“Okay, I get it,” Carter says as he pulls into the hospital parking lot.
“Thrusting a pencil into a fireplace...shoving a piece of straw into a barn door,” I add.
“Why am I getting turned on right now?” Carter asks as he finds a parking space and we get out of the car.
“Are you into scat play? You’re not going to make me poop on you at some point are you? Tell me now so I can give you this ring back.”
Carter ignores me as we get into the elevator and make our way up to Labor and Delivery. But I will not be ignored. Oh no, I will not be ignored.
“Scittly scat-scat, do bop dee scat!” I sing as we walk up to the nurse’s station and hand them my admitting forms.
The nurse gives me a funny look so I feel it's only right to explain to her my song choice.
“My fiancé wants to me to poop on him,” I tell her. “Scat-scat, dee didily bop!”
“Oh Jesus, I’m sorry. I don’t know what has gotten into her this morning,” he explains, shooting me a dirty look.
“It’s perfectly fine.” The nurse laughs. “It’s just nerves. Believe me, I’ve heard worse from other women checking in.” she told us.
What nerves? I’m not nervous. I’ve done this before. Piece of cake.
“We’ll just get you settled into a room down by the O.R., start an I.V. of fluids, and have you fill out your registration forms. The doctor will come in and talk to you as well as the anesthesiologist. I’ll stop by after that to give you a dose of Bicitra to drink. It’s a small little cup of liquid that will help if you happen to get nauseous during the procedure. After that, it’s go time!” she says excitedly.
What the f**k have I done?! Turn back NOW!
“I changed my mind. Maybe I do want a black hole for a vagina. How bad could it be? I wouldn’t need to carry a purse anymore. I could just shove things up my twat. ‘Oh, you need a pen? Hold on, let me check in my vagina. What’s that you say? Do I have a flashlight? Let me stick my hand up my vag and find out.’ Let’s go home. We could do a home birth in the bathtub. It might be a tight squeeze but I bet we could both fit in there,” I ramble to Carter.
“Can we get some morphine to go?” I ask the nurse.
She just chuckles as she shows us to the room and gets busy typing things into the computer while Carter pushes on my shoulders to get me to sit on the bed.
“Everything is going to be fine. Take a deep breath,” Carter tells me.
“They are going to cut open my stomach and pull a human out, Carter,” I whine.
“I know, babe. I’m nervous too. But you’ve done this before, and you know exactly what to expect. You know what it’s going to feel like, you know how long it’s going to take, and you know what the end result will be...finally being able to see our baby,” he says with a smile as he leans down and kisses the top of my head. “At last we can find out if we’ll have a Carmela or a Tony.”
“Oh I don’t think so. We’ve already had this discussion and we are NOT naming this kid after some ass munchers on the Sopranos. Get that thought out of your head right now,” I tell him.
“You are such a killer of dreams, you know that?” he complains.
“Just remember, Carter, when the baby is out, we’ll have you come down here to the foot of the operating table so you can take pictures and watch your little one get cleaned off, measured, and weighed. But don’t forget, whatever you do, don’t look at Claire,” the doctor warns.
“What the hell is he talking about,” Carter whispers, leaning down by my ear.
I'm strapped to the operating table with my arms stretched out in a T on either side of me. A huge, blue drape is attached to two I.V. poles on both sides of the table and placed strategically so I can’t see past my boobs. When I had my c-section with Gavin, I wondered what the big deal was of putting this drape up. Maybe I wanted to see what was going on down there and make sure they didn’t screw up. Then a few months later, I had watched a c-section on the medical channel and I almost threw up. NOT something you ever want to see being done to yourself, mark my words.
“I’m pretty sure they just don’t want you to look over at me with my guts hanging out all over the place and freak out,” I tell Carter.
“Okay, Claire, you’re going to feel a lot of tugging now as we get the baby out,” the doctor tells me.
I definitely remember this part from the first time. Not painful, but really f**king weird. Like someone is grabbing onto your stomach skin with both hands and yanking it all over the place. The fact that I know there's a doctor shoulder-deep inside my stomach right now is what's more painful.
Carter sits on a stool right by my head next to the anesthesiologist and keeps smoothing a few stray pieces of hair out of my eyes that have escaped from my hospital cap. He continues to ask me how I'm doing and kisses my forehead every few seconds, telling me how much he loves me and how proud he is of me. He is so strong, and I am once again reminded of how lucky I am to have this amazing man in my life.
“Okay, Carter, get your camera ready. When I say the word, you can stand up and aim your camera over the top of the sheet to take a picture,” the doctor says.
“Try not to get my internal organs in the picture. They don’t photograph well,” I tell Carter.
He fiddles with the digital camera and gets it ready. I look back at his upside down face and see him smiling from ear to ear. Everything about this past year from the good and the bad to the ugly is all worth it because of this moment right here. Carter had missed out on seeing the birth of Gavin and that fact still makes me sad. But he is here now and I hope that seeing his next child born will ease a little of that ache for him.