Upon Reflection, I May Have Exaggerated My Skills In MidwiferyCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 40•35 • Sep 1, 2004 By Julie Shaw Julie Shaw Okay, Helen, you're doing great. Just remember to breathe. In... out. In... out. Fantastic. Just listen to the ocean-waves CD and try to relax. I think I can see the baby. Yeah, you're crowning, and it looksoh, holy Christ! It's covered in blood! It's supposed to be like that? I mean, of course it's supposed to be like that. Of course. I remember that episode of ER. It was just like that. "Expert"? I'm sorry. Let me clarify. I've wanted to try my hand at delivering a baby for a long time, and I thought it was time to give it a shot. Midwifery has been an interest of mine for months now, but the best way to learn is to roll up your sleeves and just do it. My advertisement said "expert"? I probably meant to say "enthusiast." They both start with an "e." It's an easy mistake. It looks like you're fully dilated now. Well, I think that's what's happening. I know! I'll call my sister and ask. She was going to school to be an obstetrician, but dropped out. Now she manages a Denny's. Hey, will you hand me my purse? It's right... Jeez, you don't have to bite my head off. Are you okay? That looks really painful. I mean, reallyegghh. You know, my mother said she needed morphine like crazy when she gave birth to me. She said she screamed bloody murder for something like 28 hours. Heck, after about five minutes, I'd be like, "Put me under and cut me openI want this sucker out!" But I guess some people like to do it natural. That's cool. I really respect that. Take a deep breath and punch. I mean, push. That's it. Push! Push! Ooh! Good news! It looks like a breach! Is that the word for when the baby comes out head-first? Breach? Oh, sorry then. I meant it's not a breach birth. I've seen plenty of babies before tonight, and that's no foot. It's probably a head. Unless it's a butt. If it is, your baby has one hairy butt. Joke! Just trying to lighten the mood. What? I don't think I said that I've delivered hundreds of babies. You probably just misheard me. Are you sure? Well, then I meant I wanted to deliver hundreds of babies. And who wouldn't? Childbirth is a miraculous thing. We're ushering a new life into the world, the two of us, together. Hm, it's too bad I forgot to bring that stuff I printed out from the Internet. Helen, there's no use in playing "he said-she said." We have a baby to deliver. How about we focus? Now squeeze. Squeeze! All right, "push," if you want to nitpick. So what if I did jump the gun when I said that I'd trained for this? That was months ago! I really thought by the time you went into labor... See, I was planning on training for it. You know what? I'm going to register for some classes as soon as we're outta here. How late do you think...? Ouch! How would you like it if I squeezed your arm that hard? Maybe I just will. Whoa, whoa, whoa. There's no reason to panic. I know exactly what I'm doing. I looked through a book called All Creatures Great And Small. They delivered a calf in it. And I got a government pamphlet from Pueblo, Colorado. It was in Spanish, but I got the general feel. Hey, how about a little swig? Hereit's just vodka. There's still some left. Okay, suit yourself. Jesus Christ, are you supposed to do that? Oh boy! What a mess. Hold on. I'm getting a little... I need to sit down. Okay, I got a feeling that the rough stuff is almost over. The head is nearly out. Just one more squeeze and... Presto! Hey, quit squirming, you. Almost dropped you there. I said quit squirming. Quit squirming! It's ahang onboy? Girl? You can't tell when they're this little. At least you can't with cats. Hold on, hold on. You'll get your turn. "Hello, little darling. Hello. Moo-moo. Moo-moo. Who's a little moo-moo?" Okay, okay. I'll have to wipe some stuff off here first. Do you have a towel around here? There, thanks. Oh, girl. Definitely, this is a girl. We're out of the woods. And you were worried! Oh, sweet mother! There's something else coming out. It'soh... my... God! It's twins, but this one is... deformed. It doesn't have eyes or arms or legs. It's just a big sack of bloody goo. Let me check something here. No, it doesn't seem to have a pulse. Just the umbilical cord. The other end goes to your baby. Pla-what? Placenta? Really? Well, I'll be. Learn from your mistakes, I always say. Let me tie off your umbilical cord... and... okay, we're good to go. You'll want to spend some time with your darling little girl, so I'll just mosey along, just as soon as I get my check. Oh, and keep in mind that, if you ever need a nanny, I'm the best there is.