Why IS it that...I didn't just hire a surrogate?

Shana McLean Moore

In this age of convenience, why on earth do most women bother to bear their own children? My theory is that the horrors of childbirth are purposely hidden from us girls until we have already gotten ourselves in that age old "predicament."

It is undeniably fun to conceive a baby and, for the most part, the little ones are little bundles of joy in the outside world, but can't we avoid the ugliness in the middle? After all, we aspire to hire out all of life's other pesky chores. But, hands down, when pondering the parts I haven't repressed, the birthing process outranks cleaning the toilet and grocery shopping in the company of two small children on my list of things I don't want to be an expert about.

And I was as prepared as any Girl Scout worth her badges! I attended class, had my bag packed a month in advance and had the baby's room ready to go. Then I waited...and ended up begging to have the creature removed from my being.

When my husband and I finally checked into our luxury suite at the hospital, we frolicked about taking final pictures of me in my Hee-Haw overalls. Then, sometime during twenty-three hours of nothing but poking and medicating, it ceased to be fun.

The doctor suggested a C-section and attempted to refresh my memory as to what the procedure entailed - to very little avail. What I did remember from Lamaze class was that women seem to lose all composure when push comes to push harder. I aspired to do better...with a little help from vanity and a whole bunch of drugs. The determination to avoid being one of those wailing psychos was replaced by big-eyed fear as I was wheeled off to a sterile room where far too many people in masks scurried about. The dignity I was striving for became impossible as my arms started flapping involuntarily like a startled chicken while I was informing the anesthesiologist that he was my very best friend.

I certainly wasn't feeling that kind of bond with my husband and my mother who had just eaten a chocolate bar in my presence, which resulted in a scene right out of "The Exorcist.".Well, to be perfectly honest, my head didn't spin around, but the projectile aspect was very similar.

Several hours after my less than speedy delivery, the baby and I struggled through the first feeding. Ahhh, at last it was time for a little shut-eye. But within minutes, the gruffest nurse you can imagine walked in and stated with great authority that it was time for me to stand up. Yes, you heard me, stand up. I had not slept nor eaten in over thirty hours, a squirming, squealing little creature had just sucked my boobs for the first time, and every layer of my abdominal wall had been cut...yet I needed to stand up right then.

It was then that I decided that the videos presented at childbirth class had actually been censored for the sake of our species. The truth would only lead to out extinction! But, between you and me, the psycho wailers whom I mocked for their lack of restraint were refined enough for an invitation to the palace when compared to me, the prehistoric roarer whose anguish echoed throughout the sixth floor.

But now that the physical wounds have healed, I realize that my initiation into motherhood was sadly fitting. While my wedding day was spent bidding adieu to single life by sipping champagne, eating fine food and dancing with abandon, this next rite of passage proved itself far less romantic...unless, of course, there can possibly be a happy ending to something that began with bile, blood, and a beast-like bellow.

© Shana McLean Moore

Shana's column "Why IS that...?" is chock full of caffeinated ponderings on many of life's unexplainables. To see more, please visit her web site www.whyisitthat.net or contact her at shana@whyisitthat.net.

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