Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birth Story: What No One Told Me

I just love the way this mama writes.  She is talented in so many ways and I am sure a fantastic mother.  I met the mom, E while we were pushing our husbands through Chiropractic college in Texas.  I love that this is a first baby, a Bradley Birth, and from a friend who openly talks about the overwhelming emotions that go along with motherhood.

Enjoy!

This post is going to talk about J’s birth.  While birth stories make some people squeamish, I figure most everyone who reads this blog has given birth at some point and will find it interesting.  (i.e. Consider yourself warned.)

I think I was pretty prepared for labor.  It was important to DH and me that J be born with the least medical intervention possible.  That means that we wanted to avoid being induced, having pain killers like an epidural, and the use of forceps, vacuum, espisiotomy, etc.  I won’t get into all the details about why we chose that, but in short, birth is a natural process that has happened without all those interventions for a very long time, and while sometimes those interventions are necessary for the health and survival of baby and mama, we feel they are overused in our society and can have negative effects on said baby and mama.  There you have it.

With that in mind, we took a birthing class called The Bradley Method to prepare ourselves (me mostly) for a natural birth.  We learned all about what to expect during labor – how to get through contractions with different positions and relaxation, the physical and emotional signposts, etc.  Make a birth plan.  Go to the hospital when your contractions are three minutes apart for two hours and last at least a minute.  Walk, walk, walk.  That kinda stuff.  So when I couldn’t sleep for contractions on Saturday, June 20, I did what I was supposed to do – I tried to rest.  Eventually I got up, realized this really was labor, got up DH, and after a couple hours of doing stuff at home I decided it was time to go to the hospital because of some unsavory details I won’t mess up your last meal by sharing.

Our doula met us there, and the next six hours are rather a blur.  I know I sat on a birthing ball the whole time.  I know there was some stress about the heart monitor not picking up the baby’s heartbeat and the other issue I mentioned above.  I am so glad for a cool-headed husband and an understanding doula to take care of all the issues and to support me so I could focus on relaxing.  I know there was some ambient-spa-ish music playing.  And I know I really hated having my dilation checked.

Something crazy happens in labor.  Your body takes over and you are just along for the ride.  You definitely can’t stop those forces.  Second stage with that pushing urge was the strangest sensation I had ever felt.  And the pushing was the hardest thing I have ever done.  While labor was easier than I thought it would be, that pushing was much harder than I could have imagined.  It still sends a shiver up my spine to think about it.

And then the relief of it being over!  Unlike a friend who conquered a 60-hour natural birth a month later, I did not feel empowered and I did not feel ready to go through it again.  I am better now, but man, that was hard.  And I had a relatively fast and easy labor and birth.  I was wonderfully satisfied with myself and grateful for the whole ordeal to be over.

Back to what I felt prepared for.  I knew having a baby would be tough.  I knew it would be a lot of juggle.  I knew my history of depression put me at risk for postpartum depression and I was prepared to fight that battle.  I had heard all about sore nipples and sleepless nights.  Cluster feedings and colic.  Bath time and blowouts.

But no one told me about the love.


I was completely unprepared for the joy of motherhood.  No one warned me about weeping in happiness over the beautiful little child that I would be allowed to raise.  I didn’t know a part of me was missing until I held her in my arms, kissed her forehead, and felt complete.  I couldn’t have expected her beautiful eyes and big grin.  Or the way she would giggle in her sleep.  Or that she would light up when I walked in the room after being gone a while.  Or how soft her hair would be, or how sweet she would smell after her bath.

What a wonderful surprise.

4 comments:

Scatterbrain K said...

That is an awesome story.

The Awesome 4 said...

So beautiful!

weena38 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
weena38 said...

No one told me how much fun uncontrolably shooting poop out of my anus would be! Aim for the nurses, ladies! Windows 10 points! Poop on the doctor and you win!

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