Coming to Grips with Birth Stories

You’ve been pregnant.  You know how it goes.  Women inevitably say things like: “I don’t want to scare you, but giving birth hurt so bad my intestines literally exploded.  The epidural didn’t numb anything but my mouth. I couldn’t spit “You did this to me!” in my husband’s general direction.  I was disappointed; I planned on saying that for seven whole months!  I went blind from the stress, and now I have a twitch in my left forearm that just won’t quit.  My body will never be the same.  You’ll probably be fine though.”

I know about the horror story phenomena because saying the “right thing” isn’t a talent I possess, and I am frequently the offender. 

The best thing about my pregnancy was the c-section.  When I first got pregnant, I had high hopes of going natural.  But after pre-term labor for five months and the entire medical community of Spokane, WA checking more thoroughly than anyone had ever checked in the history of checking cervixes, no one could find my cervical hole. The irony of this is difficult to describe because I had spent months on bed rest, watching HGTV and Law and Order  reruns precisely to keep my cervix shut.   Turns out, I could have been running marathons.  With a cervix like mine, I should have started gestational competitive weight lifting. 

I’ll call my cervix Fidel. 

Fidel wouldn’t budge.  The doc brought in the big guns.  36 hours of pitocin.  By that time, I was used to serious contractions, so I didn’t bother with an epidural.  It validated my months of bed rest.  At least I knew how to handle contractions.

I asked for a c-section several times.  But the doc and my husband thought I should keep trying.  Fidel just laughed.   

Finally cleared for a c-section, my husband and I walked nervously toward the operating room.  The spinal block in place, they asked me how I felt. I said, “Better than I have felt in nine months!  This is amazing!”

After months of sleeping on a wedge, two different types of prescription heart burn medication, and bruised ribs, I felt comfortable.  I felt peaceful.

And then suddenly, a baby appeared.  A beautiful, incredible son with a cave man wrinkle between his eyes.  I loved everything about him.  Even the wrinkle. 

Fidel and I have made our peace.  He won’t be bothered again.  It’s scheduled c-sections forever more.  I didn’t want to be high-risk.  I didn’t ask for Fidel to dictate my child’s birth story.  But sometimes, you take what you can get.  

Don't worry.  This type of birth isn't common.  You’ll probably be fine.