Two of my friends had babies this past week, and I've been reminiscing about my hospital experience. Take a trip with me down my drug-clouded memory lane.
I dragged my poor husband with me to childbirth class, where a ridiculously peppy nurse spent 3 weeks lying through her teeth to a room full of hugely pregnant, uncomfortable women and our poor partners. We all suffered through videos of 1970's crotches and contorted ourselves into weird pushing positions, while our partners (mostly husbands, one mom, and my poor friend Hil on the night the hubby couldn't come) rubbed our backs as we pretended to "he-he-hoo" through non-existent contractions. The nurse relayed to us how easy childbirth could be as long as we could bounce on our birthing balls and pace the hallways. It would be a breeze since we were prepared.
When I was in the recovery room, the childbirth class was on their tour of the hospital and stopped at the room next to mine. We said hi to the teacher as she led her poor unassuming victims by and I had to bite my lip to keep from screaming "everything she tells you is a LIE!" Here's what I would say if I taught that class.
1. When you enter the hospital, you will be strapped down with about 15 different cords. I had wires coming from nearly every body part, including my hoo-ha at one point when Captain Destructo's heartbeat kept dropping. Thus, it is difficult to do things such as "pace the hallways," "bounce on a birthing ball," or "pee."
2. You will have absolutely no dignity and not care one bit. As one friend said, the UT marching band could have paraded through my room and played their fight song while staring at my crotch and I wouldn't have cared.
3. This applies double for when you are trying to breastfeed. Frankly, I'm still amazed that the human race has survived as long as we have if we were required to survive on breastmilk. I took off my shirt in front of many people, including my father and one of my pastors. If a bum on the street could have helped me figure out how to breastfeed I would have gladly let him grab my boob.
4. You will revert to childlike status, relying on other people to change your clothes when you barf on yourself (and you will), help you in and out of bed, and change your "dressing" (read: sanitary pads the size of China). You will beg for a popsicle, like you did in kindergarten. Along these childlike lines, you will be required to show people when you use the bathroom what resembles a large training potty.
It wasn't all bad. I did get room service, a free diaper bag and a pretty cute kid out of the stay. I still miss the nursery where someone else would watch the baby for a night (though I felt too guilty to leave her there, stupid me) as well as the sweet sleeping pills at my beck and call. Can't wait to do it again, as the stories afterwards are worth the pain.