(The birth story series starts here.)
Dudes, I’m not athletic. I don’t understand how my body is supposed to work when it comes to physical activity.
I cover most of my illustrious sports history here.
I was in college in a PE class for Elementary Ed majors before it clicked with me that to throw a ball, I needed to think about the process while I was doing it, just as if I were doing an algebra problem. Oh. I just thought it was supposed to be automatic.
I think we all have things we know we can do with our bodies – I can’t do contact sports, water ski, or run a marathon. Childbirth, I felt like, was something I could do. It was MY marathon, if you will.
Regarding labor and delivery, I was more scared of the doctors and their decisions than the process itself. And really, since I’d had such reliable and correct analysis and care from a variety of docs (sarcasm), who could blame me. I considered having a home birth, but at the time I didn’t know anyone else who had and I was el-cheapo – My hospital delivery for Alex and I would cost 120 dollars – midwife at home would be … I figured more than that.
I should also tell you – the idea of a C-section terrified me. I could have typed that in all caps but it wouldn’t capture for you the fear that settled over me anytime I thought of it, it would also just be visually annoying, like Carrot Top was suddenly telling this story. Once I told someone that if a C-Sec was the only way I’d be able to have babies, that I didn’t need babies. Yeah. So once I found out I was pregnant, I set about creating the “safest” environment to be pregnant in. For me safe = NO KNIVES. (Oh dammit, go away Carrot Top.) Epidurals may or may not increase C-sec risk. According to what I found it varied depending on when they were administered during labor and this and that and the other thing. I crossed it off my lists of things I wanted and looked about finding other forms of pain management – I wasn’t planning on using anything, but I hadn’t been in labor before so I really couldn’t say what I was going end up with until I was in the middle of it.
I found the touchy feeliest hospital in the area (bypassing the “okay” one just down the street and going another 20 minutes to this one) – It bragged about being set by scenic wetlands, and we felt comforted on every visit, because clearly, wetlands make for excellent medical care. I went with a midwife group instead of the OBs. I had chiropractic care for my crippling sciatica – and the chiro told me that their research showed that women who had chiro care tended to have short active labors, with less pushing time – whatever dude, just pop my spine back into place, I’ll be back in three days when I can’t walk again. We thought about a doula, but Scout and I were both so laid back about everything that we didn’t feel like we needed one. (Read = I was too lazy to figure out how to set one up for us.) I gained 35 pounds, so not great, but not bad. We did the hospital visits, the prenatal online class, the prenatal class, we made our birth plan (which was “I don’t want a C-Section”), we signed consent for a Waterbirth, because it sounded cool and Scout thought it could make our baby into Aquaman, I was mentally ready for labor and delivery, all was well.
I was ready for my marathon. I trusted my body for the first time ever to do something physical. Bring it bitches. Let’s roll.
Then I went to my weekly appointment when I was at 40 weeks 3 days and all mothershagging hell broke loose.
If you want to get a feel for what the last 4 weeks of pregnancy were like – head back to here and give the archives a skim. Really, just skim, there’s some crap in there and there’s some relevant stuff. I don’t want to go all link happy on you tomorrow – even with the crazy bright blue fixed. I don’t want to annoy you.
Tomorrow’s post – all the black vitriolic anger and details about the last two weeks of pregnancy. Grab a drink and settle in for a day where we can all bitch about what “they” pulled on us while were trying to deliver our babies.
And finally, after I spew all of that, I will tell the story of what ACTUALLY happened, finally able to leave out the anger and focus on what went right and leave that anger aside.