Now that there's a growing boy inside my belly, I am faced with a horrible reality. He has to come out somehow. I am not the woman who thinks delivery of a baby is a magical, spiritual moment. I cannot watch "The Baby Story" or any other show about delivery...never have been able to. I have a weak stomach, as they say. The whole process seems frightening, painful, messy and horrifying. Especially the part when they hold up the newborn covered in...well, goo. I'm getting a little queasy just writing this out.
I hear women talk about the miracle of birth, how the pain connects them to the Earth (or something...I tune those ladies out pretty fast), how it's an honor to bring a person into the world...And I gotta say...on THIS side of childbirth, I am not experiencing any of those lofty ideas. I would be just fine with going old school and being put to sleep pregnant and awoken with a clean, fresh baby in my arms. But, I hear they don't do that anymore.
So here are five things that are getting me through this anxiety:
1. My friend Michelle described labor as one day of really, really hard work. (Um, it is called LABOR for a reason) With that mindset, she says, you can get yourself through it. It's pretty much ONE day that will possibly make you very tired and be difficult, but it will pass and you will have (literal) fruits of your labor. This mindset makes it easier to wrap my brain around.
2. Bazillions of women have done this and lived to tell about it. There's something to be said about history being on your side. Women gave birth in fields and less-than-delightful circumstances. Assuming all goes according to plan, I'll be delivering in a clean hospital surrounded by medical professionals and family. If so many other women can do it, surely I can too.
3. Epidural. I do not diminish those (crazy) women who want to experience all that pain. Everyone has to make her own decision on that. I don't believe I get any extra brownie points for going all natural or demerits for using some meds. Do not send me links to "reasons an epidural will make your child a freak" articles. I won't read them. As of now, I plan to use pain management resources that are available to me. Like most rational humans, I have a healthy fear of intense pain. Call me crazy.
4. The hospital tour. Jerod and I took our tour of the hospital where we will deliver on Saturday. Hearing about the check-in procedure, seeing a room where I might deliver, and getting visuals on everything have been extremely helpful to my mindset. It makes the abyss of unknown a little more real. I was comforted about having a nurse assigned just to me and seeing the sweet little newborns in the nursery. We've also had several people tell us what great experiences they had delivering at this particular hospital. As a planner-type, just seeing locations and walking through the steps a bit have given me some peace of mind.
5. Prayer. God and I have been discussing this whole arrangement. I know my mom has been praying specifically about the delivery. God has never promised to make anything easy on us, but I do think He promises to be THERE and PRESENT with us in our hardest times. So, I am putting some faith in Him to walk me through this, to give the staff presence of mind, and to help Jerod to help me.
So, Mr. Shepard, I will be beyond excited to see you. I just pray that you come out tall and skinny like your Dad, quickly, and in the hospital. Is that too much to ask? :)