Monday, November 29, 2010

Babies, Drugs and Proposals

 My sister and her husband just had their first baby!  And it's a girl!  Such a big event has made me nostalgic and I can't help but take a little walk (it's a slow one since I have crutches) down memory lane.

Here's a little secret you may not know.  You get loads of attention when you're pregnant.  People ask how you're doing - and they really want to know!  Granted, a number of them are paid medical professionals.  But I really felt like their concern was sincere.  And every time I went in for a "check-up" (or meeting for coffee as I liked to think of it) it was like seeing an old friend.

Except the co-pay part kinda ruined the feeling.  Made me feel like I was the only one who ever picked up the tab.  And also the part where they weighed me.  That made it feel more like Rush Week in a sorority, but I let it go.  I mean, after that dreadful part was over, we just talked and talked and talked...about me!

I had to have a c-section with my first little girl and while that was not ideal, it sure was great to be able to schedule the big moment.  Nobody could have been more prepared or relaxed than me and my husband.  I was freshly showered with just a dab of makeup - didn't want to look like I was trying too hard.  I could just picture the moment we met our baby girl.  They would swaddle her in a beautiful blanket and then lay her gently in my arms while Max* gazed at both of "his girls" with admiration and love.  Perhaps there would even be light applause from my medical friends.

I was wheeled into the OR and would be joined shortly by Max and my mom.  I was happy to have them both with me as I just knew that they would give me all the loving attention I would need during my ordeal. 

As I stared up at the brightly lit ceiling, a calm, musical voice said in my ear, "Hi, Melissa.  I'm Howard and I'll be your anesthesiologist today.  I'll make sure that you are comfortable.  Are you feeling nervous?"

Ooh, goody.  A new friend.  "Hi, Howard!" I said to the voice, "Nice to meet you.  I feel great!  Just really great!  Have you given me something?"

"Yes, Melissa.  I've given you a few things to keep you comfortable and calm."  said my friend Howard.

"That's just great, Howard, because I feel GREAT!  When will they start the surgery?"

"Oh, they've started already, Melissa." Howard said in that always cool and calm voice of his.

"Really?  That's amazing!  I feel amazing!  You're amazing, Howard."  Just from his voice I could tell that he was one of those guys who really listened when a woman talked and someone who actually cared about what you had to say.  I felt so good inside, almost ecstatic.  I just felt so positive about Howard.  "Hey, Howard?"

"Yes, Melissa?"  Really, his voice was amazing, just really lovely.

"Uhm..." Suddenly, I felt nervous.  I mean, I was 9 months pregnant, and here with my husband and mom and about to have a baby... "Oh, what's going on with the...well, you know...the baby situation there on the other side of the curtain?"

"Would you like to ask your husband?"

"Oh!  He's here?  I mean, of course he's here.  I just didn't hear him come in."  I look up and there is Max and my Mom standing together and smiling with tears in their eyes at something on the other side of the curtain.

What was going on?  Where was Howard?  "Howard?"

"I'm right here Melissa.  Feeling okay?" Ooh, goody.  He was still there. 

"Yep.  Still feel great.  I just want you to know that this is really fun.  You know, getting to know you, and all."  I look back up at Max and my Mom and now I see that they are full-on crying.  What's happening?

 "Max!  Mom!" I say, maybe just a bit hysterically.  They look down at me as if realizing for the first time that I'm even there.  The next thing I know, a nurse hands me a crying baby covered in white stuff and what I think may be blood.  She places her on my chest but since I can't move my arms I just look at her.

That sure is a nice baby, I think to myself.

Next thing I know, Max, Mom and the baby are whisked out of the room while the doctor and nurses finish up their work on me (no tummy tuck, unfortunately).  It's just me and Howard behind the blue curtain.

I stare at the brightly lit ceiling again, thinking, rather slowly.  

"Howard?"

"Yes, Melissa."

"I just had a baby, Howard."

"I know, Melissa."

"Will you marry me, Howard?"

"No, Melissa."

Fortunately, I never saw Howard again.  However, this experience taught me a few important life lessons that must be shared:

1. No matter how well planned, a birth never goes as planned.  

AND

2. Drugs work really, really well on me.

*names have been changed to protect the identity of my husband who insists to this day that he was not "full-on crying"

2 comments:

  1. Okay, so I was really confused and had to reread the Max part over and over! Who the heck is Max? Then I got it! I absolutely love this story, hilarious!

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  2. You know what the best part about reading that was, I could actually hear you in my head saying it!!! The greatest! And please tell Max for me that I never for one second believed that he cried! :)

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