My default coping mechanism for any situation is to appear calm and act as though nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Some people get passive aggressive, go into denial or regress. If I get really nervous, I overcompensate with good manners and polite conversation.
Rest assured if the world is under attack by man-eating snails and about to burst into a giant fireball, I'll offer you tea and scones and ask about your mother's health.
So as they rolled me into the operating room for the c-section, I channeled my inner Donna Reed and introduced myself to everyone in the room, asked how their days were going and apologized for needing a c-section so close to the shift change.
Because it's important to be polite to the people who are about to disassemble you.
Actually, I had no idea I was about to be disassembled (there's that whole 'should've gone to birth class' thought again). I thought a c-section was simply:
- Slice open woman
- Open up uterus
- Pull out baby
- Stitch up new mama
- Take a shot of vodka
- Call it a job well done
After waiting fifteen hours (oh, and nine months) to meet The Bean, I was starting to get a little antsy. According to my calculations, this whole procedure should take roughly ten minutes; not the billionty hours it felt like it was taking.
Since an anatomy class was not a requisite course for those majoring in theater, I forgot about little things like my organs. Apparently they are in the way of simply pulling the baby out and stapling me shut so I can begin my stint as mother.
The actual "delivery" was very surreal. Your head and body are separated by a curtain so you can't look inside the giant, gaping hole in your midsection and die from shock. Instead you get to work yourself into a frenzy by creating the most horrifically, dramatic stories possible by deciphering the clues your other under-utilized senses are giving you.
"Why haven't they brought Michael in yet? Did they forget about him? Is something wrong and they don't want him to see?"
"I felt a tug. Did all of my intestines just fall onto the floor?"
"People are whispering. Clearly they are trying to figure out how to tell me I'm about to die."
Just about the moment I've convinced myself that everything has gone to shit and they are seconds from telling me how they can't find The Bean and asking if I am sure I'm pregnant, you hear the cry. The cry you have been waiting to hear since the second they rolled you into the operating room.
The second you hear them cry, you no longer care about yourself anymore. As long as she's out safe, they can go ahead and drop your liver into the trash for all you care.
Michael had been fairly quiet throughout the actual surgery. I can only imagine it's slightly unnerving to have the woman you love chopped into pieces in front of you while you are waiting for your child to be safely born into the world. But once he heard The Bean, he peeked over the curtain to get the first look at our daughter.
And my kidneys.
I was jealous that he was already taking her in while I was strapped to the table shivering and making small talk with the anaesthesiologist. But once Michael told me all my organs were piled up on a table NEXT.TO.MY.BODY. I allowed for some leeway in my timeline. I've grown accustomed to my organs and figured I'd be a better mother if I had them inside of me again.
Michael and I have one golden rule in our relationship: always go for the funny. No matter what.
The birth of The Bean was no exception.
Mike: Babe, when did you have sex with Gollum?
Jen: And this is how we ended up divorced on the day I gave birth to our daughter.
So that pretty much wraps up the birth story.
But wait! As an added bonus, Michael has claimed he is going to write a post about the birth from his perspective. Which will pretty much be awesome. He's funnier than me...and cuter too.
I'll warn you though, since he is the world's most awesome husband and father (works all day, stays up until the wee hours so I can get some shut eye, deals with three neglected dogs, and so on...), his post will likely go up sometime around The Bean's 16th birthday.
Obligatory photo montage:
Welcome home Bean. We love you very much.