I recently started a job as an aide in a physical therapy clinic. Our clinic is on the first floor of an extremely average two story office building. So average, that I did not even bother to notice who shared this building with us. Why would I need to know? I just figured there was probably a dentist office or a small scale drug operation upstairs. What I would come to find out is intriguing, concerning, and disgusting.
It wasn't until I had been working at this clinic for a week that I learned the true identity of our upstairs neighbors. Though it was right on the sign by the front door, I had never bothered to look. As I heard a comment in passing about the residents upstairs, I ran to the front of the building to confirm such a vicious rumor: Ste. 220 - Andaluz Waterbirth center. As my brain slowly processed those 3 words, a single horrifying image would not be suppressed any longer. All I could think of were the yellowing water damaged tiles that littered the ceiling of our clean physical therapy clinic. I remember thinking to myself, "Self, I wonder what caused that water damage if we are on the first floor of a two floor building." I'll tell you what it was from . It was from particularly violent births that caused the hot tubs that are directly over my head to splash enough water and afterbirth on the floor to leak into our clinic. Forget about biohazards, that's straight up nasty.
All this week, there has been the steady sound of children running above me. Constantly they run, back and forth. I started to wonder what was going on up there. Why are so many little kids running around, sounding like they are going to break through the ceiling? There is only one explanation, the babies. Growing up in Oregon, I am no stranger to all things organic. Giving birth in a large tub with a midwife to help surface the little sea monster is about as organic as you can get. After hearing all these kids running around, I am starting to think these organic water babies are being born with the ability to run. I am now convinced that giving birth underwater is so natural that these babies are being born with, dare I say, super human capabilities. I swear to you now that a baby born underwater can breathe underwater as well as above. Michael Phelps: underwater birth. Ariel the mermaid: underwater birth. Sarah Palin: underwater birth. The evidence is clear.
I don't think I'm quite ready to stand under a leaking ceiling tile and awaken my inner superhero, but as soon as I see narwhal flopping down the stairs, I'll be first in line. Until then, I'll continue to throw up in my mouth every time I think about exactly what has been leaking into my clinic.