Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WHAT THE HELL BUB ?

My son Bub (not his Christian name) is twenty-six year old, six feet and two inches tall, sports a goatee, and wears a size fourteen shoe.  Nevertheless, I still see him as the cute little boy in the picture on the right side of this blog.  Actually my brain goes back even further when I look at him.  From the very first time I saw him, I noticed Bub had this -what the hell- look in his eyes, and after the passing of all these years it's still there.  I have often wondered about the meaning of that look in his eyes. 

It all started when I became pregnant with Bub as a newlywed and a Woman Marine.  I was told by the powers that be that if Bub was born before his due date I would be shipped out to Okinawa, Japan a month after his birth, but if he was born after his due date, I would continue to be stationed on Camp Pendleton, California.  Jake and I looked at one another and simultaneously said "What the hell?  How did they come up with that formula?"

I believe Bub decided to stay inside my uterus until after his due date because he wanted his Mommy to be around in the first year of his life.  The problem was that he decided not to come out even after the premature rupture of our membranes or the breaking of the waters.  The Navy hospital told me it was their policy to induce labor in cases like mine. 

So, I ended up in labor for fifteen hours with no epidural because of the lure of natural childbirth.   What the hell was I thinking?  I heard women screaming from other rooms, and I would have screamed too, but all of my energy went into snorting and grunting.  A young corpsman kept coming in the labor room every hour to check my dilation.  I still feel an urge to kick that boy's teeth in.

Finally, I pushed Bub out mid-morning the next day.  Jake was there when he came.  The doctor was concerned about Bub's color,  so he was immediately taken to a pediatrician to be examined.  Jake went with him, leaving me without my husband and child, in a panic, and wondering if everything was going to be okay.

The nurses kept telling me everything was fine, that Bub's examination was merely precautionary, that they needed to stitch me up and get some food in my body because I had not eaten anything for almost a whole day.  I said, "What the hell?  I want to see my baby!"  I had an IV in my arm, but  I was about to get up and search that hospital floor for my child.  Finally, when I was about to seriously lose my mind, Bub was brought in to me.  He weighed seven and a half pounds and easily fit between my elbow and my third finger.  At last, we were meeting face to face.  He looked at me with those big brown eyes that asked the questions that I am still asking:

What is this place?
What does it mean?
I know who you are, but what am I?

I have to go now.  Bub is about to buy a car.

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