Q's Arrival: The Good Stuff
Read Part 1 Here
But then I had to push. Pushing feels good, I remember hearing from my trusty Bradley instructors. I envisioned the relief of a much needed bowel movement. That feels good. Pushing, however, does not. In fact, it is the antithesis of good. Good is a nice book, warm tea, or a relaxing day. You are pushing out an eight pound human from your nether-regions. Nothing about that says good. You’re exhausted and frustrated, and a doctor who has just walked into the room for the first time is telling you that yelling will not help you push any better. If she had been there for my whole entire labor, then she would have known that the YELLING (although I like to call it TONING) helped me make it through to this point. Granted I probably scared the shit out of the girl in the room next to me - but hell, chances are that she had an epi, so what does she have to worry about?
So, the stubborn gal that I am, I yell louder, push harder out my ass (they should just tell you to push like you are taking a BIG OLD SHIT and then I would have had her out in one fucking push), and breathe at the command of my doula. Thankfully, my daughter was low and I didn’t push for very long. There’s a split second where you have the distinct feeling that you are about to rip in half and then out she popped. This beautiful baby girl smiled up at me, and for a moment, all was well with the world. And then I remembered everything that had just happened.
In the immediate moments following my birth experience, I felt little pride for my drugless birth and more concern that I would have to endure that experience again if I wanted another one. I wondered why I had been so adamant about allowing my body to remain untouched during such a difficult labor. And I worried if I would ever be able to bring myself to do all that again.
A few people have told me that your memory of your labor fades as time passes. In some ways, it’s true. Your painful labor is overshadowed by your lack of sleep, sore breasts, and general overwhelm. Your stitches disappear but are replaced by various levels of nether region discomfort, for some at both ends. But, even through what were, at times, harrowing hours and days of confusion and frustration, I still remember my birth. Frankly, it’s been almost two years, and I can recount almost every moment of my labor in clear imagery. And now that I know what to expect, I enter the possibility of each new baby journey with a little more trepidation.
It's not to say that I would go drug-less again; I'm a glutton for punishment and an overachiever tried and true. I can't lie - I do bask in the glory of my drugless pain fest every now and then. Especially when several male friends whose wives had just had babies challenged by ability to do it. But, now that I know what to expect, I may not allow myself to get to the point where I'm demanding that my husband tell me something about his dead grandfather (yes, folks, I was disassociating) or begging my doula to forgive me for not going to church that past Sunday.
A wise woman once told me to never count your chickens until they’ve hatched, and truly, the saying applies well here. Before having my first child, I envisioned a houseful of children, but after my labor experience and subsequent miscarriages, I might just have to change my definition of houseful to fit what my body and mind can handle. I'm not giving up just yet, but sometimes you need to change your vision to fit your current reality.