Friends are having babies around me left and right. For the most part, it makes me really excited to have my own squishy newborn to hold in a month. But with each birth story I hear, I become more and more terrified. You see, the thing with babies is they have to come out. Down there. And as much as I know that childbirth is necessary to bring forth the baby, it really hurts. Bad. Really, really bad. And I am starting to remember just how much pain is involved in birthing a human. My loins are trembling at the thought of life ripping through them yet again in less than 30 days. Mommy, hold me.
I had Beatrice med-free. It was the most prolific experience of my life to feel as though my body was crushing itself from within, drawing strength from God Almighty alone, and convincing myself that I would not die from the pain for the greater part of 2 days. It hurt. It felt impossible to accomplish without my faith in God. It left me trembling, but I did it. And looking back, I love my birth story. I love how I experienced raw pain and felt my body adjust and contort to allow for childbirth. Despite the intense pain, I plan to have all of my babies the same way. It is an experience I don't want to miss out on for any of my children. I want to experience every moment of my babies' precious births. Pain and all.
It still scares the crap out of me. Hearing all of my friends recall their recent contractions and excruciating rings of fire as their babies crowned has me reliving Beatrice's birth all over again. I am dreading laboring. I am dreading feeling like I'm dying for days. Days, people! I definitely feel more prepared this time since I have been through it before, but it doesn't take the dread away from actually having to go through it again.
When I was a kid, I asked my mom why women had more than 1 baby if childbirth was so awful. She said that by the time you were ready for another child, you forgot how terrible the pain was when you had your first. I guess she was right because when JD and I were talking about having another baby last year, the first thing he asked me was if I was ready to go through all of that pain again. "What pain?" I said. "It wasn't that bad, honey." Apparently I forgot. Funny how he remembered and he didn't experience a single contraction... I guess that's how God intended it though. If women never forgot how badly their loins hurt with each baby's birth, no one would be up for round 2. Or 3, or 4. We'd all be a bunch of only children.
I keep drilling JD on our birth plan. "Do you remember how to be supportive, dear?" "Do you remember how to massage my back and dim the lights and reassure me that I'm not gonna die?" "Did you remember to line up Michael Bolton and all of the horses and the fire and chest hair?" Wouldn't having Michael Bolton serenade epic love ballads in the delivery room create the perfect ambiance? I think so. He assures me that he has remembered it all and that he is ready for Penelope's delivery, even if I'm not. I'm working on it though. I pray every night in great detail for the kind of birth experience that I want. I have dusted off some of the reading materials and Bible verses that gave me strength the first time around. I'm getting to a place of almost being prepared for the pain that is med-free childbirth. My loins however? Not so much.