My Daughter, the rib-spreader

28 Jul

So, tell me, all you mothers out there,  is it normal to feel like my ribs are being sliced apart with a knife (read: my daughter’s foot)?

It reminds me of when I was an engineer designing medical devices.  I know that’s a strange statement to make.  Stick with me though.  You see, in order to test said devices, we had to go do surgery on cadavers.  Yes, you read that right.  Dead people.  I have seen more than my share.  There’s a technique that surgeons use in order to reach the chest cavity when they don’t want to crack your sternum… it’s called a thoracotomy.  Basically, they cut between two of your ribs and then spread them apart.  It’s supposed to be a smaller, less painful way for them to get where they need to go to perform whatever surgery it is that they need to do.

Now, I have never had this particular technique performed on me, but I would say, it probably isn’t as painless as they say.  I can’t imagine what it must feel like.  But that’s the only thing I can think of to approximate the feeling of my baby girl trying to poke her way out from between my ribs.  As though it wasn’t already difficult enough to breathe when your lungs are being shoved up into your chest and not given the room that they need to expand.  Add on top of that having asthma.  And then a baby kicking them and trying to disconnect your muscles from your ribs with her surprisingly strong little toes.

Man.  I’m looking forward to the day I can breathe again.

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