Monday, September 1, 2008

'In' Labor Day...

As it is Labor Day I thought I would write about my first experience with labor, and not in the sense of starting in the work force.

I got pregnant with my son at the age of sixteen and had him when I was seventeen… like being seventeen instead of sixteen makes a big difference… Of course I didn’t know what to expect so I read some books, talked to people and went to a class through the hospital. Women have been having babies since, well since the beginning of mankind, so I could do this, right?

I went into labor at about eight o’clock in the morning; I basically woke up in labor. I expected this because I had contractions the day before, but they stopped by evening. After arriving at the hospital and getting checked in, they proceeded to ‘prep’ me. I was given my hospital issued ‘gown’. It was a lovely shade of gray-ish. They then shaved ‘it’. They shaved it all off because they figured the aftermath of childbirth and stitches isn’t enough to deal with. You really need to experience all the prickly hair growing back in to get the full effect.

Then, before they hooked up the monitor the following conversation occurred:

Nurse: “When was your last bowel movement, dear?”

Me: “Almost a week ago.”

Nurse: “Why haven’t you had a bowel movement?”

Me: “Well, I guess the baby is lying on a nerve or something. Every time I’ve tried to go I get excruciating cramps down my leg. I’ve tried, but it hurts too much.”

Nurse: “Honey, we’re going to have to give you an enema.”

Me: “Wha…what? Isn’t that what Sybil’s mother did to her before she tied her up to the piano?”

…an hour later, after sitting on the toilet for about 20 minutes I was told I’d have to get in the bed.

Me: “But, I’m not ready yet. I’m still going.”

Nurse: “That’s what bedpans are for, sweetie.”

To make a long story short, I sat on that bedpan for over five hours. The pain of the contractions paled in comparison to the discomfort of being on that pan. I couldn’t roll over on my side and had to sit up the entire time that I was in labor. I thought I had done my homework and knew what to expect. I guess I missed something because I wasn’t prepared for this.

I left the hospital two days later with a beautiful baby boy, stitches and a horseshoe shaped bruise on my derriere.

Since then I have often heard people say that their children can be a pain in the ass. Little do they know that I have been fully aware of this since day one.


Mental P Mama said...

I think you get a prize for this.

Anonymous said...

OMG, Linda I should not laugh but the image of you and the bedpan....

Hospitals do have a way of getting you to focus on the pain you didn't check in for. An enema before giving birth? Ouch.

Lisa said...

Oh that made me laugh right out loud. I remember those days of the enema before baby. Too, too funny, you need to relax THIS labor day.

MarĂ­a said...

Wow. LOL. I feel awful for having laughed at this.

Eva said...

What a delightful initiation into motherhood! Not.

Anonymous said...

Im so glad my labor pains did NOT involve a bed pan! Yikes!!

Michele said...

OMG, I am LMAO at that Linda. I know it's not funny, but the way you phrased it is too cute!


Anonymous said...

Oh, that's so funny! So true, too, about the prickly sensation. Sadists, all of them!

I was older than you when I had my first, but I remember the 'when did you last have a bowel movement' question. I told them the same - about a week ago. Well, I guess they didn't believe me. They didn't give me an enema or the laxative I asked for (I know my own body, people!) and said it would all sort itself out once the baby was born.

Three days post-partum they asked again and I said 'about thirteen/fourteen days'. The nurse laughed, clearly thinking I was joking. I asked her for a laxative again. She, somewhat patronisingly, said she'd have a look see. I have to say, the expression on that nurse's face when she straightened up was priceless.

'Good grief! Rabbit droppings!' she pronounced to the whole ward. And I got - not my laxative, but an enema. *Sigh*

I was ready next time. I took my own high-fibre biscuits and mild laxatives in to the hospital with me.