My friends love taking pictures of me because I am extremely photogenic. Unfortunately I’m also self-effacing, which is why my enviable trait doesn’t reflect in their photos.
All of my biggest milestones (My first steps, Graduation, the time I was caught in the backseat of Jason Miller’s Iroc which is also where I earned the nickname “Backseat Bschooled”), have been forever immortalized in photos of me channeling one of the following 3 personas:
1. The Demented Psychopath
2. The Stunned Vagina
3. The Gender-Undetermined Skeptic (see below)
The condition is genetic. My sister suffers from a related disorder, known as “Camera Flash-Triggered Narcolepsy.”
She’s also a nurse. Thanks to the invasive paparazzi, L is prohibited from ever joining the cast of the upcoming reality show, “Defibrillating With The Stars”.
To add to L’s list of marriage-hindering shortcomings, she has a habit of writing cryptic texts, like the one she sent a few weeks ago while 8 months pregnant.
After several more probing texts in which I rephrased the question several different ways (“Does it mean that a miniature human being is preparing to leave the confines of your uterus?” “Do you feel like a smart car is trying to merge your vagina?”), I was finally able to drag it out of her that yes, she was having her baby. Early the next morning, my mother and I embarked on the five hour road trip.
L lives in a small city in BC. Judging by the number of retirement homes we passed and the pictures displayed in the hospital corridors, it’s only getting smaller.
After taking down a gang of heavily medicated geriatrics in the hospital parking lot (kind of like Shriners, only meaner and on mobility scooters), my mother and I made our way to my sister’s room.
Because L wasn’t in active labor yet, the doctor decided to wait until the next morning to induce her. In the meantime, she was allowed to go home and pack her hospital bag.
L: *Handing me her car keys* You should drive.
Me: Right. Because I’m a much better driver.
L: Or maybe because my amniotic fluid is all over the passengers’ seat.
Me: Isn’t that stuff supposed to go in one of those tube thingys under the hood?
L: Not transmission fluid. Amniotic fluid. You know, the stuff that gushes out of you when your water breaks?
Me: You mean water?
L: No. I mean amniotic fluid.
Me: *coughing* I see. Well, thanks for letting me know. My non-childbearing hips wouldn’t survive the first trimester.
Sister: *looks at mom* Would you please explain to her that’s not how it works?
Mom: That’s not how it works.
Me: Since when have you ever been pregnant?
The next morning, the nurse gave L something to induce her labor.
My mother and I tried to distract her from the pain. My mom talked about her own excruciating labors. I talked about myself. My mom told her about the joys of postpartum depression. I imagined conversations between geriatrics on fast food flyers. I could tell by the way she was glaring at us that our plan worked.
Just as I was about to rummage through my sister’s meal tray, the doctor announced that she was in full labor. For the next 30 minutes, I faded in and out of consciousness.
During that time, I vaguely remember hearing the following:
L- “I can’t do this!”
Doc- “You’ll be fine. Remember to take deep breaths.”
L- “Where’s my epidural?”
Dr.- “It’s too late. You’re fully dilated.”
Me- “I’m not fully dilated. Maybe you could give me the epidural and I can describe to her how it feels?”
L- “I feel like you’re all up in my business.”
L- “There better not be any pics of my crotch on Facebook…”
L- “I don’t want to do this any more!”
L- “Give me some Vicodin, at least!”
Me- “Why don’t give me the Vicodin instead and I can describe to her how it feels?”
Dr.- “Try as hard as you can to push my fingers out!
Me- “Sorry to interrupt, but do you think I could get that Vicodin soon? No rush….”
Me/L- *horrific screaming sounds*
Dr.- “It’s a BOY!!!”
It’s true what they say. The minute I laid eyes on little O I forgot all about the pain I’d suffered during labor.
To commemorate the momentous occasion, I decided to give L a gift. Because I believe childbirth is a sham invented by baby companies to make money, instead I used my unparalleled photoshop skills to edit a picture of her and her baby.
Not only did it turn out perfectly, I also came up with an ingenious way to conceal her camera-flash triggered narcolepsy.
**Note- It wasn’t until after posting it that I found out she was being sarcastic.