Pandemonium erupts. Nurses holding me on either side, I totter to the delivery room but not before one last stop at the toilet. Agony that. It actually seems possible to me that the baby could fall into the toilet.
It’s all happening too fast and the doctor is a long time away due to the ice storm. Heaving and hoisting, they get my quivering, frightened body onto the bed of a table.
“Squeeze your legs together.” I wonder if they’re serious. . .
“Squeeze your legs together tight.” Oh my goodness, they are serious.
Pushing is mandatory.
“I said, stop pushing.”
“I can’t stop pushing.”
“Sit her up, then. Get that spinal administered.”
Slow it down, slow it down, s l o w i t d o w n.
My wrists are officially strapped to the handles of the bed of a table, my feet are put in the metal stirrups, the doctor is still miles away, the knees are up and the legs are spread, and I can’t feel a thing below my chest. I’m awake and I can’t feel my body. Apparently, the contractions have stopped.
Everyone around me seems tense but at least they’re quieter.
I vaguely wonder about the baby, what’s happening to him or her as he stays stuck in the birth canal.
The doctor arrives and he tells me to push. I have no way of knowing if I’m pushing or not. I decide I must not be when a nurse begins pushing on my belly.
Someone comments, “This is not working.”
The doctor gets forceps and a voice tells me to hang on to the handles. They almost pull me off the table with the strength needed to pull the baby free of my body.
I know then that something is wrong with this way of birthing. Never again, I swear to myself, never again.