It was a particularly bad day to give birth to a baby.
Or, depending on how you view it, I suppose, it was a particularly good day to give birth to a baby. Which is why every pregnant woman in the world decided to do it that morning. In my hospital, no less. A birth explosion is how one nurse delightfully described it. At one point, I’m pretty sure non-pregnant women just started walking in off the street and heading to the maternity ward.
Woman Off The Street: “Excuse me, nurse? I’m not sure how it happened but it appears I’ve spontaneously become pregnant. And I’m about to give birth RIGHT NOW.”
Nurse: “No worries. I know just who to bump down the list.”
I was fourth in line. Then fifth. Then sixth. Since my cesarean was scheduled and I wasn’t in the throes of excruciating pain or life-threatening complications like the rest of them, that apparently made my case somehow less urgent.
Pffft. But that’s our broken healthcare system for you.
Actually, when it comes down to it, I didn’t mind the waiting. As much as I was done (with a capital D-O-N-E) with being pregnant, I’ve never been the kind of person who was impatient to get sliced in half. In fact, you’d be amazed how long I can wait to get professionally gutted.
However, I did mind the whole “you can’t have any liquids” rule, especially seeing as how liquid is one of the main ingredients in coffee. It had been almost 13 hours since my last cup, which was bordering on dangerous territory. But the doctor refused to even listen to my argument that coffee doesn’t necessarily qualify as food or liquid so much as it qualifies as anti-homicide serum. The arrogant know-it-all.
Pffft. But that’s Western medicine for you.
Anyway, as you can imagine, the baby-cutting-out crew was all business by the time they got to me. No one even laughed at my “I gained so much pregnancy weight, this is more like a double D-section, am I right?” joke. But honestly, you can’t blame them. The miracle of birth probably loses some of its miraculousness when the operating room starts to resemble a screaming cherub assembly line.
However, none of the above mattered. None of it. Because within a few short minutes, I finally had my daughter. My perfect, beautiful, angelic daughter.
And as I looked down at my tiny, adorable, baby girl covered in gross lady part crud, I whispered “And now our family is complete” in her ear as tears gently slid down my face, movie-where-a-teenager-has-cancer-style.
I was in love, dear reader. Oh, so in love.
Cut to five and a half weeks later…
My tiny, adorable, baby girl covered in gross baby vomit is screaming her primal Viking warrior/dying pterodactyl cry at heretofore unheard of decibels while she has explosive diarrhea all over my hand and 90 percent of the far wall. Meanwhile, my sweet, loving toddler is destroying the entire house with a cookie he illegally procured while screaming something about “da poiple cwayon broked in da half.” The dog is barking at “Serial Killer Has Entered The Home” levels even though it’s more of a “Light Wind Blowing Through The Window” situation. And my husband…my husband is…crap, where is he?
Ah, the wifi is down. I sigh. Dramatically. I sigh because my husband happens to be a man. And when you live with a man, having the wifi down means nothing else exists until the wifi is back up.
So, my husband is scrolling through the dark web that is the set-up menu on our smart TV, looking for the ancient rune that magically brings back the wifi, completely oblivious to the Hindenburg Disaster happening all around him.
I start breastfeeding the frantically clawing honey badger I’ve named Mae in an effort to shut up at least one small creature in our house. My son sees this as the perfect opportunity for me to read him every single book he owns while sitting awkwardly on my shoulder and the dog decides puking all over his pillow is the best way to deter the non-existent serial killer from chopping us all into tiny pieces. Luckily, my husband is having fantastic luck with Todd, the genius wizard over at the cable company, who clearly deserves a raise and who informs my husband “uh, I don’t know, man, maybe it’s the router or something?”
And because the universe needed a good laugh, our air conditioner chooses this exact moment to stop working. In the middle of a heat wave. That the local meteorologist described professionally as “just wicked hot, folks.”
In the midst of all this, I look down at my tiny, adorable, baby girl now covered in illegal toddler cookie crumbs and smile as I whisper in her ear “And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
(Mind you, this touching moment was followed immediately by the much less charming bellowing of “STOP WEARING MOMMY’S UNDERWEAR AS A HAT!” at my son. But, hey, you take your perfectly happy moments, no matter how brief, where you can.)