Wednesday, August 22, 2012

P.S. #2--by Marlee

After I found out I was pregnant, I was obsessed with birth stories. I probably read or heard over 100. I would talk about it constantly with my husband, and though he listened patiently to my ideal birth scenario and showed the appropriate amount of shock or disgust at what I had read or heard about that day, he always seemed to be a few steps removed from the situation. Because, well, he was. I was the pregnant one. I was the one who lost 15 pounds throwing up daily during my first trimester. I was the one who suffered from gallstone attacks as my expanding uterus eventually put too much pressure on that particular organ. I was the one that could feel my baby girl get the hiccups and do the can-can daily. And I was the one who was going to have this baby.

I became particularly fixated on “what I wish I’d known before labor and delivery” stories. I read about emergency C-sections, terrible constipation, 4th degree tearing, incompetent doctors, breastfeeding woes and everything in between. My sister had told me that she was completely unprepared for the horror of a post-birth body and I was determined to be ultra prepared.
I think there is a time in every woman’s pregnancy – at least in their first – when they come to the realization that somehow or another this baby is going to come out of them. It seems stupid, but if you think about it, pretty much all the choices I had made up to this point were fairly reversible. Even my marriage – I could just walk away if I really wanted to. But when you are 9 months pregnant, you are all in. Whether you choose to give up the baby or keep it, there is no getting off the labor and delivery train. And I think that’s why it becomes an obsession. The inevitable mystery of YOUR labor and YOUR baby’s birth.

You can read about Ivy Jane’s birth here (link to http://marleeisme.blogspot.com/2012/03/ivy-jane-bangerter.html) if you want to. It was a pretty easy and pleasant experience, and I don’t feel that sharing it again here would be particularly helpful to blog readers or cathartic for me. The message that I really wanted to share is that pregnancy makes you feel and act like a crazy person sometimes. But you are totally justified. Your body is a time bomb and you have no idea when it will go off and what kind of carnage you will leave in your wake. Let yourself spend hours reading, thinking, talking, writing, sorting, folding, buying, and whatever else your heart desires.  That pretty much sums up my list of “what I wish I’d known.” :)

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