I have high expectations of myself. I also tend to excel in pressure situations. As such, when I was first informed of such a birthing risk, I was completely unbothered and amused. The thought was so outside of the realm of possibility from a personal standpoint that it was simply absurd. I control my own destiny at game time.
In addition, I pride myself in having more self-control and basic dignity than the average Joe, so I was highly confident my ducks were in a row. Carry on with your nonsense childbearing givers of advice, I got this.
In hindsight, it seems so simple and preventable. I let myself down, and as a result, will never be the same. There is no turning back and/or fully recovering from something like that either. I will never be able to retrieve or genuinely claim any sort of dignified identity ever again. Whereas I was once self-assured and confident, I am now incredibly weak and insecure. Even the tiniest, most basic of tasks has since become a mountain of uncertainty and self-doubt.
It couldn’t have been more than a dime in diameter, maybe a nickel — I don’t know. The actual size is debatable yet sadly irrelevant. The smartest guy in the world once told me that size doesn’t matter, and he’s a fucking scientist so I almost always believe him. What matters is the actual physical existence of something in time and space. The “now you see it, now you don’t” phenomenon still implies that someone actually saw it once. There’s proof!
I could feel it. I felt it, okay? I couldn’t see it, but I knew it had happened. It’s been over a decade, yet I close my eyes and still immediately feel the shame. Despite the fact that most feeling in that region was virtually gone, I knew it had happened. Maybe I’m a medical marvel, who knows, but explosive rocket-like projectile force out of one’s own orifice is impossible to ignore regardless of actual site-specific nervous system sensation.
Besides, the “Oh, dear, don’t make eye contact” expression on my nurse’s face immediately confirmed it. Her nonchalant and pathetic attempt to run off with the evidence without being noticed failed miserably. Does she even know who the hell I am? I’m not the type of person you pull stuff over on lady. I’m the puller — every single goddamn time!
The fact that hubby dearest was cowering in a corner wishing himself into the Invisible Man to avoid any sort of confrontation was predictably annoying yet strangely unimportant at the time. The difference is I know stuff about him too. A tit-for-tat knowledge of unpleasant and humiliating personal traits and experiences feeds our relationship.
This nurse knows nothing else about me! This is it! You only get one chance to make a first impression! I can tolerate a basic degree of bullshit from time to time, but blatant lying to my face regardless of the intent is not one of them. I asked the nurse a direct question, and she not only attempted to discredit my intelligence by answering dishonestly but went one step further and completely changed the subject.
“Meet your new baby Mrs. Veldhouse. Congratulations, she’s beautiful!”
I pooped on the table. Nothing else matters.