In exactly 47 minutes, it will be Maya’s 11th birthday. It sounds so cliche’, but I can’t believe how fast time has passed since she was a bouncing chiquita with a grande diva attitude.
The night she was born, and all the crazy circus adventures that went on, are still so vivid in my mind. I had been induced early in the morning on a Monday. I thought for sure the super gel would kick in and Maya would be born by the afternoon and I would be nursing her in time for that night’s climactic episode of Melrose Place. It was towards the end of the first season when they added Heather Locklear and juiced up the other story lines to help the ratings. The one that had me hooked was Michael and Jane. The previous week it looked as though he was going to hook up with that skanky Kimberly! “Please baby, come in time for Mommy to see what happens,” I begged.
As usual, things didn’t go as planned. My first batch of labor pains kicked in around 4ish. This was all new to me, DeAngelo was a preemie and I never felt even one tinge of pain with him. So being the dramatic hypochondriac I am, I freaked and commanded Patrick, my personal pregnancy handler, to RUSH me to the hospital. I expected to be greeted with a soothing gush of pain killers. But when we arrived, I was told that I wasn’t even dilated to 2.
Those cruel people suggested I “walk around the floor to help speed things up”. The pains that began in my lower back and shot up through my torso were so terrifyingly shocking I could barely take a baby step. I tried to walk and Patrick held my elbow to help guide me. Push me was more like it.
“Can’t you go any faster?”, he would say.
Every so often when I made it to a millimeter, I’d see him roll his eyes. OK, this is a man who up until this day, had been lovingly rubbing my feet, my back and waiting on me hand and foot. He sang me love songs on his acoustic guitar and left me love poems under my pillow. Now when I needed him most he was getting all Al Bundy on me.
I lasted to the drinking fountain (about 10 feet) and asked them to check me again. Still not even at 2. They sent me home and told me they couldn’t admit me until I was dilated at least to 3.
Patrick and I got Taco Bell to eat and I scarfed my Super Beef Burrito in the car. Finally we made it home so I could melt into my sanctuary, the couch. By this time it was getting close to six and that relieved me somehow because I thought how Melrose could hold me over until 8 pm and surely I’d be dilated to three by then.
No sooner than 20 minutes later, the pains REALLY started coming. I thought I was going to faint. It was a pain I have never felt before in my life! This is coming from a girl who fainted at age 18 in the doctors office when they had to remove a splinter from my thumb with a tiny knife. I passed out and my mom walked out of the room in embarassment. They gave me smelling salts to bring me back. I woke up to see the staff all laughing at me. Ok, back to the labor pains:
“Paaa trick….” I panted….”I think….it is time…to…to… to go baaack…”
“Are you sure its not the Taco Bell?” he asked shortly. “Maybe its giving you gas. Call your cousin and ask her if this is IT or if it could be gas.”
My cousin Debbie had just had a baby six months earlier and I guess he thought she would be our neighborhood expert. I called her and she was nervous for me and had no clue what to say or do.
So she quickly came over to my rescue because I had asked her to please bring me Extra-Strength Tylenol. For my labor pains.
“PATRICK!” I shouted. “If…if… you doooon’t take me NOOOW, I’m call…ing 911!”
“Fine, get in the car.” he said in a monotone, uncaring, emotionless voice. I called him a not-so-nice name under my breath.
I was in total shock. What got into him all of a sudden? Why was he acting like such a jerk? We got in the car and the whole way to the emergency room, I was moaning and groaning like a cat in heat. He turned up the radio to cover my voice. I got checked into triage and lo and behold I was dilated to FOUR! I proceeded to cuss him out while panting between each syllable, and then I turned to the nurse to ask for drugs as she wheeled me into the pastel-hued birthing room.
“Can I have my epidural now please?” I asked.
“No, sweetie, we’ll start you off with a narcotic I.V. and see if you can handle that,” the nurse replied. “Your stomach is making funny noises, do you know what that is?”
“She just had Taco Bell and has gas, and is too stubborn to fart,” Patrick shot back.
“Ma’am…I can…tell you right now…thaaat I’m a wimp. I MUST have the epidural NOW – my doctor…said I could have one…,” I said in an authorative manner.
“No, she really doesn’t want one,” snapped Patrick. “She had one last time and her back still hurts from it.”
OK, If there had been a shoe near by I would have gladly chucked it at his big head.
“NO!” I yelled, I WANT it,” I said.
I hate it when people look down on women who get a little pain relief during childbirth. I know what is natural and how back in the day strong women practically bit through the umbilical chord and delivered there own babies, yadda, yadda yadda…But wasn’t it the same with getting a tooth removed? These days we have pain relievers. If you are going to get a tooth pulled or an arm amputated, you always have the option of pain killers. With or without, the experience is just as traumatic. I’m not less of a woman or mother because I chose to get a little “help”, I still went through the whole 9 months of carrying my child, just like every other mom! So gimme my damn drugs already!
Finally nurse lady came back and filled me up. ahhh…it was pure bliss as that horrible pain to glided away as each second went by. My mind floated to a land of fluffy clouds and sweet-singing cherubs. I noticed it was almost 11 pm. “Hmmm…I wonder if Michael cheated…,” I thought as I folded my hands on my tummy. Around that time the nurse evaluated my situation (lifted my sheet and peeked) and told me it was time to push and she sent for the doctor.
Patrick and I had picked out the name Maya, but we hadn’t decided on a middle name just yet. I wanted Eliza, but he told me to wait for us to see her first and her name would just “come to us”. I knew she was a girl, even though all along they had told me she was a boy – even from the ultra sound!. I assumed that meant she would have a masculine spirit.
I pushed and pushed and finally she came out. “It’s a girl!” the doctor said proudly. “Do you have a name picked out?”
Just as I raised my ragged sweaty head to crown her Maya Eliza, homeboy raised out his arms over my body and Maya’s (just like Moses parting the Red Sea) and proclaimed in a heavy voice: “Her name shall be… Maya Anjelica…”
“What the….” I began to ask. But right then all the expressions on the nurse’s faces changed from glee to gloom. They called the doctor over and he started wiping me with cotton and then told them to get the baby and Patrick out of the room and that I needed to go to the O.R. right NOW.
I remember them quickly whisking me out of the room and down the hallway. The whole time they were asking me questions, shoving papers in my face and having me sign them. It is like a blur looking back because I went unconscious before I even made it to the operating room. The last thing I recall is a deep feeling of sadness and imcompleteness. I thought this was the end of my ride here on Earth. My only mission was to have these two beautiful children and now that I did that I was on to the next adventure.
Apparantly, because I had a C-section with DeAngelo, scar tissue had built up around my uterus. When Maya was born, they pulled on the umbilical chord and it yanked my uterus so hard that it flipped it – like a cloth purse turned inside out! I started to hemorrage and a team of doctors had to go in and reshape my uterus with their bare hands. The procedure was a success but I got yucky internal infections which had to be counteracted with lots of saline. (It took me weeks to recover!)
When I awoke from it all, Patrick was by my side crying, kissing my hand and my face. He apologized over and over for being a big meanie during the BIRTH of our daughter.
“Oh, he is so sweet – I love him sooo much it hurts,” I thought. Followed by: “Heh heh, I can use this to my advantage!”
He says now that all of his stress just came out that one day and he can’t even believe he acted like he did. I’m ok with it. Because ever since then, I use it as leverage everytime I need a “honey do”. You know like – “After the way I had to put up with you when I was bringing our beautiful daughter into the universe!!!”
Works like a charm! *wink*
Now I know exactly where the mom speech comes from when the kids start acting up!
“You have NO idea what I went through to have you!”
“I almost DIED giving birth to you!”
“How dare you – after I brought you into this world??”
Oh yeah, I’ve used them all on DeAngelo and Maya.
This morning to celebrate the anniversary of Maya’s arrival into el mundo, my sister Theresa and I woke her up at 5:30 am to sing happy birthday and take her to breakfast. We made her go in her pajamas but we let her wear a sparkling tiara. DeAngelo had the 24-hour flu so Patrick stayed home with him.
I told Maya and Theresa this lovely little story over pancakes and coffee (even though they have heard it a hundred times already).
I also told them how Michael DID cheat on Jane and that I’ve never been a fan of Taco Bell since. And – in my corazon – Maya’s middle name will always be ELIZA.