Monday, September 6, 2010

Failing my screen test

Six years ago on Labor Day, I was in labor.

Six years ago the day after Labor Day, here was the fruit of my labor.

Eva Rose's birth wasn't exactly easy due to the fact that she weighed TEN POUNDS. Well, so it was 9 pounds 15 ounces - I give myself the ounce. She had a little trouble breathing when she came out, which scared us, but then all was well.

Just a year before, I had given birth to Shepherd. Now since he was born a mere nine months and three days after my wedding, and since I had been told on numerous occasions that birth is kind of an icky experience, I had demanded that Walker stay right by my head the entire time so that he would not be exposed to such birthly ickiness and surely be repulsed by me for all the remaining years of our marriage. He, of course, absolutely ignored me and got all up close and personal for the the birth of his first son, and I was too busy actually birthing that son to do anything like construct a sentence to tell him to return to his assigned post.

But after Shep was born, instead of needing therapy to remove the horrifying images of his wife being split open and a slimy kid popping out, he just kept going on and on about how stinking beautiful it was. My incredulous looks and, "For reals?" only caused him to get a beatific look on his face and say, "Yes. It was so amazing." And then he'd look at me like I was a rock star. Which I was. And I'd pop another Vicodin like any good rock star because the whole supposedly beautiful amazing birthing thing hurt and continued to hurt for days on end.

The more he talked about it though, I began to get a little jealous. I mean, the man just wouldn't shut up about it. Maybe I was mistaken - maybe birth actually was beautiful, like he said! And I, the one who deserved to witness such beauty, who suffered to produce such beauty, mightily suffered, was completely deprived! No fair! I wanted to see it too!

And then, I considered doing something that I had NEVER, EVER considered doing before - I began to think about videotaping my next baby's birth.

Now, I know some of y'all are all au natural when it comes to birthin babies, and y'all probably put your birthing video on your facebook pages and uploaded it to youtube are saying, so Mis, what's the big deal with that? Some of my dearest friends are just like y'all. My BFF Carol actually gave birth at home last year, bless my ever lovin Vicodin. I supported her 100% because I think that the theory of natural childbirth is super cool.

There was even a period during my twenties when I seriously considered becoming a midwife. But the midwife dream died abruptly when it occurred to me that, considering I would never in a million billion years give birth without accepting any drug offered to me by any body, I was probably not a prime candidate for the program.

Cause my birth plans always went something like this:
  1. Schedule mani/pedi
  2. Show up at hospital on predetermined date
  3. Begin pitocin cocktail
  4. Add a splash of Epidural
  5. Take a nap
  6. Re-apply makeup
  7. Push out a baby
Yes. I, Missy, am the proud poster child for Unnatural Childbirth. Perhaps you've seen me?


So for me to actually digitally record my own birthly ickiness for all perpetuity? That was stepping about a mile outside my comfort zone.

But Walker went on and on and I got jealous-er and jealous-er.

A mere four months after Shepherd's birth, barely weaned from the Vicodin, we found out that another little stranger was on her way. Following the initial shock and awe, I decided that this child would make her screen debut at the same time that she made her every other kind of debut. My plan was that afterwards, I would watch it once, see what the big beautiful deal was, then erase the tape. I lined up Shelly, the only friend that I could possibly ask to do such a personal screen test, got my mani/pedi, and went to the hospital on the predetermined date of September 5.

Shelly taped Eva Rose's birth.
All ten pounds (okay nine pounds, fifteen ounces) of it.
And the tape sat in a drawer for months.
Because beautiful and miraculous yada yada yada - I just couldn't bring myself to watch.

A mere seven months later, we found out yet another little stranger was on her way. I decided that I really had to watch the beautiful amazing video of my precious daughter being born before the next precious daughter was born. Just once, before I erased it, as was the plan.

I took a deep breath, and watched it.




OH my netherlands!! I desperately tried not to hyperventilate before I had to look away because seeing my own self split WIDE OPEN by TEN POUNDS okay NINE POUNDS FIFTEEN OUNCES OF BABY was not beautiful, it was not amazing, it was just HORRIFYING.

But here's the deal y'all. You can't erase the video of your child being born!! There is just no way. It is her debut into the world, as ghastly a miracle as it may be. It has to be kept.

So now I have this tape in a drawer and I have only watched it once in six years yet I live in constant paranoia that my sons will one day find it, naively pop it in, and be subsequently damaged for life.

Just like I was.

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