To the pain: Birthing Lucas, 1

Prince Humperdinck: First things first, to the death.
Westley: No. To the pain.
Prince Humperdinck: I don’t think I’m quite familiar with that phrase.
Westley: I’ll explain and I’ll use small words so that you’ll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon.
Prince Humperdinck: That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me.
Westley: It won’t be the last. To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose.
Prince Humperdinck: And then my tongue I suppose, I killed you too quickly the last time. A mistake I don’t mean to duplicate tonight.
Westley: I wasn’t finished. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right.
Prince Humperdinck: And then my ears, I understand let’s get on with it.
Westley: WRONG. Your ears you keep and I’ll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what “to the pain means.” It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.

Princess Bride

I don’t know when I started thinking of that line from Princess Bride, but I do remember thinking that extended periods of pain inflict greater suffering than death. And what pain did I endure.

On December 1, Thursday, we drove to the hospital for a regular checkup. We were supposed to see our OB on November 29, “if you haven’t given birth yet,” she said, but Oneal had work appointments that he couldn’t reschedule.

I remember I’d had a sleepless night. I couldn’t get comfortable, and our cat Sweetheart was in heat, so she was yowling all night. In the morning, I woke, hungry and tired, and we got ready to go to the hospital. Over breakfast, I felt some cramps.

“Let’s bring the hospital bag and car seat,” I told Oneal. My due date was only three days away, after all. It could happen anytime. So Oneal put the hospital bag in the back of the car, and secured the car seat.

“You want to sit in the back?” he teased. “You’ll be sitting there for the next two years, might as well get used to it.” So I sat in the back, drifting off to sleep as we drove to the hospital. My cramps kept me from falling into a deep sleep, though.

When we arrived at St. Luke’s at around 11am, Oneal dropped me off. I’d wanted to buy a gift for Dr. Nikko, the kind urologist whose recommendations helped us get pregnant. It was a Thursday, so I knew he would be in his clinic. But as a pregnant woman who’d been stuck in traffic for over an hour, I desperately needed to go to the bathroom first.

That’s when I noticed the bloody discharge. “Oh, I guess that’s bloody show,” I said to myself. I didn’t feel any pain or anything, so I just shrugged, resolving to text my OB about it.

I walked to Bizu and bought some truffles for the good doctor. Dr. Jayjay’s assistant said clinic hours were moved to 1pm, so Oneal and I decided to have lunch first. Over lunch, I told Oneal about the cramps and the bloody show. “Oh! So what does that mean?” he asked.

“Early labor, I guess?” I said between bites. We Googled, checked the pregnancy apps. We weren’t terribly worried.

We went up to Dr. Nikko’s clinic. He was still in surgery, so we left the gift with his assistant.

We went to Dr. Jayjay’s clinic. Her assistant weighed me as usual–I was at 72.2 kilograms–and I sat down to wait. Oneal left to take a phone call. That’s when I remembered to text Dr. Jayjay about the cramps and the bloody show. I figured she would do an internal exam when she arrived. Instead, she told me to go to the OB complex on the third floor!

I couldn’t find Oneal when I got those instructions, but Dr. Jayjay’s husband, Doc Greg arrived, and he escorted me to the OB complex. Oneal soon followed, and the nurses took me in for fetal monitoring. The cramps continued, but other than that, I felt fine. I was a little confused, actually. Was this it?

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