It’s been an unusually long time since I’ve updated this blog and there’s good reason for it: a sweet little baby boy who arrived in October. If not for an arduous pregnancy and the insanity of becoming a mother, I’d have written sooner; I’ve certainly had plenty to say in the last several months (it’s election season!). I’ve had much to relate on pregnancy, birth and motherhood thus far, but I never–gee, imagine that–have the time to sit down and type it all out.
And the further it all dissolves into the past, the less I remember. So, quickly, before the baby wakes (again), I’m going to offer my thoughts with the asterisk that I may expound (or not) on these in the future when I find some free time in which I’m not hurriedly trying to eat, shower, nap or take in some of the culture I’ve been missing out on for several months (hellooooo mountain of books pleading to be read!).
Pregnancy. I love not being pregnant. My pregnancy, however, was unusually trying, particularly toward the end when I developed both preeclampsia and pre-term labor. So maybe I’d love being pregnant with a different baby, but right now is feels awesome to not be pregnant. The kicking–feeling my sweet little baby moving around inside me–saved me. That was the best part. Would I do it again? Yes, probably, but I need more (much more) time to enjoy that absolute joy of not being pregnant. Ha.
Birth. I went all hippie during my pregnancy and really wanted to have as natural a birth as possible. Despite having never done it, I fell into the camp that believes that birth shouldn’t be feared; that my body is built to do it and it’s an amazing experience that one shouldn’t mask with drugs. I was right–it was pretty amazing; I did it without an epidural and truly it was not the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. It wasn’t a picnic, but it was manageable and so, so worth it. So, if you’re pregnant and reading this and contemplating skipping the drugs, go for it–you can do it, and you’ll be glad you did. I used Hypnobirthing and cannot recommend it more highly; it really helped me stay calm and relaxed. I also had a doula, which I highly recommend, for the extra support and knowledge.
During my pregnancy, because I had chosen a natural path, I was surrounded by a lot of professionals and moms-to-be that advocated for home births. My husband and I knew we wanted a hospital birth, though we appreciated the view of the homebirthers that childbirth was, for most women, a perfectly natural event that didn’t require medical intervention. I still respect this view, as my decision to birth in a hospital was respected by them, but I think it’s worth noting that though I expected to have a normal birth (or as normal as possible when preeclampsia is involved) it didn’t end up that way. I bled…a lot. I ended up with a transfusion the day after my son was born, to put into context just how much blood I lost. This was not something my OB could have foreseen happening and it’s a damn good thing I was in the hospital to deliver, because she was able to take immediate action to stop the blood loss–I’m certain my already being in a medical environment kept me from losing more blood than I would have had I birthed at home and traveled to a hospital immediately following delivery. So, if you’re asking me for my opinion, I highly recommend choosing a doctor who shares and respects your view of childbirth and, if you do that, you can have a great experience in a hospital setting. And you’ll already be there just in case something goes awry that needs immediate attention.
Motherhood. One paragraph on this is not enough, and I’m sure this topic will have many future posts devoted to it. Everything that everyone told me about having a child is true, but to extremes I could not imagine. I was told I’d be tired, but I had no idea just how tired. They told me I’d be madly in love, but I couldn’t comprehend the depth of that love until my baby was in my arms. His half birthday was yesterday. I’m still frequently exhausted, unkempt and looking for any morsel of food I can quickly shove into my mouth, but I’ve never been happier. I went many years thinking I’d never want children, and now I can’t imagine why or how I ever thought that my life would be better that way.
Hope to be posting here more frequently in the days and weeks to come! Happy Spring, all!