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Tea

22 Jan

Sitting over a cup of Earl Grey, in a dingy coffeehouse on Queen West, my friend and I talked and laugh, wondering about a magazine devoted solely to Airports, questioning our pasts, our futures, and the amount of ice cream in her soy milkshake. She tried to convince me that a Master Cleanse was a good thing. I tried to explain I was good with moderation. We agreed to disagree at many things, much as we always have, a roll of the eyes, a toss of hair, a glance and a sigh.

We started talking about my favorite pet subject, childbirth, and I went on my usual rant about how transformative and incredible it was, and yet how our culture demeans it so, treats women as imbeciles who don’t dare question a doctor or know their own bodies. I talked about the intensity of birth, of your body straining to expel your child, about the smell about 3 days after, dead blood and sour milk, and the overwhelming icky feeling to your skin. I spoke of choice, of options, of deciding for yourself what is best, of being sure and confident.

She waited for me to pause and said, “You’re making me not want to have children.”

I’ve never wanted to jump up and scream NO NO NO! so much in my life. I didn’t intend this, I only want to warn her, to provide a pause for her, so confidence, a warning that expectation is, at heart, an evil we bring upon ourselves. I only wanted to let her know that it is this altering experience, good or bad, and that she should go with it, educate herself and just see where it led her.

Yet I scared her. The one thing I never want her to feel, the one reason for talking so much, was to keep her from feeling fear when she finds herself pregnant. And I failed.

Entries-Event! Post Partum Crazy Race

16 Jan

Sorry for the late posting-it’s been a busy few days for me.

Put on your Big Girl PantiesMe & PPD

Miss PuddingCrazy Mom

One Weird MotherPostpartum Oppression

Few Good MemesAfter Birth

Veggie VixenPostpartum Recollection

Liprap No Title

KatsplaceHi I’m Kat and I fed my children with a bottle

Taming EstellaPigpen

AmerimamaPostpartum Abandonment

By hook or pointed stickPost Partum Crazy Race

Magdalena’s RevengeAfterbirth

Mom’s Lost her Mind!- No Title

Sarah’s Story

Since most of our stories are ‘sad’, this time I might just pick names, or something along those lines.

Tired. Waiting to leave for the airport. AGAIN.

Le sigh.

Sarah’s Story

13 Jan

 Sarah sent her entry for the latest Pulsate Olympics via email since she doesn’t have a site of her own. I’ll be compiling the received entries tomorrow for everyone to enjoy in one place.

 

 

 

I should have known when I fantasized about driving my car into the highway barriers at 70 mph when I was 5 months pregnant. I should have seen it coming when I found myself sobbing because the medicine cabinet only held aspirin and pre-natal vitamins, certainly not enough to do the job, at 7 months pregnant. I should have cried uncle, called for the cavalry, or at least said, “Help.”

 

But I held onto the perfect picture of my life that everybody else expected. An easy pregnancy, an easy birth, and an easy transition to breast-feeding. I had a beautiful little girl with a sweet disposition. I had to keep up the façade. If I wasn’t alone I could live in my pretend world and act as if nothing was wrong. But I was often alone. My husband had just started business school and was still working full-time so I didn’t need to. He was gone, staying away in a hotel, every other weekend. My family all lived in other states. None of my friends had children. It was easy to pretend.

 

But I knew that my bundle of joy cried because she, at only a few days old, knew that I was a terrible parent. She knew that I could never love her enough and I would destroy her if I stayed in her life. She and my husband would be much better off without me. Daily I thought about how I could run away, how I could leave them and just drive for days on end. How they would both be happier if I weren’t there.

 

Soon images began pushing to the forefront of my thoughts. Images so real they brought me to tears and made me tremble with fear. I’d be lying if I said those images never included harming my baby—putting a pillow to her face to stop the crying, dropping her down the stairs, getting into fatal accidents on the highway, watching her daycare burn down with flames pouring out every window. Images therapists kindly called “intrusive thoughts,” but still make me cry 5 years later.

 

Eight months passed since her birth. I lived in a world of doubt, insecurity, unhappiness, and constant nightmares both while awake and asleep. After 8 months, I finally admitted to my sister that I was feeling a bit sad. And then I really crashed. I began starving myself during the days, even though I was still breast feeding, just so I could feel hungry, because feeling hungry was better than the feeling of nothing that overcame me. I would sit and look out the window wishing that I could hurt enough to cry, but thinking I had used up all my tears. My sister pushed me to call my doctor and a therapist and kept nagging me until I did. I convinced myself that the therapist did not return my call the first day because she knew that I wasn’t worth saving. The irony is that the one thing that kept me alive was knowing that I couldn’t leave my baby home alone with her dead mother. I didn’t have anybody I could leave her with. I was completely and utterly alone.

 

The therapist did call on the second day. She asked me to be admitted to the hospital. I refused in-patient treatment because I was ashamed. I did not refuse medication or therapy sessions. Slowly the cloud lifted. Slowly I came to see that I was not alone. So many people cared about me and wanted me to be happy and healthy, if I just let them in. I stayed on the medication for 3 years, through the pregnancy and birth of a second child. I am thrilled that I was able to enjoy the second pregnancy and birth of my son, well as much of it as you can enjoy. But the depression will never be completely gone from my life. When I am stressed, tired, or unhappy the intrusive thoughts return. Some days I wake up in a funk and wonder what’s the point? But those thoughts and days are infrequent, and I can make choices that help control them—replacing the thought of my son getting hit and killed crossing the street with an image of him in the future starting kindergarten. Or getting through the sad days knowing that I will make time for myself to read a book or knit and watch a silly movie after the kids are in bed.

 

So that is a small piece of my story. The reality includes so much more. I’m trying to figure out why I feel compelled to write. I’m scared to email this story, I’m scared to have it posted on-line for all to view. But I don’t want to be ashamed of myself for suffering and I don’t want any other person to suffer and feel so alone in the world. So I’m putting this out there. Be gentle with it.

Honest afterbirth

6 Jan

Since I only have three entries in this month’s Pulsate Olympics event, and in an effort to encourage more, here’s a reprise of one of the posts I’ve written about my own PPD experience.

And I want to encourage all of your to write not just about PPD, but the depression, the scary rage, the creepy worry that comes in to your lives intrusively at any point in your children’s lives. Tell us your stories-many of us have been there.

————————

After the birth of my second daughter, I wanted to walk into the woods behind my house, and kill us. I had a plan, and almost did so. I had to stay away from the kitchen and the medicine cabinet, due to knives and pills. I’d stare longingly at the giant economy bottle of painkillers that seemed to taunt me from the windowsill as I did the dishes. I’d dream about my daughter not waking up, of smothering in her sleep, of just going away.

I let her sleep on her belly. Part of me wanted her dead.

Sometimes I’m so disgusted with myself for these thoughts I can barely believe it. I wanted my own daughter to die! I wanted to kill my own daughter!

But lord, I remember those moments. I was thinking this morning about the first few days after I had Rosalyn, and I was still in the hospital.

And I remembered, the numbing depression started within 6 hours of delivery. A friend came to visit and I couldn’t even work up the will to say hello. Tears were streaming down my face when I tried to nurse, even the slightest bit of letdown triggered a torrent of emotion I couldn’t handle or prevent. I asked the nurses if this was normal.

I don’t recall them saying much, if anything.

I felt so fucking abnormal. I was supposed to be feeling maternal and empowered, breastfeeding my child. Instead, I felt sad and small and alone, and fat as I tried to guide my seemingly giant boob into this tiny mouth. I stared at the white wall, at the light, and felt nothing but sadness and horror.

I hated my child. I HATED her. Immediately.

No one noticed. No one saw anything, no one considered that I might be in trouble, that it wasn’t “just” the baby blues. No one even bothered to ask how I was, if I was ok. Although they were very concerned about if I had peed or not.

I had a post partum hemorrhage as well (one of the many reasons I’m not meant to give birth) and as they tried to manually convince my uterus to give up it’s dead, I screamed and screamed for the D&C. I had already been through this before, after almost bleeding out. (When nurses start giving each other that “look”, and you’re lightheaded and rather delirious, you know it’s a bad thing). The doctors only gave up after I kept screaming and the nurses kept reminding them I had done this before.

I remember one nurse being nice, and telling me she couldn’t believe they’d do what they were doing without painkillers. I would have rather given birth again.

You want honesty? Here it is-the hospital system for birth is not a good one. I felt alone and ignored most of the time. I couldn’t express how utterly alone and sad I was, because there was no one to listen to me. I couldn’t tell them I wanted to get rid of my child-they would have treated me like a pariah, or at least that’s how I felt.

Why am I honest?

Because I don’t want anyone, to go through what I went through. Looking back, I should have demanded care, my husband should have. I should have demanded it well before giving birth. I should have screamed it from the roof tops, demanded a midwife, anything, something.

I trusted my health care system to take care of me, and it failed me. And I don’t want that for anyone else. Because I have never felt as alone as I felt in that hospital, hoping the bleeding would stop, begging myself to stop feeling so sad when I should have been so joyous.

It occurred to me that I talk about my post partum depression a lot on this blog. And I do. Because my battle in it, and through it has helped me to define myself as a parent. I got through it. I found my love for my children. But not before I had to slog it out, and not without some heavy therapy to try and fix me. I already had issues, from my motherloss, from adoption, from sexual abuse, (lord, the list seems like a hallmark special doesn’t it…) My personal demons made it so I don’t ever feel like I deserve help-asking for help is the hardest thing I ever did. Admitting where I was within the PPD was terrifying and ultimately, freeing.

So I’m honest about this, and other things in my life, as an example for others who are where I was a few years back. I thought I had dealt with it all.

But after the sadness, after the storms of crying and begging for my mother, I realized I hadn’t ever dealt with any of it, and it just compounded on itself, and I was adrift, and wanted to die.

So I am honest to act as a life preserver, and be there when someone asks “Does it ever get better?”

Oh yes. It does. Sometimes my life is filled with so much joy and beauty, I think my eyes and my heart might burst. It’s so worth it…

New Event! Post Partum Crazy Race

3 Jan

We are all well versed in my continuing trials and tribulations with bipolar, as well as my battles with the demon PPD after the births of my daughters, especially the birth of my second Rosalyn. (If you aren’t aware, see tags bipolar, PPD or crazy for the posts.) To be brief, I lost my mind for a little while, and have been dealing with the outcome of that for awhile. Sure, there was the whole “actually crazy” part, but I think the issue is bigger than that.

Many of us are isolated from eachother, isolated from women, aunts, sisters, women who have been there and done it, and who can help us realize that we aren’t horrible mothers or creatures. We’re isolated from ourselves, and our power to create and give birth. We’re isolated from medical care that actually cares for the mother and the child, care that watches for the teetering dip into madness.

In my case, no one seemed to have read any of my files, and I harbour a great deal of anger towards a medical system that couldn’t be bothered to listen to me, to pay attention to me. The day Rosalyn, my second born arrived, I spent the evening curled up in bed sobbing. It didn’t take 2 weeks. I was horribly, terribly sunk, and no one seemed to notice or care.

I don’t want this for my daughters. I don’t want it for anyone.

 hillbilly.jpg

Adrienne Martini’s Hillbilly Gothic was sent to me by Karrie, who thought I could relate to many of her experiences. And I can, except I never had the balls to commit myself. I’m always afraid they’ll never let me leave. In it, I found someone who suffered in many of the same ways as I did, thought the same thoughts, something that up til reading this book, I had never felt. In some cases, she wrote exactly what I had thought through my madness. And the warmth of knowing I was not alone with some of my dark thoughts. She was there too.

So the Pulsate Olympic Event! for January is this:

Tell me about your moments after birth, days, weeks, months, where you thought you just couldn’t do it anymore, where the enormity of what you had done, of having a KID! pressed upon you. Maybe it was only a day, maybe it was for weeks. But tell your stories of what the real post partum period is like. Share your dark times, let it go, give it up so other women might not feel quite so alone with it. I never knew how many women had suffered until I started to talk about it. Learning from other women who had been there helped me realize none of it was my fault.

I’m giving you until midnight AST Wednesday, January 10 for this. Link to this entry in your post. The entry that touches best upon the post partum period will receive this fine book in the mail from me.

Let’s make sure the crazy mums don’t have to be so alone anymore.

Birth the new birth

16 Dec

I’ve been reading some of your birth stories (not all, not yet. I prefer to absorb your stories.)

I’m so sad for all of us. We all have the same stories, in certain ways. Many of us were alone, pressured into decisions we didn’t want by nurses and doctors who didn’t believe we could do it. We felt like failures, like we weren’t real women. Fuck up’s.

We aren’t. We are not the wimps, the babies, the cowards many of us feel that we are. We are not failures.

But we need to find a way to change this for our daughters. We need to find a way to fix this. It’s not fair to us, it’s not fair to them. We are not, and have never been weak creatures who don’t know what’s best.

So do we become the next generation of doulas and midwives? Do we find a way to tell other women that it’s ok to say no, that it’s ok to tell that terrible nurse to go fuck herself, or tell that doctor to stop staring at the clock while he wonders why we won’t dilate. Is it our responsibility at all?

I’m surprised on one level at the visceral, sad reaction I’m having to many of these. We wanted birth that happened as they should, with a minimum of intervention, confusion or annoyance. Many of us didn’t get that.

Do we expect too much, or too little?

What do we do to change childbirth for our daughters?

Off with her…ovaries?

13 Nov

Lisa Ann Diaz drowned her 2 daugthers in 2003

She was released last week as “mentally stable”

On one hand, I get it. She was nuts, and now she isn’t. Been there, bought the ashtray. She had a psychotic break, tried to kill herself, and is now “ok”. So she walks out the door, having only to see a mental health worker daily and prove she’s taking her medication.

She could have more kids.

The part of me who remembers what my own “break” was like reads this story with a heavy heart, fighting to not have a kneejerk-book her sarge! reaction. She wouldn’t have been herself. She was out of her mind, schizophrenic, unmedicated and dangerous. Keeping her in a hospital or jail while medicated wouldn’t have helped, wouldn’t stop or help anyone. You aren’t criminally responsible if you didn’t mean to commit the crime. She didn’t mean to do it.

I had myself fixed, so I would never ever again chance getting pregnant, and going even more nuts with the PPD. I KNOW that I’m a risk to myself and my children. One more would assuredly kill me, and at least one child. It’s not worth it.

But I wonder if this woman had the presence of mind to do this, or if this is some secret part of the “deal”. Should someone convicted of killing their children for any mental reason be allowed to possibly reproduce again? That many be an ethical slippery slope, but is it not even more ethically repugnant to allow someone like this to get pregnant, and possibly repeat what happened? If she stops taking her meds, and has more children, what could happen? Who would be responsible? It’s not like we’d had a sign around her neck, or Andrea Yates, or Susan Smith. But do we, as a society, have a responsibility to innocents to disallow the privilege of reproducing to these women?

I’d like to say that we don’t, but I believe otherwise. As I’d like to see certain classes of crimes in which men are generaly the perpetrators punished my castration, part of the punishment for killing your kids should be no kids. You can’t force someone to take medication forever. You can’t ensure they use a rubber. You can’t always protect a child from it’s own mother.

I don’t believe this women are culpable, but I do believe that measures should be taken to prevent history from repeating itself. We at least owe children that much, don’t we?

Guilty

16 Oct

So I was bloghopping (ever do that? Follow links on someone’s blog to other’s? It’s fun, until you end up at the same one after 25)

I digress. I came upon this post, in which Gerah talks about her postpartum period, and becoming a bit of a wreck in it, from guilt and all that good stuff.

And it made me ponder a few things-It really made me question why there is no room in this society for a woman to mourn not being home with their child. It’s what you naturally want to do-be home to nuture and feed and bond with your child. Biologically, that’s kinda how it works, what with the boobs and all. But we live in this messed up world that believes a woman should bounce right back to work, and feel nary a twinge of anything, instead swinging right back to conference calls and bad coffee.

I feel for her, because it’s so totally fucking avoidable, simply because our society, all of us as women, need to say “fucking pick one.” Don’t have the media sell me this blissful image of SAHM when most of us couldn’t stay home if we wanted to. Don’t tell me that breast is best when I have to work and commute 12 hours and somehow pump enough milk for my baby. Create an infant and family friendly country which truly values both the impact and contribuition of the working AND at home mother. Let women like Gerah know that guilt will always be there, no matter what choice we make. But that it’s normal, however evil it is.

The other thing it brought to mind was-I never felt any real guilt at going to work. Nuthin. The occasional twinge now as I’m leaving in the morning as someone wants “one more hug!” but that dissapates as soon as I’m up the street, listening to Versus the Mirror without someone yelling “TOO LOUD!”

Am I the wrong woman for children? I don’t really think so-my girls are insanely happy and incredible little girls. Am I wired wrong? Highly likely-I wonder how much my bipolar has to do with how bond with my children-only now do I grab Ros and want to squish her I love her so much. Never felt that when she was an infant. Could the bipolar also make it easier for me to be a working mother? Or was the guilt I felt, at not loving my kids immediately, something that overrode the “normal” guilt that most mother’s have?

I love them now, to pieces, but reading Gerah’s post made me remember a time when I questioned my love for them, and I hate hate hate that she’s gone through so much guilt and ICK at a time when she is likely just happy to sleep. I really want my girls to grow up with a rational, real idea of what pregnancy, birth and post partum is.

The Dorf worries that telling them the actual details of my situation when pregnant/post partum will affect them negatively. And while I have to agree that Rosalyn will likely not be told about my desire to abort her until she well past 16, they will know what their “genetic inheritance” regarding mental illness and childbearing really is. I do not want either one of them going in expecting sunshine and lollipops and coming out with dead roses and blood. I want them to know that something like this really is dirty really is more than can be explained.

I want them to know that it is the farthest thing from perfect they’ll ever see. I don’t want to ever have to talk them back from a suicidal state.

Step Right up! Pick yr Baby!

21 Sep

We all know I’m not a big fan of reproductive technology at this point, right? So seeing an article on CNN about how people are “selecting” for gender more often made my coffee want to come back up.

42% of the fertility clinics surveyed stated that they had selected for sex. Not to avoid disease. SEX.

Monkey wants a boy, monkey gets a boy.

According to one doctor “It performs a much desired service. We’re making people happy”

We bitch and whine and moan that our current generation of KIDS are ungrateful little snots, who think everything is about them, and only want to be happy.

Where do you think that comes from?

Let’s flash forward a few years-let’s assume we have a country that’s turned into even MORE of a theocracy, where boys are highly valued, and girls, meh, not so much. Keep a few around for breeding.

While this type of thing may support my lesbian island utopia, I don’t like it. As women we are told that we cannot choose when to abort a potential being in OUR wombs, but if we want to manipulate said potential, then go to town? If we want to force a 50 year old body to have babies it wouldn’t otherwise have, go to town! We can alter the baby before it’s a baby!

How wonderful! We don’t have to actually make a decision anymore, or accept life as it is, spontaneous and shocking. We can ask a doctor to make us “happy”!

While I’d much prefer that people carrying deadly diseases NOT reproduce (thinking about the gene pool here) I support using rep.tech. in this manner, because it makes sense. The ultimate goal is to reduce the suffering a child may experience. It’s a benefit of a modern society.

But picking your child like a pair of shoes, chancing multiple births that you may not be able to physically handle, or financially afford-it’s icky, and it’s actually rather scary.

Individuals from China come to the US for this procedure. And we all know why. Because their own country bans the practice, and people want boys. So they get boys. Lots of boys. They’ve already passed laws to try and prevent sex selection abortions. Now, they can avoid that messy little part.

I don’t get it. Of course, I don’t get the drive to have “your own” child when so many children need homes and parents. I find it selfish to consider your own needs in this way. Sure, you get something with a penis-but what if he happens to be gay and doesn’t fulfill your ideas of a man? What then, you try again?

I’ve thought for a long time that we’ve jumped into these technologies blindly, but also in a discriminatory way. And it frightens me. People will argue passionately for or against vaccines, and yet have no qualms with manipulating the beginnings of a potential life?

Regardless, I think I lost my appetite this morning.

Time may change me, but I can’t trace time

3 Aug

I’m sitting her staring at a picture of Nat’s sweet little screaming meanie, Rita, who now has TWO teeth, and laughs and smiles.

Just yesterday, I was worried sick about my friend and her tiny daughter in an incubator.

Staring at the cuteness that is Rita, I starting thinking about my own girls. In about 2 weeks, Vivian will be three years old.

Three years already. Seems like just yesterday, I was scared, unprepared and immature, not ready for what was about to happen, unsure about what exactly that was, and annoyed that someone’s toes were lodged in my ribs.

There is nothing on earth like your first pregnancy and birth. I cannot compare it to anything else. Nothing in life so terrified me, or made me recognize my womanhood so much at once. Everything was new, everything was special, the sun shone in technicolor and my heart felt that it might burst open for all the happiness I wished upon my new daughter, even through the haze of hormones and mental illness and loneliness.

In those first few months, I began to discover a new ME, a woman inside this girl who I had mistaken for a woman. I began to grow in ways that would have taken substantially longer without children. I became calmer, reminding myself that even though I hadn’d had much sleep, she could be sick. I could be sick.

We were healthy, and happy, and I remember sitting on my front steps one day, smoking, and for the first time in as long as I could remember, I was content, and perfect in that one moment. The sun was setting, and nothing, nothing could hurt me at that moment.

I sit back now, and I find myself staring at this girlchild I barely recognize sometimes. It is so true-it goes so FAST! And I warn Nat to just sit and enjoy it as much as she can, because she will turn around and that sweet baby will be replaced with I WANNA DO IT!

But we can’t freeze time now can we? And I don’t want my sweet little toddler/preschooler (is she one now?) to go away. The fierce hugs and kisses I receive, the requests for pink kitties, the dignified “Ros wants a nap now” when she wants to watch the backyardigans, I wouldn’t trade those for anything. But I wish I could have just held tight to her babyhood, instead of wishing it away.

My firstborn will be three years old soon, and I have grown so old, and so young in so short a time. I don’t recognize myself, and not just because of all the weight-there’s a weight on my heart that all mothers must carry, the weight of worry and joy, of tears and laughter, the weight of knowing that you love something so much, that your heart will shatter if anything happens. The weight of being loved without question, the trust implicit.

I’ve done some reading that suggests that how we cuddle out children unconciously duplicates how our mothers were with us as children. As I snuggle in to read her Wee Willie Winkie at night, I can’t help but feel my mother between us, bringing us together, three generations of women, three generations reading the same bedtime story in the same way. It comforts me, and it hurts, to know how much she is missing. But it reminds me that my time may be short, and to grab each moment, each hug, each fragment of time, and hold onto it.

We never know what we won’t get back.

Home

11 Mar

My friend Nat got to take her sweet little daughter home on Friday after about a month in the NICU. Rita you see, decided to make her mother’s blood pressure very high, and INSIST on making an appearance a month or so early.

Rita is tiny, sweet and utterly beautiful. (She is, really. She’s just kinda pissed off in that picture. Come to think of it, her mom looks like that at work a lot.)

When Nat came online to tell me she was FINALLY home on Friday, I nearly burst into tears. I felt like my heart was going to burst, and I tried to find a way to convey how thrilled for them I was over messenger.

That’s not easy to do.

When I met Rita for the first time in her incubator, I started to cry-as I write this I’m crying, and I don’t quite know why. She’s not my child, hell, I cried to get RID of mine. If someone had of asked, I would have gladly given them away those first few weeks.

But there is something incredibly breathtaking about watching two people want a child, and get it, and love her so fiercely from day one. Watching Rita’s Daddy as she slowly wraps him further around her finger without trying, watching the solemn look of peace that decends Nat’s face in pictures as she looks at her daughter HER DAUGHTER! it’s this indescribable feeling.

Friends having babies is just that much cooler. WHO KNEW! And it’s not spite, me knowing she won’t ever sleep the same way, and that she’ll worry about the stupidest things (ok, she does that one already but still….) It’s knowing how big her heart will become, how fascinating this creature will be to her, how her husband, who is adopted, will look at Rita and finally see someone who looks like him. How fragile and yet how strong they will become.

There is something absolutely joyous about knowing 2 people so deserving of this tiny pleasure, and watching them become enraptured by it. There’s this melancoly in me as I think of my first, and how I let so many moments slip away, how I thought it was so much harder and scarier than it really is. You will never, EVER be a new mom ever again, and there is such sweetness in all those discoveries.

I really want to tell them that there will come a day FAR too soon that you will miss that sleepy feeding baby in your arms at 3am. As much as I love sleep, I loved those night feedings even more, singing my versions of what a lullaby should be, inhaling the absoluteness of the moment. That this will be the one time that you truly feel you can protect them from anything.

I find it all so incredible, like a roller coaster or a good movie, because I know what lies ahead for them, and how delicious is all is.

Drink it up my friends. Such beauty is few and fleeting in this world.

Welcome Home.

I’m that woman now.

23 Jun

2 years ago this day, I was FREAKING out, pregnant, worried about labour, birth plans, how would I be a parent, talking to EVERYONE about it, reading tons of books…

Suddenly, I’m that woman for others.

It’s such a neat cycle, and being able to pass on what I’ve learned, it’s kinda cool. My top things:

  • Your body knows what to do. Really, it does. You could go squat in a field, and most likely push out the puppy. It will hurt, but you can do it.
  • It’s not pain as you know it. Yes, it hurts, I can’t argue that. But it’s not “I just chopped my hand off and threw it into some Chili at Wendy’s” pain. It’s pain with a purpose. Let yourself use the pain as a guide. It’s pressure, and it’s working with you. Relax and let your body do it’s job.
  • Try to avoid the drugs-all of them. For my first, I was induced, and then needed the epidural. I felt weird and icky for days, I progressed WAYYYY to fast(I was only induced because my water broke without contractions, and I was stupid enough to go to the hospital 5 hours after that-I could have waited at least 12). My second, I had NO drugs because I went from nothing to birth in one hour, 50 minutes. Oh, that HURT alright-I will never rid myself of the image of an oyster being shucked as the head crowned and popped out. But I was just fine two seconds after, and I have a better sense of what happened after, and my body recovered quicker.
  • Do NOT blindly follow the doctor. Sadly, many want YOUR birth to accomodate their lives. Mine wanted to induce for the second because she was overdue past the ultrasound date. The ultrasound date said March 1. MY date, based on my cycle, was March 11. I knew that the baby would be fine to 42 weeks, which to me, would occur much later. AND as much as I wanted her off my bladder, I didn’t want to interfere. I’ve never heard of a baby NOT coming out. And on her own time, according to MY calculations, she arrived March 9. DO YOU RESEARCH on methods, drugs, procedures. Come to your own conclusions, with the help of your doctor. For instance, in the hospital where I’ve given birth both times, the OB/GYN’s tell women they don’t need birth control if they breastfeed. Which is NOT true, and so the nurses run behind them telling women to NOT listen to that. (in this day and age of women supplementing, it’s too big a risk). So educate yourself, and have an open dialogue with your doctor.
  • Enjoy your pregnancy. It’s the COOLEST thing you’ll ever do. I look at men all the time and say “I can make AND feed people. What can You do?” 🙂

I wish I was good at science. I’d LOVE to be a midwife.

I’m going to post this on both blogs, since it relates to both parts of me, and I’m WANTING to post on both, and I don’t have the topics.