Potty training 101

Two weekends ago Mr. H was off celebrating his birthday in Scotland with his friends and my mother and I were camped out with both boys at home, hoping for a relaxing weekend filled with mild mannered children, naps and all day snacking. It was sweltering hot, though, the kind of hot that makes your thighs sweat and leaves you without anything to say because speaking takes effort and the heat we were experiencing had made us lethargic, aggressive and just plain cunty.

The unofficial rule at our house on days filled with insufferable heat is that pants are not required.  In fact, we encourage nudity, or at least as much we’re capable of with both neighbors having a direct view into our backyard, patio, and the entire first floor.  The neighbor part has never stopped me from meandering around topless, but usually I have a pump attached to my teets, making the vision entirely unappealing, if not disgusting, if you were to ask Mr. H.  The neighbors have learned by now to not look in my windows and only children are allowed outside with no pants on.

So there I was, filling the kiddie pool, setting up the sprinkler and blasting Sawyer in the face with water by allowing him to “help” “fix” the hose by pointing out the areas in which the hose was twisted and then telling him to take a sip of water while I untwisted the wrapped up parts.  Great, clean, parenting fun if you ask me. He squeeled each time, I laughed my ass off and we continued doing the same act over and over again for about ten minutes, mostly because he has the memory of a ladybug and because he trusts me and listens to what I say for the most part, in this case, most unfortunate for him.

After splashing around in the pool for a half hour with little relief, I took Sawyer’s diaper off, too lazy to run inside to get his bathing suit, thinking we could accomplish a few things: battle the heat wave, skip bath time, clean up lunch face, practice potty training if the situation arises, which I hear with boys is very convenient if you can start in the summer by allowing urination in the grass.

He wandered around the yard for over an hour with no incident, chasing his best friend Bull, trying to squirt my mother with the hose, helping wash the dogs and dragging around a rake before he got bored.  

I was pumping on the couch a few minutes later and looked outside to see him standing on the other side of the glass, tiny fists pounding the window yelling HEY hEY HEY, smiling from the other side. “Heeeeeeey!” I yelled back, just as he started to pee on the porch. 

I realized he had never seen himself pee by the look of horror and confusion that covered his face. He jammed his pudgy pointer finger in the stream of pee and then shrieked, I guess not realizing urine is liquid and his mouth dropped open and he held his finger in the air for me to see. He looked from his zucchini flower to me and then back again over and over, shouting uh oh uh oh uh oh ohhhhhh noooo and pointing to the new puddle on the patio. He look vaguely traumatized and I realized I had to behave like a parent and stop laughing like an asshole, even if just for a minute. 

“It’s ok, Soy, good job! Yaaaay Sawyer! you peed! That’s pee pee! Yaaaaay Soy! What a big boy!” I was using my best happy voice, clapping like a seal and giving a thumbs up and waving my hands wildly over my head. He smiled big and clapped his hands too, so proud of himself, now that he thought he did something worthy of attention. 

“Mom,” I yelled, “Sawyer peed on the porch. Could you come dump water on it?” I didn’t need him splashing around in it with his bare feet and getting urine all of his legs and the floor inside. He clapped and smiled as my mother dumped a big bowl of water on the pee puddle, forcing some of it through the cracks of the porch as she went back in the house.  I watched as Sawyer looked at the bigger puddle and then back to me, then cocked his head to the right, looked pained and pointed at me, yelling boobies. 
I looked down to see milk overflowing and squirting out of my pump setup and frantically started undoing my tubing and wiping the milk up shouting back, “ok, Soy, I told you not to make that face at me when you see Mommy’s boobies,” and sighed, knowing my almost 2 year old son is disgusted by my clam strip resembling nipples. He had stopped clapping and shrieking, though, so I looked up quickly to see what he was doing. 

There he was, on the other side of the glass on his hands and knees, face pressed firmly against the porch, casually lapping up diluted urine. 

“Oh my fucking God! NO! No Sawyer! Noooooo! STOP!” I was screaming and scrambling to put a shirt on. My mother, thinking he’s fallen off the porch comes racing around the corner, breathless and clearly Petrified shouting “what’s happened? Where is he?” Looking frantically outside. 

We both looked out the sliding glass doors, feet away from him, as I muttered “right there, licking up his own pee,” in the most defeated tone I had used yet as a parent. 

“It won’t be the last time,” she assured me as he sat up and waved at us proudly. Then he turned away again, slapped the pile of pee with his tiny, fat hand, threw his head back and giggled. 

And so here’s to those of us NOT raising future Nobel Peace Prize recipients. 

Labeled a social misfit yet again

I had this exchange with a German spa this week through email.

“I’d like to book a massage, foot reflexology and a face massage. I’m 37 weeks pregnant, can you confirm this is ok with your spa?”

“No, we cannot do pregnant women. Danger not for us.”

“My doctor said she would write a note saying she approves.”

“This is not possible.”  They love this fucking phrase.  It drives me crazy how many times a week I get this goddamned phrase.

“But she said it was fine at this point, and I could even use the steam room and sauna and pool, in small doses.”

“Nein.” Oh, we were apparently done the English version of this conversation. “We suggest you do not use the facilities due to dripping.”

“Dripping?” She must have been using Google translate so I looked up what other words were the same for dripping in German.

LEAKING?  LEAKING. Leaking was a word that could be using the same German word, which is super because I have never been told I can’t use something due to the fact that someone didn’t want MY VAGINA DRIPPING ALL OVER THE PLACE.

“You don’t want me to leak? Like my bodily fluids in the water?”

I wanted to be violently angry but in true German form, I had just been handed the most literal, in my face explanation about why I was not wanted in their establishment at this time. Not, no, we suggest you wait. Not, no, it might not be a great time, would you prefer after the baby is born? Not, no, we apologize we can’t accommodate you because nudity for pregnant women is not allowed during your last phase of this beautiful experience in our spa. Just no. We will not have you leaking your vagina everywhere.

“Yes. This is not possible.”

Even as someone who admits her vagina of late has been like a goddamned Elmer’s glue factory, I thought it was a bit much that she insisted on making me feel like a misfit of society, one who freely distributes bodily fluids in public places, laughing in the faces of unsuspecting, non-leaking Germans. But she did and that was the end of that conversation.



I think we all remember that even though I have a child now and one on the way, by nature, I despise 90% of the world’s children. I like my children. I like about ten other children. I tolerate a handful of others, but for the most part, I think most children are unnecessary, spoiled, awful, stupid, ugly and a poor decision in general. Having a child has made me forget this temporarily, but I assure you, I was reminded why I hate children and I’m going to go over today’s little incident and all of you who have been parents for more than 3 seconds in life can have a good laugh at my anger and tell me that it just gets worse.

So this morning I’m sitting at my desk, minding my own business and working when daycare calls and starts with their standard, “Hi, Mrs. Hopkins, just a courtesy call about Sawyer.”

This is normally followed by, he fell while running or he bashed his face off a truck or a table or the door, or he’s bleeding and we don’t know if he knocked out a tooth, which is my personal favorite call to receive, considering falling and putting my teeth through my lip is a top 10 fear of mine. Once they called to tell me he had ring worm but in my head I heard them say tape worm, and I panicked and called the Mr. immediately shrieking about that must be why he’s refusing to eat dinner and we are awful parents for letting him swallow a worm and off I went to immediately get him out of school. Then they told me at school that it’s ring worm, not tape worm, and I immediately wanted to know whose dirty kid is a tiny wrestler, because in my life I’ve only ever heard that wrestlers get ring worm and it makes sense to me to blame an entire sport and not say, the mats that would be used by both high school wrestlers and toddlers.

So that’s what I normally get called about. Today, though, a bit different.

“Sawyer has a few bites that are bothering him and we thought we’d let you know.” Huh, I thought, maybe that’s why he was itching his back this morning on our way out.

“Bug bites? Is he itching them?”

“No, not bug bites, child bites.   A child bit him. Twice.”

WHAT IN THE CANNIBALISM FUCK ARE THEY CALLING ME ABOUT?  You do not start a conversation telling someone their child has a few bites and assume I’m going to guess human bites above fucking bug bites.

“I’m sorry, what? A child bit him? Twice? What happened? Is he upset?” I refrained from launching my fat self out of my chair and marching over there to take a look at the crime scene and judge which shithead child bit my angel. I bet it was that sloppy haired, moon faced annoying one that tried to stomp on my flip flop wearing shoe for giggles the other day when I went to pick Sawyer up. He fucking smiled at me while looking at me in the eye and I already told that fucking overgrown toddler that Sawyer’s mom is hot and big lately and doesn’t have the patience for tiny halfwits with behavioral problems. I would match that child’s teeth to my son’s bites and deal with this myself.

Yes, I am 100% going to be that parent.

“Well, we aren’t sure what happen because it happened pretty quickly but they were on the slide and there was some commotion and the child ended up on top of Sawyer and bit him on the face twice. He has bite marks on his face and look worse than they are, probably because he’s so fair, and he didn’t really cry until we put ice on his face but now he has marks and we thought we’d let you know before you come back today.”

ON THE FUCKING FACE?  ON. HIS. FACE.  ON HIS PERFECT AND ADORABLE AND POTENTIALLY EASILY SCARRED FACE.  WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL I AM GOING TO SPANK THE EVIL OUT OF SOMEONE ELSES CHILD IN TWO GODDAMNED SECONDS. And why in the Christ has daycare become like some jail yard scene from Sons of Anarchy? I am going to find that child’s father in the email system and parade my ass into his office and have a talk about acceptable public behavior of children. Snacking on my fucking child’s face like a fucking psychopath menace to society does NOT MAKE THE CUT AT DAYCARE. And let’s not blame Sawyer’s porcelain and perfect skin when a child is using him like shark bait before lunch on the one day I was not aggressive about anything.

“Does this child have his shots?” Because if this child is one of those non-vaccinating motherfuckers, I am going to fucking choke his entire family while filming it.

“Yes, he has his shots.” Does he also have a fucking death wish?

“Please call me if Sawyer is unhappy today or if anything else happens. I’ll talk to you more about it when I come over this afternoon.”

And then I hung up, called the Mr., gave this exact account, which he found far more humorous than I did, probably because he thinks that I care more than Sawyer does at this point, and he did express concern when I told him children will be children does not fucking apply to my child and that I would be spending the weekend training Sawyer in Mommy Approved Mortal Combat.

No one uses my child as shark bait and gets away with it.

The queen of awkward run-ins

I’ve had a number of awkward encounters with famous or influential people and having had one just two weeks ago, it reminded me of the others I’ve had–all the political ones, like the time Joe Lieberman rescued me from the press near the Senate floor, the time I told the President in the elevator that people used the word scrumptious to describe him, the time a female Senator insisted I stole a book from her, the time Senator Thurmond pinched my ass in his office during a photo op, the time Ted Kennedy forced me to throw a ball to his dogs as payment for taking a photo with him, and other less memorable moments where I inserted myself in a public setting.

There was also the time I thanked Melky Cabrera for his part in the 2004 Red Sox World series win, thinking he was Orlando, when they look nothing alike but I got caught up hearing that Cabrera was in the same bar as me and acted instantly like an idiot. I blame excitement.

And the time during Pedroia and Ellsbury’s rookie season that I stood behind them in the dugout while they were hanging out stretching and shouted, TAKE YOUR SHIRTS OFF ROOKIES, repeatedly, from 20 feet away, like a lunatic, until they turned around and said REALLY? to me, confused and somewhat disgusted, which I chose to ignore.  That one can be blamed on Vodka and my undying love for Pedroia.

The most recent example is more toned down and innocent, though still awkward all the same.  I was reminded of it last night when I saw a picture of this person standing behind the President giving a press conference, thinking to myself, ugh, you are such a disaster sometimes.

Two weeks ago Germany exploded into flames and my entire body began morphing into Shrek at 3pm daily, like clockwork.  To rectify the situation, I found myself two plastic kiddie pools and a sprinkler to set up for the rest of the heat wave.  The Mr., though, pointed out we were missing a sprinkler part and so off I went to the PX in a lovely pregnant ensemble consisting of yoga pants worn so thin you could just see my bloomers from a football field away, a sports bra and tank top I had worn for two days straight and flip flops, the only thing I’m interested in slipping my fat feet into these days.

So there I am, wandering the two aisles in the Home and Garden section out back when I round the corner and almost bounce an oncoming guy off my stomach, in a very, not looking but leading with my stomach type way.

“Oh god, sorry,” I exclaim, barely glancing up, just slightly noticing an older and normal looking guy who doesn’t appear to be disgusted or angry towards me.

“No, I’m sorry, excuse me.”  How polite of him for recognizing the importance of my large existence and duty to breed the next generation.

Standing in front of the sprinkler part section, I go back and forth between fingering sprinkler parts and comparing them to the picture the Mr. sent me off with.  The only job I have is to match them up like a Memory game and I’m failing miserably.  They all look the same and I’m tempted to just buy the big box that has a new sprinkler AND all its parts together.  Then I heard the man coming closer and so I waddled over to him, tapped him on the back and launched myself into what I consider a normal way to approach an unsuspecting victim of mine.

“Excuse me, Sir.  Would you be able to help me with this?  I am unqualified at locating sprinkler parts and here is the part I was told to get and they all look the same and you seem to be qualified for the job.  Any way you could come around here and help me?  I bet you can help me.”  I jammed the phone in his face, barely made eye contact and swung around on my heels, doing a quick penguin shake over to the parts area to show him the three sprinkler connectors I thought were the closest.

He gets down on his hands and knees and is rummaging through the parts and double checking my phone and I can tell he isn’t sure of what he’s doing which makes me feel sad and better at the same time and so I just continue blabbing on, to make up for the uncomfortable fact that I’ve got someone else’s husband trapped on the floor working for me, only because I’m fat and pregnant and bossy and he has probably been taught not to say no to anyone with another human in their stomach.

“If you can’t figure out the part, don’t worry about it, I’ll probably just buy a whole damned new one.  I mean look at me,” I gestured to my profile like I was Vanna White, “I can’t be sitting around LIKE THIS at my house hot and sweating and swollen.  The other day my feet turned into cinder blocks and I’m turning into an ogre but don’t worry if you can’t figure it out.  I’ll just buy them all or just have my husband spray me with the hose for the next week. I mean even my almost two year old is looking at me in disgust and the Germans don’t think nudity is always appropriate and my doctor says this massive child is almost 8 pounds already which I am not looking forward to but don’t worry about it if you can’t figure it out.  This is not your problem.   Oh, maybe your wife needs a sprinkler by chance while you’re here?  Would be a good time to get one, don’t you think?”  Surely his wife could use a new sprinkler in her yard.

And then as I went to grab the parts out of his hand, he thought I was shaking his hand and so we had an awkward little claw grabbing session as he says, “You know, maybe I should get a few parts myself,” as he looked up at me, still on his knees, and I saw it.

I was talking to the 4 star General and Commander.  About sprinkler parts.  While making him squirrel around on his hands and knees for the crazy lady talking about heat waves and large children.  Horrified yet star struck, I took all the parts, said a quick goodbye and thank you and waddled as fast as my tree trunk legs would get me out of there.

I should really be put in a cage.

More near death experiences in The Fatherland

I put myself on a bit of a writing sabbatical, primarily due to the exhaustion I have been experiencing since I shot Sawyer out of my lower half 18 months ago.  He’s great and all but a bit of a handful, as his new favorite words are no and no said in a shrieking tone and he’s discovered this charming talent of open palm slapping me like we’re two bitches on Housewives of The Fatherland and he’s the Queen B.  Just last night I told Mr. H he’s been a real dick since coming back from Maine and I mean it.

Then I decided less than a year after birthing one child to go to Paris, get drunk off an obscene amount of champagne, force Mr. H into some sexy relations, which unfortunately wasn’t even a good performance on my part because I was hammered and he was sober from watching our child while I was out behaving like a spinster with one of my girlfriends.  Actually, this is a good story, you’ll all love it and it’ll get us right back on track.

So my friend Amber and I are taking on Paris, drinking our way through cafes and ordering more champagne than famous people do.  We’re stalking older, foreign men again, (refer to this old post if you forgot about Mr. Universe) wearing red lipstick and behaving generally terrible.  After two days of this, I wander up to my hotel room back to Mr. H and Sawyer, throw myself on the bed and start wailing into his lap about missing her and DC and home and how I need to be with my girlfriends and I’m face down laying in his lap and sobbing.  That somehow leads me to treat him like a lollipop which then leads me to treat him like a rodeo and I’m sure all this doesn’t last too long because he’s sober and I’m behaving like a trainwreck and next thing I know, I wake up the next morning with my shirt and bra on, no pants, one sock and the realization that I forgot to pee after my sexual assault and should probably shower.

5 weeks later I’m pregnant.  I can’t wait to tell my children their conception stories one day.

Now it’s been 33 weeks, I’m massive and pregnant, I’m going to have a second child any day now, or so I assume since my doctor is probably not qualified to teach 8th grade science, forget practice medicine, and I realize I have been withholding a lot of stories in the past year just because I’m lazy, fucking tired and require sedation more than ever.

For some reason today, I’m motivated to jump back into the writing game so now, more about my near death experience that occurred this week.  I’m going to be graphic about this and talk shit about the Germans to give the full experience.

So Friday night I wake up in the middle of the night needing to throw up and piss poison water out of my ass for no good reason around 2am.  Let me remind you that I am not moving fast these days but the urgency of this situation was either soil myself or MOVE.  From that point on, I spent the next four days unable to swallow because the amount of bile that had crept into my throat was outrageous and I was projectile pooing something that resembled the depths of a pond out of my ass every twenty minutes for four days.  Seriously, I think I saw algae and corn come out one time in the same sitting which isn’t possible because I didn’t eat corn and I don’t know why pond algae would be in my vile intestines.  Let’s also keep in mind my vagina is still leaking a substance close to Elmer’s glue because being a woman is super and like Mr. H pointed out to me the other day, my left boob has taken to leaking whenever it pleases, mostly when I choose not to wear a bra.

Four days of this.  Four days of me also sleeping like I’m in a narcolepsy competition and also of me moaning and weeping and tossing myself from side to side in every sleeping vehicle we have in the house.  Nothing was comfortable.  I hate the new bed Chris made us buy.  I think it’s filled with poison that seeps into my back and makes me emotionally unstable.  I love the spare bed, especially since it’s low to the floor now but it’s covered in that god awful flannel sheet Mr. H and his mother picked out and I CANNOT DO FLANNEL IN ANY MONTH BUT DECEMBER.  I feel like it’s setting me on fire and is going to swallow me and I can’t hang my feed out of the bed because of that fucking movie Paranormal Activity so I just can’t sleep there either.  The couch is out most nights because it’s usually covered in cookie crumbs and there’s not a ton of room to mimic the lifestyle of a starfish and I’m positive my husband isn’t impressed with leaving him in the bedroom with our pushy, selfish toddler who likes the big bed lately and two usually wet dogs that snore louder and more intensely than a 400 pound man.

So on the fourth day of projectile spitting of bodily fluids out of every hole I have, I give up and go to the German doctor who pokes me a bunch of times, tells me I look terrible and sends me straight to the hospital.  The voodoo hospital where I gave birth and received ibuprofen as a pain killer.  So I’m there for a day hooked up to IVs and munching on those charcoal pills they like to give out, with a side of that bitter tree bark pill they insist on, drinking their warm fizzy water and staring at a wall for 12 hours.  There is no internet or TV in German hospitals and so sleep is your option.  I actually didn’t mind this because was really enjoying all the sleep and it meant I didn’t have to do anything for a day but think of all the reasons Germans treat each other this way and the only thing I could come up with is that they’re all training each other for some upcoming Hunger Games event and it’s survival of the fittest and they want you ready.

I would certainly die in the first round, if by considerations of German standards, I think.  Eating tree bark pills has made me no stronger a person than when I had access to real antibiotics in quantities that could kill a horse.

Then I went home, slept for another day and now today I’m back at work and eating solid foods and have not had any leaking of any kind come out of any hole of my body.  And, I’m back to writing, which I miss the most about things I accidentally gave up in taking on motherhood.

Today is a good day.

Birthdays without my father

Today is a Hated Day, one of two in the year.  Today would have been my father’s birthday.  Today my father would have been 56.  Today I have no phone call to make, no gift to ask about, no one to watch blow out candles.  Today is the 5th birthday in a row that we haven’t shared together, even in long distance, because he is gone.

Today he would have pretended he didn’t know why I was calling, even though he would have called me on Monday to ask if I knew what week it was.  He would have screamed that, actually.  Screamed into the phone like I do, with no volume control, because volume control would mean you can contain your excitement about anything.  Today he would have acted like it was no big deal, his birthday, but if I hadn’t called, I would have been banned for life, because he loved this day.  Not as much as Christmas, but any day that centered around him was alright.  Can’t imagine where I get it from.

Today, I want to be happy and think of him fondly and think of all the fun times we have shared, but I can’t and I don’t know why.  Actually, I do know why.  I just don’t want to deal with why.  I don’t want to deal with mywhy.  I can’t think of him fondly today because I miss him too much.  It’s much easier through most parts of the year, but this year, especially now, everything is changing.  It’s been a great and weird 6 months. Everyone in my family is having kids, getting new jobs, moving, starting new businesses or traveling.  He is missing all of those things.  I don’t know what I have in store for me this fall with work or where I’ll be living.  I’d like a little advice from my father once in a while.  We have a lot of family plans, a lot of memorable things I want to be able to talk to him about.  I want to ask his advice about adult things.  I want to tell him my frustrating stories, because he’s the only person who has never told me to be less angry.  I want to tell him the funny and the stupid stories about people and work and my random encounters, the stories that make him laugh loudly.  Even more than all of this, I just want to hug him.  I just want to hug him and have him for a day. I want to hear him and I want to smell him and I want him for just one more day for the rest of my life.

It’s funny, because I spend so much of my time pretending I am the world’s strongest person.  I like to be a fixer.  I like to tell people that my father killed himself, he didn’t kill me.  I like to believe that living a fabulous life after he died was a choice, a hard one, but a choice that I made to survive myself.  I like to convince myself of a lot of things that sometimes I don’t really believe when I let in Doubt.

I am an expert in Loss.  I am like a Grand Wizard in dealing with Grief, unless Grand Wizard is only a KKK status, which I think it might be.  In which case, I am not that.  I am just super good at Grief .  I am a proud card carrying member of the Sadness and Regret Club, a club that has more members than you’d think.  I guess I took the approach that if I was going to have to deal with all of this, you better believe I’d be good at it, and believe me, some people are just not black belts in things of emotion.

I have spent hours talking to people about loss, because I want them to feel better than I feel some days.  I can talk in circles about the 7 steps of grief, having done them at least oh, 8 million times already.  I can talk to you about how losing someone, especially to suicide, is not your fault.  I can talk to you about how much you affected someone’s life and how they affected yours and the valuable life lessons to take away from loss, how to grow from it, how it can change your life.  I can talk to you about being a survivor, about rising above, about turning the bad into good.  I can talk to you about self-destruction, about finding your face under a bottle and how it won’t help you but then again, if you don’t die of it yourself, it’s probably ok.  I can talk to you about how I don’t think God will fix your pain, but maybe faith will.  I can talk to you about loss of faith and lack of trust and how sometimes only fresh air can help you from not suffocating on your grief.  I can talk to you about how blame and depression will only kill a part of you slowly, not help, and a good fucking cry here and there is magical.   I can talk to you about the destruction of Indifference and the power of believing in yourself.  I can talk about all of those things like I have a PhD in Shitty Life Experiences.  I talk about them because I hope I can turn all of this awful into hope for someone.

I miss my father in an empty, aching, bottom of your gut, bitter, angry, regretful,  helpless way that I’m positive now will never really go away, just continue to dull with the years.  I can deal with that. I can deal with that because the days I did have him in my life were filled with laugher and tears and cheering and walking and talking and hugs and wisdom and love and memories that will also never, ever go away.

If anyone ever takes seriously the words that I write, which I normally wouldn’t recommend, do this for me.  Love your people with everything you have.  Love them not in gifts, but in words and in memory creation and in spending time together that one day you will not have.  Sit in kitchens and bake muffins and have coffee.  Go to games and eat hot dogs and scream at players.  Walk together and talk or be together in silence, because those silent moments will mean more to you than you will ever know.  Look at them when you’re together, and think about what you love about them.  Listen to them, hear them, and never make them feel stupid or little or unimportant.  Touch them, hold them as close as you can, as much as you can, whether you’re big or small or in a bad mood or too busy.  Smell them and smell them longer and know that you will never be able to buy that so remember what it smells like.  Never be too busy.  Just love them and make sure they know.  Tell them a million times in a million ways and when you’ve done that, do it one more time.

Loving your people too much is one thing I promise you will never regret.

This post is for my father, who I love and miss with all of my heart, with every second of every day.

My battle (birth) story, Part One

First, yes, I am alive.  I am alive but I’m back in bed, AGAIN, until I kick this post-labor, my child and dirty placenta tried to kill me and I’m still not better, style.  I think I’m on bed rest until baby Jesus arrives at least or else my mother is going to have a nervous breakdown or move in until further notice.

So. While in-between feeding my little monster and waiting for my uterus to clean up its goddamned act, I thought I’d do everyone a favor and go over my personal labor experience so we all have a better idea of what child birth is like.  I wouldn’t want anyone confused about what shooting a seven pound child out of your one lady taco is like, because somewhere along the way, even I, the child hater and professional skeptic of life got all dreamy about what birthing my child was going to be like, right up to the part where I’d lie in bed and think to myself, I bet you can just lay at home and wait out the bad parts in the tub until it’s “accidentally” too late and you have to stay at home and give birth in a nice, familiar relaxing environment but you can blame it on labor coming so fast and effortless and pain free that you’re not a hippie, really, it just happened that way.  With the puppies around staring adoringly and the Mr. handing me a celebratory glass of wine, with candles and someone in my hall playing a violin as the German fireworks light up the sky.

Yeah.  Labor is nothing like that.  If I had stayed in my tub for this event it would have looked like a goddamned shark attack.  I would have clawed the walls apart, scarred the dogs for life, smashed the wine glass and tossed the wine and just jumped out my window hoping for the best.

For those of you who haven’t given birth yet, feel free to stop reading or schedule your drugged out c section now.  For those of you that have given birth and forgotten what it’s like, feel free to be reminded and also if you have more than one child, I don’t know how you got any of this out of your head for long enough to be tricked into it again.  Before I had Sawyer, Mr. H was all, If labor goes as well as your pregnancy did, we could just go back to back and have Irish twins right away.  And because I was in love with being pregnant and somehow extra charmed by the love of my husband I was delusionally like, Of course we can.  It’d be great to raise two kids right away, consider it done, I said enthusiastically daydreaming about doing this all over again in ’14, easy peasy, like a STUPID, NAIVE, DESERVING OF PUNISHMENT, IDIOT.

For the world’s information, there will be no Irish twins.  There will be no way humanly possible for this uterus to grow anything and I MEAN ANYTHING BUT EMPTINESS AND SHATTERED DREAMS for a good, long, very long, probably unbearably long for my husband, time.

Labor was like surviving 16 hours of being hunted and taunted by something that you put inside you.  It has to be like war, but with more fluids everywhere and probably equal amounts of swearing and less strategy.  It’s like running 4 marathons with legs that don’t work and then playing a football game without pads, then an episode of being dragged down a street behind a mack track by a rope by your big toe, only to be dropped off a bridge into the ocean where you smack against the water so hard that you’re positive you broke your back instantly.

I think that’s a better description of what labor is like than say, hmm, what these unoriginal and mild mannered women had to say.  Also, in the second half of the article, where women describe labor as NOT SO BAD, they are fucking liars.  They are also evil and heartless people with no souls and probably have been trained to survive situations involving torture or they are all of German descent or they the type of people who consider dipping your foot in a tank of fish to get a pedicure as a suitable weekend pastime.  Basically the worst people on Earth.

So let’s go over my day.  Some women like to write about their birth story in a dreamy and magical way.  I feel like they are leaving all of the torture parts out.  I will do you no such favors.  Enjoy what I like to call, The Day My Child Was Born/Tried to Kill Me

The day before I went into labor, I was back in the hospital for high blood pressure.  The Germans wanted to induce, but since I was in the Filderklinik, a holistic, homeopathic, wellness promoting hospital, they were going to try it naturally.  I chose this hospital because I wanted to have a calmer, quieter, more natural and less hospital-y type experience.  Somehow my girl crush on my South African midwife, reading the book Your Best Birth and thinking I’m superwoman had convinced me I could do this with as little help and machines as possible.  Idiot, I know.

To induce my labor, they hospital made me a castor oil cocktail, not realizing I have held the Queen of IBS title since I was 12.  Therefore, my body laughed in the face of the castor oil and carried on.  There was no way castor oil was going to launch me into contractions.  A plate of cheese or a bowl of ice cream, maybe.  Castor oil? Everything remained unmoved and I think I even heard my intestines laugh a bit.  And so I waited overnight, watching Dead Poets Society, eating cookies and listening to Mr. H sleep loudly with his mouth open.

The next day, I went home for lunch, breaking out and angry that I had to stay in the hospital when nothing was happening.  I ate a chicken salad sandwich, drank a ginger ale and played frisbee in the yard with the dogs.  I only had 2 hours before they’d notice I was missing and so at 1230, off we went, back to the wellness jail with my mother, leaving Hr. H at home to nap, as we were one snide comment away from killing each other.  The third trimester had made me an angry, fluid filled troll.  A troll that wanted to fight her husband by kicking him in the crotch with her hobbit feet.  He was best at home relaxing without me, as I figured I was going to be in the hospital doing nothing for days.

I was wrong.  My contractions started at 1pm, just fifteen minutes after arriving back at the hospital.  They came out of nowhere and I’ll have you know, there is no mistaking contractions.  Just days before a friend had asked, so are you having contractions?  To which I replied, Not sure yet.  Maybe a few.  No.  I was not having a few.  I was having sugar plum fairy dreams of pretty contractions that I assumed I was handling like a champ.  1pm and the first round of lightning hit me and didn’t stop shooting out of my ass and vagina for the next 16 hours.  By 2pm I had demanded Chris get back to the hospital, and fast, as I was sure this was going to be quick and painful.  I am a moron.  I was only 2 cm dilated, at most.

By 4pm, I was positive I was going to die and could be found kneeling on my bed, face down in the propped up pillows in my bed.  I looked like I was either trying to do yoga or getting ready to take it and either way, I was sweating and realizing that I was nowhere close to where I needed to be to have this baby, though he was on his way.  There was no time to be terrified.  I had no energy to be terrified.  I could barely speak and I was probably only 2.5 cm dilated.

By 5pm I was agitated and could be found with my face pressed firmly against the concrete walls.  We had run out of the ice supply we had brought to the hospital and now all of my juice, water and ginger ale were warm and that was pissing me off more than the actual labor was for two seconds.  I thought I was going to pass out from overheating and the wall was the only cool place.  I couldn’t jam my whole body up against it, as my stomach was in the way, but pressing my face up did the trick for about 12 seconds.  The midwife was kindly rubbing a few pressure points and talking to me about the contractions but I had no energy to respond.  Back on the bed I went, where I spent the next 45 minutes rocking back and forth like an emotionally damaged twit, shaking my head around, moaning no no no no no and wishing someone would knock me out and wake me up when it was all over.  The pain was coming not so much in waves like everyone says, but more like a fucking tsunami.  A tsunami with lightning bolts ripping through my taint and a tornado trying to escape my uterus.  Sawing off everything below my hips with a butter knife might be much less painful, I reasoned, and I tried to think of other things less painful.  Paper cuts had dropped below labor but stubbing my toe and jamming my finger in the car door remained slightly above this.  I had to be realistic about my pain and my perspective about all this.

Just as I thought I couldn’t handle any more of this torture I signed myself up for, I felt a huge rushing sensation and, swoooooooooooooooosh.  My water broke.  I’ll have you know it’s not as theatrical as people make it out to be in stories or on tv.  How they act all, Ooops, how inconvenient and embarrassing, look at me in Target out shopping and I’ve wet myself.  I better get myself into the car and get to the hospital sometime in the next 5 hours, is beyond me.  My water breaking was the greatest and most welcomed release of pressure on earth.

and by pool flooding, i mean dam. my vagina dam flooded is much more accurate.

I am positive I let out a wail that rivaled that of a dying cow and the vision was that of when a plastic pool pops and water, people and toys flood the damned yard in a second.  The water seemed to keep coming and coming yet it must have been quicker than I had realized because before I could even take the time to try to smell if the water covering my velour pants smelled like vagina and death, the event was over.

Put me in the tub, I demanded, thinking it’d give me the same relaxed feeling it did in my last months of pregnancy when I was swollen, angry and ready to cut someone.  It didn’t.  What it did do is start the naked show I was about to give the entire labor floor and my mother.  After 30 more minutes, I wanted out of the tub and positioned myself back against the wall, face first, feeling my legs shake uncontrollably, like those of an athlete doing two a days in the middle of August sun, yet not as athletic and I was only wearing a shirt.

The noises I was making were beginning to sound animalistic.  I couldn’t keep up with the contractions and I could only say I don’t think I can do this, I don’t think I can do this, over and over again.   Encouraging or touching me was a no no and punishable by death at this point and so everyone in the room tried being as agreeable and hands off as possible for this stretch.

Do you want something for pain?  Just something little to help?asked the midwife, while she vigorously rubbed the pressure points in the bottom of my back.

Yes.  Now.  Please.  I felt relieved, knowing something, anything, was coming to help me.

After a few minutes she returned with two pills the size of tylenol, which actually turned out to be ibuprofen, and encouraged me to insert them up my behind.  I shook my head violently.  Not only would I not be doing that, I didn’t know how to insert pills up my ass and I was not in the mood for a tutorial, either.  My legs were barely holding up, though, and I was starting to half squat/half curtsey in the most awkward, half naked manner and so I gave the midwife the go ahead to do it for me.  So there I was, now standing over the toilet, hands firmly placed on the wall like a drunk in a urinal, shaking like a damned leaf from legs down, pantless, as I felt the midwife drop off two pills in my ass.  It was all a bit overwhelming and so just as the midwife said, keep in, keep in, I clenched my cheeks, turned my head, spit bile on the floor and jammed my face against the bathroom wall, cursing the Germans for their lack of ice and their preferred method of pill taking.

It was only 7 o’clock.  I was only on hour 6 of 16.  It was going to be a very long night.