So, whenever someone asks a parent about the happiest day in their life they’ll inevitably say it was the day their baby was born (actually, I think more dads say that than moms 🙄 but anyhoot…). In fact, it’s almost sacrilege for a parent to not say that. But since I swore to be honest with my peeps, I’m going to admit something to you: going through 16 hours of back labor and pushing an 8 pound infant out of a hole the size of a walnut was, surprisingly, not the happiest day of my life. Go figure.
I loved loved loved being pregnant (and no, WE were not both pregnant…I hate it when couples say that. Unless you have a vajayjay, you are not preggie). I couldn’t wait to start wearing maternity clothes to show the world my bump (we called it a belly back then…bump sounds so much more posh). In fact, I started wearing them around my 3rd month and walked with my back arched at a dangerous angle, shirt tucked into my stretchy, paneled pants before having anything to show off at all. Isn’t it funny how when we’re preggie, we can’t wait to show off our bellies…and right after the birth (and forever there after) we are constantly devising new ways to cover it up again? 🙄
My OB was ok, but didn’t have much warmth or empathy. For example, at my first appointment he told me and Hubby that I should only gain about 25 pounds. Okey dokey. No problemo. The 2nd appointment showed I had gained the 25 pounds (I was quite proud I had already reached a milestone) and I was told, quite sternly I might add, that the pounds were supposed to be gained over the entire pregnancy. Thanks for making that clear upfront, doc…like I’m supposed to have a M.D. myself and ‘know’ what he meant.
Did you know that those greasy danishes with the glob of fruit like goo and white icing are the most delicious things in the world when you are growing a baby? The BEST. And did you know the greatest side dish you can have with those is Oreos? Nothing better. One day, Hubby came home for lunch and found me sitting on our brown carpeted floor, wearing an XXL t-shirt with his underwear, bawling my eyes out. I had a sleeve of cookies in front of me and was shoving them into my mouth without stopping to chew. When he found his voice again, he asked me what the hell was wrong and I said, “I’m getting so fat.” For some reason, I didn’t make the obvious connection.
Y’all know that I’m extra emotional and sensitive anyway (thank you bipolar for that nice symptom), and being preggers amped that up a notch. I got so impassioned over things and Court TV (best channel ever 🤨) didn’t help. I watched the Menendez trial religiously (what else did I have to do) and swore to Hubby I was going to go to law school and be the attorney to work on their appeals. These 2 brothers were on trial for shooting their parents to death over alleged (I sound like a lawyer already) abuse and I was sure they were completely innocent. OK, well come to find out they weren’t…but I still think I’d make a great lawyer with my mood swings and tendency to cry. I also think the way I personalize anything and believe everything I’m told would also work in my favor. (I’m going to download an application today).
I also spent my afternoons watching All My Children. I prayed (yes prayed 😐) that I would not go into labor during the time where Erica Kane might leave Travis for his brother Jack who she was madly in love with even though he refused to lie about their affair which caused her to lose custody of her daughter and led her into the arms of Dimitri who was also married and who eventually married Erica and became her 7th hubby and then divorced her which led her right back into the arms of Jack where she started. I mean, c’mon…I watched this story line for 9 months and knew if I missed a climatic episode, my life would never be the same; there would be a large gaping whole that nothing would fulfill (except YouTube). Of course I prayed for a healthy baby too and all…but this was Erica Kane! You know, now that I think about it, am I a nicer version of Erica with just a couple less husbands? Hmmmmm.
One evening, Hubby wanted to get a movie so I said I would go the video store. He had his Corvette in the driveway so I told him it would just make sense that I drive it instead of my 1985 Impala (which was also in the driveway)…a car that was often mistaken for an army tank. He reluctantly handed his keys over and when I got to the store, I forgot to set the parking brake. I also forgot to put it in gear since I wasn’t used to driving a stick shift. I was traipsing into the store and some guy started yelling at me. Yes, I was getting a catcall even when preggie and it made me feel just a bit smug. Until the yell turned into a blood curdling scream and I looked to see Hubby’s pride and joy (it obviously wasn’t me) start rolling down the slope in the parking lot. I had my yellow, Dollar General flip-flops on (the only ‘shoes’ I could wear) and started running while holding my belly to save it…all while 8 months pregnant and as big as a house. I was successful, never told Hubby about it even though he asked why I was so sweaty and winded from just driving to get a movie, and was never allowed to drive the damn car again (I think Hubby was either more insightful than I gave him credit for or someone in our small town snitched). Side note: this beeeeeuuuuutttttiiiiiful apple red Stingray is now my son’s and is housed in my garage. However, for some reason, O does not leave his keys in a place where I can get to them easily. Or at all. Go figure. 🤔
From 5 months on, ma would call me everyday to see if I had packed my bag yet and was ready for the hospital. To get her off the phone so I could see what Erica was wearing to yet another formal dinner, I lied and said yes (sorry ma, it’s the only lie I ever told you…I swear 😳). Every night, Hubby would ask me if I had packed my bag yet and was ready for the hospital and I lied and said yes. Actually, it just seemed like a hell of a lot of trouble to pack a bag for having a baby which is something that some women in world do in a field. When Hubby asked to see it, I’d mumble something unintelligible and he knew better to question me since I would either start bawling or stomp off in a huff for him not believing I’d packed it…which of course, I hadn’t.
My favorite place to eat from 6 months on was a place called “Sirloin Stockade”. It was one of those places where they had a buffet with hot dishes on it as well as a salad bar. It was actually my favorite place because it was the only place Hubby would take me since I was getting pretty expensive to feed. Anyhoot, we were having a late dinner one night and we were the only ones left in the place. The servers knew us by then and instead of them having to watch me get my big belly out of my chair so I could totter over to get yet another plateful of food, they said that since it was the night the food would be tossed away so they could start fresh the next day, I could save myself some steps (it’s good to know that I was basically eating leftovers meant for the garbage) . Two of the busboys scooted a chair up to the buffet, helped me into it (Hubby was eating his 8oz steak and watching agog to see what was going to happen next) and let me eat directly from the buffet itself. Good Lord in heaven, please let it be like that when I get up there.
One night, Hubby was feeling generous and took me to a fancy Chinese restaurant. I ordered the platter for 3 which was 3 full servings of General Tso’s chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and chicken and brocolli. The Chinese server insisted that this was a dish meant for a group and not just 1 person. His english was broken and I just couldn’t help him understand that when you’re pregnant, you’re eating for 3. Anyhoot, I licked the platter clean, gave a nice juicy belch which is acceptable when you’re preggie, and asked Hubby if we were getting ice cream on the way home. I’ve never seen a look of such stupefaction on anyone’s face before.
About 4 a.m. the next day, I awoke to a puddle in the bed (note: if you want to go into labor, eat huge amounts of fried Chinese food) and while I was trying to get dressed, Hubby was asking me where my packed bag was since this was IT. I yelled at him that I didn’t know…my water was breaking for fuck sakes. He yelled louder and said “KRISTI, IS IT IN THE CLOSET?” as if I was hard of hearing and English was my 2nd language. So I screamed back and said, “B…FOR FUCK SAKES, I’M IN FUCKING LABOR. GET ME TO THE FUCKING HOSPITAL. NOW.” We left…without a bag.
Fast forward 16 hours later (yes, 16 my sweet peeps…and no, my son has yet to thank me) and I was told to start pushing my baby out. I said, “No.” Doc said, “Kristi, you need to start pushing,” And very sweetly, I said “No.” Doc said, “Kristi, if you don’t start pushing you are not going to have your baby.” I said, “OK.” Finally, Hubby said, “For the love of Christ, push him out, I’m tired and need sleep.” Gee…that was great motivation. So eventually I started pushing and an hour later out popped my O. It was just bliss…like you see in the movies. I was puking over the side rail at the same time I was peeing and pooping and bleeding and expelling vast quantities of juices in the bed all while O screamed like a banshee and Hubby was trotting around like he had just created the universe. 🙄 Yes, B…you did all the work.
So, having O wasn’t the happiest day in my life. It was a painful, sweaty, painful, difficult, painful, scary, painful, horrifying day that I wanted to go through hypnosis to forget. But, just so you don’t think I’m a cold-hearted “Mommie Dearest” mom I will say this: everyday after that I spend with my son is the happiest day of my life.