Having a baby is unpredictable, which is pretty cool, if not totally nerve-racking.
There aren’t too many things in our lives that are truly unpredictable. No matter what, there’s mystery in childbirth: How much will the baby weigh? What will she look like? Will he be healthy?
Not to mention the labor. I’ve found that no matter how “prepared” you are, it still seems impossible that you will come out of delivery with a little human being. It’s more likely you’ll leave with a monkey or a bag or marbles or four little mechanized stuffed animals.
*K-Pants can’t say the baby’s name so he calls him Baby WOWWWWW, and I think we’ll stick with that, though I was personally torn between L-Socks, Lil’ Fuss, and Le Milkshake.
I delivered Baby Woww with no drugs, which was a totally awesome experience (the oxytocin-fueled amnesia is already kicking in). With K-Pants I got an epidural at eight centimeters–my overall calm had just left on a motorcycle and I was about to eat off my husband’s shoulder.
But K-Pants’s delivery left me with doubts: Could I have gone all the way?
I wanted to see.
My first labor was less than twelve hours so I knew I had a fighting chance with number two: likelihood was low that it would be long. And I was serious about getting ready: reading, prayer, tons of exercise and stretching, and envisioning the experience.
A week before labor started I was at three centimeters, and by the time labor started in earnest, I was at five. With that head start it took just under five hours to get Baby Woww into the world.
Now if you talk to Jessica Alba or Gisele Bündchen, you’ll hear that drug-free childbirth is very zen, pretty much like yoga. I think they did more preparation than me. Also, they are famous. But I try not to beat myself up–I mean you are pushing a baby out, so it’s hard for that to feel like yoga the whole time.
However, I did maintain quite a bit of calm with the help of my support team (I’m not sure how long the calm lasted because labor is a time warp–it could have been twelve minutes or four hours).
There was one point toward the end when my mind tried to bail on my body. Here’s how that went down:
By this point my course was already charted: this baby was coming. From my vantage point three weeks later, it’s nice to know that sometimes things just have to get done, and your mind will move aside.
The biggest difference this time around when the baby came was the sheer fact he was here. I was afraid that the last stage of labor would go on…and on…and on. But no! Eventually something has to give. A real baby arrived. And he started nursing right away.
Welcome to the world Baby Woww!