My take on Pregnancy, Giving Birth, and Having a Newborn!
As each stage of the wonder of having a child passed in my life, I wanted to write about it, but somehow never got to it. Looking back, every part of making a life triggers exactly the same reaction in me. I feel that everything horrible, awful, and difficult that people attribute to those experiences is grossly exaggerated!
Before I was pregnant, and especially while I was pregnant, women who already went through a pregnancy told me about how difficult it is going to be. Morning sickness, constant going to the bathroom, stomach cramps, mood swings, being unable to sleep, back ache, swollen feet… The list went on and on and on! Whenever I dared respond that my experience went otherwise, I’d get a “Oh, just you wait!” So I waited, and waited, and waited. I waited for the misery of the third trimester, but when I still wasn’t miserable at month 8, someone actually still said “just you wait until the LAST month.” But the last month came and went, and I was still alive and working full-time! Before you accuse me of having an easy pregnancy, I would like to say that I vomited from week 9 to week 14, every day, sometimes twice a day. My feet did swell (although only during the last 3 weeks — I attribute that to regular exercise). My lower back began to hurt at week 18 and never stopped. And I was 10 days late. And I still thought that pregnancy wasn’t as bad as people described it. It is what it is, and that’s what it takes to produce a life. Women need to get over it and stop scaring their first-time pregnant counterparts. Did I LOVE being pregnant, as some claim? Absolutely not! In fact, I am enjoying not being pregnant right now very much. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Before I gave birth, and especially weeks before going into labor, women who already went through labor told me about how difficult it is going to be. I was prepared for a pain equivalent to being cut open with a knife without an anesthetic, and a looooong process during which I would starve because evil doctors in the hospital wouldn’t let me eat. What scared me the most was a post circulating about labor being equivalent to 20 bones being broken in a body at the same time. The reality of giving birth was nothing of the sort! Before you accuse me of having an easy labor, I would like to say that mine lasted 36 hours, and although I did take an epidural, it was at hour 27. Baby took 2.5 hours to push out. It was also back labor all throughout because my little acrobat decided to turn the night before. Additionally, the epidural pretty much wore off by the time it was time to push. Was labor painless? Absolutely not. It’s painful, but nowhere close to being cut open with a knife or breaking 20 bones all at once! In fact, I’d rather have 20 babies than break a single bone. Oh, and by the way, you are not hungry during labor. I started with a midwife who was trying to feed me all throughout. Every morsel of food was repelling and almost immediately vomited out. My advice to girls pregnant for the first time: pray and get the horror stories out of your mind! Fear will make your body tense up and intensify the labor pains. Remember and remind yourself that you were created for childbearing. Read up on it and know what to expect of the process. Then trust your body and God’s design!
Before I had a newborn, and especially right after I gave birth to my baby boy, women who already went through having a baby told me about how difficult it is going to be. I was prepared to never sleep again. Ever. In addition, I geared up for a forever messy house and surviving on ramen noodles and the kindness of neighbors and family who would bring food because I would never have time to cook or clean again (because of the baby, of course!). My husband and I would also never get to go anywhere because it would be so difficult to get ready with the baby. And changing diapers. Oh man did I hear poop stories and blowout stories! The friends who found out we were planning to cloth diaper rendered us insane. Then baby came into this world, and man what a wonderful experience it was! Before you accuse me of having a trouble-free child, I would like to say that just like any normal newborn he woke up every two hours all through the night and demanded that someone feed him (that would be me). The trouble with babies, you see, is not that they want to wake up and eat, but rather that they don’t necessarily want to go back to sleep immediately after, and would rather play or coo or cry. My little boy was no different. There were nights my husband found me curled up on the floor by the crib because I accidentally fell asleep while waiting for the next time I have to stick a pacifier that fell out back in my angel’s mouth. In fact, baby still wakes up at 4a.m. to eat. But somehow when you are in the mothering state of mind, you manage to function on very little sleep and be absolutely ok with that! Your body adjusts. And turns out that there is plenty of time while the baby sleeps to clean the house and even get dinner ready! The poop? Absolutely disgusting and gross, except only when it comes to the offspring of others. Your own child’s somehow just isn’t bad! (And yes, we are still cloth diapering). Unless you are completely self-centered, having a newborn will not be as bad as you may have heard. You will not only survive, but even thrive, and find that there are a zillion things about babies to enjoy that FAR outweigh any negatives that mothers tend to concentrate on for some reason.
Children are a blessing! View them as such, and you will not be disappointed!