I yanked the baby monitor off of me and wandered the smooth tiles of the delivery room without clothes, bending often to squat or do the Downward Dog while the nurse eyed me disapprovingly. A free doula massaged my lower back but not hard enough to comfort me. 

I kept removing my glasses to rub my eyes into the pillow and putting them on again because I hated that the nurses' faces were a blur of colors and not distinct features. I'm certain my vision is part of the reason I have trouble recalling the delivery clearly. I mostly remember disembodied voices.

“I'm ready,” I whined to a nurse with café con leche skin and no other discernible features.

I pushed for... an hour? Most of the time I'd spent in Barnes and Noble taking notes on what to do during delivery from Pam England's awesome book “Birthing From Within” proved to be wasted, a mistake I'm sure. I squeezed for as long as the medical team screamed “PUSH! PUSH! PUSHHH!” at me. I lay face-up on the narrow bed with my feet spread apart – a doctor's invention and the worst position for the baby. When I reached down to pat the soft protrusion of what I imagined to be newborn hair centered in the burning ring of fire between my thighs, someone sharply swatted my hand away.

“I'm done,” I said sullenly, and then more forcefully, “I'm DONE!”

“No, you're not,” a person nearby laughed. Was that my mom? “You still have to push!”

“I can't find the baby's heartbeat,” a female muttered. To me, she said, “The baby is in distress. We have to use a suction cup to pull him out, okay?”

“Okay,” I agreed. I just wanted him OUT! I put my glasses on to see upwards of twelve staff members unexpectedly crowding through the doorway before me. One woman entered the room dumbly asking if I was getting the epidural. 

I couldn't locate my short mother, but my former boyfriend was pushed up against the yellow wall opposite my feet with his palms raised outwards in surrender. I felt as if I were a stop on Gray Line's Double Decker Bus Tours of New York where a megaphone shouted, “Before you is a 23-year-old girl giving birth naturally!”

I closed my eyes again to shut out the frightened, fascinated students' faces as the machine entered and then slowly pulled out of my numbed vagina. Airy, liquidy noises resounded from below. 

“What happened?” I gasped.

“We lost him. We have to do it again.” I strained weakly, and at 9:33 AM on August 26th, a bulky eight-pound, nine-ounce mass finally slipped out of me. 

“He has huge hands!” someone noted. 

A cloth bundle moved away from me towards the scale. Relieved, I closed my eyes but quickly reopened them in horror. “Did he cry?”

“Yes! You didn't hear him?” someone chided, and I nodded my head as if I did.

The midwife with the suction cup approached me, her eyes wide with fear, “I'm so sorry.”

I shook my head, smiling to make her feel better, “It's okay. I'm just glad he's fine.”

A grey-haired male midwife with silver-rimmed wire glasses placed my son against my bare skin. 

Equis' face and scalp were pasted with white vernix and small trails of blood. His barely-haired head was misshapen, and his long red lips parted widely when he cried. He didn't have the tell-tale cleft chin, but his solid hands were his father's hands, bearing large palms and thick fingers. 

“Hi, Habibi,” I whispered as the midwife's long pale fingers massaged my breasts to let down the colostrum so I could breastfeed. I held him, knowing I'd do anything for him.

Equis was removed from me to undergo a battery of tests and a nurse prepared to repair me. For an hour, the sewing needle sharply pricked through my soft skin while my legs spasmed uncontrollably. That suction cup had ripped me apart as if I were a green paper bill in a baby's fingers. I un-accepted the midwife's apology. I begged for more lidocaine.

“Mom,” I pled when it was done, “Can you ask Dad to bring me the rest of that pecan pie?”




05/12/2012 6:27am

Good day weebly publisher!

I like this blog post! congrats for the new baby you have, happy mothers day....

Greetings from guinareswrites

08/18/2012 12:53pm

Thank you for visiting and commenting! I hope you had a Happy Mother's Day too.

inga goldberg
12/14/2012 6:01pm

on october 12 i was in the warst pain ever, then around 10 am my moms friend shows up how you dong seweetie are you in pain are they giving you something for it. yes i said in a tyring voice epidural. i told her im scared.she said im here ill stay with you untill the end,. the epidural was wining off quiclly i was asking for more.they were cheking me i was 5 cm for the longest, then finally at at 4 15 i was complite. as the staff were telling me to push,i was pushing but nothing was happening i was screaming i cant do it i want a c section. and the gyn told me yes you can, my babys had was going in and out, the doctor said we need to do a episiatomy.as soon as they left i felt the had moving through the bith canal i told my mos friend anna. i feel the had moving and she told me dont push dond push and i said i have to push please get helpshe got on the loudpeaker and said we need help she is in a full labor.when my gyn came in the head was out .i herd her scream dont push get the sucktion. feminutes latter my daugher was born 7lb7ons. i heard the most beautiul cry and i told my moms friend we did it thank you i want youto be my babys godmom finally the nurse plasedmy daughter on my chest and it was the most wounderful moment. at that moment i knew ill do anything for her.finally my mom came in and started crying and screaming from joy im a grandma im a grandma. then my dad came in after they moment of happy tears my parents kissed me and said congratulations.she isso adourable,

04/06/2013 6:19am

What a beautiful birth story, Inga! Thank you so much for sharing. I know labor is hard, but you did it!

12/17/2012 5:08am

We need a quality baby monitor for our baby was safe.


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