What I’ve learned about being a mom: childbirth

I thought I write a little series on what I’ve learned so far in my motherhood. I look forward to your comments.

Me hooked up to all the machines at the hospital.

Nothing goes as planned. Because of my bipolar high blood pressure, my OB/GYN decided to chemically induce me. I didn’t realize at the time I agreed to it (I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore!) but that threw a wrench, so to speak, in my plans to have a natural, medicine-free childbirth. I was hooked up to machines and confined to the bed the whole time, I needed assistance to get up to go to the restroom, I needed an episiotomy, and so on. (However, I doubt I would have wanted to get up and walk around anyway because once the contractions got intense, it hurt so bad to even try to move in the bed, let alone get up!) I was able to give birth without any pain meds or epidural though so I’m still very proud of that.

You have no idea what you’re capable of. Leading up to labor, most people I talked to told me I was crazy to not get an epidural. “Just you wait!” is what I kept getting from folks. (Thanks, very reassuring!) I was going into it not wanting to have any pain meds, but not closing the door on the possibility. I just wanted to see if I could do it, and not sell myself short. Of course, as we got closer and closer to the end, the more excruciating it got, the more and more I wanted the pain to stop. At one point, I was even holding the call button for the nurse to get the anesthesiologist, but I had Blake who helped me through it. I endured such a painful experience, and now all pain dulls in comparison. I feel proud of what a strong woman I am.

You find out how right (or wrong) you were when you picked your life partner. Throughout the pregnancy, Blake was much better than I thought he’d be. He took over cat litter duties, somehow still found me beautiful, put up with all the hormones stuff, etc. (Of course, I still maintain he had it easy because I wasn’t all that moody/crazy and he never had to make a late night food run.) We planned to follow the Bradley Method, or “husband-coached childbirth,” so we read up on what to do to have a drug-free delivery. Once the Pitocin kicked in and they broke my water, all we’d read went out the window – do you know how hard it is to “relax your toes” and “think about waves crashing on the beach” when your toes are on fire and tsunami waves o’ pain are crashing on your body? However, he never left my side, held my hand throughout, let me pass out on his arm in between contractions. I’m pretty sure he stood next to me for hours with his arm around my neck. We laughed together, prayed together, and watched the birth of our son together. As soon as Ben was born, Blake had the camera out and was taking pictures so I could see everything, because I was in a delirium afterward, everything was a blur. I learned through this experience that I made the right choice in picking Blake to be my life partner.

You gotta be crazy to voluntarily have more than one kid. Really? Are you nuts?! Why?! I don’t really need to elaborate here.

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