Tuesday, March 13, 2012
A Tale of Two Births
“Is it safe?” “What if something happens?” “No epidural?” “Are you crazy?”
Since we’ve started sharing our plans to give birth to our second child at home, my husband and I have received tons of feedback from our friends and family. Some have offered words of encouragement, while most have questioned our sanity.
Believe me, if you had told me five years ago that I would be preparing to have my baby in my living room, I would have called you crazy. I always thought I’d have two children, I just never really thought about how they’d get here. I don’t like pain and I’m not that crazy about blood, so it’s always been a lot more pleasant to daydream about cheesy family Christmas cards and Disney vacations than what labor would be like.
The day I got that first positive pregnancy test result, I was forced to face my fears and focus on how to deal with the pain. Five months of bed rest due to an “incompetent cervix” allowed me to absorb every morsel of information in cyberspace about labor and delivery until I successfully convinced myself that I would be able to get through it. I even thought I might be able to get by without any drugs. Reality, however, would prove to be entirely different.
Near the end of my pregnancy, my doctors decided to induce my labor, kick-starting the process with Pitocin. Once things got going, it didn’t take long before I was begging for an epidural. But even after I’d pumped Charlie Sheen-like levels of pain meds into my system, even my anesthesiologist was baffled at why I continued to feel every excruciating contraction. Twelve hours later, when I was holding my beautiful baby girl, I promised myself that I would never go through anything like that again.
So this time around, we are turning our one-bedroom apartment into our own birthing center. This time, there will be no one telling me not to eat, drink or wear my favorite fuzzy slippers. This time, I’ll be able to move around and allow my body to do what comes naturally. I’ll be able to have as many visitors as I want (or not!). And I’ll feel more in control of the entire situation. By the way, I’m currently in week 38 of my pregnancy, and have cooked, cleaned and chased after an active toddler the entire time. So much for an “incompetent cervix!”
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been bombarded with deliveries of adorable toys and clothes for our little guy. But today’s delivery got me the most excited of all – our birthing kit, complete with gauze pads, bulb syringes and sterile gloves. Call us hippies, crazies or just plain foolish, but I think this time around, we’ve made the best decision for our family. I obviously have no idea what will happen on that fateful day, but somehow I think it will be great.