Over the weekend, we went to a good friend’s baby shower. The mother-to-be shared how they were looking forward to meeting their little one, but a part of her wished that the baby could stay a little longer in there. She was also looking into hypnobirthing. A friend of hers had done it and felt her labor pain was tremendously reduced. This reminded me of my own childbirth labor experience. I was in labor with both pregnancies for a day and a half and it was an exhausting ride to say the least.
I definitely love the process of being pregnant but a natural feeling of anxiousness kicks in when the delivery date draws nearer. For our first child, I had a birthplan all typed up. In bold letters 1st line proclaimed, TYPE OF DELIVERY: NATURAL CHILDBIRTH. Second line, listed the two people who were allowed to be with me in the delivery room, “HUSBAND and MOM”. 3rd line exclaimed, “OUT OF THE QUESTION: C-SECTION”. 4th line suggested “OPEN TO PAIN MEDICINE, ONLY AS NEEDED.” 5th line recommended, “GIVE MOTHER TIME TO BOND AFTER DELIVERY” and the 6th line listed a few other miscellaneous requests. This whole game plan came highly recommended from one of the pregnancy books I’d read.
My OB quietly read it and nonchalantly put it in my patient file folder. I didn’t quite understand that until delivery day came. Hello labor pains. I can still recall my husband looking at the monitor and watching the graph peaks go up and down as labor contractions came and went. “Oh my god, it’s getting higher. Whoa. Now it’s dropping.” Thanks dear husband now you know I’M NOT FAKING IT!!! GOODBYE NATURAL CHILDBIRTH! COME ON OVER EPIDURAL! I began to get a little more rest after epidural but started bleeding profusely. Doctor stepped in and said that a C-Section may likely happen if bleeding doesn’t stop. And soon C-section was in consideration.
Thankfully, the bleeding stopped and I successfully delivered our first child. We had our own private delivery room and that meant baby stayed with us the whole time which finally granted my one request in birth plan. The whole experience definitely taught me to keep my options open. And I did just that with our 2nd child. Both labor and delivery were pretty identical with both my kids. Although the recovery time with our 2nd child took longer.
This also brings back the memories of how friends, family, co-workers and strangers always have a say on “what to expect” during a pregnancy and childbirth. With the help of some of my friends own experiences and mine, I came up with the Top 10 Most Irritating Things People Say about Pregnancy and stuff said about and during Childbirth:
1) “Can you hold it?” Oh no you didn’t. To the man who will never understand the feeling of a baby’s head pressing against your full bladder, PULL OVER AND FIND THE NEAREST RESTROOM!!!
2) “You’re eating again?” Um, yeah, I’m eating for two!
3) Six months along your pregnancy, a co-worker you see everyday comes up and says, “You’re pregnant?!” No, I swallowed a ball and just like walking around with a swollen belly.
4) “Oh, childbirth is nothing, think of it as one day of pain and its over.” Talk about sugar coating it. To the well wishing optimist, thanks but you didn’t tell me about the perineal tear, swelling, oh and hemorrhoids!”
5) You’re at the grocery line, a stranger decides to do a little small talk. Stranger, “How far along are you?” “Seven months.” Stranger,”Wow your belly’s tiny”. To nosy stranger who I hope to never see again, thanks a lot, I not only feel as a big as a house, now you’re implying that I need to eat more.
6) “Small hips, no good. Not good birthing hips.” These proud small hips don’t lie, just gave birth to two beautiful babies! Take that superstitious elderly woman.
7) Busty woman claims,“You know what they say, you can’t breastfeed with small breasts”. So not true! Ask a handful of A-cup bra sized mothers who have breastfed their children for a year and a half.
8) “You got an epidural? (Like, oh my god) You couldn’t do natural childbirth?” Ever heard of “different strokes for different folks”. If a friend jumps off the bridge, must I follow. Nope, I’m keeping my options open.
9) A few weeks after giving birth, a friend decides to make a hasty inquiry, “When are you guys going to work on number 2?” Count to ten. Are you serious? Can you give us a chance to figure this one out first?!
10) “Formula bottle feeding is not good. You must breastfeed!” To the all or nothing lactation nurse who doesn’t know me from Adam. Take a backseat and let me decide what works best for me and my baby.
Having the privilege to be blessed with two kids, I’ve learned to take words of advice in stride, keeping the ones that work close and handy and weeding out the ones that don’t apply.