- \Ep"i-\ [Gr. 'epi` on, upon, to; akin to Skr. api besides, and prob. to L. ob to, before, on account of, and perh. to E. of, off.] A prefix, meaning upon, beside, among, on the outside, above, over. It becomes ep- before a vowel, as in epoch, and eph-before a Greek aspirate, as in ephemeral.
These three little letters are becoming the EPIcenter of my life these days. The numerous EPIsodic synopses that I have to enter for all the new fall shows for the web. The itchiness of my EPIdermis as my skin stretches thinner than bike shorts on a big ass. Let's not even get into EPIlation: the removal of hair from the root. (Can you tell I've got my Oxford open? Had to have it when I found out that "bling" was now in it!)
Now the two biggest EPIs I have on my mind are EPIdural and EPIsiotomy.
I was very happy when the doc told me that Women's College Hospital does not "cut you". When I mentioned this to my pal Capital K, who happens to work on Life's Birth Stories, her response was, "You mean they just let you rip?" Um. Ow. Geez! bu there's nothing grosser on those baby shows than when the doctor is sawing away at some poor woman to get the baby out of there easier and faster. But is ripping on your own worse? So of course, my neurotic self starts to think that perhaps I should be cut.
However, an article left on my desk by a super helpful, but somewhat odd and annoying, officemate whom I rarely talk to (but she insists on leaving mommy stuff on my desk now) from the Globe and Mail said that a huge percentage of episiotomies are unnecessary. Meaning the women don't need them, I'm hoping because some don't rip. Capital K says that many midwives take the time to stretch the perineum (the female equivalent to the Taint: t'aint your balls and t'aint your arsehole -- you do the science) a.k.a. the part that rips. OK, so no midwife in my case, so that's out.
A book that Pipes gave me entitled Your Perfectly Pampered Pregnancy offers tips to start stretching your own perineum, but it sounded too messy and too much like a type of masturbation that would gross me out. So I decided to ask the Dog for help in stretching my perineum. This involves inserting fingers "down there" and then pressing in a U shape toward the rectum. Instead of possibly being a sexually pleasurable experience, this made me feel like I had to poo. So that's out too. If I could get hammered or have a smoke afterwards, then maybe it'd be alright.
Now onto the epidural. Although the thought of sticking a needle into my spine freaks me right out, the thought of pushing a 5-10 lbs baby out my snatch freaks me out more. When we first found out that we were having a baby, the Dog asked me (brace yourselves girls, he's normally harmless) if I would consider doing it all naturally . "What's the difference?" he asked.
Well dear, I replied, without drugs I will feel my snatch rip to my arsehole and with drugs I won't. Does that answer your question?
Capital K asked me if I was going to get the epidural and I told her, "HELL YEAH!" She patted me on the arm and said, "Good girl, don't try to be brave. Remember that I see all the unedited footage of the show. I know things about labour that no one should knwowithout experiencing it themselves first." That closes the book on that one for me man. Drugs it is, and thankfully the hospital has this great handheld gadget where you can boost YOURSELF up with more painkiller as needed. Yum! Crank me up! I take three Advils when I get a hangnail.
So of course, someone has to make you feel like a loser for wanting the drugs and I met her again last night. Remember that hairy armpit, kumbaya lady from an earlier blog? The one who had a child and gave birth in under 5 hours or some shit because she did yoga until she was 37 weeks or something? Well, she was at class last night. And don't get me wrong, I generally like her, but she's a bit off. She was admiring my buddha last night and saying how she missed it and that must mean she's ready for another one. Then after class she said, "Oh, but the best part is yet to come."
I looked at her puzzled. Everything I've heard leads me to believe that I'm in the glory days right now. I look good, I feel good, the baby and me have a raport with each other. What could possibly be better? Aren't I supposed to get heavier and want this thing out of me? She looks at me with this euphoric look on her face and says with no irony, "The birth."
So I say to her, "Really!?! You had the drugs right?" No, she says, she gave birth at home. Of course she did. "Oh you had a midwife," I say. "No, we fired our midwife. It was just me and my husband and it was so beautiful." I wanted to punch her.
Like I said to my in-laws, I'm not Laura Ingalls Wilder. There will be no boiling of the sheets or the water or whatever they did, unless, heaven forbid, I am caught in a snowstorm in Scarborough during Christmas dinner! Drugs! Gimme drugs!