After giving birth to two children, I distinctly remember other women saying it is the only pain you will experience yet quickly forget. I will have to say it is completely true. My first pregnancy was really uneventful other than my frequent work trips by car from southeastern PA to upstate NY. I would strategically map out where the hotels were off the highway for the occasional potty breaks. Since I was traveling alone, I was a bit unnerved to stop at the many rest stops.
I was pregnant shortly after turning 30 and gave birth a month before my 31st birthday. My overall pregnancy made the 9 months appear extremely easy that is until my water broke in the early morning hours. Who knew it was going to feel like a really bad “potty accident” . I remember thinking now we need a new mattress and what about the carpet? The strange thing about water breaking I expected it to smell but there was no odor. Once I realized this was it I immediately called the doctor who instructed me to get to the emergency room and he would see me in a few hours. Well little did he know that first baby had other plans in mind. When I arrived at the hospital it was a bit intimidating, the room was sterile and mundane nothing aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I guess in my mind I thought the room would be filled with relaxing music, cool colors on the walls and lit candles for the waiting period. Where did I think I was headed to the spa? The nurses were in and out poking and probing until I was a bit annoyed. I remember talking to my doctor (unfortunately he was still on vacation) about not wanting an epidural. In my mind I was going to conquer the pain with another strategy-trying to focus! The childbirth class was filled with couples who looked really scared and the video was not encouraging it just imparted fear for me. After the contractions started to speed up more frequently I felt a chill and decided to go into the shower and warm up my body. When the shower ran its course, I stepped out wrapped up and proceeded to do squats(some where I heard this made the baby drop). I could tell the time was near and I was almost fully dilated and I was so adamant about having anything invasive I even skipped having an IV . Dr. Bailey was so accomodating in terms of what I wanted or did not want. The doctor on call was definitely shocked he had to leave his house sooner than later. For a first birth, my labor and delivery lasted about 4 1/2 hours and the pain so true I have no real memory. I do remember the “ring of fire” …..whooooo that burning but the intensity I cannot describe……! A few hours later I was holding my new suprise bundle of joy…..BLUETACULAR ANNOUNCEMENT IT’S A BOY! I think the only thing I truly remember is the uncomfortable heartburn from drinking orange juice and the occasional gagging with my prenatal vitamins. Oh and not being able to sit with my legs closed during the final weeks. I never really experienced a final month as my son decided to make his appearance 2 weeks before my due date. My only lasting thought was I can do this multiple times……it was a cakewalk…..seriously that’s all I remember!
Fast forward 6 years, yes I know, I know? ..pregnant again. This time there was no surprise I had to know the gender at my 20week ultrasound and it was a PINKTACULAR day when the technician said IT’s a girl! I really wanted to buy everything I possibly could in pink! Since this was birth #2 I knew what to expect so I immersed myself in reading books on birth, trying to find a natural birthing method(I read the Bradley Method) for relaxing as I embarked on going without an epidural for birth #2……Well as luck would have it with my supercharged children, little miss missy decided to make her appearance on Thanksgiving evening after I had just scarfed down my homemade dinner of roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato souffle with pineapples, greens, and macaroni & cheese. I thought it was a false alarm. However, the UNCOMFORTABLE feeling would not subside even the doctor on call instructed me to start timing the contraction. When I realized the contractions were more frequent I knew it was time! It was off to the hospital in the rain. Oh I forgot to mention she was 3 weeks early? When I arrived I tried to insist with the nurses that I wanted no IV and they were not having it! I finally had to give in and have this needle forced under my skin……UNCOMFORTABLE! I will have to say the maternity floor at Paoli Hospital was very relaxing and calming. The room was spacious and what did I want to do, well you guessed it walk the floor to focus on trying to manage the contractions. I circled the floor until my legs were not strong enough and then I needed to warm up my body in the shower again…..After doing squats I retreated to the bed until I was fully dialated? I guess the turkey really relaxed her as she took her sweet time arriving. I instructed the nurses to turn off Grey’s Anatomy and cover the tv screen with a sheet ( I could see a reflection on the screen). Next, I remember one of the nurses asking me if I wanted a mirror and with a blank stare I said NO! I’m all for no epidural however I have my limits and watching my baby leave the birth canal was more than I could visually handle. When I was fully dilated my OB/GYN was no where to be found and when she entered the room it was showtime, not too many pushes and there she was after the “ring of fire”……..The most UNCOMFORTABLE moment was the doctor performing the episiotomy! I remember feeling famished and a little ticked that I left my homemade sweet potato pie in the refrigerator…..My entire body felt like I had run a marathon and the nurses had boxed lunches which I inhaled! They truly saved the day!
For the uncomfortable moments throughout pregnancy, it was all worth it!
*Weekly blog prompt from Shades of Social Media