Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thoughts About Labor (the Baby Kind)

Throughout my pregnancy, one of my biggest fears has been labor, mostly because it's one big question mark. Labor is different for every woman, and there's pretty much no way to predict how it will go.

I, personally, am a big fan of knowing everything that's going to happen to me before it happens (haha, you say), so you can see why the thought of an unpredictable hours-long bout with pain doesn't jive with me.

Naturally, I set out asking many different women about their experiences with labor, each time hoping to hear what I wanted to hear - that is, "You know, it does hurt, but in the end it's not that bad, and you can do it!" Instead, I've discovered that woman seem to have some morbid need to describe their pain to me (ranging from "it feels like you're being ripped apart from the inside" to the loud statement of a hyperbolic grimace) any time I mention that I'd like to give birth without any medication.

Yeah...not helpful. I've been striving to find someone who will forgo the terms "agony" and the like to remind me (as a male friend at church did today, God bless him) that women - many who had to have been wimpier than me - have been giving birth to healthy babies without medication for centuries.

Not that medication is bad. I'm not going to try to be a hero if I really think I need an epidural, but I'm also not going to keep it so close at hand that I reach for it (so to speak) at the first sign of difficult pain. In the midst of all of my trepidation, I keep reminding myself that my body was made to deliver a baby and has been assiduously preparing for it these many months. And, of course, Baby Krycho will come at the end of it, and what could be better? As my mother-in-law put it - the most encouraging words about labor I've heard to date - all of it is pressure with a purpose.

All this to say that I'm going to be careful, I hope, to speak as positively about labor as I can when someone (especially a first-time pregnant woman) asks me about it in the future. It's partially my fault for asking so many people about it, when gathering information from only a few trusted sources and medical staff would've been wiser for me. However, I've been more than a little appalled at the reactions I've gotten, so you can bet that I'm not going to ask around about labor any more!

And that is all.

30 weeks down, between 6 and 10 to go...

Kick, kick, kick, all day long!


  1. you will be just fine :)

    you are wise to keep an open mind. i really wanted to go unmedicated, but my first labor went so fast, and i hit the end of the weekend shift with nurses who were PRN's and who were condescending to me as a first time mom - till they realized how fast my labor was going. by then i was pretty panicked, and i ended up with an epidural, and i loved the epidural man! and my daughter is perfect.

    second time we were more prepared, and i went unmedicated the whole way. the worst part was that i was very dehydrated and very starving for beef after she was born, and the best restaurants were already closed, so my then-husband had to go to the hospital cafeteria and get me a hamburger. he said he knew i was starving b/c i warfed it down w/out looking at it!

    my recommendation: take some liquids and foods to rehydrate you after birth in the event what you want is not available at the time.

    the up-side to the epidural was the riddance of pain, and i was able to relax. since they have an iv in you, they are also able to replenish your fluids. the down-side? so many fluids made my face look puffy (or so i thought in my post-childbirth-hormonal-state).

    whatever it will be, it will be all yours, and your beloved husband's, and your precious baby's.

  2. We're praying for you to have peace; and you will. You know the source of your strength, and as you were reminded, this is a natural process that has been going on for a long time, and your body was made to do it. God made it to work wonderfully.
    I remember helping "coach" Kerry through the process each time, but the joy that comes in the moment you see and hold your baby causes all that you have just gone through to almost immediately fade. After Chris was born, Kerry said, "I would be willing to do that again three or four more times."
    Obviously, it was only twice more, but it was a tremendous experience each time.
    This is one of those, "for the joy set before you" moments.

    We love you.


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