I’d seen the movies. I’d heard the labor stories. You know what I’m talking about. The laboring wife calmly trying to get herself together to get to the hospital. Her husband – fumbling around unable to find her bag, tripping out the door, and in some cases leaving without her? Yeah. I always thought that was some kind of fantastic Hollywood comedic story line. Nope. It’s all true.
Men do lose their fucking minds when women give birth. But so does everyone else.
I had a very uneventful pregnancy. No sickness, no problems. I was trying to stall my mother from coming up to stay with us before the baby was born because we wanted the whole thing to be as low-stress as possible. The baby was a week late – and my mother just couldn’t wait any longer. She flew out, hoping her mere presence would make her grandchild emerge.
Since my mom was here, I decided to give my husband a break. We decided that my mom would take his place at the weekly check up. She was anxious to see the center where I would be giving birth anyway, and we wanted to time the cab ride over so we could be as prepared as possible.
The check up is going as usual. My mom is sizing up the birthing center. Everything is fine. My midwife is even joking with me about how easy my pregnancy has been. She pulls out the Doppler to listen to the baby’s heart rate because she always likes to “save the best for last.” All of a sudden, her face changes.
“You have to get to a hospital. Now. I can call an ambulance or we can just call a car service.”
What? I try not to panic, but apparently there has been an alarming drop in his heart rate. Since the hospital is so close to the birthing center, we opt for a car. Ambulances totally freak me out and I’m trying to stay calm.
The car arrives quickly and we get in. My mother is mumbling something about how much she hates my Russian midwife.
“She’s like a drill sergeant! She could be a little warmer, a little sympathetic, don’t you think?”
I snap back, “Mom, calm down. She’s being calm and professional. I like that.”
“Well, she wasn’t giving me any info-”
“Shut up, mom. Please?”
My mother has thus far distracted me from noticing that our driver is as old as God. He’s actually old enough to possibly be God, which should be comforting, I guess – but it’s not. He’s driving about 20 miles an hour. My mother forgets about the midwife she hates, and begins to yell at God. In Greek. A sto dialo! (This basically translates into ‘Go to hell’) My daughter is having a baby! Hurry up! Shit, can you hear me? Why are you driving so fucking slow? This is coming out of my 74-year old mother. God can’t hear us. He’s just driving along slowly and seeming to really be enjoying himself.
I’m trying to go to the “relaxation room” I learned about in my hypnobirthing class. I come to the conclusion that hypnobirthing is a crock of shit and God hates me. I’m also wondering if I can make it to the hospital without throwing my mother out of this cab.