The Worst and Best Day of My Life
This story is for Olivia, my angel.
Imagine the worst day of your life. What could go wrong in such a short space of time? Your life could be ruined, you could experience the worst pain you have ever felt, or you could lose something so dear to you that life loses all meaning. No one can ever prepare you for childbirth; people try and describe what it is like, but you can never really, truly know until you experience it.
When you are pregnant, you can't wait to meet this bundle of joy that is steadily growing inside of you. You feel the first kicks and feel an avalanche of emotions and love for the tiny human nestled inside. Giving life is the most challenging and amazing thing that a woman can do, so why does childbirth have to be a labor of love?
As your bump starts to grow, you feel expectant and nervous and excited to be a mother. The weeks go by and you start to get uncomfortable, your clothes no longer fit, your back starts to ache and your feet swell. You feel like a whale who is always sweating, out of breath, and struggling to do your own shoes up.
But you smile, and say "It will all be worth it when she is here!" You get the comments of "Wow! You are getting big!", "Are you having twins?" and "Here comes fatty!", making you feel even worse than you already do about yourself and your changing body.
Midwife's appointments come and go in a blur, and then suddenly it's happening. Usually when you least expect it, like in the bath or out grocery shopping. Your water might break, which is useful, as then you will be allowed to labor at the hospital. If not, you will be sent home with the words "Come back when the pain becomes unbearable and the contractions are 30 seconds to one minute apart."
Well, when you get to this point, the pain is increasing, you find yourself in the hospital wearing one of those gowns that doesn't close at the back, and wouldn't even if you tried. The watermelon sticking out in front wouldn't allow that, and your dignity? Well, that flies out of the window with your first 'examination' which leaves you spread-eagled on the bed, giving everyone in the room a front seat view of your vagina.
The pain is actually getting unbearable now so you ask for gas and air, and you suck on that tube like your life depended on it. Need to pee? You better waddle your fat ass over to the en-suite wailing "But I need my gas and air!" It's funny how fast a pregnant lady can move when she needs that pain relief which is annoying attached to the wall near the bed.
The hours pass, the night comes and goes, and the nurses keep telling you "But you're only 3 cm dilated!" in a mocking tone. Meanwhile, your subconscious has delved deep down inside of you, you can't think straight through the pain. You disappear into a deep well of pain and try your best to cope and block it all out.
After 48 hours of no food and intense pain, you finally give in and ask the nurse for 'the epidural'. As the doctor comes into those four walls of torture that you currently call home, he reads out the list of safety precautions and possible side effects of the procedure as you scream "Just give me the damn needle!"
So, you get sat up, the needle goes in after many failed attempts and what I'm sure are hilarious involuntary kicking actions, due to being prodded in the spine with a needle; only hilarious if you're not the one writhing in agony and trying to 'keep still' whilst also trying not to fall off the edge of the bed.
And then relief... The injection must have worked! As you feel the agony slip away into something similar to background noise and you instantly fall asleep into blackness...
You awake squinting, with a nurse in your face... "I think it's time to push!" comes the excited cry of someone you have never seen before in your life who also has their hand inside your vagina. OK, you think, this is it! So you groggily prepare for the pushing part, exhausted now after three days of being bed bound and starved.
Only, you can't feel anything. The lower half of your body feels like jelly, like a stranger has taken your body and replaced it with this huge pulsating mass, but it's go time. Your legs are wide open, the nurse is telling you to push!
So you try, and you try, and you try some more, but you literally have no energy left and all you want at this point is the baby to come out and to sleep for an eternity. And then suddenly, the baby is coming! You can now feel the mass exiting your body and in a slippery mess, she is here!
The world stops for a moment as you take each other in. The deep pools of her eyes, you will never forget. Or the way in which she regards you steadily, like a tiny alien, sizing up the leader of this newfound planet. This is the part where you think "This is the best day of my life" because up until this moment you had no other reason to exist.
And then you notice the machines beeping, and the team of doctors and nurses rushing into the room. You want to stay in that perfect moment forever with your newborn little angel, but she is taken away from you. As you look down you see what the problem is, there is a lake of blood pooling at the end of the bed.
You look down to see the crimson tide covering the floor as nurses and doctors look panicked and you ask, as if from far away "What's happening?" The deep pool of darkness takes you then and you pass out cold as the doctors and nurses rush to stop the flow of blood, hooking you up to a fresh package of bright red fluid, just in case you lose too much of the stuff.
When you finally awaken, you have no idea if you are alive or dead. But all you see are those beautiful eyes in your mind, those eyes will stay with you now for all of eternity. And honestly, it doesn't matter if you died right there on the table because you made her, and she is perfect.