Wednesday, September 19, 2012

5 Things I Learned from my 55 Hour Labor

Here they are. Plotting their life in fashionable shoes... without me.
Last year, Kate and I went to Chicago to do a project with Totina's Peeper Snatchers Totino's Pizza Stuffers and Second City Communications. By "do a project", I mean that we watched awkwardly while they did the project. But it was still awesome and we were amazed by how talented and cool all of the people were. 

Including the woman who wrote today's post. She is both a hooker and motherpucker by proxy, because in addition to being an incredible performer, a mom of an adorable 5 year old, and a smoking hot fox, she is also the kind of person who organizes a drive for school supplies for homeless kids. I know this because she lets me stalk her on Facebook.

This is Christy Bonstell. And here's her post:


5 Things I Learned from my 55 Hour Labor
Alternate Title: How giving birth made sure I will never, ever be scared of anything ever again.

My son, Patrick the Giant, is approaching his fifth birthday. I still, to this day, have not written his birth story in his baby book. Because it is not a birth story. It is a HORROR story that no child should ever read ever, unless we no longer want to propagate the earth.

You see, I was in labor for 55 hours. Yes, you read that right...55 hours. My son, who was estimated to be a polite 7 pounds, turned out to be a 10-pounder with a head the size of a bowling ball. We now share hats.

Since the tale in question essentially gave me PTSD, I’ve done my damndest to try and forget the whole damn thing. However, as time moves on, I realise now it taught me some things. Here are those things:

1. I would make a terrible secret agent. By hour 53 I was shouting out any secret I may have known about anything ever, to get the perceived “torture” to end. Of course those secrets were things from fifth grade, but still. I’ve watched enough “24” to know I did poorly.

2. I will never, ever be afraid of a spider again. Please know that late in labor I saw death as a viable and desirable option. In fact, I begged for it. LOUDLY. I realise now that there must have been some nice young couple arriving for their scheduled birth at the same time I was filling the whole preggo ward with the sounds of “Do whatever you have to do to get this baby out of my body alive and just kill me.”

3. I don’t handle drugs very well. Near the end I was given “something to take the edge off.” Whatever that was (I have no clue) did not do as promised. It did, however, send me on a very nice trip where I was running down a hallway full of crayons. That’s the best my subconscious could come up with in my time of need? Crayons? Running? Where was Ryan Gosling serving me single-malt whiskey? Brain. FAIL.

4. I will never feel bad about my body again. Why? Because I’ve seen what it looks like post-birth and post three-days-on-a-saline drip. It ain’t pretty. You ever see that movie where Eddie Murphy wears a fat suit? Yeah...I looked like that. Not Eddie Murphy--though I would have rather looked like Eddie Murphy than what I did in my own, water-induced fat suit.

5. I will always make jokes. And I will always sleep. In hour 55, when they finally decided a c-section was in order, I fell asleep on the table. They kept waking me up to make sure I was awake for the BIRTH OF MY SON, but sleeping was kind of won at that point. The one time they did get me to wake up I asked “Am I a size 4 again?” They laughed. I went back to sleep.

So, it’s funny now, I guess. And in the end, everything turned out great. Since Patrick turned out to be 11 pounds by the end of his first week, he slept through the night almost immediately and I got plenty of rest. And my little giant, who is in a mixed Kindergarten-First grade and is the biggest kid in his class, has given me almost no trouble at all since those fateful three days.

I guess, this is the birth story I should write in his baby book.

Maybe I’ll just make one up instead.
Christy L. Bonstell is a Chicago-based comedian and writer. Her website is

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

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