My labor with Abby started with a bang. Literally, my water broke with a bang as I was putting Buzz to bed. Almost immediately, the contractions were strong and intense. There was no mistaking these for the Braxton Hicks that had been a nuisance for many weeks prior. My parents were sleeping when I called and it took them an hour to arrive to stay with the boys overnight. The longest hour of my life.
The contractions were so intense that I didn’t have the motivation for much of anything aside from hoping my daughter didn’t come out there in my living room. Home births are fine if you’re prepared. I was not. I wanted the hospital and it’s sterile environment and drugs. My god, I had my fill of natural childbirth with Buzz. Give me the drugs.
That being said, I didn’t bother to prepare myself for engaging the public. I didn’t shower, I didn’t brush my hair, I didn’t brush my teeth. I was a walking poster child of bad hygiene.
We made it to the hospital with not much time to spare. I was wheeled to my delivery room, an IV administered in the hopes of an epidural. That epidural never materialized as my daughter wanted out RIGHT. NOW. However, the doctor was busy delivering another baby. I didn’t care, I wanted to push. I needed to push. No one was going to stop me from pushing. The brave nurse realized this and told me to breathe through the urge. “Blow deep breaths in my face”, she instructed, her face now mere inches in front of mine.
But my teeth! I hadn’t brushed my teeth! Oh God, how horrible is my breath?! At least give me a mint first!
This is my most vivid memory of Abby’s birth. Not the sound of her first cry, or the feel of her small hand wrapped around my finger. Not even the pain I had to go through to get to her. It’s the paranoid fear of knocking this lovely nurse out with my atrocious breath.
Let this be a lesson to you this Halloween season, as you’re chewing on piece after piece of cavity-forming candy: always, no matter the circumstances, always brush your teeth.