WARNING: Part two of this here series is a little more, uh, let’s call it risqué. So if you’re uncomfortable with a slightly immature man-child describing exactly what he sees while watching his woman give birth: stop reading now.
Picking up where we left off:
With the continued screams coming from the room next door, I watched as Kayleigh’s face filled with more and more fear and what looked like an intense dread, all mixed with nausea that I myself will never know. Let me regress and backtrack a little bit…
The Vomit Files:
So my poor, beautiful, amazing girlfriend was plagued with nausea throughout her entire pregnancy. The stomach-churning, toilet-feeding, car-wrecking stomach sickness came on fairly early on; like five-ish weeks along early. I’m just going to describe to you her first experience with what they call “morning sickness” and then probably fast-forward back to the Day of the Daughter.
We had gone out to the coast,—we were living in Vancouver, Washington at the time; a small city fifteen minutes north of Portland—and by we, I mean her visiting mother, step-father, Kayleigh and I. We had enjoyed a really nice day visiting Kayleigh’s aunt and uncle, who lived in a comfy house just two minutes from the beach. It wasn’t until it came time to drive home that the pain-in-the-tummy reared its ugly little head, so at least we made it through most of our trip vomit-free.
*Side note: Kayleigh was rear-ended two days after we found out she was pregnant and had her car totaled. The car was towed, she was taken to the hospital via ambulance, and I had left work and sped as fast as I could to be by her side, nearly shitting my pants the entire ride. She ended up okay, though, but the car, unfortunately, passed away. R.I.P. Nissan Versa Hatchback.
Anyways, Kayleigh had to drive the rental car back from the beach to the Portland area through the winding, one-lane road filled mountains, and while she already gets car-sick, something else was a-brewing inside of her and ultimately she had to pull over. I, being the best boyfriend in the world, offered to drive carefully the rest of the way so as to get us home and avoid totaling yet another vehicle.
We made it most of the way, but when we came to Portland, Kayleigh mentioned that I really needed to stop the car seeing as she was about to blow chunks. Keep in mind, she mentions this to me as we’re hundreds of feet in the air, on a bridge, as we’re driving alongside the terrible Portland drivers. I quickly scanned the area, spotted the only section of the road we could possibly make our puke-parking maneuver, and aimed the vehicle right for it. We made it, but we were driving an unfamiliar car and neither of us knew just where the lock/unlock buttons were located on our doors. This was also one of those “fancy” new cars where the buttons don’t light up, and it being April in Portland, the sun had already set hours ago.
I tried; I really did, and so did Kayleigh, but it didn’t really matter. We were both unable to unlock the car in time, although I was able to find the window button only seconds late! Now, I’m just going to say it: she upchucked and sprayed the entire inside of her door, the window, her chest, and her lap with a foul-smelling, acidic, chunky mess of stomach contents. This was only the first of many incidents involving a vehicle and puke, but it surely wouldn’t be the last.
We then had to drive fifteen minutes north to get home, Kayleigh covered in her own vomit, the car smelling like the sidewalk out front of a bar. We made it all the way north and that’s when Kayleigh said that we should stop at the grocery store, leave her in the car, and go find something for dinner as we had nothing at home. Bless her little heart. Don’t worry, we didn’t and couldn’t do that to her, although we made sure she knew that we all thought she was extremely sweet for volunteering to sit in a puddle of her own tummy chunks so that we could get food.
We drove the rest of the way home, where I helped her remove her clothes so that she could shower, her step-father and I went back out to the store for the goods, and her mother grabbed the cleaning supplies and went out to clean the rental car like the trooper she is.
The poor girl was extremely sick and vomited her guts out for the rest of the pregnancy, and while I’m now going to get back to the day my amazing daughter was born, this won’t be the last time you get to hear about her tummy troubles prior to our little angel coming into this world.
Back to Reality (Ope There Goes Gravity…):
The dread and the fear finally got the best of Kayleigh and she asked for the one thing she said she was going to do without: an epidural. Minutes later, a tall, older man arrived bearing the spine-poker and the much-needed drugs that would help her make it through the rest of the day. He got things done quickly and painlessly; she barely felt a thing and within minutes was jello-legged and calmer than I’d seen her in weeks.
With the body-numbing medication pulsing through her veins, Kayleigh was now cool, calm, collected, and was more ready than ever to get the tiny little being that had been living inside of her for the better part of a year out and into the world.
Finally, the screaming and crying that had been coming from next door ceased, and minutes later El Doc-O re-entered the room and it was now our turn to have our lives changed forever. Doc insisted that it was time for Kayleigh to spread ’em so that she could get a good look at what was going on with her downstairs mixup. She did, and that’s when it was announced that we were well on our way to a baby—Kayleigh was ripe as a plum and that meant that it was go-time.
We turned on the playlist that Kayleigh had so carefully built in the months prior to her attempting to eject a small alien from her Virginia, and we assumed our positions. My mother was there, as was hers, as well as our doctor, a couple of nurses, the tall epidural man, and myself. My mother stood back and watched as I took one leg of the soon-to-be mama, her mother took the other, and the doc took her place front-and-center, all up close and personal with Kayleigh’s beautiful little baby-maker.
“You need to remember to breathe and to push when I tell you to push, okay?” the good doctor said. “Yes, okay,” said Kayleigh. We all turned to the monitor and watched her contractions build, peak, fall, and repeat. Doc waited patiently, watching for the precise moment to have Kayleigh give it her all. She then said the one word that is most associated with popping out a living football from the womb: “Push!”
Let me just tell you that when a woman is ready to meet her baby for the very first time, when somebody tells her to push, boy does she push. The first go around opened things in ways that I’d never truly seen open up in that particular fashion before. She—and by she I mean her vagina—flexed outwardly and revealed just how it may be possible to pass something the size of a medium pumpkin through a body’s orifice, and I’m not going to lie, I was pretty damn impressed.
“Push,” the doc would yell. Push is what Kayleigh would do. The atmosphere in the room was intense; my mother was excited, Kayleigh’s was helpful and slightly disturbed, the doctor was encouraging, the nurses attentive, and I was fired up and feeling more love for Kayleigh than I ever thought possible. The pushing went on and on, and on and on and on. The doctor was half inserted inside of my lady, massaging with her hands around the part of her that’s normally reserved for me like it was her job, which, technically, I guess, it was. Kayleigh was also throwing up off and on this entire time—the poor thing kept having to vomit into a strange, cylindrical bag all while she was pushing her body to do things that seem nearly impossible.
That’s when things stopped progressing and the doctor became frustrated. A bedsheet was called for and one end was given to Kayleigh, the other to me. We did a full-on Chinese Fire Drill right in the middle of the whole chaotic pushing session, my mother taking over the leg I had been supporting and I moved to a position just behind doc. We were told to play tug-of-war as Kayleigh pushed for the next few minutes. The doctor told us that she had used this method before and had successfully delivered other babies this way. So we played. I pulled and pulled, just enough to offer Kayleigh something to yank her hardest against, all the while her woman part was flexing more and more. There then came a point when our little girl still wasn’t sliding out and the doctor stood up, had a nurse take over for her, and left the room.
Now, this was the time when I knew that something was up. Never before had I heard of a baby doctor just up and leaving right in the middle of a birth, so I assumed that something wasn’t quite right. Kayleigh and I had discussed the possibility that things could change; the birth plan could fall apart and we may have to hear the C-word before the day was done, but never did we think it would become our reality.
The pregnancy had gone so well, so according to plan—besides the whole puking every single day thing—and we just figured we wouldn’t have to deal with Kayleigh going under-the-knife to retrieve our little belly-alien. Let me tell you now that we were wrong and when the doctor reappeared, she muttered the words we were terrified to hear: “I’m sorry but we’ve really done everything we can. I hate to say this, but I think we’re going to have to do an emergency C-section.”
Cue the tears.
To be continued…