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Belly Watch: 39 Weeks, and Then Some…

by verdemama on May 23, 2011

Sorry I’ve been pretty quiet over here; my head has been wrapped around gearing up for the hard work that lies ahead. I’ve been re-reading my books on natural birthing, packing my hospital bag, spending time with Orion and otherwise preparing for the big changes about to take place.

I’m finally starting to feel ready now, but that’s not to say I’m feeling impatient. Sure, I’m excited to meet the little lady, but I also realize that life is about to change in ways I can’t quite fathom yet, and that’s not something I necessarily need to rush into. As eager as I am to once again be able to bend over at the waist and walk across our old hardwood floors without sounding like a thundering elephant, I just want to enjoy these last few days of life as I know it.

After some time spent looking inward, I’m feeling at peace with the task at hand. A few days prior I was re-reading some materials on natural birthing when suddenly I just started sobbing at the memory of how intense and painful it was last time. It was a joyful experience, for sure, but getting to the payoff was a long, frightening process.

I had always intended to write about Orion’s birth story but I never got around to it. Seeing as how I’m about to have even less free time, I’ll go ahead and give you the super short CliffsNotes edition of his arrival:

~February 12th, 2009, I went to see my OB for my 37-week checkup. She told me my amniotic fluid was running out and my baby could be in danger. She said we’ll need to induce… like, right now.

~I immediately started to panic because, 1) my baby was possibly in danger, and 2) we were smack in the middle of wrapping up a deadline at the magazine where I worked. My maternity leave was supposed to start the next day, and I had a long to-do list to finish prepping for the baby’s arrival.

~After running home to pack up some things, I checked into the hospital. Upon settling in, a nurse inserted a pill into my cervix that kick-started labor. (I’m told by multiple sources that this produces a really harsh labor.)

~The first ten hours or so were not a big deal; it was like having menstrual cramps. The next twelve hours were super intense, like, the most pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. Like, IMDYING, HOWDOWOMENSURVIVETHIS kind of pain. Then I had to push, exhausted, for two very long hours.

~Total time from induction to birth: about 24 hours. No painkillers. I used self-hypnosis to manage the pain, but I’m not sure I really “managed” it very well. I merely endured it. And I honestly do have a high pain threshold.

Of course there’s a happy ending: a beautiful 8 lb. 1 oz. baby boy, and a feeling like I could conquer pretty much anything after surviving childbirth. The memory of the pain quickly faded. Until lately, that is.

I did recently have a brief moment of freakout brought on by the thought of having to endure that much pain again for such a long time. My doc assures me, nay GUARANTEES, she said, that labor and delivery will be quicker and easier this time. I’m praying she’s right.

I’m now feeling confident once again, and I think I’m totally gonna kick childbirth’s ass. Bring it.

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