced her doula magic. oils and soothing balms were applied liberally (incidentally, i offered her some chicken and she replied "no thanks, i am vegetarian." ha!). contractions ramped up at a steady pace, so we headed to the hospital and met our midwife there at about 11:30. mrs nice guy, usually the modest one of the family, stripped buck nekkid and jumped in the hot tub where she began lowing like a dying wildebeest. time flew. i got in the tub with her and had a relaxing soak. she was out of the tub by 12:45 am, back in at around 2. puking by 2:30. both midwives were on hand along with our doula. the birthing center was a soothing sauna of cooing words and coursing estrogen. i think i even began lactating a little.
anyway, mrs nice guy was in the tub when she announced between contractions that "this is really boring." then her water broke. she stayed in the tub until she felt the need to push. so she got out and pushed on her side, then we moved to a birthing stool. this all sounds pretty straightforward, but she was making noises i have never heard a carbon-based life-form make before. my emotional state was too complex to describe: fear, joy, concern. i was in a perpetual limbo between laughing and crying. every time i tried to say something encouraging, my voice broke like cheap china. "baby, you're doing so goo-hoo-ood," i would say, stifling a giggle-sob. i could tell we had never been closer as a couple. she looked up at me and hissed, "don't you fucking dare laugh at me." she was in pain and it was intense and it was exciting and hard to watch. she was stronger and braver than anyone i have ever seen in my life: if i had been in her drug-free position, i probably would have just drowned myself in the tub right after begging the midwife to throw eleven toasters in with me.
after about an hour of pushing, freya was born with her mom sitting on a birthing stool. i was sitting right behind mrs nice guy, so she was basically in my lap. she was probably in serious labor for no more than 10 hours. the last time i did anything for 10 straight hours was when i was a 13-year-old chronic masturbator.
the best part of it all: as you may recall, we didn't know the baby's sex. so the chief midwife says to us as the hellchild is crowning, "we're not going to tell you what sex your baby is. we're going to let you see for yourself and then tell us." that was all my tiny, exhausted wife needed. she pushed one last push. the midwife handed us the baby; i soiled my shorts a little. mrs nice guy grabbed the child and heaved it up to get a look at its goods. longing to see it, she pulled the baby toward her with such gusto, such instinctive momverve, that the umbilical cord, which is apparently not 130 feet long, snapped.
that's right. mrs nice guy yanked the baby out of her crotch so damn hard that the umbilical cord ruptured. the cord, as you may know, delivers blood to the baby. but at that instant -- at 3:45 thursday morning -- the cord ceased delivering blood to the baby and began delivering blood to everything else in the room. it was like a garden hose. the midwives instantly looked like they had just returned from filming the bloodiest scenes in "kill bill," "sin city" and "showgirls" simultaneously. there was such violent devastation in the delivery room -- everything was so thoroughly bloodsoaked -- that i had only one thought: I WANT MORE KIDS.
the midwives tied the cord up, fixed our floppy screaming albino salamander baby and returned her to our arms. as i held my daughter for the first time, i had never felt such joy; i was washed over with a tsunami of relief and gratitude. at last, i thought, i will never have to look for nettle tea again.