*Special Mother's Day Edition of What?! by EH
At 28 years old I had a 3-year-old son, survived a divorce, fell in love with someone I adored, and was suddenly having a 2nd son (he took 9 months like all babies, but I found out 5 1/2 months in). My OBGYN was an excellent physician and, with so little time to prepare, the only doctor I trusted to deliver this baby. He was going out of town the weekend I was due, so we scheduled a time for me to be induced for Friday before he left.
We were excited that morning. Durning the initial check-in process my doctor asked me a bunch of questions, one of which was "Can I have one of my medical school interns observe this birth?" "Sure," I said without hesitation. Collin raised his eyebrows and looked at me like I'd lost my mind. When we were alone for a moment I said "What? It's fine. It's probably some nerdy Mormon kid who's never seen a vagina in real life." He shrugged and seemed reassured even as my inner voice was screaming, "What the FUCK?"
You see, I have body issues, okay. A shyness, if you will. This is huge progress coming from a life of being shamed for being a girl. Not just in my home, (I was born into a family of boys) but my family religion, too. Cover up every spare inch - if burkas had been available I'm sure my mom would've stuck me in one.
At church, we were taught at a fundamental level that Eve was completely responsible for the fall of man. She was "tempted" (more like pressured) by a "snake" (would that be the trouser variety) into "partaking of the fruit" from the "tree" (that's a stretch) of "knowledge" (yes, the knowledge that she'd traded paradise for 30 seconds of whatever he calls it).
So although I disagree with being punished for the veiled accusation that all women are sluts, I was indeed punished. Because of this, I was always under the impression something must be terribly wrong with me. That idea has never completely left. I still wear a cover over my swimsuit, which is why Collin couldn't believe I'd let a complete stranger witness me in my most vulnerable state.
The first hour of labor was excruciating. The nurse was tired of hearing me complain, so she gave me a sedative that shut me up but didn't make the pain go away. At one hour exactly it was epidural time. Once the medicine hit my system, I relaxed completely. Relaxing caused my body to decide to have the baby, right that second. Machines and hospital staff flooded into the room.
My nurse went and got my doctor. He took his place front and center. Then looking around over everyone's heads he spotted someone and beckoned them to join him. The nurses parted and up walks a young man perhaps 21-22 years old, 6 feet tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, and as handsome as a young Collin. He smiled shyly at me and I am sure I flushed crimson. I was horrified. It only took seconds for me to realize I'm splayed open and having a baby with the last kind of audience I would want. I looked up at Collin and he was annoyed. My face tried to apologize but neither of us said anything.
The pushing was quick. While my son was being measured and weighted by Collin and the nurses, my doctor offered the intern the opportunity to stitch up my episiotomy.
He grinned and accepted the needle. I inwardly grimaced. He is totally inexperienced and now he holds the fate of my vagina in his hands. It would be months later that I would fully understand the weight of that choice.
Happy Mother's Day from me and my perfectly reconstructed vagina!
p.s. Thank you, unknown intern!!