May Day 1985
May Day: May 1, 1985
No running around maypoles for me that day. I was too busy sweating, begging for relief, and crying “May Day, May Day.”
My membranes had ruptured a week earlier and contrary to what “people say” when your water breaks it does NOT mean you are in labor and will be giving birth momentarily.
When the flood gates broke (unfortunately while I was in bed), my husband grabbed my carefully prepacked travel bag which contained everything from a brand new soft bathrobe to a clock, and we fled post haste to the hospital. My doctor unveiled the bad news, I was “not ready.” But what about those pains I was feeling every now and again? No, he said, those were not contractions, when I had REAL contractions I would know it.
So I waited at home. Seven long days. And I learned things I did not want to learn.
• I learned that once your water breaks it does not stop flowing. You need to wear a Depends or go around with wet pants.
• I learned that when your body is in a state of flux your mind plays tricks on you. I had the same dream six nights straight — that I finally gave birth, and when the nurse brought the baby to my arms, I looked down with a warm motherly smile on my face, only to see that I had given birth to a baby porcupine. <cut to the Psycho shower scene music> Ah ha! That’s why my water broke!
• I also learned that when your unborn baby is kicking you in the back you can’t sleep lying down. I actually slept in my car two nights, much to my husband’s absolute horror. But it was the only place that I was comfortable, dammit.
• And the final lesson. I learned that despite the fact that I was #1 in my Lamaze Natural Childbirth class and was as prepared as any woman could be for a natural birthing experience with no drugs or medication, it all gets thrown out the window when your baby’s head will not fit through your birth canal. Sorry more info than needed.
So on May Day, 1985, at 3:33 p.m., after waking from anesthesia that made me wretch my guts out, the nurse brought over a little bundle to me. I looked down with as warm a motherly smile I could muster with spittle hanging from my mouth, and there it was. Not a baby porcupine. Hello Kevin.