guest post : rachelle from a rich, full life in spite of it.

Hello readers of Tracy’s blog!

My name is Rachelle, and I write a blog called A Rich, Full Life in Spite of It.

It’s mostly about my family, our life, and the embarrassing and sometimes funny shit that happens to me on an almost daily basis. I throw in things that annoy me and sarcasm as well. I try to keep it light and humorous, but sometimes I’m serious, and I try to write honestly about my memories and what I’m feeling and experiencing. I try to avoid just focusing on one topic because I get bored easily, and if I’m bored writing it, I can’t imagine anyone else will want to read it.

I’m more than a little intimidated to follow Tracy and her cousin’s hilarious offerings here, but Tracy has graciously asked me to write a guest post for her today, and I’m honored and thrilled to do so. Thank you, Tracy!

Without further delay, forgive me while I hijack I’ll Be Out in a Minute, and share entirely too much information about the birth of my daughter and my vagina with people I’ve never met.

My apologies in advance.

You’re Going to Put that Olive Oil Where?

You’ve probably read some birth stories on mommy blogs; that is if you read mommy blogs and aren’t disgusted by all our maternal pride and pictures of our spawn.

This isn’t that (I hope).

Today I will share some of the funny parts of my daughter’s birth story, and save the sentimental retelling of the experience for her baby book.

September 2010:

I went into labor on a Sunday; opening day for the pro-football season because my timing is always impeccable. The Cowboys were playing their season opener, and this was a big deal to real sports fans in Texas and my husband who has probably never missed a game. Personally, I can barely remember the last time they had a great season, but my guess is 1993.

My contractions started around 1 pm that afternoon; no drama or water breakage (movie depictions of this event are dumb). I labored comfortably at home, timing contractions, and alternating between hoping it would stop because we had Mexican food for lunch that day, and praying that it was finally time to wreck the Volvo and meet our little girl.

That year was unbelievably hot in Texas, and we were experiencing rolling blackouts from the increased power usages everywhere. Even in September the temperature outside was hovering around 100 degrees.

Around 7 pm our power went out. Fantastic. No lights and no A/C plus no football equals two very unhappy parents-to-be.

We sat around until it became too hot in the house to bear any longer, and then we started driving around aimlessly, sitting in the A/C and listening to the game on the radio.

What’s the only thing worse than watching a game you don’t really care about on television? I’m glad you asked; it’s listening to that very same game on the radio while you are in labor for the first time. Or anytime really–I hate listening to sports. Football is boring enough without having to visualize the plays.

We checked back in at home occasionally to see if the issue was resolved, but the power never came back on, so we kept driving.

Around 9 pm my contractions finally got close to 5 minutes apart. It became clear that they were not going to stop, so we went to the hospital parking lot and called the nurse’s station to see if we could start the admission process.

There are nurses and doctors that can be condescending to first-time mothers, and I understand because we aren’t always sure when the big show is really starting.

But I was sure.

I let my husband do the talking, but the nurse asked to speak to me, and she started asking me questions about how I was feeling.

I answered honestly, and laughed when she asked if I thought it was real labor. I assured her that I thought this was the real deal, but I could wait if what I was telling her wasn’t matching her check-list for admission.

And then she replied, “Well, I don’t think you need to come in because if you were in real labor, you wouldn’t be laughing.”

“Really?”

Thanks for your 30 second, Web MD opinion. I didn’t know you could tell so much about labor progression from my voice and nervous laughter or I would have been screaming obscenities at you and reminding my husband that he did this to me and was never allowed to touch me again. Let’s save the diagnosis until after you start using my vagina as a prop in your medical puppet show.

I laughed again and said, “Okay, maybe I’m not really in labor, but my uterus would like a second opinion.”

Honestly, the pain wasn’t that bad yet, so I accepted her assessment without being rude and hung up the phone.

We waited another hour in the parking lot listening to stupid sports announcers, and finally headed up to the labor and delivery floor. It still wasn’t hurting that much, but I was really tired of being in the car at this point and we were checking into the hospital or checking into a hotel.

Here’s how the rest of it went:

  • Admission Desk: Apparently five other women decided to check in at the exact same moment we did. The staff was not happy to see us, but they accepted our paperwork and sent us to a holding cell where I donned a lovely green hospital gown, was hooked up to a fetal monitor, and started the endless parade of fistings to my unanesthetized vagina. My cervix didn’t let me down–it was at a 4 going on 5 and a 4 is the minimum criteria for admission. Sweet, sweet A/C.
  • Get a Room: After what felt like hours, we were moved to a room. Privacy—check. Epidural—Check. Sweet numbness from the boobs down, and not feeling the catheter insertion or the rest of the cervical checks (and my eternal gratitude to modern medicine even though I didn’t get my “All Natural Labor” prize at the end of the day) —check.
  • This Is a Teaching Hospital Moment: Yeah, those are the words all first-timers want to hear. A nurse in training came in, and they asked if it was okay if she learned how to break water using me as the guinea pig. I agreed. Everyone has to learn somewhere. Why not in the safety of my numb vagina? She got out the plastic hook and went in for some non-book learnin’. Nothing happened. She kept poking around in there, scraping and hooking the top of my daughter’s head, but there was no gush of water. They finally gave up and decided that I had an embryonic sac that should probably be chewed open by vampire teeth and went off in search of a glittery, bad-acting Cullen. Apparently, the water had already broken but I guess the position of my daughter’s head prevented the satisfying, you just pissed yourself, gush of fluid.
  • Vag Salad Moment: Here’s where things got weird. I think I had read about this is in a pregnancy book somewhere and blocked it from my memory. Apparently, olive oil makes great baby lube, and if you want to do your part to prevent taint tearing, you should massage and stretch your perineum with olive oil in the three weeks leading up to labor. I did not do this, but it didn’t matter because they did it for me. There was a bottle of olive oil in the room with us, and they got in there and made some vag salad. It was the weirdest experience of my life so far, and I can’t ever look at EVOO the same way again—especially since I rub it on steak prior to seasoning them and grilling them. Maybe it’s an Austin hippie thing–did anyone else get the olive oil treatment? It didn’t work by the way; I still got the cut but I had an oil slick in my pants for days too.
  • Men In Black Moment:  The lighting in my delivery room was state-of-the-art. I’m not sure what I expected; maybe to deliver by candle light, but alas, my lower half was put prominently on display under the brightest spot-light ever. There is a reason most women lose all modesty after this experience—they leave you no choice. In between the last moments of pushing and waiting for the doctor to arrive, a nurse came in with a wand to zoom in the lights. She flipped them on and zapped the wand right next to my ladybird. Every light in the ceiling immediately zoomed onto the target. The wand and the flash that came out of it were exactly like the mind eraser in Men In Black, except none of this has faded from my memory. We all made Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith jokes to avoid talking about the fact that every pore and hair follicle on my crotch was now visible to anyone standing down at the South Fork.
  • Credit: ulikecil.wordpress.com

“Forget the birth story Mommies…or at least stop telling them in so much detail on blogs.”

  • Angry Red Wall Art: After delivery we were moved to another room, and I wish I had taken a picture of the art that graced our wall for the next two days. A photo/painting was positioned directly across from my bed, and it was a flower with an angry red stigma (that’s the center of the flower). And listen, for the next two days, every part of me hurt; my nipples and the undercarriage were throbbing and stitched, and every time I almost forgot about it, I would look across at this picture that looked a petal-encased hemorrhoid. If they’d had a suggestion box, I would have suggested new pictures that don’t appear to pulse on the wall with every wave of pain new mothers are experiencing in those first few days. I compared the feeling down there after giving birth to being stung, vag to taint, by a swarm of angry pants hornets that were thrown into a blind rage by the smell of olive oil. This picture was a constant reminder.

There were other funny moments during this day, including the doctor throwing my baby at me fresh out of the oven, and an inappropriate 70s bush joke when my daughter crowned with a full head of black hair and I had to ask if it was her or me because I hadn’t seen the area in months, but this post is way longer than my usual pieces already, and I probably need to shut it down.

“Green thumbs make the best vag salad.”

If I haven’t horrified you today, I hope I’ll see some of you around the blogging world.

Thank you again, Tracy!

It’s truly an honor, and I expect that your blog will be a huge success with a million followers and a book deal. For the first time in my life, I will be able to proudly tell everyone that I knew a rock star way back before they were famous.

Pictures:

Caption: (whatever makes you laugh) Maybe “Forget the birth story Mommies…or at least stop telling them in so much detail on blogs.” Credit: ulikecil.wordpress.com

13 replies

  1. As always, great story, Rachelle. Giving birth for a private woman is a painful experience, and not just physically. 🙂 I can’t believe they had that photo in your room. Seems someone could have made a better decorating choice. 🙂

  2. Since I follow your blog and read almost everything you post, of course I was going to follow you here too. Regarding the subject of your post, I’ll say the same thing that I’ve said so many times before. I don’t know how women do it, and endure not only all the discomforts of 9 months of pregnancy, but then that horrific crescendo of the pain of giving birth. And I will admit that I’ll be forever grateful that in my own personal chromosomal coin toss, that I came up heads instead of tails.

    As usual, your writing is excellent, and you even manage to insert some humor in the retelling of an experience, in which finding the humor is a real challenge. Great job!

  3. Oh, the birthing horrors. Your story is one I can completely relate to! I think hospital decorators need to be canned – or, at least, take the paintings home and look at them while passing a kidney stone or something!

  4. Very funny. It reminds me of when my first son was born. The doctor realized that everything I was doing to try and be a part of the birthing experience was only pissing on my wife so he decided to bestow the honor of delivering the baby to me. They gave me a stool and rolled me into position, in hindsight it would have been nice if they provided a catchers mitt or brief instruction on how slippery the little bugger was going to be, nonetheless there I was. Proudest moment of my life. After delivering my son I turned around to see approximately 15 people standing there with a birds eye view of my wife’s crotch. I asked as nicely as I could, “who the hell are you people” to be told it was a variety of doctors, nurses and anyone else who happened to be passing by. Sheesh, who knew.

    • Thanks! A catcher’s mitt probably would have helped me too. They are very slippery, and I was not prepared for the force with which my daughter was flung upon my chest. That is wonderful that you were able to be involved in that way though, and this delivery was one of the proudest moments of my life as well. Everyone sure gets a good look at the goods though… 🙂

  5. This one made me laugh and scream out of terror all at the same time. There’s absolutely no way anybody other than the medical staff will be standing at the “south fork” when I have kids. I know it’s a natural process and all, but oh, hell no.

  6. Oh, what a great story. Kudos to your cervix for not disappointing you after nearly 10 hours of labor. I don’t know that a hotel room–even with AC–is where you’d most like to labor. Now, what is with the olive oil? Shoot, should’ve just saved some time and just squirted your nether regions with Pam or something. Doing their part to keep Austin weird? But, hey, at least you got a gorgeous babe outta the dea!

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