Luke and I spent a couple of hours a few weeks ago (Valentine's Day evening, to be exact—we know how to romance it up! Ow ow!) attending my OB office's “Meet and Greet” at the hospital where we'll be delivering He Who Shall Someday Please God Have A Name. (Actually, let me rephrase that. Where I'll be delivering He Who Shall Someday Please God Have a Name. I'm all for the all-inclusive “we're”pregnant language, to magnanimously include the partner in the process of preparing for a baby, but when it comes to delivery, that's pretty much gonna be allllll me.)
It was a rousing 120 minutes of hospital protocol and information, probably 95 percent of which we didn't need to be present for because of our past baby-having experiences. In fact, when they asked who in the room already had children, we were one of only two couples who raised their hands. Dadgummit all you other veteran parents!Why didn't you tell us we could stay home?
To be fair, we attended the session because even though this is our third birth, it will be our first time delivering at this particular hospital, and I thought it would be good to go just in case they had some weird policies we weren't aware of, like requiring we sign a waiver that I would not use any curse words during labor (unlikely) or forbidding all live-Tweeting of the birth process. (Ha!As if! Rosie was born 17 minutes after I got to the hospital in labor with her, so … yeah. Not so much with the logging in to Twitter during childbirth.)
We also went on a tour of the facilities, which, again, was not a whole lot of new info for me, because of past experiences attending friends' births in the rooms there. But as we entered one of the L&D suites, I noticed that I felt a little … uneasy. Like I was having flashbacks, even though I had never had so much as a single contraction in the style of room we were in. Idon't know if it was the smell, or the hospital bed, or the sight of the contraction monitor or what, but Igrabbed Luke's arm and said, “Whoa. Labor redux to the max.” It's like Iremembered all of a sudden what was going to go down at the end of this big belly road—the pain and the pushing and the blur of nurses and beeps and also the pain. Did I mention the pain?
There's a little bit of 10 that happens in childbirth. For sure.
The thing is, I am a big proponent of childbirth being an empowering event—whether you're medicated, unmedicated, in the water, at home, hooked up to machines, on the operating table, whatever. Having a baby is amazing, period. And though Iplanned to have a natural birth with both my kids, Iended up not having much choice in the mattereither time because of the speed with which they came. So though Iwas prepared for pain—and honestly believe that for me it was part of what made the experience so transformative—it still hurt, yo. That's just part of the deal of an unmedicated birth. I wouldn't change either of my birth experiences at all (well, maybe Luke would have made it not be rush hour when we were racing to the hospital to deliver Rosie) and count them among two of the most amazing accomplishments of my life, hands down. Moans, immodesty, pain and all.
And I'm choosing to focus on that when I think about our next trip to the L&D ward with its smells and beeps and nurses. Because after all of the hard work of getting my baby to the world in a small room with bright lights and sterilized sheets, there will be other memories that will linger just as much (if not more).
Eyes on the prize, team. We can do it. Pain scale 10s and all. Fist pump!