“I love you very, very much. You’ve just had… A LIZARD!!” ~ Bill Cosby “Himself”
Purists amuse me. You know the women of whom I speak. The ones who swear to Jehovah and Tom Cruise that they aren’t going to have any drugs at all during labor… They’re going to breathe and play soft music and have their labor partner rub their back with tennis balls. Because, you know, all labor partners are THAT attentive. Oye.
I’ve been in labor 3 1/2 times. No two labors were similar in the least. I say 1/2 because when I had my twins they were via Cesarean. Not for lack of planning and trying. It was actually my intention to push two babies out the normal way, within minutes of each other. My hat goes off to any woman who can go through non-Cesarean delivery with multiples. Owie.
I’m getting off track here…
In my unemployed-ness, I have the privilege of watching “A Baby Story” two times every morning on TLC. It’s an awesome show, really. I’m a sap for the intensity of a good labor session. My favorite ladies are the ones who insist that EVERYthing go perfect, and the moment it doesn’t, they lose their minds. They don’t seem to understand that although the child is being sprung from their vaginas, that it’s not up to THEM what happens. You can only control your body to some extent. That baby will come when it damn well pleases, and sometimes (OK, lots of times) it hurts like Hades. It’s a BABY. A small human. Being pushed out of a vagina. It’s not supposed to comfortable. It’s not supposed to be pretty. No one cares if your manicure is spoiled. And quit screaming like a lunatic. You’re scaring everybody, and the more you scream, the less energy you will have to pop the kid out. Settle the hell down. Now do you see why I’m not a birth coach? LOL
I remember planning for the birth of my first son. I was still a obstinate 16 year old while going through the labor planning and, of course, Lamaze breathing classes. I was convinced that it was going to be fine, everything was going to be nice and quiet, and that the baby would come out all pink and handsome. Um, No. My labor started abruptly at midnight and went from zero to “Oh my God” in about 1/2 hour. I couldn’t get a hold of my breathing, because I was too stubborn to relax and let nature take its course. As a result I hyper-ventilated and almost fainted. The nurses kicked my mother out of the room because she was being mean to me. Solution? Epidural. I will be eternally thankful to the anesthesiologist who put the catheter of pain relief into my spine, and as a result I was able to get a hold of myself and get a little rest, thus resulting in the beautiful birth of my first son. That is if you consider hemorrhage and near death beautiful. All things considered, we came out fine and that is the important part.
Now, I don’t care who you are… chastise if you will… The shit helps. If it was dangerous to the baby, they would not administer medication to help with the pain of childbirth. I honestly don’t know how they did it in the old times. “Bite this stick”. No.
My second son was more than 10 1/2 lbs. at birth. I had an epidural, but labor was so long that it wore off way before pushing time. That sucked. 26 hours of labor, and 2 hours of pushing. I thought I was giving birth to a frickin linebacker. All in all, I focused my energy on the birth process and not screaming like a moron. Yes, it hurt. Yes, I would get a damn epidural if I did it all over again. However, it didn’t kill me to do it naturally.
My third son was the most normal labor, I guess. It went by the book. The contractions started in the evening, and gradually became closer and more painful. I went to the hospital when instructed, labored for a few hours, my water broke, and baby came shortly after. It was a great labor, painful as hell, but honestly I can’t remember the “pain”. I hope someone can relate to this and clarify… But the “pain” is all but forgotten once the little one comes out. He was a great baby, loud though. 😉
My twins were planned Cesarean b/c of Baby A. The little brat wouldn’t get her foot out of the way. They were positioned like Yin and Yang in my tummy, and the plan was for me to deliver naturally with Baby A coming first. Yes, a breach baby. However, she wouldn’t move her little foot, so the docs didn’t want to chance a cord prolapse (This is when the umbilical cord comes out before the baby, thus resulting in a cut-off to the blood supply. Very dangerous). The morning of the surgery I was starving and thirsty b/c they make you go without food and drink all night. I couldn’t even have ice chips!! When I got into surgery, everything went fine except for a little nausea. Then the spinal anesthetic made me itch. Badly. I was having an allergic reaction. Then I got the weeps. Oh my GOSH. The recovery from Cesarean was the worst part. Between bawling for 14 hours, itching almost to death, and not being able to walk, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
But, itching be damned, I have all my kids now, and they are beautiful. I don’t know why women whine so much about childbirth. I’d gladly take some labor pains compared to the constant struggle of dealing with mouthy teenagers and stubborn pre-teens. Besides, baby toes are the cutest damn thing ever.
So ladies, when planning your childbirth experience, listen to your body. If you need a little help, take it. Not everything goes as planned, and the most important part is being able to function when that little one opens its eyes for the first time. You want to remember it. You don’t want to be fixing your makeup in your little compact that you HAD to bring. You don’t want to bypass that shiny little gaze for bitching at your husband for forgetting your sound machine. Breathe it in. They’re only little for so long.