I’m a young, first time mom, heavily pregnant with triplets. I arrive at the hospital in early labor, deposit my husband in the waiting room, and am shaved, given an enema, and catheterized before any medication is administered. Once the meds start to take effect, my legs are strapped into stirrups and my arms tied to the side of the bed. For the next twenty hours, I writhe and scream in agony as the contractions get increasingly stronger. It feels like by body is being ripped apart but I’m too out of it to remember my own name, much less than I’m pregnant and in labor. The nurses mostly ignore my crying and moaning, casually chatting about their weekend plans as they make sure my restraints are still in place despite my desperate bucking.
It felt like he was watching a movie as he saw the doctor cleaning out his son’s mouth and nose. Jason beamed as their little boy, Jackson was almost certainly going to be his name, was nestled into his arms by a grinning nurse. Distantly, he wanted to hold him too but the mere seconds of relief following his exit had disappeared and the pain was back with a frightening intensity.