“Where the hell is Jim? He left like three hours ago to get me a grape Popsicle. I WANT MY FUCKING GRAPE POPSICLE!” Claire screamed.
“He left five minutes ago, cranky ass,” I reminded her.
Claire had been in labor for exactly one hour. ONE HOUR and she was already losing her shit. I feared for anyone within a mile radius of this woman when she actually had to start pushing that thing out of her.
“Come on, it can’t hurt that bad,” I joked, dodging out of the way when her hand flew up to smack me. “I’m kidding! Jesus, you know I’m kidding. Lighten up, dude. After today, you’ll finally be able to see your feet. And just think of all the booze you can drink in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep because he’s screaming his fool head off.”
Claire started to curse at me, but thankfully another contraction ripped through her and she had to concentrate on breathing instead of kicking my ass.
I grabbed onto her hand and let her squeeze the life out of it, watching the contraction monitor next to her bed and letting her know when it was almost over.
“You’re doing good, keep breathing, just a few more seconds.”
When it passed, she let out a huge sigh and slumped back against her pillows.
She turned her head and stared at me, tears filling her eyes. “I’m so scared, Liz.”
I knew immediately she wasn’t talking about the whole pushing a human out of her body-thing. While that thought was scary and more than a little bit gross, I knew she was thinking about what happened after he was here. She was a strong woman who could handle a few hours of pain, but I could tell just by looking at her that she was second-guessing her ability to be a mom.
“You’re going to be fine. He’s going to come out and he’s going to be perfect and you’re going to be FINE. It’s going to suck for a while and you’re going to miss out on a lot of sleep and you’ll probably never take another uninterrupted shower or piss again, but it’s going to be okay, I promise you. You are amazing and you’re strong and you’re going to get through this. You’ve got me and Jim and your father and we’re going to be there every step of the way. No matter what you’re worrying about right now, just remember that you aren’t alone. You will never be alone. I’ve got you, babe.”
Another contraction hit and I stood up, brushing her hair off of her face and helping her count through the pain. I felt so helpless that I couldn’t make the pain go away, but it didn’t matter. For the first time in our lives, this was something she had to do on her own. All I could do was be there for her and help her any way I could. I decided that humor was always the best medicine. I couldn’t take the pain from her, but I could make her laugh.
“So, have you thought about how horrific your vagina is going to look after you push that little guy out? Like meat curtains flapping in the breeze every time you walk. Man, your poor vagina.”
Claire attempted to call me an asshole, but she couldn’t get the words out. She started laughing instead. “Oh, my God! It’s going to look like a wilted, roast beef sandwich.”
“Jesus, I’m never going to be able to eat at Arby’s again. Thank you for THAT visual,” I told her with a shudder. “On the bright side, it could be a great pick-up line. ‘Hey, there hot stuff. Do you like beef? I’ve got some in my pants just for you.’”
Claire rested her hands on her huge stomach as she continued laughing. “Vagina, the other white meat.”
“Beefy vagina: it’s what’s for dinner!” I shouted.
The doctor chose that moment to walk in the room. He looked at both of us, laughing so hard we were crying and I shrugged my shoulders. “Just giving her a little encouragement, Doctor. Would you like to place your vagina bet? I’ve got ten to one odds right now that her vagina will resemble ground zero of a bomb blast. What say you?”
The doctor ignored us, pulling the privacy curtain around the bed to block the doorway. “I’m just going to check on you and see how things are progressing. How are the contractions?”
“They hurt like a motherfucker,” Claire told him honestly.
“Good, good. That means things are moving along.”
I quickly reached over and grabbed onto Claire’s legs when I saw a look of murder in her eyes. She was about one second away from kicking the good doctor in the face.
Once he got the blanket pushed up over her knees, he snapped on a pair of rubber gloves and went to town between my friend’s legs.
“Don’t look. Whatever you do, you are NOT allowed to look down there,” Claire threatened.
She winced at whatever the doctor was doing and I winced right back in sympathy. “No need for that warning. I wasn’t about to stick my head down there to get a look at the crime scene you’ve got going on between your legs.”
The curtain suddenly slid open. “Who wants a grape Popsicle?!”
Claire and I both looked up at Jim and watched the smile on his face fall.
“Oh, no,” he muttered as the Popsicle dropped out of his hand and hit the floor.
“OH, MY GOD! GET OUT! STOP LOOKING!” Claire and I both shouted at the same time.
My poor fiancé didn’t budge.
“Monster. Help. Popsicle scary,” he mumbled.
Claire tried to close her legs but the doctor was knee deep in vagina and there was nothing she could do.
“GET OUT RIGHT NOW!” we both screamed in unison again.