I'm almost certain I walked into the hospital backward, bent over and pointing at my spine when I went into labor with my Lila, groaning, moaning and maybe yelling a little bit about how the only person I wanted to speak to was the anesthesiologist. He, after all, was the one with the needle filled with the magic juice the stuff that would at least temporarily put an end to the wrenching pain that was squeezing every ounce of lifeblood out of my baby-filled gut. ˜Nuff respect to the mothers who, for whatever reason, go the natural route and bear the excruciating pain that comes with pushing a big-headed human being out of their loins. When it comes to childbirth, some mothers are heroic like that.
I ain't one of them.
Though my labor with my first daughter, Mari, was rather reasonable considering she was my first birth two hours and twenty-one minutes of labor, including 20 minutes of pushing, and she was getting her nose cleared and her booty smacked I remembered every little teeny weeny second of searing throbbing push pull stretch and tug that came with getting that child out of me. And that was with an epidural. I did not want a repeat of any of that business, no ma'am. So with Lila, I asked quick, fast and in a hurry for drugs. Lots of them.
The epidural was no match for my Lila, though; her heart rate was a little too low for the nurse's comfort, and so I was forced to lay on one side, with all manner of IV's, straps and monitors attached to my body while I waited a whopping 17 hours for my baby to get on with it. Lila made her move only after Nurse Ratched changed shifts and I was able to sneak onto my other side; three pushes and a massive perineal tear later, the kid was hollering and screaming and looking for some ninny.
Any woman who's ever given birth knows that labor ain't for wimps, punks or sissies. And every mother knows, too, that the real labor comes not in becoming a mom, but being one.
And so as the nation celebrates America’s labor force, today I’m saluting the busiest laborers of all moms.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.