Dear hospital doctors and nurses: Inspired by the advice of The Internet, and against the wishes of my doctor, I have created the following highly specific plan for the upcoming birth of my son. Please follow it as closely as possible to ensure the magical birth experience I’m seeking as a woman in the Trump era. Thank you!
My delivery is planned as: vaginal, with a C-section if needed. Either way, there will be blood coming out of my wherever. Anyone who can’t handle that should leave the room and preferably the country.
I’d like my partner present: before, during, and after labor. I mean, it’s 2018. I also expect him to be present for 3 a.m. feedings, diaper changing, endless loads of laundry, runs to CVS for nipple cream, and the next annual Women’s March.
During labor, I’d like to listen to: President Obama’s 2015 and 2016 Summer Playlists on Spotify. This will calm me and allow me to meditate on that simpler time when I didn’t fear losing my reproductive rights. Under no circumstances should Kid Rock or Ted Nugent be played.
During labor, I’d like to wear: my “Nevertheless, She Persisted” t-shirt. I’d prefer if the doctors and nurses all refrained from wearing anything red with white lettering, especially baseball caps, as that color combo triggers my anxiety and is likely to make me lash out at them in rage.
During labor, I’d like to eat: injera bread from the Ethiopian place near my house. I try to support immigrant-owned small businesses as much as possible so that they know they are welcome in this country. I will not be able to stomach fast food or anything that might be considered country club cuisine.
I’d like to spend the first stage of labor: obsessively reading Twitter in order to rile myself up for the battle ahead. Scrolling through Twitter is kind of like listening to “Eye of the Tiger,” except far longer than three minutes and with more white supremacists. My blood pressure should be monitored carefully as it’s likely to rise–an unfortunate but necessary side effect.
I’m not interested in: being mansplained to. If a male doctor is going to come in and tell me what pain I can and can’t handle, I will most likely punch him in the gonads. Then we’ll get a sense of what pain he can and can’t handle.
For pain relief, I’d like to use: my Trump-shaped punching bag. It will need to be tethered to the ceiling somehow, which I realize may be a challenge for hospital staff. Maybe I can convince the GOP to require all hospitals to update their facilities to accommodate punching bags, given that they are clearly necessary for women’s health and well-being. Back-up plan: epidural.
During labor, I would like to: scream obscenities at the photos of Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell, and many others that I’ve brought with me. Don’t worry, there are enough to get me through hours and hours of labor. Worst case, I can always think of more colorful variations on the word “coward” to call Paul Ryan.
I would like to be joined in the room by: my family members. However, under no circumstances should my conservative uncle be allowed in, as I don’t want the the baby to have to listen to a tirade against “the damn immigrant mopping the floor down the hall who couldn’t tell me where to go because he doesn’t speak any English.” That guy is going to mop up my afterbirth, for the love of god. As far as I’m concerned, he should be given a medal and a parade.
Please don’t give the baby: any of the vestiges of toxic masculinity. Blue hats and blankets already? Really? Maybe he’ll like pink. He should be allowed to wear a pink hat on the first day of his life. Suggestion to hospital management: just give all babies rainbow hats they can wear to Pride.
I’d like to feed the baby: a steady diet of resistance, to fortify him for the long journey ahead. Also breastmilk and/or formula, whichever the fuck I want.
As needed post-delivery, please give me: a large glass of wine, a piece of cardboard and a permanent marker. The baby’s first protest march will no doubt be coming up soon and I need to be prepared with a good slogan. I’m thinking of using “Nobody Puts Baby in an ICE Detention Center” but am open to ideas.
After birth, I’d like to stay in the hospital: as briefly as possible. Now that I’ll be identifiable as a Handmaid, I’ll need to start plotting my escape to Canada.