Monday, June 22, 2015

Scribbling #4

So I'm a writer who's not been writing and desperately needs to or she'll die (that's not hyperbole). I mentioned in a recent post I took a writerly type class*; in it, the instructor gave prompts meant to spur us into writerly type action. Which, of course, they did (mostly--at least one class saw me penning diatribes against things over which I've absolutely no control because I was emotionally distraught from an earlier event).

Anyway, I'll share with you here something I enjoyed scribbling in class. The prompt was "Write about a physical hardship/injury you've endured."

*     *     *    

"Push! Push! Push like you're going to the bathroom!" Hitler's little sister screamed at me.

"What do you think I'm doing?" I squealed back. My now ragged fingernails dug into the vinyl where I half-sat, half-lay. I felt another one break and bit back a curse.

"You're not pushing!" Hitlerita barked.

"Yes I am!" I attempted to bark back, but a contraction spiked on the monitor and then in my gut and the words slid out on an impotent groan. Bad enough I knew the pain was coming--with that damned machine I could tense up in anticipation of the next fresh wave of hell, which was super helpful, by which I mean not at all. "Please," I panted, "give me an epidural." Another violent cramp gripped me, like a hand had shot up my ass, grasped the base of my spine, and wrenched it like the arm of a slot machine.

"It's too late for that," my OB-GYN said as he fake-jogged into the room. "You're nine centimeters along, we need you to be able to feel so you can push."

"Like you're going to the bathroom!" the Nazi in the surgical mask helpfully reminded me.

On the verge of telling them that I bloody well was pushing, I felt a shift within and held my breath.

"He's coming," said the doctor.

"PUUUUUUUUUUSH!" yelled Eva Braun.

But even as my innards roiled and surged, even as every muscle poised to shoot out the little parasite, I clenched. I was suddenly afraid to see it through, afraid of that final thrust and what it might bring. Or what it might take.

*     *     *    

*If you're not local to NY but interested in writerly type classes, Gotham Writers does offer online classes. Mind you, I've never done any kind of online class, so your mileage may vary. Anyway, I'd say they're worth checking out.


  1. I love the characterization of the nurse! Well done!

  2. Well that was brilliant! Love the Eva Braun bit. Clearly, prompts work well for you. I always sit there going...errr....ummmm...duh....

  3. @Sara Leigh: Merci!

    @Jules: Thanks! Some prompts worked for me, others stumped me. They can't all be gems, alas. :-)

  4. That was fabulous! I wanted to give birth naturally, but after two days of labor, I went for the epidural. Even then, I was villainizing everyone in the room. So I can relate fully! :)

  5. Yeah one of the many, many reasons I wasn't about to have kids. I always wondered how women don't poop at the same time they are pushing the baby out.

  6. Sorry, JoJo, but some do - it's best to keep your limit your diet when that time is close. I know yuck, but believe me there are things you learn, do, and don't ever share.

    Mina, this was beautifully written. The class paid off, and I hope that sharing it will inspire you to get that second book done. Your fans are waiting!

  7. Ouch. One painful scene, although they say it's all worth it in the end. It sounds like the class is a good one. Prompts are helpful. :)

  8. This is brilliant! It reminded me of giving birth. Ah, lovely times. I especially loved the line about the hand gripping your spine and wrenching it like the arm of a slot machine.

  9. Eva Braun/Hitlerita, haha. I remember freezing up with my daughter (my second birth). She was halfway down the birth canal and I convinced myself I couldn't go on. Likely because of how badly I tore the first time. I know I was afraid of that happening again. Childbirth is such an intense experience. I hope you're enjoying your class.

  10. @Christine: Two days! Gah!
    @JoJo: Yolanda's right. I think I remember reading, when I was pregnant, that hospitals used to routinely give women in labor enemas, presumably to better control mess/cleanup. Blerch.
    @Yolanda: Thanks!
    @Cherie: Yeah, prompts are great writerly type exercises!
    @LG: Thanks!
    @Shannon: Wow! I'm really sorry you had that experience. I got an episiotomy...strange, by the time the cutting happened, I was rather numb down there, and that was before the epidural, I think.

    You hear chicks say how the pain's all worth it and you forget it once you're holding your baby in your arms. As to that first bit, saying it's "worth it"--saying something's worth excruciating pain is just stupid. Better to keep striving to provide as much comfort for mother and child rather than leave them to suffer this wonderfully natural process. As to the second, bullshit. I made a point of jotting down every unholy sensation (so that slot machine line's just over 20 years old) and even if I hadn't I wasn't likely to forget it. Doesn't mean I love my kid any less, it just means I'm not a fucking idiot. :-)


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