I met a woman a couple of years ago, we’ll call her Monica. She was a delight. Smart, funny, …employed. Three of my favorites. I, of course, asked her out and on our first date, before the entrée had even arrived, she took my hand and told me she had to tell me something. I looked into her eyes and said, “Hit me with it.” She took a deep breath and then told me she was pregnant.
Well, I knew it wasn’t me. We hadn’t had the entrée yet. I immediately began wondering where this particular evening was going. Were we going to have wild and crazy sex because she didn’t have to worry about us making another child? Was sex out of the question because she was already pregnant? Are pregnant women allowed to have sex…I mean is it dangerous? I was thinking all these things as my mouth said, “Wow, that’s wonderful.” And to show you what a good sport I was and am, I asked her out again. And somehow we began dating, all the while her becoming more and more obviously fraught with child.
A few months into our relationship, she invited me to be the coach for her natural childbirth. Well, I already owned a stopwatch, so I felt somewhat qualified. “Sure,” I said and the the Lamaze classes began. Everyone at the classes was excited and in love newly weds except for us, but they thought that I was a wonderful fellow for showing up for the classes and for Monica. I learned all about the “hee hee” breathing and all the other stuff and commenced to carrying a Lamaze bag in my car so that no matter where and when, I would be prepared. My motto. Finally the night came. “James, come and get me, my water just broke.” And away I went.
I arrived at her home in record time, loaded her up and we then proceeded out to the hospital here in the valley. Now maybe you all know this stuff, but everything was new to me. The first thing that happened is they put her on this rolling table called a gurney and wheeled her into some kind of waiting room where they strapped a fetal monitor on her. A fetal monitor is a belt that goes around the abdomen of the expectant mother and then is connected by wires coming out of the belt to a machine with a graph on it. That way you can actually see how intense the pain is…as if you couldn’t discern that yourself by the shrieks of agony and streams of profanity coming out of the mouth of this person you thought you knew. There’s so much pain. They never tell you about that, but there’s so much pain. A Grand Canyon of pain; pain with scenic over look. And she wasn’t the only one.
Up and down the corridors there was a chorus of women shrieking and writhing in agony. This is the beauty of natural childbirth, I thought? They should run high school classes through here. It would flat out be the END to teenage pregnancy. Hay rides would come back. Andy Hardy movies would come. It would be, “Put that willy away, we’re going bowling.” Trust me on this one.
Honestly, I can’t believe you women go thru so much pain and I can’t believe that you ever have two children. One? Okay, you didn’t know, …but TWO CHILDREN! You women are tougher than I am ever planning to be. If they said, “James, you’re pregnant.” I’d go, “Okay, here is the deal… I want the demerol morphine cocktail …in an IV …for eighteen years.”
And I was there for the whole thing. They even had me in the actual operating theatre wearing the get up, you know the mask and flippers and all, while Monica went through the ordeal. Twenty four hours of labor because the child was so big. Twelve pounds, sideburns and teeth when he got here. The whole time Monica saying, “isn’t this amazing?” and actually smiling through the pain. She was such a hero while I was doing all the Lamaze breathing I could to keep my hands from shaking and from fainting myself .
And then they handed me some scissors. And told me to cut the cord. I kept thinking, “WHY ISN’T THE DADDY HERE?” You should have seen those scissors in my hand. It looked like I was holding twenty pairs of scissors. Everyone backed away, I was shaking so badly. And as I got closer and closer to the umbilical cord with these silver shears, I could not get this picture out of my brain of me leaning down, placing the scissors as carefully as my trembling hands would allow and then…snip.
And then ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggg as the baby shot around the room, now this way, now that way, like some kind of crazed human balloon that had come untied. I decided then and there, that dating was not the carefree thing I had always taken it to be and married the next person I went out with. …and got countless ideas for songs.