We planned one of those “natural” child births. We read every book out and confided in each other that this was the path we wanted. I was all on board with full support for my beautiful lady. I had practiced my role. Blew up the exercise ball and packed the essential oils. The playlist was made. The cooler packed to ice down the placenta. All I needed were a pair of Birkenstocks. When the time came we journeyed to the hospital with enough stuff to move in. The monitors were hooked up and the playlist on. Oh wait, I forgot, before we checked in we stopped at Whataburger because it was going to be a long time before we ate. It’s a Texas thing. I digress. My sister-in-law gets her up and moving. Actually, no, because they would not allow it because it’s a damn hospital. Instead she rubbed her feet with peppermint oil and took to the shoulders. A few setbacks but we are now getting settled and contractions are rolling in. Controlled breathing and positive affirmations. Alternative facts of how beautiful this is. “You got this baby. We are going to do this natural and it’s going to be glorious.” Okay, forget it! I’ll call the nurse for the epidural.
Returning to the room I see she is all smiles, and snacking on ice chips like pop rocks. So what do I do with this damn ball and oils? More importantly why the hell did I just spend my last 6 months reading up and watching documentaries on natural childbirth?! Because I love you that’s why. And in a few moments the culmination of our love is going to shoot out your vagina. What? It’s true.
As light hearted as I make it seem, I was terrified. Between 2000 and 2014, the nation’s maternal death rate rose by almost 27 percent, researchers found. However, over that time, reporting methods changed, the study authors noted. For every 100,000 live births, nearly 24 women died during, or within 42 days after pregnancy in 2014. That’s just if you are looking at just that one specific thing. Don’t get me started on malpractice. We live in a first world country but we still tell women to lay on their backs to push out a baby. We tell mom don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs but immediately shoot her up with a cocktail when she checks in. Then, if it’s not progressing fast enough it’s off to C-section world. The data is all there you just have to look behind the curtain. So I was fearful inside because anything can happen and I don’t want to lose the loves of my life.
We did have some concerns while watching the Cosby show. Baby Bubba’s heart rate would drop whenever mama had a contraction. We were told it was being watched and just went on with labor as usual. Finally the hour was here. The cart was wheeled in and I began to take my place at her side. We began to roll her over but in the process I noticed something. Um, nurse! His heads coming out. She thought we were joking thinking it was too soon and no pushing had started. Wrong! He was coming out and nothing was about to stop him. As big sis poked her head in the hall to yell for more nurses, the magic was already happening. While full of joy and wonder and happiness I was quickly jolted with fear as I noticed the cord wrapped around my little boy’s neck. The nurse pulled away once only to find he had yet another loop around. My heart raced my mind was in shock. I had never seen this before. Was he ok? Why the hell isn’t the doctor in here? But then he made a sound. His eyes opened almost at once. There he was. Love had literally fallen out of my beautiful wife’s vagina.
I cut the cord much later because we wanted him to stay attached to the placenta. It’s good for baby. But again in that moment it felt like no one else was in the room. We did it. Not exactly how we planned but we did it. Our reward was a healthy handsome baby boy. Even though we have two older boys, it is nothing like that feeling of seeing new life come into the world. This one is dedicated to that. And I’m proud that we did what we did a year ago.
Happy First Birthday Bubba! We love you!
P.S. As beautiful as that is, I am done making babies.