Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Ay, Dios Mio!"

I didn't have a "birth plan" with my first baby, because I knew birth plans were for pussies and I didn't need one. I knew this, because I had practiced giving birth already.

My mom used to regale me (at arguably inappropriate ages) with stories from medical school. One of these was about a woman who pushed out her ninth baby in a single contraction. As my mother tells it, the baby briefly went airborne as the mom screamed out "Ay, Dios Mio!," before landing safely on the table between her knees.

I was twelve years old when I saw fit to re-create this scene one night in front of my bunk at sleep-away camp, enlisting other campers in the re-enactment. (Yes, I recognize that a few of my recent blog posts have had a "this one time at band camp" theme, but bear with me).

I stuffed a pillow between my Hollister T-Shirt and a pair of red flannel men's pajamas with a hole designed exclusively for a man's urinary convenience. But I've always thought outside the box, so to speak. And this was no different.

I lay down on the floor and proceeded to "go into labor." I conscripted my friend into unlicensed midwifery, insisting that she "deliver" the "baby" through the hole in the pajamas by yanking on it as hard as she could until it came out.

By this time, ten twelve year-old doulas were standing around cheering me on, as I continued to perform Lamaze breathing techniques and scream "AY, DIOS MIO!" over and over again while my "midwife" kept pulling the pillow bit by bit out of the hole.

When the "baby" was finally "born," I held it in my arms and examined the destroyed "vagina" of the pajama hole. It was clear that stitches would be required, but at least I had a healthy baby.

And that's the important thing.

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