This is the first post in a series on how God has changed me through the ups and downs of pregnancy, childbirth, and miscarriage.
This week my first-born celebrated his sixth birthday. I love being his mom. He’s grown in many ways, but he still has the really great belly-laugh he’s had from early on, and it makes me laugh just listening. I’m a different person in many ways too, since that awful/beautiful day six years ago . . .
Heading into my first childbirth experience, I felt completely confident. I’d had many painful periods (don’t laugh), and was prepared to endure the pain as long as necessary. I estimated labor would last 24 hours since that’s how long my Mom’s first labor had been. I’d prepared as best I knew how, reading the Your Pregnancy & Childbirth book I received from my Obstetrician’s office, and attending the childbirth classes at the hospital.
One night after class I approached the instructor. “What’s the best way to avoid a C-section?” I asked (I had read the U.S. C-section rates were around 30% and that made me a little nervous).
“Put off the epidural as long as possible,” she said.
“I’m not planning to have one . . . unless I really need it,” I said. The “unless I really need it” part was just me being polite. Since I knew I was tough and God didn’t invent epidurals, I was totally confident I wouldn’t need one to have a baby . . .
A week before my due-date my OB said I had dilated two centimeters. “That’s great!” he said. “That usually means a shorter labor, since you’re already dilated this far as a first-time mom.” That was encouraging, but I was still mentally preparing for a 24-hour marathon, just in case.
Around 6AM on a Monday morning (due date was Friday), I woke up with my first painful contraction. I walked around the house a bit to see if contractions would keep coming, while hubby got out the stop-watch and started timing them. They weren’t all that powerful or close together, but they kept coming, so we ate breakfast and got ready for the hospital.
Read the next post here.
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