The idea of sitting down in the normal position seemed terribly uncomfortable to me. It was something about the pressure I would experience and the inability I’d have to gyrate my pelvis. Therefore, I thought I would ride in the far back of our Subaru wagon, draping myself over our suitcase and a pillow.
I am sure we hit every pothole possible as we headed out of our neighborhood. This was not due to Chris’s driving; the Vermont roads were in awful condition because our harsh winter had torn them up. The bumpy ride was beginning to make me feel sick and unsafe. Hoping I could find comfort in this trying position, I asked Chris to play my preselected relaxation music. For some reason, he refused, claiming I wouldn’t hear it all the way in the back anyway. I believe I said, “Play my fucking relaxation music or I’m smashing the back window and jumping out.” He promptly played my requested CD, and I resumed my deep-breathing exercises.
Unfortunately, I still could not find solace, and I started to question my own safety, so, pregnant belly and all, I climbed from the back of the car into the backseat. The baby’s bulky car seat presented an obstacle, but I still managed to tumble into the space available. Forced to sit still, unable to rely on movement to make it through my contractions, I had to find a new way to channel my discomfort. That is when I began to moo. When a contraction began, I inhaled and bellowed a deep, vibrating moooooooooooo, releasing every bit of tension possible. Between the mooing, I tried to eat LUNA Bars and sip cranberry juice. But the contractions were coming on quickly, interrupting my snacking midchew, compelling me to spit out my partially chewed food. I could hear the advice of the midwives: “You need to eat and drink throughout labor to remain strong. Labor is a lot of physical work, and you need consistent fluid and calories for energy. It’s like a marathon.” Having run two marathons, I knew the importance of fluid intake and mineral upkeep, so when a contraction subsided, I would find the rejected, partially masticated LUNA Bar and shove it into my mouth.
Halfway to our destination, it dawned on me that I would have more room in the front seat. Once again I hauled my enormous self up and over, plopping face-first into the passenger seat. I squirmed and wiggled into a normal seated position and began watching the clock. I noticed that some of my contractions were fewer than three minutes apart and some were blending right into each other. I was glad we were almost at the hospital. The moments between the contractions were still quite comfortable, but the contractions were definitely intense sensations that required every bit of my physical and mental focus. I wouldn’t describe the feeling as pain, but I certainly wouldn’t call it comfortable either. In this state of temporary agony, I said, “I don’t see how any woman could have postpartum depression, because never feeling this way again is enough to make me happy for the rest of my life.” This comment was an eerie foreshadowing of my days to come, but in the excitement of our car ride, in the brilliantly bright sunshine of the crystal-clear day and the promise of a new life, I was blind to the dark and foggy days that awaited me.
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