birth anger

jared kind of pissed me off last night. ramona was in bed & jared & i were sitting on the couch, reading. i am reading a memoir called “ready for air,” by a woman named kate hopper. it’s the story of how she gave birth at 32 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia & had to contend with having a premature infant in the NICU for an extended stay. sound like anyone you know?

so i was comparing & contrasting our experiences & i read about how her husband wasn’t permitted in the operating room while she was given the epidural before her cesarean. i couldn’t remember if jared was in the operating room for that part or not so i asked him. he was like, “yes, of course i was there,” & then i remembered how the nurses made me sit up & lean on jared’s shoulder so the anesthesiologist could get a clear shot at my spine. i was like, “oh yeah, i was leaning on you,” & he said, “yeah, & then you threw up, which was disgusting.”

“what?” i said. i mean, i remember throwing up. it’s like all i did for maybe ten hours or so. i don’t know if it was a reaction to the induction or the magnesium or what, but i threw up A LOT on ramona’s birthday. & i do clearly remember throwing up on the operating table & being vaguely upset that no one wiped it off my face until i asked. shouldn’t someone have been on puke-face duty? jared, at least? he should have been looking at me, not over the curtain, right?

he was like, “yeah, you threw up a lot. it was gross.”

“all right,” i said, “i guess you can have the next baby & show me how it’s done.”

“i’m just saying,” he said.

“& i’m just saying that probably all of that vomiting was more upsetting for me than for you so maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself.”

“i don’t think you cared that much. you were on a lot of drugs,” he said.

“look, there is a moratorium on making fun of someone for the way they give birth, okay? especially when they gave birth to YOUR baby. under pretty traumatic circumstances.”

“so you’re saying that there are limits to how much we can make fun of each other in this relationship?” he said.

“YES. i am not okay with you making fun of me for anything about ramona’s birth. ever.”

it really made me angry that i had to spell that out for him! i know we have this buddy-buddy kind of relationship where we tease each other a lot & everything, but you’d think that a dude could see that the whole pre-eclampsia/bed rest/magnesium drip/failed induction/emergency surgery/NICU thing was not going to be mined for our usual brand of humor.

not that this is necessarily news, but i still have a lot of Feels about ramona’s birth. even though she will be a year old in just a couple of weeks. i still get mad when people are like 37 weeks pregnant & they’re like, “wah wah, i am so uncomfortable, sucks to be me.” maybe, but at least you’ll probably get to avoid seeing your four-pound infant with a breathing tube down its throat, so shut up. i have a lot of crunchy birth-y facebook friends, which i usually enjoy, but one of them posted a link to some photography project that features new moms & their day-old infants. almost all of them (maybe all of them? i confess i couldn’t stand to go through all the photos) feature healthy babies without any tubes taped to their faces. a lot of the photos were moms & babies at home, either because they gave birth at home or were sprung from their places of birthing within a day.

want to see me & ramona a day after her birth? here you go:


that’s not a pacifier in her mouth. it’s an oxygen mask. she’s not wearing clothes because she was being fed through a central line in her belly button. i too am on oxygen & sitting in a wheelchair. what a lovely time for all of us.

i guess someday i will probably stop being angry about this whole thing. i’m just not there yet. & i guess i’m probably thinking about it more than usual because ramona’s birthday is coming up. i just consulted my diary from a year ago: i had a biophysical profile, which ramona passed with flying colors, & my pre-eclampsia symptoms were well-controlled. i was in complete denial about the possibility that i’d be having a baby in just sixteen days.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “birth anger

  1. I’m sorry you had to go through all that. I don’t think it’s comprehensible to anyone who hasn’t dealt with the trials of childbirth complications. I’m really glad you guys made it out safe and healthy and I’m constantly psyched about the rad little person you made.

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