What I remember the most, unfortunately, were my thighs. As I was poised in stirrups, I couldn’t get my eyes, or my mind, off them.
And not attractive, long, slightly tanned Gwyneth Paltrow-esque thighs.
They were more like the bright white synthetic stuffing of a cheap pillow, bunched together to make the shape of a thigh. They were also in desperate need of lotion.
The bed had metal handles on the sides so I could grip them tight and push. As my contractions escalated, my body began to shake. Rob, who was near my head, did precisely what I asked him not to do, and took a quick peek at my unkempt Mary-Ellen.
Then, blame it on the stress of childbirth, I did the unthinkable. I said, “What’s it look like?”
“Like a big horse’s eye, blinking.”
I realized my mistake immediately. “Get back near my head now, please.” I commanded.
Dr. Collins assured me we only had a few more pushes to go. Since the epidural had been laid on a little too thick, in my opinion, I didn’t feel pain, but I did feel tremendous, boulder like, pressure. A need to push so intense, resisting felt like death. After one big push, Dr. Collins instructed me to wait for the next contraction.
My whole body was shaking and I begged to keep pushing. “Please, I have to push. Please, let me push.”
“No, no. Wait Anna, wait on your body to help you.”
“Please,” I said, desperate, pleading.
“Babe, you have to wait until your contraction, just chill.”
WHO THE HELL LET THIS IDIOT PLAY DOCTOR IN MY BIRTHING ROOM?
I shot him eye darts so massive, so deadly, so evil, they could have killed a wooly mammoth.
Why does no one prepare men to shut the hell up at child birth? They’re permitted to speak, only very occasionally, to provide compliments and support. Not too much, we don’t need a chatter box barking in our ear. Just enough to see us through. And yet, the audacity to think they’ll survive giving us medical advice? Nope!
Anyway, he took my cues and stopped telling me what to do. I noticed my doctor and the nurse talking casually to each other. As my body convulsed, I felt the laid backness of their banter was going a bit too far.
“Does that look like red hair to you?” my doctor asked the nurse.
“It sure does,” she said, glancing at my crotch, then back at me.
“Anna, looks like you have a little red head,” Dr. Collins said smiling. “Do you know what you’re going to name her yet?”
“Poppy!” I yelled, having none of it. “Please let me push! Please, if God is in heaven, let me push!”
“Okay, okay, here we go, go ahead, the contraction is coming. Give me a push. That’s it, you’re doing great. Here she comes, Anna – you’re doing wonderful, keep pushing, there you go! Here she is! Here’s your little redhead Poppy!”
I was dazed, the room spinning, but I saw the red hair too. The nurse put Poppy on my chest and I wept gently. “I had red hair when I was a little girl,” I told them, but no one heard me as they continued to fuss around my bed.
Rob and I gawked over our little red head, before I tenderly looked into his eyes.
“Could you cover up my chaffy thighs? They’re a bit of distraction,” I asked humbly.
Then, unable to resist playing doctor yet again, he said with tenderness, “You still have to deliver your placenta.”