Dear hospital staff,
This is my first baby (I know! We're thrilled, thank you). I'm in my 30s, so there's no naivete here. I have many friends and family members who have gone before me. I know how magical this is going to be and I also know moments of this are going to suck. Hard.
I've printed out the hospital's birth plan, but it seems a bit simplistic. You see, I'm new to this, so I have lots of questions and I feel like I need to elaborate so we're all at a mutual understanding. Bear with me as I break it down for you.
I will be bringing Enya's Greatest Hits. Keep the volume reasonable, I don't want to shout for more ice chips. If everything goes smoothly, we can just keep her on loop. That is, unless I'm one of those women who has a 24 hour labor or something, then for the love of god, turn that crap off and just put on something soothing. If you put it on TOP 40 and I have to hear "All About that Bass" one more freaking time, I will cut someone. If things take a turn and become a little more "rough" than anticipated, please then put in Alanis Morissette's angry anthem, "You Oughtta Know." I was once able to lift a book shelf by myself with this song on, so I figure it can get me through anything. If possible, play it loudly over my screams.
So, are you saying Dr. Pepper isn't an option orally or through an IV? It's my go to beverage during times of stress so that could be a problem. I don't really want to get into it here, we'll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, I have a 2-liter packed in my hospital bag and there may be a possibility you'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands. We'll see, it's hard to say so soon.
If this crap hurts as much as everyone tells me it's going to hurt, I'll swing from a rope like Tarzan if that's what it takes. Let's not leave anything off the table here. I must say, the massage sounds intriguing. Who will be handling this said massage? A nurse? Has he/she been trained properly? I only ask because I've been given some half-assed massages in my day (read: my husband), so I'd rather just pass if I'm getting a courtesy rub down while they watch the Cowboys game. If the nurse doesn't have sore fingers and a descent forearm/bicep workout by the end of it, they're doing it wrong. I just don't want them to waste my time and I don't want to waste theirs.
Also, my mom had my sister in the 70s, back when you used to knock women out and they just magically woke up with a baby. "Twilight sleep," I believe they called it? Sounds very sci-fi, I'm intrigued. If the epidural doesn't work, is this an option? What about nitrous oxide? My dentist gave it to me when I got my wisdom teeth pulled and it was a better trip than my honeymoon. If all else fails and I start screaming for my life like the one time I was momentarily locked in a gas station bathroom, just hit me. Knock me out. Grab my shoulders and slap me. You have it in writing - I won't sue. JUST DO WHATEVER IT TAKES.
I'll be honest, most of my friends are real crunchy, so peer pressure alone has caused me to consider an epidural free birth. Then recently I saw the Duggar daughter-in-law have an all natural birth at home in the tub. She almost made it seem easy because SHE NEVER MADE A SOUND. Not a scream, not a whimper, not even a "Wowza, I forgot how much this hurts." I came to the conclusion that a woman who remains dead silent during a natural birth can't be trusted.
I'm not trying to be a hero. I'll take the epidural.
Okay, I just Googled "Rupture of Membranes" and it's basically causing my water to break. Let's use language I can use, people! Ideally I'd like everything to happen on its own, but if we're in a crisis, by all means, let's just get the job done. Now, how do you rupture my "bag of waters," exactly? I'm envisioning a long pointy stick. You know what? Don't tell me.
A few questions here. First, squatting? Like - I'm in the woods and have to drop a deuce so I squat behind a large oak - squatting? What if the baby starts to drop out? Will the doctor run and slide like she's headed to home base to catch her? What if my quads start to burn? I need more details about what's happening here. If the baby does start to crown, will I waddle back into the bed while her head is dangling? I want to Google this, but I'm afraid what I see will ruin me forever. For now let's just go with, "Whatever position causes me to scream less."
So, the perineal massage. This is what I think it is, isn't it? I suppose having someone put something nice and warm on my crotch isn't a bad thing. It actually might feel quite nice. All I ask is that whoever is massaging my perineal with a warm compress not look me in the eyes. On second thought, I take that back. Yes, please have them look me in the eyes. This is a special moment, I don't want to be afraid of intimacy.
Also, no, I have not been using perineal massage to prepare for birth. Is that bad? Someone told me they used olive oil, but I thought they were joking. Should I have been rubbing my crotch down with olive oil this whole time? Can it be extra virgin? How rigorously, exactly? I thought this whole thing was kind of a joke. In the words of Amy Poehler's character in Baby Mama, can I just spray a little PAM on it? Please advise.
If anyone intentionally or accidentally puts a mirror in front of me so I can see the horrors of my beloved vagina getting completely wrecked, I will turn in to King Kong and you may need to call the cops. Let's avoid that drama, no one needs a felony while giving birth, enough is going on as it is. As for touching the baby's head or anything like that - honestly, let's just get this show on the road. I've been waiting 9 long months for this little tootsie pop to get here, I don't need to stop and smell the roses at the finish line.
My husband will be there and he can cut the umbilical cord if he isn't on the ground passed out from seeing his wife's vagina getting completely wrecked. He seems to think this will be romantic and magical (and I'm sure it will be), but he also has a tendency to annoy the hell out of me in high stress situations. This could be a problem. I've asked my mom to also be in the room in case she needs to referee, but she said as a mother watching her baby go through that much pain, she'd rather die first. So, question - are there any laws against forcing her to be in the room? I'm concerned my husband may say things that will make me want to kill him in my fragile state so I need my mom there to shut him up if necessary. Please let me know what your hospital policy is on forcing people to be in the room upon our arrival.
Well, that's about it. I'm looking forward to my stay and subsequent baby that will be arriving. It should be a very exciting time! And, if I'm being completely honest, I'm also looking forward to the perineal massage. Please triple check on the Dr. Pepper, and we'll be in touch soon.
All my best,
Anna Lind Thomas