Lingua Frank

This blog goes fishing in my memory hole for stories that I hope will provide at least marginal amusement for all.

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This blog is really about memories from my life...retold for the pleasure or yawns of friends and strangers alike. Bon appetit.

среда, июля 13, 2005

Alexandra's Wild Ride

My dear friend Beck just this weekend gave birth to her second child, which was a huge relief for her considering that she had been carrying little Robin in such a way that it looked like she had a bowling ball bag attached to her unmentionable region...even a casual glance let passersby know to give her wide berth (yes, my friends, that is a delicious double entendre). Horrendous discomfort mixed with pregnant fury can vaporize the unwary in a sliver of a second.
I wanted to extend my congratulations as well as reminisce a bit about the whole wonder of the dawning of new life, or, as the less tactful might be wont to say, pooing out babies.
Oh, don't be so horrified by the indelicate phrasing, that is precisely what the physical process looks like...I somehow never saw the "Miracle of Birth" or any of its hideous minions until I (foolishly) agreed to take a birthing class with my wife before Victoria's grand entrance into the world. About halfway through the class, we were subjected to twenty minutes of videos of, well, slimy aliens being heaved out of we all know what. The primal lack of glamour and constant staring at parts that just plain aren't for looking did anything but get me excited to "participate" in the birth of my own little extraterrestrial. With eyes and forehead veins clenched to fight back the dry heaves, I whispered to my dear wife that if it was all the same with her, I would like to remain up with her head than down with her woo-woo while trained medical professionals ushered our child into the world...if for no other reason than to pretend that it didn't really look like that. Even cutting the umbilical cord was too much for me: our birth plan declared that I would forego that privelege because "Sean is participating in the birth of his daughter, not opening a strip mall". With the exceptions of my wife using the nurse's boob as a handle and greeting our baby with a scream of "f***!", all went beautifully...unmedicated and all.
It had gone so well, in fact, that when our second child was fixing to spring forth from our loins, I thought I already had the script down. I knew my entrance cues, my lines "you're doing amazingly, sweetheart", and even a few rudimentary massage techniques. Shawna, too, had her part down pat, and she wasn't showing even the slightest jitters as her water broke at one in the morning and she prepared to perform. (You know the old actor's good luck wish...break a membrane).
Unfortunately, our cast had a prima donna who just couldn't wait for the proper cue to debut. Little diva shot the whole production down the (birthing) tube. (All right...I'm done now).
Suddenly, after only forty minutes of infrequent contractions that Shawna says paled in comparison to even the most benign heartburn, the gaping maw of HELL opened up and released its unmitigated fury on Shawna's uterus. We gave up on packing for the hospital and hustled into our Montero Sport, with Shawna in panic and myself on autopilot. The g-forces snuggled me into the door as I whipped through the roundabout around the Chatham County courthouse at 80 miles and hour and then I shot at ludicrous speeds through the North Carolina countryside. "We're OK," I kept thinking, "we've only got 18 miles to the hospital. We'll make it." My friends, the power of positive thinking amounts to monkey doo when it comes to warding off a very determined baby from entering the world fifteen minutes too early.
Shawna: "Sean, pull over."
Sean: (determined) "We're fine, we'll make it"
Shawna (turns with a look of disbelief at Sean's pathetic ignorance): No we won't...because
she's CROWNING!
Sean: (Pretends not to foul his jeans)
Fumbling in the darkness, I grab Shawna's cellphone and for the first time in my life I dial the combination of desperation- 9...1...1. The line rings once and clicks over, and I start to describe our situation and our vehicle as I pull off beside the sign for Durham-Eubanks road.
I try to balance the little pink cellphone on my shoulder, run around to the other side of the car, and be remotely coherent with the emergency dispatcher all at the same time. Ms. 911 asks if I can get Shawna to the backseat...a proposition so laughably insane by this point that I don't even grace it with an answer, because I can see a ooze-coated human emerging from my wife. We try to gently coax our daughter from getting out before the parametics arrive by, well, pushing the top of her head back to where it came...but she is really damn insistent that she is through waiting in the wings. A car approaches from behind, and I gesticulate wildly to flag it down in case I need some kind of assistance. I glance at the gaggle of young drunk gangstas who are staring in horror at the scene. Sasha's head had popped out (literally...there was a *pop* when she entered the world up to her chin). There was an audible gasp behind me...apparently no number of repeated viewings of Aliens could have prepared my audience of miscreants for the terror of a gooey baby head sprouting out of my wife's nether regions.
I am quickly whisked from this thought back to the task at hand. As I kink my neck to keep hold of the phone, I see by the barely perceptible glow of the car's dome light that Sasha has the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. Working in tandem with my amazing Shawna, we deftly fix our fingers between the baby and the cord, and quickly slip it off of her head. Sasha surges forward a bit. It is clear that this is it, and so I stupidly hand the phone to Shawna so as to afford myself the full use of my hands. She promptly throws it back at me, and cuts the connection to 911 in the process. Frantically redialing, I reach the dispatcher again just in time to deliver my child. Of course, she came so fast that "deliver" here should be read "catch and try not to drop". I am at once terrified and exhilirated, until I realize that she isn't breathing. The 911 operator guides me through infant resuscitation. Each time I seal my mouth around the afterbirth coated mouth and nose of my baby, I pray for the inspiration to manage not to screw up...I am at once determined and desperate. With my heart buzzing and my hands trembling, I breathe into her tiny body time and time again for the longest five minutes that I hope I will ever have to endure. Just as she begins to finally wheeze out regular breaths, I hear the scream of sirens and welcome them with rapturous relief. Within minutes, the paramedics completely clear her airways, cut her cord, and restore her to a proper baby-pink from the sickly bluish-white that she had worn for the first minutes of her life.
Driving behind the ambulance on the way to the hospital, I clutch the wheel with my afterbirth-soaked arms, glance at the gallons of goo soaking the passenger seat and floor, and laugh a manically shaky, joyous laugh. The miracle of birth is right.

4 Comments:

Blogger Beck said...

Before baby Robin was born I was thinking, "Oh, if we end up having her on the kitchen floor, that wouldn't be so bad. I could totally handle that."

Apparently I had forgotten what it's like to actually be "pooing the baby". Shawna is one tough-ass woman. She makes me look like Pee Wee Herman. And kudos to you for your catching job. I still have the recording of your 911 call on our desktop. It's effing awesome.

12:12 ДП  
Blogger Orion_skie said...

Holy Cow! To read the story of your daughter being born...awesome. *HUGE HUGS* Mothers/Women are amazing.

12:19 ПП  
Anonymous LV said...

Simply amazing. Not many fathers can say they have seen their baby being born let alone deliver it.

9:02 ПП  
Anonymous Анонимный said...

You two *ROCK* love your blog :o)

2:24 ПП  

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