Actress Jenny Mollen (wife to Jason Biggs) writes for Cosmopolitan.com about her recent labor and delivery experience and it is pretty entertaining to read. Girlfriend has quite the take on parenthood. Check it out below via our friends at Cosmo.
Cosmopolitan.com: The Moment I Fell in Love With My Son
At 41 and a half weeks pregnant, I started to have second thoughts about becoming a mother.
“You know, I might not be ready for children,” I’d tell my husband in complete earnestness as if the subject were still up for debate.
I understood that there was someone just underneath the surface of my skin waiting to explode into the world like the most rewarding zit of all time, but I wasn’t completely connected to him. I didn’t know how I could love something more than my dogs. Or how I could housebreak something not motivated by bacon strips. I was never the girl who yearned for children. I pretended to be interested in other people’s kids, but that was obviously just an act.
“Aw! Cute baby!” I’d usually say, when what I felt like saying was, “Cute baby. It looks like all other babies I’ve ever seen ever. Now show me a picture of your dog in a top hat!”
The truth was, children scared me. I knew that no matter what I did as a parent, I was bound to do some things wrong. I didn’t want to bring a person into the world just to fuck them up and have them send me to voicemail for all of eternity. My dogs would NEVER do that!
I was due on February 4. On February 14 I was still pregnant and starting to believe I’d just stay pregnant forever.
“This is just my new body. It’s just what I look like now,” I explained to my husband as I tried to roll over and give him a super hot Valentine’s peck on the lips before bed. Seconds later, my water broke. When I told my husband, he leapt up and searched the sheets for proof. “Are you sure? Shouldn’t we be drenched?” Like “You Can’t Do That on Television,” I think he expected a giant bucket of slime to drop from the ceiling and cover us. “Maybe you just peed,” he offered. “I would know if I just peed, and I didn’t. You need to call Howie!” I ran to the bathroom and stripped off my clothes to make sure I couldn’t see a head sticking out.
Jason called our doctor as I sat on the toilet regretting using all my pregnancy books as nightstand coasters. I guess I should have prepared myself better, but those books made me feel like I was studying for the SAT. I just figured I’d walk into the hospital, pick D (all of the above), and a baby would appear.
When Howie told me to go back to bed and try to sleep, I was skeptical. But I assumed that fact that he was an OB/GYN meant he probably did read all the books on my nightstand, and in the event of a forthcoming written exam, he would be the guy I’d need to cheat off of later that day.
Around 3:30 a.m., Jason and I drove to the hospital. My cramps were bad but in no way severe. I, of course, pretended I was miserable so as to give myself an excuse if I suddenly felt like screaming or beating him uncontrollably. The streets were empty save for a couple police cars I hoped might try to pull us over. It was the one time in my life I wanted to be confronted by a cop just so I could say, “Sorry, officer, but we don’t have time for your bullshit! WE’RE HAVING A BABY!!!!!” then hit the gas and peel out. Once at the hospital, I was fingered by roughly three nurses then put on Pitocin to help induce labor. Howie and my doula, Ana Paula, arrived shortly thereafter.
I wasn’t opposed to drugs, except when I was watching that Ricki Lake documentary three months earlier, feeling safe and pain-free in the privacy of my own home. Now, with what felt like a thousand teeth clenching down on my uterus, drugs seemed like a great option. I knew Jason and Howie didn’t give a shit whether I delivered naturally, but Ana Paula seemed more holistic. I needed to make sure she would still love me, respect me, and favor me forever over the friend who’d referred her to me before I could let her hear me ask to be knocked unconscious. The drugs would have to wait.
I wandered the halls of the Labor and Delivery ward for five hours, riding the vicissitudes of the most incomprehensible pain of my life, when finally, my ego was beat into submission and I asked for “the works.”
An anesthesiologist who looked young enough to not know who Madonna was walked in and administered an epidural. From that point forward, everything was a blur. Howie, Jason, Ana Paula, and my nurse Abby sat with me for over seven hours waiting for my cervix to dilate. It never did. Jason claims I pooped myself twice. The baby’s heart rate dropped, and my vagina kept refusing to cooperate. Eventually, a C-section was our only option.
As I was wheeled into the operating room, my anxiety started to mount. Howie told me I’d be meeting my son in less than 20 minutes. All the choices I’d made with my life — the weird boyfriends, the bad haircuts, the questionable workout mix tapes — came flooding back to me. Would this little creature like me? Would he approve of me? Would he ever find a picture of me from middle school with super thin eyebrows? I worried that I hadn’t done enough with my life, that I wasn’t equipped to be the kind of mother he needed, and that I wasn’t young enough to be someone his friends would ever consider hot.
Several nurses rolled me from my hospital bed on to the operating table. A thin screen of paper was placed just below my neck, and Jason, now decked out in surgical scrubs, appeared next to me. Once the IV drip took hold, everything below my ribs went numb. I told Howie to let me know before he started cutting. “We’ve already started,” he said calmly.
I tried to stay focused and not picture all the balloon animals he might be making out of my intestines.
“OK, you are going to feel a lot of pressure,” he instructed.
Before I could get super cocky about not even flinching during the aforementioned pressure, I heard a baby cry.
My narcotized eyes looked up and saw Howie’s hands holding what looked like a bloody version of Caesar from Little Caesar’s Pizza. He had a pronounced nose, chubby cheeks, and a dark black toupee on his head. I think I even heard him say, “pizza pizza” as he was whisked away for his bath.
A few minutes later, a nurse walked back over and placed my newborn son on my chest. He seemed a little pissed off. Like maybe the caesarian was interfering with whatever in utero plans he’d made for the evening. I cradled him in my arms the way I’d seen people hold babies in movies and tried to console him. My heart heaved with emotion as I looked into his dark blue eyes. I wanted to laugh, sob, and throw up all over myself. I’d burst through the ceiling of whatever kind of love I’d felt in my life and was traveling upward into a stratosphere reserved for heroin junkies and people who write romantic greeting cards. I didn’t recognize myself. I was instantly and completely transformed.
In that moment I knew I’d never be the person I was before, because now, I didn’t seem to matter that much.
I was no longer concerned with accumulating the most Twitter followers or scoring the best parking spot at Whole Foods. Dogs in top hats? Fuck them.
Yes, I’d make mistakes, and yes, one day he’d probably forward me to voicemail while breastfeeding some chick who isn’t me in the backseat of his dad’s midlife-crisis convertible. But it was all part of the journey — a journey I was finally happy to take.
I wasn’t ready for kids. I was just ready for him.
How adorable! One day her little man will read this and smile. Congratulations to Jason Biggs and his wife Jenny Mollen on their little bundle. Parenting is never as you expect it to be until you experience it for yourself!
Mollen will appear on HBO’s Girls on March 16th and 23rd.