Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why I Will Do It Again

I read Amber's blog daily. She has two beautiful kids, a boy and a girl and not to mention, she is beautiful herself. Holy crap, the woman wore a freaking midriff shirt the other night (she has a nine-month-old)! It's just not fair! The other day she wrote this post which said she has given birth at home with both of her children. I was in awe. To give birth at home seems courageous, it seems empowering, it seems like such an amazing accomplishment. It got me thinking about my next birth and why I won't do it. Not because I don't believe in it. I do. It's just that...well, I loved giving birth in a hospital. And I'm just pretty mainstream, I guess.

My sister and I talk about giving birth a lot. We call it "that day." We'd both give birth a million times over to relive "that day."
I'm a planner and list-maker. I loved packing my hospital bag (I know, I know) full of stupid things like playing cards (really?), ten pairs of socks bought specifically for the occasion, and loads of snacks for my husband to eat.

It's kind of like a vacation. You spend nine months waiting for the day you get to meet your little one. You've booked a flight to Hawaii, packed your bags, and you can't wait to board even though you know the plane ride will be five hours of general suckiness. Checking into the hospital for me was like having my boarding pass scanned. The journey had officially begun.

Along the hotel vein, people take care of you, do the clean-up, bring you drinks, and tell other people to wait outside. They teach you how to bathe your baby, come check on you every couple of hours, and make sure you haven't been too wrapped up in your bundle of joy that you've forgotten to order food before the cafeteria closes.
(Yes, this is amniotic fluid...everywhere. Collin actually helped clean it up. They had to bring five towels in to mop the floor with.)

The heart monitor. I could listen to my baby's heartbeat all day. When it decelerated a nurse rushed in to check on him and turn me to alleviate some strain on Tommy.

My epidural. I went into birth with an open mind about natural childbirth. When the subject was brought up by my first nurse, I dismissed it. My pain just wasn't that bad. At shift change, my second nurse (who was amazing) did not pressure me or coerce me, but she sold me on it. We talked about it like I was purchasing a product and that it made sense to buy it expediently. She was right.

The beautiful baby. Of course, the baby is the part you get regardless of where you give birth. But, that moment where I held my baby for the first time and the outpouring of love that ensued...that is what I want over and over again.
The visitors, the bad food, the sweet nurses, my husband bringing me McDonald's coffee the next morning, ceremonious cutting of the hospital bracelets, the woman asking me what my level of education is (why is this relevant?), my baby hicupping in the bassinet all night long, the balloons, the going-home outfit, the million conversations re:when we should install the carseat, the squeeze bottle to clean off my lady parts, the smell of baby shampoo on my sweet baby's head, the screened-off roommate, learning how to swaddle, the doctor coming by to check on me the next day, being able to compare my quiet baby to the ten other squalling's all such a beautiful blurry memory. I can't wait to do it all again.


  1. Jessi said...

    :) :) :)

    Both of mine were hospital birthed, induced, epidural babies. I loved every second of my 7hr and 4.5hr labors.

    I love this post. It makes me want to do it all over again.......

    .....btw, check your BBC inbox ;)

  2. Jessi said...

    P.S. I can't believe you posted that amniotic fluid photo.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Boo! I posted and it got lost! Let's try to replicate it:

    I had a totally visceral response to this post! I did NOT enjoy my hospital experience. I didn't like the hospital, hated my OB, LOVED holding my silky new baby even when she pooped all over me, did NOT enjoy the peri bottle, and did you have the cold packs? Those were pretty nifty. I'm hoping the next time it's better... I'll have a different OB and a different hospital, and for sure a different perspective (having done it once already). Nothing beats the new baby though... just the best thing ever.

    Like Jessi I'm totally disturbed by your amniotic fluid. You slay me.

  4. christina said...

    This gives me hope that if I ever get pregnant again (preferably with one baby at a time) that the immediate experience after birth will be better. My babies were taken straight to the NICU after they were born and I just got to glance at them in their isolettes as they were being wheeled out of the delivery room. I had to wait several hours before seeing them again, and then I only got to touch their hands. I don't think I got to hold them until the next day, and for the first two weeks I had to ask permission from the nurses when I wanted to hold them and could only do it at very specific times. They didn't tell me at first when those times were, so I would show up just after they started getting fed and ask to hold them and they would tell me I was too late (talk about guilt for running late, even though I didn't know I would be late to anything). I constantly felt torn in three because I could only be with one of them at a time. I could barely even stand for the first two weeks after the c-section (it was an extra hard recovery because I had been on bed rest for so long). Then we had to leave the hospital without them and they didn't come home until they were 5 weeks old. I definitely did not feel the overwhelming feelings of love and warm fuzzies. I remember being in a lot of pain all the time and feeling guilty about everything and that the nurses and everyone around me was judging my every interaction with the babies. I feel bonded with them now, but I can't help but wonder what it would have been like if I had been able to be with them immediately like you can with a typical single baby. Sorry for writing my own blog post in your comments! I'm thinking I should probably write my own post about this!

  5. caramelchica said...

    I feel the same way about giving birth!! When does that feeling go away!? Because every time I think that maybe I'm done, I'll think about "those days" and see pics of my huge belly and my wee babies, I can't imagine never doing it again...
    I love the amniotic fluid pic. That's real ;)

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