Around two a.m. I was rudely awoken from my nap. The epidural had done it’s job and Bex was ready to push. So I groggily stood up, stretched, and wondered if I had time to take a seventh inning piss. She wouldn’t mind right? Wrong. We were in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and it was time for Bex to hit a home run. Actually, it was time for her to hit our little baseball out of the park.
You might ask, ‘Why the baseball analogy?’. Well, that’s because all the nurses kept calling me Bex’s Birthing Coach.
It sounded so funny to me because I’ve coached before. Let me tell you something. In order to be an effective coach, you usually have to know a little bit about the sport you’re coaching, at least enough to be dangerous. I did not. To quote one of my least favorite films, “Miss Scarlet, I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies!”
Luckily, doctors and nurses would never give the incompetent buffoon any real responsibility. My job was simple; Hold my wife’s hand, tell her she’s doing great, remind her to breathe. The other part of my job was to pretend that I wasn’t horrified by how much blood I saw. Seriously, nobody warned me how much blood would come out of her.
So I look to the left and there’s my wife. I’m smiling and squeezing her hand.
“You’e doing great honey. Keep breathing, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Slower. Ok here comes another contraction.”
Then I look to my right. At the other end of my wife’s hospital gown, I see the nurse or the doctor, whoever is in the outfield position at the moment. She’s got her eye on the prize, watching every move going on down there.
Curious, I took a peek over the edge of the gown and immediately regretted it. My wife’s vagina had grown into Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. Every time she pushed, it opened a little more. And each time, a little more blood would trickle out. I bet Wes Craven didn’t use that much when he was filming “Scream”.
Since my job was keeping Bex calm, my lines were pretty limited to cheerleader banter or Yoga Instructor breathing tips. But there was a question on my lips that I couldn’t ask for fear of being kicked out of the delivery room. I think it’s safe to say it here though:
“Why the hell is there so much blood?!”
Yeah, that would have kept her calm.
Remember how Bex started pushing at two o’clock? Well she delivered the baby by two twenty. As previously mentioned in another article, my wife may secretly be Wonder Woman. If you need further proof of her badassery, I submit this to you. At one point the doctor asked if she needed a break to catch her breath. Bex gave her a funny look and said “What for?” Another push and the baby arrived. Bex didn’t just hit it out of the park, she hit a grand slam and won the world series.
When the doctor announced Luke’s arrival there were cheers all around the room. The nurses were congratulating us. My wife was squeezing my hand. Our hearts were filled with more love than I ever imagined to be possible. I couldn’t help feeling a surge of pride. We made him. (Technically my wife did most of the work but my five second contribution to this whole ordeal still counts for a lot.) This little guy with his thick head of hair, his mother’s lips, and his . . . blue skin.
There was something else that scared me too. After the cheers stopped, we didn’t hear a sound. Silence. I don’t hold a medical degree but I’ve seen enough movies to know that the baby should be crying when they come out. Our baby wasn’t making a sound.
A phone call was made. The doctor handed me scissors while the nurse slapped our son onto Bex’s chest, and I cut the cord. The nurse immediately pulled him away from Becca and a second doctor arrived and told me to follow her to the NICU.
The last thing I saw when I turned back to say goodbye was a nurse gently pressing on Bex’s belly. When she did, blood came cascading out of Bex, onto the bed, and spilled onto the floor. Bloody, bloody, Niagara Falls.