When I was preggo I was somewhat obsessed; what did every symptom mean? What fruit or veggie was my unborn child the size of? How much weight had I gained? What would labour be like? What would my CHILD be like?
You can’t know these things until you experience them, and no matter what advice you give other people it cannot sufficiently prepare them for their own unique experience, as much as you might hope it will.
My mother, when I was pregnant, constantly harped about what horrible labours she had endured and that I should prepare for much of the same. Alex (my husband) and I took the classes and did the reading online (Oh. My. God.) and we felt that we were prepared for anything. You know what we weren’t prepared for? Nothing we were not prepared for nothing to be abnormal or to have an especially unremarkable delivery. I had a long labour, but thank the Gods, I didn’t actually realize I was IN labour. It wasn’t until I was almost 12 hours in (more on that some other time) that it dawned on me that shit was happening. I was pretty determined to go naturally, but by 6:00am when my contractions starting compounding and I was exhausted and losing control I caved and asked for the epidural. BEST DECISION EVER. By 6:30 I was numb, and by 8:30 I had gone from 5cm to 10cm. I slept while listening to the glorious sound of my baby’s heart beating and shyly asked the nurse if I could breath the baby down (aka, let the baby descend naturally without pushing). She smiled and obliged; by 10:30 am when she came to check on us again she could see the baby’s head. She walked us through a couple practice pushes and then left to assemble the team. Fifteen minutes later- it was game time. I pushed through four more contractions and PRESTO, suddenly we were a family of three! Little G-Man was among us!
I remember laying there, overwhelmed by emotion but also wondering- ‘what the FFFFFF is the Doctor doing down there?’ and worrying that I had ripped from one end to the other, when the Doctor looked up at me and said ‘Mmmm, I think I just need to put in one stitch, just to be cautious,’ I am NOT kidding you when I say that I high fucking fived that Doctor right there and then. You can ask Alex- it happened.
Being a new parent- you don’t know what to expect- we certainly didn’t but we were blessed with an extremely easy baby. Gunner would sleep like a champ- he went consistently in six hour stretches from the time he was 6 weeks old. He was always happy, and almost never cried. He set his own schedule, and stuck to it. I wound my watch (or cell phone) by his routine, it was amazing. I worked through my maternity leave because I was bored. The extra money was nice, but really I just needed the stimulation. Alex and I had date nights, and left G-Man for the first time over night when he was just four months old (for a wedding). I remember getting home the next morning and my MIL being blown away that he had slept through the night.
G-Man is two and a half now and is still an easy ‘baby’. As long as he is fed, kept busy and gets his required amount of sleep he is literally good to go.
The purpose of this post was not to brag; but simply to talk about the unexpected GOOD experiences. You are not everyone else, and you are not your mother or aunt: your experience will be your own. Please, keep an open mind to it and have trust in your health care provider that they will get your through the entire experience in the safest way possible for both you and the wee babe. Know what you want and what you don’t, be familiar with the medical procedures and what is happening to your body during this time. It’s supposed to be a happy, exciting time- embrace it and prepare yourself for all the outcomes.
xo Guest Blogger Stephanie