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Protected: The Afterbirth

August 18, 2010

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Danny’s Birthday: 6/6/07 (notice significance of date, please)

August 2, 2010

Welcome back, guys. So nice to see you here. Guess you might be wondering if I actually gave birth to Danny or not. For all you know, George had to run a series of errands while I was in the active stages of labor, and I still haven’t gotten to the hospital yet. And yes, that was well over three years ago.

5:00 AM, on 6/6/2007

So I did the impossible that morning. I managed to get George up on time. It took a cattle prod and fifteen bags of ice from 7-11, but I did it. We’re on our way to St. Joseph’s Hospital and nothing will stop us from getting there. If a spaceship had landed on our car at the intersection, I would’ve shrugged, gotten out, and asked to hitch a ride.  They probably didn’t have any last-minute errands planned. Before we left, we took one last picture.

Would you fuck with that?


We arrive at the hospital.  George is still breathing and has most of his vital signs, so he obviously played it safe and drove straight there. I get out of the car, and reexamine my attire. My “E=MC Squared” Hammer shirt is stretching at the seams, and the black grease paint I’ve applied underneath my eyes has started to run.  It’s June in Tampa, so remember the temperature was equivalent to hell.  In summer.  During one of their heat waves. And like animals can sense a natural disaster, Danny was probably biting as his nails while hiding on the top of my uterus.

8:00 AM:

These labor and delivery people really have us pregnant women figured out. How’d they know that signing a tremendous stack of scary paperwork and marking my stomach with a huge black X would make me feel calmer?

During my pregnancy, I got asked a lot if I had a “birth plan”. I also got asked about my mucus plug and frantically searched my Target baby registry to make sure it wasn’t something I forgot to add.

So what do you think? Did I have a “birth plan”? Absolutely, and here’s what it was: PLeaseAdministerNarcotics.

So when they called me back to my very own labor and delivery room (which I don’t think I noticed, I would’ve given birth in the spaceship, waiting room, or the back alley behind the hospital kitchen) I kept saying things like, “Drugs. Drugs now. Gimme the drugs.” And “Drugs dru-drugs-dru-DRUGS” (in the tune of “Thong Song”). signing all the paperwork was just another barrier to me getting to the drugs, and the hospital administrator across the desk from us was probably a little put off when she asked me to “sign by the X” and I pricked my finger and wrote DRUGS in loopy cursive on her wall in blood.

Why so focused on the drugs, you ask? Let’s make a U-Turn and turn left back onto the road of bitterness. During vomitgate of 2006, I threw my back out while vomiting. When I called the nurse to ask her what I should do (this was after I army crawled to my cell phone since I couldn’t stand up) she said, “Alternate heat and ice. And you can take some Tylenol.” Ohhhhhh really? Can I now? Why hadn’t I thought of that? If I happen to chop my arm off and I call you, will you say, “Just put a band-aid on the stump?” I had to mentally talk myself down from calling her back and requesting she send Dorothy over with the oil can to squirt me a few times so I could walk back to the bathroom. Where’d I’d vomit again. And a biopsy without any good drugs is a great time, too. So , that’s why I wanted the drugs.  Any questions?

9:00 AM

Someone comes to my put IV in. Now we’re about to get this party started.

I’d never gotten an IV before, but I figured I would be totally fine with the whole thing since I’m not afraid of needles at all. I was all casual, like get that puppy in for the drrrruuuugs and then the the lady couldn’t get the fucking thing in. I still wince when I think of this portion of my labor and delivery experience. What was the worst part of it all? When Danny’s humongous head emerged from my body? When George was doing nothing but sitting in the corner rocking back and forth on a chair? Nope, not those parts. You know why? I was ALREADY DRUGGED.

But holy shit this IV hurt. I watched as she toggled the needle around in my hand and looked to George for comfort. He’d slowly started inching out of the door (on his way to the hospital cafeteria, I’m sure) thinking I wouldn’t notice. If this IV wasn’t going to be a pipeline to some good drugs, I would’ve put a stop to the whole thing and dramatically pulled that shit out of my arm like I was an accused but not-guilty fugitive waking up in the hospital in a suspense movie ready to break free out the window.


The IV is in, and the pitocin is a drippin’. One of the nurses mentions casually that I’d been having contractions from the second she strapped the contraction measuring doppler thing on my stomach. I remember thinking, those were contractions? Pshhhh, these are notttthing. And after that IV experience, do you think I wanted to fuck around with other needles? Not especially.


A random lady doctor I’d never seen before comes in and tells me she’s going to break my water (or “puncture my membranes” if you’re an intellectual). I’d already done some Googling, so I knew a little of what to expect. I was a little disheartened when she unwrapped this long thing that looked like a couple of popsicle sticks glued together. That’s what you’re going to use to break my water? That? Couldn’t you have at least procured something a bit more elegant? If I’d already been on the good drugs, I would’ve wondered why Chester had been allowed in the hospital because awwwwww, look at that nice stick from outside he brought for me!!!!!

And I know that doctors and nurses do and see this shit everyday, but I’d never had anyone shove a wooden yardstick into my uterus. So can you be a little bit more professional than saying, “Spread your legs for me,” then jamming that stick in my person as if it was a puck on an air hockey table, lady? And it wasn’t just one jab. It was like four or five, and each jab more aggressive than the last. I started wondering if I knew this woman from somewhere, and if I’d killed a member of her family or something. I was also picturing Danny holed up in there, covering his face with his hands as if involved in a bear attack. I kept hearing my Mom say, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets their eye poked out.”

All of a sudden the doctor got a satisfied look on her face and said, “There we go. Done.” I think that exact second was when George stopped being able to stand up. His eyes turned to whirly black cartoon swirls and he collapsed in a chair, never to get up again.


With my water broken and the pitocin kicking in, my uterus occupant was closer and closer to making his debut. Dr. Minton, a guy who I’d seen the first time I started vomiting up my organs was going to be the one to delivery Danny. He came in and explained with my water broken, Danny wouldn’t have any other choice but to come out. I kept picturing him treading water in my womb, and gasping for air and flopping around  like a goldfish with gills.


My mother in law stops by, and wouldn’t you know that my contractions decided to get horrendous at that exact same time? My knuckles whitened around the rails of the hospital bed and I tried to form the word “Hello” in my mouth, but all that came out was a deep gutteral sound, about as close to a human growling as you could get.  She didn’t stay much longer.


Dr. Minton comes in and says, “You’re still pregnant?” Totally deadpan.  No smile, nothing.  At that second I decide that I love him.


If another person comes in here to check my progress, they will also have to check and see if there’s a space at the county jail because I’m about to kill a motherfucker. Although I appeared calm and collected on the outside, the inside of my head was sounding like those car alarms that go off right outside your window the second you fall asleep: “EEH EEH EHH. WHEE OHHH WHEE OHH WHEE OHH. WHOOOOOOO! WHOOOOO!”

I tried to stay cool, since I’d already made the decision that I wasn’t going to cry, scream at anyone, or choke George in the presence of others.  You know how you say that you shouldn’t fuck with the people delivering your food?  I rationalized the same should be done with those that deliver your child. I remember overhearing one of the nurses say to Dr. Minton, “She is so nice and relaxed.  Can she stay here forever,” to which I almost screamed, “BITCH I AM TRYING TO BE NICE TO YOU, SHUTYOURFUCKING MOUUUUUUTH (low growl).” I’d reasoned that the nicer I was to them, the more drugs they would give to me.  And I was about to need them.


What does a bad contraction feel like?  Well, so glad you asked.  Imagine someone slicing open your midsection Touristas style with a cake slicer from Publix.  Then imagine they rip out your uterus  like in Mortal Combat, wring it like a wet towel, throw it on the floor,  and then stomp on  it with their heel like it’s on fire.  That’s what a bad contraction feels like.


My evil planned worked.  Upon requesting the epidural, the nurse tells me the anesthesiologist was on their way, and fast.  Those minutes before the epidural were the most horrendous of my entire life.  They say that pitocin makes contractions worse, and I will certainly cosign on that.  I’d been to my happy place (Donnie Wahlberg and I alone in the first scene of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where the cast sees the candy trees and chocolate rivers and shit) and tried to breathe deeply like the nurse told me but this shit was getting too much.  Fuck it all, bring that huge needle in here.  Bring twenty for all I care…stop stomping on my utttterussssssssssss.


My epidural is kicking in.  I tell the nurse not to worry about George, who I tell her is “sleeping” in the corner.  I’ve wrapped a bedsheet around his neck to hide the strangle marks. My best friend in the history of friends Julie is there, and I’ve spared her life. She mumbles something about never having a baby ever and I sink deeply into a drugged coma. 


A nurse comes into check me again.  I didn’t give a shit at this point.  Want to stick a chainsaw up there?  Or maybe a lamppost?  Whatever.  Let me just push this epidural button again.  She asks me if I feel like I have to go to the bathroom, and even though I haven’t felt the lower half of my body now for over an hour, I realize I kind of do.  Actually, holy shit do I ever.  “You feel that pressure, she asks,” and I nod my head.  “He’s right there,” she says, and I wonder if Danny was already halfway out of my body.  I told her I didn’t hear any crying, and she told me I’d have to push.  Push?  I have to push?  What the fuck? I hear her tell George to get ready, and I poke him with a long stick (thanks, Chester!) like we’re on Weekend at Bernie’s.  “He’s just really tired,” I tell the nurse after I notice her checking him out, concerned.


All of a sudden, the room is wild with activity.  The nurses start pushing buttons on the wall, and shit comes flying and popping out of random crevices and corners.  Metal tables with scary looking instruments get wheeled around my bed, and Dr. Minton walk in the room.  “You ready to do this,” he asks, and I nod. He releases my IV so I can run up and down some steps like Rocky, and I come back and tell him to get started.  We fistbump.


I’m in the prime birthing position, and a nurse tells me to push.  Since I hadn’t gone to any birthing classes or learned pretty much anything while pregnant, I don’t know what the hell she means.  Do I push Dr. Minton? More drugs into my veins?  What do I push? 


I’ve figured out what she meant by pushing, and this is no fun.  Definitely not in my top ten list of fun things to do if you have some free time.  The whole time I’m pushing, I have the same expression on my face.  It’s my gameface, in case you were wondering.  Dr. Minton asks me if I was an athlete at some point in my life, and I nod between pushes.  He also asks me several times if I want to take a “breather” and I shake my head.  Someone has resuscitated George so he’s standing by the side of my bed, looking like a Wheeble Wobble about to fall down.  I keep asking him if he’s alright, like I’m seriously asking my husband, who has done nothing but sit down on a chair and eaten food from the cafeteria if he’s all right.  He tries to touch my arm during a push but I backhand him J-Woww style and I think he gets the message.  No one will break my concentration.  No one will fuck with the groove I have going on.  This is the most important athletic event of my life, and I don’t plan on anyone (Danny included) fucking it up.


A nurse asks me if I want a mirror to see what’s going on.  Does anyone say yes to this?  Like yes, let me voluntarily view my ten pound child exiting my body because I never want to sleep, eat, or have sex again. 


Dr. Minton (who was now my favorite person in the world, as he didn’t do stupid shit like yell or count while I was pushing, who just sat there and gave me reassuring looks when things got bad) calmly asked if I was ready to meet Danny.  “One more push,” he said.

So I pushed with the last ounce of strength I had left.  In that last push, I felt the moment wash over me, the ten horrible months of being pregnant paused in the air, and I remember thinking, finally, it’s finally time. My son is almost here. My son.  This is all over, I thought.  I felt relieved.  And in the same moment, I felt elated.  I felt calm.  All in one last push.

I hear Dr. Minton do a little satisfied chuckle, and I hear Danny start to cry.  He’s placed on my chest and Dr. Minton says, “Was everything worth it?”

I look down at Danny, all scrunch faced and old (Benjamin Button) looking, and I realize that I’ve started crying.  I nod to Dr. Minton one more time, and he smiles.

Yes, Dr. Minton, it was.

Part II of the birth story that somehow turned into me bitching about punctuatlity.

July 29, 2010

Wait, you came back? You’re still reading? What the hell is wrong with you?

But seriously, thank you all for coming back. I love that my last blog was perhaps “the best birth control ever” (thanks, Mr. Stapleton) and your support and feedback means a lot.

So where were we? Oh, right. The lady doctor whose name I can’t remember had just told me I’d have to wait two more days (two more years in miserable pregnant time) until they’d induce me. Forty-eight hours before beginning methods approved by those in the medical community to evict Danny.

That last sentence sounds kinda weird, huh? Well, you obviously weren’t there later on that night when over at my brother in law’s house I started staring at the trampoline in his backyard. I was doing Beautiful Mind equations in my head related to the force of gravity as it applied to my uterus and dividing Danny’s head volume by his height and other scholarly shit. Someone in the house noticed me staring and stood in front of me saying, “Kelly! Kelly! You OK?” and snapped their fingers. When they turned around and saw what I was staring at, they calmly walked over to the door leading out to the backyard to make sure it was locked. My brother in law probably called George and whispered about how I didn’t look “well” and something something something something and yo, she has crazy eyes right now, son.

The day before Danny was born, approx. 2 pm:

I’d made the decision the day before to permit myself one hour and one hour only to freak the fuck out. I went from re-folding onesies to crying like a hysterical person who is one second away from falling to their knees and screaming WHY GOD WHHHHHY???

It happened to occur to me in that hour that there were a few things I would never be doing again, including sleeping, reading books without pictures, or stumbling through the door at 3 am while fumbling with my keys drunk off tequila and ready to tube top wrestle or perform a comedic lap dance for anyone or anything that will sit still, including (but not limited to) a human or the cushion of my loveseat.

Honestly, I’d already had my fair share of acting belligerent and idiotic. Luckily that was before Facebook or YouTube. I was totally fine with being completely responsible for another person and actually looked forward to doing so. But really, no matter how “ready” you are, there’s still that tiny pocket of doubt that will whisper to you and say “You are totally and completely screwed right now. There’s no way you can take this back. This baby is about to come out, and it’s not going to be pretty. In fact, it will probably be disgusting and so amazingly painful that you may Rick James style slap the shit out of one or twenty people if they happen to breathe too loud or look at you funny.”

While you’re having this breakdown, you may also find yourself texting the person who sperminated you with things like “FUCK THIS!” and/or “IM NOT HAVING THIS BABY TOMORROW! THIS IS BULLSHIT” and my personal favorite: “YOU KNOW WHAT, WHY DON’T YOU JUST HAVE THIS BABY? YOU’RE ALL CALM, ALL RELAXED, ALL AT WORK AND SHIT!”

I’m generally not a fan of caps, but I promise you that George got about five hundred of those texts, all uppercase with filthy and grimy language that would make Jenna Jameson blush. In what was potentially his only moment of sanity during my pregnancy, he waited about an hour to call me back because he knew I’d either be dead or calmed down by that time. When I answered, he casually said, “What’s up? You alright?” like I hadn’t just texted him in Spanish, English, and random punctuational symbols that could’ve been morse code or braille.

There’s good things about knowing exactly what day you’ll give birth (like a pre-planned nervous breakdown), but there are also severe drawbacks. Of all the things I was worried about, being late to the hospital was at the tippity top of that list. If you’re wondering why, you obviously don’t know anyone Cuban George’s family.

And have I mentioned that George is a Cuban to the tenth degree? Cuban squared? This man feels it’s his personal obligation to his people to be late. And late to him is not late in normal people land. Late for white people most of us is about five or ten minutes. Multiply that timeframe until you’ve accumulated several hours, and you have George’s version of late. He thinks he has that deep movie theater preview guy’s voice always following him around going, “In the year of 2007, there was a man who had to be at work at 9 am,” as if his daily life is some big race against the clock.

Prime example: around the 6th month mark of my pregnancy, one of the random doctors told me there was a good chance I had cancer and that I needed a biopsy right this second, like yesterday actually. Because throwing up eighteen times a day, being forced to quit my job, and dealing with threat level red fuckery from George clearly wasn’t enough. Obviously.

I purposely scheduled my biopsy for the afternoon and deliberately lied and told George it was in the morning. He took the day off work. We got ready in a relaxed manner, he had his jeans shorts (yes child) shoes and glasses on. We were walking out the door with a good one hour cushion to spare when he a weird look on his face and said, “I have to run an errand really quick.”

I’d planned for this, so I had my car keys in my purse, MapQuest directions in my left hand, and with the middle finger on my right hand raised towards him I walked out of the apartment. Instructions like “you will not be permitted to drive yourself home after the procedure” meant nothing to me.

What was George’s “really quick” errand, you ask? A leisurely thirty minute drive against traffic in the exact opposite direction of the doctor’s office, and work related. Flashback to last post: how is this person still alive?

When he arrived at my procedure, I was already in the exam room. If you were paying attention to the last post, that meant George was approximately 16 hours late. He had to drop off a cell phone at another Cingular store, he told me when he walked in all sweaty and scared. Even Danny (in utero) was giving him the “shut the hell up” face with the neck slicing gesture and may have pushed a shovel out of my body for him to use.

It’s obvious that George and several members of his family find some sort of sick pleasure in throwing a random and unplanned event smack dab in the middle of another much more important event that requires punctuality. Have you ever been late to the airport and missed your flight? Maybe once or twice, right? With them, it’s every single time. Their mental dialogue is going, “wow, I’ve actually got about fifteen minutes to spare before the plane literally leaves the runway without me, so I should probably stop for gas and then get lost on purpose right after that”.

Or maybe your daughter in law is waiting for you to come over and watch her son for ten minutes so she can walk her two large dogs without having to put the baby in a harness:

because your son left on short notice for a work function two months after Danny was born. And let’s just say you told her you’d be there at 8 pm (after all, she does have to work the next morning) and at 11:30 she’s sitting on her couch with her two dogs staring at her like she’s a life sized Pupperoni with her face so red that it’s actually pulsating. And then go ahead and knock on the door, walk in casually and say, “We decided to stop for dinner.” No apologies, no reference to my smoking head, no concern over one of the dogs going to the bathroom in the middle of the living room.

You stopped for dinner? Oh, how wonderful. Remix that shit: “Stop for dinner, and stop for dinner, ohhhhh ohhhh.”

Whew, sorry about that. That got kinda weird for a second.

The Herreras and the Ortegas don’t have the ability or desire to be punctual. And here’s a little secret: they believe that if things get really ugly, there is always the option to time travel. Let’s all screw with Kelly and see just how late we can be before her head explodes, and if it does, that’s when we’ll time travel. But before we do that, let’s stop for dinner.