Thank you for breastfeeding - Part 4
One of my current writing projects is a semi-autobiographical play about my pregnancy experience. This excerpt includes a dialogue between two expectant mothers--one is coming to terms with her inevitable C-Section while the other helps her devise ways to make it more 'family friendly', from bacterial christening to placenta tinctures. Did you try any of these methods?
Thank you for breastfeeding - Act 1 Excerpt.
Read additional scenes.
Eliza - Expectant mother in her mid-thirties
Becca - Friend of Eliza's, also pregnant
It is late afternoon. Eliza is about 36 weeks pregnant and is baking a cake while her friend sits at the kitchen table with a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water.
Becca: I’m so sorry your birth plan--
Eliza: Has imploded?
Becca: At least you’ll get to schedule the C-Section. I hear emergency ones are way worse. Paul will be there right?
Eliza: Yeah. He’s not phased at all. A fluorescent pink stork could deliver our baby and he’d be happy. He just doesn’t get it.
Becca: I’m dealing with the same thing at home. Tom keeps saying, “why suffer if you don’t have to? Just get the damn epidural.” But I want to be fully present for the whole birth. I want my body to tell me when to push, not a nurse.
Eliza: You’ll do great.
Becca: I hope so.
Eliza: It’s a lot better for the baby too.
Becca: It’s never made any sense to me. I’ve worked so hard to eat all of the right things, avoid alcohol, find herbal cold remedies and then right at the end it’s supposedly OK to pump my body full of drugs. I don’t get it.
Eliza: I’ve been looking up ways to make it more family-friendly.
Becca: The surgery?
Becca: Is there such a thing?
Eliza: Well, have you ever heard of seeding?
Becca: I don’t think so. [takes a sip of water] What’s that?
Eliza: In Australia I guess it’s becoming popular to swab vaginal fluids from the birth canal on babies after they’re pulled out. It’s got something to do with creating a healthy microbiome for the baby. [pause] Helps their immune system develop.
Becca: Oh yeah. I’ve heard of that. The ‘bacterial christening.’ Your doctors will actually do it?
Eliza: No, but I’m trying to figure out some kind of alternative. Doctors here in the US aren’t on board yet, so I’ve read that you can do it yourself with a tampon.
Eliza: If you put one in before the surgery, you can take it out in the recovery room and rub it all over the baby.
Becca: It’s too bad the nurses won’t help.
Eliza: I know.
Becca: Is Paul ready to take on tampon duty?
Eliza: I haven’t told him yet. He’s gonna be pretty weary of anything the doctors don’t like.
Becca: Maybe you should just surprise him. “Hey honey, do you mind grabbing my slippers and pulling out a tampon I shoved up my vagina?”
Eliza: That sounds crazy, but it might actually work. Otherwise I’ll be spending the next four weeks answering a bazillion questions.
Becca: That’s what I would do. Minimize any freak outs.
Eliza: Or I could have Lauren do it. I’m meeting with her on Wednesday. I’m sure if I asked, she’d be up for it.
Becca: I’ve been meaning to ask, does your doula make placenta tinctures?
Eliza: I think so. I still need to get my contract signed for the placenta encapsulation. Do you really think it has any benefits?
Becca: My friend’s sister--you know Hannah?--she swears by it. She said it helped with post-partum depression.
Eliza: I just don’t know if I’ll be able to do it. I mean drink my placenta.
Becca: That’s why I want a tincture. How do you think a Cosmo would taste with it?
Eliza: I’d be willing to try it. We should schedule a Sex and the City cocktail night after the babes are born.
Becca: Just don’t forget to pack the freezer bags and cooler.
Eliza: That’s right. I need to get on that.
Becca: Your cake smells so good. It is almost done? I’m starving.