Gut Rumbles

January 24, 2008

When Quinton was born

Originally published December 12, 2003

The doctors induced labor on Jennifer because she was losing ambiotic fluid and they began to worry about her and the baby. They kept her in the hospital overnight and started administering the labor-inducing drug at 5:30 in the morning. I was there at 4:30.

I was scared shitless. I wanted to be there to hold Jennifer's hand and comfort her through a difficult time. She was hooked up to a fetal monitor and everything looked okay until the doctor came in for about the fourth time to up the dosage of the GET THE BABY OUT drug. Jennifer went into serious labor right in the middle of a "Star Trek--The Next Generation" episode that we were watching on TV at the time.

Things got ugly after that. Quinton did one of those get-hung-up-against-the-spine things that I learned about in childbirth classes. Evidently, when that happens, a woman experiences incredible pain and the husband in the room with her goes apeshit. I went out of the room and almost tackled the doctor when I found him in the hallway.

"You've got to give ONE OF US some drugs," I said. "If you won't give them to her, give them to ME. I can't take this shit any more."

That's when they gave Jennifer the epidural, and all the pain went away. We just sat together and watched the fetal monitor for a couple of hours after that. I kept checking that sweet coochie that I loved so much until I saw something that resembled a little boy's head starting to crown out of it. I ran to get the nurses.

Dawn Olsen [Ed. Blog no longer seems to exist.] made me remember this very strange day. I discovered that neither one of the nurses on duty had ever delivered a baby before. "We've studied how to do it. We're trained," they told me.

Yeah. If I want to build a house, I'm not going to hire a contractor who never built a house before. I don't give a shit if he has been "trained" in how to do it. I want to see a piece of his work first. "Go get the doctor," I suggested. "I believe that things are happening fast now." The doctor arrived and said that everything was going smoothly. He picked up a very large pair of sissors and...

Then there's the episiotomy. Which is a common procedure in most vaginal deliveries. It's a cut they give between your vagina and anus to make room for the baby's head, you don't really feel it during labor and delivery because of all the pressure, but once the pressure is gone and you are stitched up - it swells, itches and burns - especially when you pee, which is all the time since your bladder doesn't work anymore.

That doctor cut my darlin's sweet cootchie with those sissors and it made a sound like a sailmaker cutting canvas. I couldn't watch. I thought that I might pass out. But Quinton came corkscrewing out of his mama right after that and the doctor asked for sutures. "Is she going to be okay?" I asked.

"She'll be fine. I'll even put in a couple of extra stitches to shim it up for you."

Quinton was fine. Jennifer was fine. I was staggering around as if I had been drinking in a bar all day. I was exhausted. I felt like a wrung-out dishrag. Jennifer looked better than I felt.

Both families were out in the hallway waiting to see the new youngun' and I finally carried Quinton outside. Got-damn! That must have been a traumatic experience! Spend nine months in the warm darkness of mama's belly, then be thrust into bright light with about 20 strangers pawing at you all at once. No wonder Quinton cried like a banshee.

He got over it. He is growing up to be a fine young man.

I never will forget that day.

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