February 14, 2018
Birthday texts between my thirteen-year-old daughter, Lucy, and myself, yesterday at 2:03pm, Vegas time:
Lucy: What time was I born?
Me: 4:49pm (New York City time)
Me: Just a few minutes ago!
Me: Happy birthday little newborn!
Me: Right about now, 13 years ago, a purple placenta was oozing, like a dead squid, out of my vagina. Much to your dad’s chagrin, the nurse left it in a pan, on a tray table, in the hospital room, so he and all our visitors could witness the magical after-birth awesomesness.
Me: And what a birth it was! Long, like 37 hours long, which is loooooooong for my vagina to be working that hard (usually it prefers leisure and bubble baths and long walks on the beach) and 3 hours of pushing because you got stuck in my pelvis and came out facing the wrong way. Afterwards, I was unable to walk or use my legs, because drugs. (Or I might’ve removed the placenta from the room!) But you were the cutest thing your dad and I had ever seen. You and your big conehead, and poop all over you, and big fat red mark across one side of your face.
Remember when I told you your dad came to my bedside and told me, solemnly, very sadly, that our baby had a facial disfigurement, and I fell in love with him all over again when he said, “…but we’ll love her anyway. ” And we decided to spend our lives making sure you loved yourself and your beautiful damaged face…And then remember the red mark went away 20 minutes later and we felt like complete assholes?
Lucy: Birth Amateurs.
Me: Birth Amateurs! And it didn’t help I was hopped up on hormones. I didn’t so much as love you, those first minutes, as I felt this mother lioness need to protect you. It was pure animal. Your poor Aunt Martha picked you up and was loving on you and all I wanted to do was flop out of the hopital bed with my sad, useless seal legs and scream at her: “PUT MY BABY DOWN BEFORE I RIP YOU TO LITTLE TINY BLOODY PIECES.” I didn’t though. I love Aunt Martha.
It was a deeply evolutionary experience.
Lucy: Kay, Mom. Thanks.
Me: Your Uncle Jamie was the first person to come see you, and there is this photo I have of Uncle Jamie looking down at you, lovingly, and your dad right next to him, arm around his shoulder, looking down at you lovingly too. It’s so beautiful…
Like daddy and Uncle Jamie were your gay dads and I was merely the birth canal to their dreams. They sent that photo to everyone.
Me: Also, when you were born there were no iphones or instagram or snapchat. Daddy had a blackberry. I had a flip phone. I think Jamie and Daddy faxed that photo to people. There was a lot of faxing in 2005.
Me: You are OLD, kid.
Me: Oh! Back to gross birth stories!….Did I mention one of the doctors came in and looked at my lady parts, and made this “ooof!” noise and winced. He actually winced. You don’t want any man to look at your lady parts and wince. My lady parts looked like baboon genitals when the baboons are in heat.
You should google that.
Lucy: Ew. I just did.
Me: That was all your fault. Mommy had to sit on an inflatable ring and use special antiseptic spray down there. We call that the “hoo-ha spray” for good reason.
Lucy: That’s the spray you use on us when we get a cut?
Me: Good stuff, right?
Me: When it was time to take you home, they handed you to us, and I kept thinking aren’t you going to give us a kit, or a swag bag, or something, so we’ll know what to do with you when we get home? But nothing. Just an ugly baby blanket, 4 cans of hoo-ha and an inflatable butt ring. I thought they were nuts for letting us take you home because we didn’t have a clue what we were doing.
Daddy only let you roll off the bed once though, so that was good.
Me: I would give you your hospital birth blanket as a momento, but when the cat died, and we found her in rigomortis in the hall closet, daddy wrapped her in your birth blanket. We don’t have the blanket anymore. Dad isn’t super sentimental.
Me: Although we kept you fed and kinda clean, we had little to do with your awesomeness. You were that from the get-go. We love you so much, Luigi. Do you remember I used to call you Luigi? Better than Lucifer. I called you Lucifer in the supermarket once and got a nasty look from a lady in check-out. I stopped calling you that.
Me: Lucy, my first, the one who made us a family, my bae, you were worth every minute of the agony required to birth you into this world. And to be clear, that was 2, 2220 minutes of unforgettable agony and baboon labia.
Still worth it.