The Oompa Loompa Suit
I have been told that when you give birth naturally, no c-section, you don't have to wear the oompa loompa suit. I have been told that the magic of childbirth is all rainbows and unicorns. That it is a beautiful thing, an act of creation. I'm pretty sure that is bullshit because after going through three births, none of it contains the beauty that some people like for us to believe. Those people are either lying through their teeth or are hitting some pretty hardcore mushrooms. I want mushrooms. I have never tried them but perhaps it would make child birth a beautiful thing.
In reality though, child birth is hardcore. It's blood, screaming and bodily fluids. It's a pain contest with the grand prize of more pain. Don't get me wrong, I understand that giving birth to a child is indeed a miracle, the creation of life and the very act itself showing the resiliency of the human body, all miraculous. But it's dirty and it hurts. Perhaps seeing 3 c-sections has skewed my view and I fully accept that criticism. Every time I've done it I've been advised to "not look over the curtain" and every time I have. I can't help myself, I do want to see the miracle, I want to see my child come into this world, welcome them with a triumphant yell. I do not however want to see my wife cut up with her placenta being inspected like a piece of steak at the market.
And the only thing protecting Dad is an oompa loompa suit that I have currently ripped because I am fat.
It's a suit that I imagine painters wear. A one piece majesty of paper construction with a zipper in the middle. I find that I get a nice case of moose knuckle when I've worn it, something for the nurses to stare at and get destructed. Yes, that is my package ladies, that is what has caused all this gore and mess. I can't imagine the man who can actually fit in this thing nor can I understand the designers who said "Let's make it out of paper!" Someone is having a good laugh.
But it's the only thing I got and right now it's a good distraction for what I'm about to walk into.
I should be good at this but I'm not. I'm never good at seeing my wife in pain. Her labor started on a Friday night and went for a good 2 hours before she finally got a spinal block and went into the operating room. For those two hours she screamed and yelled. She squeezed my hand harder than I thought she could. It's rare that my wife can cause me any physical pain but by the end of it I was asking for some Oxycontin and an x-ray.
People may also say that Dad's role is important, that we are there for emotional support, solidarity for team birth. I again call bullshit. I feel completely useless when we go into labor. I am the guy in the corner. I am the guy that is pacing back and forth. I am the guy that is full with worry because there is absolutely nothing I can do to ease my wife's suffering. I want to punch someone. I want to find the cause of her pain and show them real pain. I want to put someone in a headlock and hammer away like I'm Nolan Ryan wailing on Robin Ventura.
But the only guy to hit is me, it's my fault, I have done this and I have done this out of love. If I had any sense I would be the guy sitting in the corner punching my own junk repeatedly while singing ballads of love for my wife. That's about the best you can do as a father in this situation.
That and gladly take any abuse that your wife throws out at you. Halfway through Hossmom yelled "Give me your fucking hand!" My had was right there, it was always there, never more than an inch from her own. But in her pain she couldn't find it and it was my fault. I completely accept this and I have no complaint because she is right, this is all my fault. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do is watch my wife in so much pain and not be able to do anything about it. There is no one to threaten, no one to intimidate, no one to put the hurt on. There is only the oompa loompa suit that you wear in the shame that you deserve.
My suit ripped at the crotch and the zipper is busted. I can imagine it's from my impressive muscular frame and I'm going with that image because I have a very misguided high opinion of myself. Once the bottom of the zipper busted the top decided that it didn't need to strain anymore either. So it busted.
Now I have something external to focus on, something to attack, a problem that needs to be solved. I am going into that operating room regardless, I would like to see anyone stop me. I am a father, I will be there for the birth of my child. I am Conan, I am the creator, I am the unmovable object. I stride forward three steps before I am stopped by 5 foot nurse.
She commands me with the ease of a woman who has authority and has done this a million times. She sees my false sense of myself, understands that it's the only emotion that I can latch onto while my wife is in pain. She tells me that I can't go in with a ripped suit. Suddenly I can't move and I don't know why. All my strength leaves me. My wife is in there. My child. I am made helpless with worry. I realize that I am wearing a child sized suit because I have the emotional control at the moment of a child. I accept it very quickly. I'm scared and I'm helpless and I don't like it. I am rarely scared for myself, it's for my family and my inability to help them that terrifies me.
Quickly and like magic she pulls out the man sized suit that she has had hidden in some other dimension. She puts it on me with the practiced skill of a thousand dressings. She ties me up and sends me into the delivery room.
There is my wife, no longer screaming. She is smiling, she is crying. I smile although she can't see it through my mask. I am relieved that I am with her. She is my world, without her I am nothing. We talk. I try not to look over the curtain where my child will soon be coming. I am trying to reassure her, I am making corny jokes to ease the pressure on both of us. I tell her I ripped my suit, that it was made for a dog sized duck, not a tough man like me. She smiles.
At 1:44 am, we both hear a cry, a yell of triumph from my child. The nurses poke a head over the curtain, we both look up. We both see my son.
Covered in white chalky goop he is there. He is yelling, he is announcing his self to the is world. And as tough as I think I am, as I pretend to be, I lose it. I try to hold the tears but they will not be held back. I tell Hossmom again that my suit is ripped. He is healthy, he is gorgeous, he is mine.
The act of childbirth is hard. It's bloody and it's messy. A child is taken and introduced to a world that for all he knows is cold and hard. And for the most part, I am inclined to agree with him. But then you see your son for the first time, you hold him, you look at your wife that showed you what true strength is. And you realize that the act of child birth may contain no beauty, that the coldness of the world is immediate. But it's a family's love that covers it with warmth, immediate and unconditionally. That is the beauty of it.
I now know people will want to know what we named our son, the conqueror of the uterus. We didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl. It was a mystery to us until the moment of birth. Hossmom had been reluctant to pick a boys name. About 5 seconds before he was born, I asked my wife if perhaps we should go ahead and pick out a boys name, just in case. She actually agreed. Maybe it was the drugs. So we did, we named our son 5 seconds before he was born.
As you can imagine, he will be a part of this blog which has turned out over the last 6 years to be a family diary. I am pleased to introduce everyone to Bacon Hoss. May he cause me many gray hairs and be a constant reminder to me about where my strength comes from. It comes from them and it always has. Hossom, Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss and Bacon Hoss. Daddy loves you all more than I'll ever be able to say.
Posted by Team Hossman