maarmie's musings

Thursday, May 14, 2009

They never listen

May 12 was my birthday. On that day, my best friend here in Scotland, an American from Seattle, gave birth to her first child, a daughter she has given six names, the first one being Neve. Having known this woman for at least the past three months, I have coached her on what to expect during the last month or so of pregnancy, what to expect during birth and what to expect during the first six months of her daughter's babyhood. Sadly, I have expounded at length and dwelled mainly on the negative bits, partly to try and prepare her for the hell that is to be her life and party to unload my own trauma from sleepless nights past.

Three words: They never listen.

Labor was going to be breeze for her, she said. After all, she had learned some breathing techniques and was prepared to resort to meditation lest things get too painful. After heartily guffawing at her pathetic pain coping strategies, I warned her sternly that breathing would not help. Meditation would not work. I told her to prepare for hours upon hours of searing pain that would make her beg for death. I warned her.

Three words: They never listen.

So she's in the hospital on May 11 with contractions. She's had some bleeding and, later, her mucus plug let loose. Contractions, contractions, contractions. Waiting, waiting, waiting. At only one centimeter dilated, she was begging for every drug under the sun and took up the midwives on the offers of injections and pills, all to little avail. Where was her breathing? Where was the meditation? Maybe she meant "mediCation?"

One edpidural and several hours later, she was stuck at seven centimeters and had to have an emergency C-section. The two are healthy and happy now, if a bit sleep deprived. Complaining of the past couple of sleepless nights and the ensuing fatigue, I told my friend that's just a little taste of the coming attraction. Already, she doesn't believe me. I can see it in her eyes.

Three words: They never listen.

She will soon see.

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