Monday, 10:00 PM
"Did you hear that?"



"What that?"



"That popping sound."

"What popping sound?"

"You didn't hear that pop?"

"What pop?"

"That pop! I felt it in the back of my mouth."

"I didn't hear any pop."

Monday, 10:02 PM
My water gushes all over the hospital bed.

Monday, 10:03 PM
"Oh. THAT pop."

Monday, 10:04 PM
I run to the bathroom so that the mustacheless nurse can clean up the bed. While I am in the bathroom I have my first contraction post-water breaking and it is curiously unlike all the pre-water breaking contractions. And when I say "curiously unlike" I mean REALLY FUCKING AWFUL.

Monday, 10:06 PM
I return to the hospital bed and I tell Jon that the pain is getting a lot worse. In the middle of my sentence another contraction hits and I almost bite my tongue off.

Monday, 10:15 PM
THIS IS AWFUL. Contractions that were three minutes apart and lasting only 60 seconds are all of a sudden 10 seconds apart and lasting 90 seconds. The nurse realizes that the combination of the pitocin and my water breaking has thrown my body into a transitional state – what is supposed to happen when I'm dilated between eight and ten centimeters – even though I'm only dilated to a six. I start to shake violently and I've got the chills. I can barely see straight. The nurse turns the pitocin off.

And there's Janet Jackson's nipple, my constant companion.

Monday, 10:25 PM
I am on the verge of vomiting all over the bed. The pain can't possibly get worse than this. During one of the 10 second breaks I ask the women in the room, "Does it get worse than this?" They all look at each other silently. No one will answer me.

It's going to get worse? It can't possibly get worse. Worse than this is dead. There can't possibly be a worse pain in the world. It feels like someone is trying to twist the top half of my body off my lower half, like I'm a plastic Coke bottle.

Monday, 10:30 PM
I'm going to die. This is going to kill me. Jon is trying to help me breathe, but my body's pain coping mechanism is forcing me to hold my breath. I'm only getting 10 seconds of a break between contractions and I'm not getting enough air.


Monday, 10:35 PM
I'm officially writhing. There is actual writhing going on. Unabashed writhing.

Monday, 10:40 PM
Jon is forcing me to look into his eyes and breathe:

Hew, hew, hew, hew heeeeeeeee.
Hew, hew, hew, hew heeeeeeeee.
Hew, hew, hew, hew

Monday, 10:45 PM
The anesthesiologist shows up. Now that's service!

Somehow in my awful, writhing state I notice that he is wall-eyed. His left eye is looking at Jon, his right eye is looking at me. It only confuses me more. I have to tell him that I understand what he is going to do and all I can think about is how brutal his childhood must have been, having those wall eyes and all. Children can be so cruel. I know, I'm about to have one.

Monday, 10:50 PM
I sign the epidural release form. He turns me on my side so that he can stick the needle in my back. I realize that one of his eyes his looking at my back, the other one is probably looking at the ceiling.

I'm in the middle of a contraction that is about to crush my body. Jon is holding both my hands and looking me straight in the eyes. You can get through this, he assures me. I have to hold still so that the anesthesiologist can stick the needle in the right place. Holding still is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Monday, 10:52 PM
I feel a small prick in my back and my leg flexes involuntarily. The anesthesiologist says that he's done. I don't believe him. He can't possibly be done. It's supposed to hurt and I'm supposed to freak out about the needle! He's done?!


Monday, 11:00 PM
The epidural has taken effect. It is the best feeling in the whole wide world. I want to smoke a joint. I start to sing. My mother and sister start laughing. I ask Jon if we can name the baby Epidural Armstrong.

I am so happy!

Monday, 11:30 PM
Did I mention how happy I am? They should sell epidurals on the street. I would buy a hundred of them and give them to my friends.