By: Violet Phillips
(Violet is a remote student intern, crafting literature and book reviews for MOM. In this creative piece, she envisions giving birth for new mother Lelani who must figure things out on her own)
Lelani felt pressure on her pelvis one day. She needed to pee really badly and felt her breath go short. She saw clumps of mucus in the toilet. Suddenly, she realized: her water was breaking. The big moment had arrived. She never thought she would do it all alone, but here she was.
Feeling an ungodly pain in her lower back and abdomen, she was more terrified than she’d ever been in her life. Somehow, despite her panic, she still remembered the list: photo ID, health insurance card, outfit for the next day, outfit for the baby. She called a cab to the hospital. It felt like the longest she’d ever waited for anything in her life, even though it actually couldn’t have been more than 20 minutes.
The driver stepped on the gas. “Sir, I think there’s a faster way you can go,” she sighed, irritated.
“No, ma’am, there’s no faster way,” he said.
Walking into the hospital, she saw a pile of paperwork she had to fill out. Why why why?
Once the nurse examined her and confirmed she was really about to give birth, she changed into a hospital gown.
“Are you doing an epidural or aiming for a natural birth?” The nurse asked.
“What do you think?”
The nurse moved her to the bed. She wondered where her obstetrician was, but was too tense to ask.
Then, she began to feel the intense pain of contractions. She waited for them to end. They didn’t end. They started to get worse. The nurse started pushing her stomach. There was nothing but pain and pushing for hours.
Then, suddenly she heard a baby cry. It felt like magic washing over her.
“Here you go!” The nurse handed over her baby. Holding it in her arms, she wasn’t sure how she felt. Fear? Anticipation?
“When can I go?” She asked.
“A day or two,” the nurse said.
She fell back asleep. The next day was a blur of being handed food and liquids.
Then, she bundled the baby up and got a cab back to her apartment. Ready to enter the new world, all alone-with a new little stranger.