Ha! Made you look! Well, if you're actually someone new and not just one of my friends I force to read my blog, I'm due with child number 3 tomorrow. Baby D, as I've come to call him is feeling pretty big and it's been a long, really uncomfortable pregnancy. I'm not one of those women who loves being pregnant. I hate throwing up, I hate the pressure in my belly and nether regions, the waddling, the extra weight yada, yada, yada.
Anyhow, it seems like the whole motherhood competition begins during pregnancy. Whether you drink caffeine, eat sushi, have brie, exercise, don't exercise you name it. The actual birth is a huge point of discussion and point of contention for the mommy wars and who is the most holy in the quest to be that perfect parent. Pain management seems to be part of the grail. Get some and you're less of a mother because of the myriad of reasons. There is fact behind some of the reasons, but somehow it's morphed into a value judgment about how much you love your child, how much you trust your body, how much you are woman, hear you roar!
With Mr. N, I went into the hospital, had a lovely epidural, felt no pain, the birth was a little hairy as his heart rate was taking serious dips and stops, but with the help of a vaccuum we got him out quickly enough that he was the healthy bouncing baby boy we were hoping for. Afterward though, my back felt like it was smashed with a sledgehammer and I felt like hell during my recovery because of it. My back has never been a happy back, so the decision to stick a giant needle in my spine is not made lightly.
Mr. A, I went into labour with no sort of warm up. No progression of contractions just 0-3000000000kp/h in the middle of a snowstorm and before I knew it I was in hard labour. I crawled up to the nurses desk begging for an epidural stat! Thankfully because of the bad weather, I didn't have to wait, but the anesthesiologist walked in with some hemp pouch bag, socks and sandals on and when she was done trying to find that magic spot that would deliver pain relief, her answer was "Good enough." Note to everyone, do not trust anyone who is putting a needle in your spine who wears socks and sandals. So, the rest of the labour progressed with me feeling a lot of pain and hoping that anesthesiologist dies a horrible death. Probably something I should be ashamed of, I'm still not! But after Mr. A, I bounced back a lot more quickly. My back felt way better and I was ready to go.
So up comes this labour, and I'm still undecided. Who knows, maybe I'll be going so fast that choice will not be mine to make. But I straddle the middle of people who think au naturel is the only way to go, and people who think I'm nuts for even considering any alternative. I'm not firmly settled on either side of the coin, I just want to hit the ground running with my healthy baby. Let me be the first to say, at the first sign of trouble, I'll be comandeering the OR and demanding them to take my baby out as I was with Mr. N. And to give you an idea of what that means to me, I'm terrified of surgery of any sort. I need to be drugged just to get a filling. That said, I like the idea of feeling as good as I did when I had Mr. A. I also like the idea of being able to move around, I like not having all the junk that goes along with the epidural.
I'm confident my body can deliver this baby,women do that every day, I've done it, twice! But I'm definitely not a fan of pain. I think I can manage it to some degree, however the pragmatic Capricorn Joy says "Are you f*cking crazy? You know it hurts like a mofo and no amount of Kumbaya's is going to spare you." So unfortunately, like a lot of big decisions, there is no 100% one way or the other. I'm not married to either idea, and frankly, in a way I wish I were, black and white can be so much easier.
So what to do? I guess in the end, I'm going to have to go in with the best of intentions and realize that as a third time mother, I have earned the right to honour my body. I go in with the knowledge knowing I have and can survive a birth without pain intervention, but at the same time, if my broken and bruised body is yelling for help, I should listen to her too. Like every mother though, I have to have the courage to listen to my instincts. When wishing me luck or sending me vibes, please aim them towards that thought. :)