Last night, Jarrod and I took a tour of the hospital. We’d never been to the hospital here and I’m so glad we went to check it out. It was nice. There were mountain views in some of the rooms. I saw the food trays…they looked good. There were pools in some of the rooms, making water birth a viable option if you wanted it to be.
My upper lip started sweating when I spotted those blue spongy things tucked under the delivery bed where your legs rest while you’re pushing and then the tour guide describing labor positions, I felt my throat closing in. I was the veteran mom in the group…hell, I should have been leading the group, passing out booklets and telling all those newbies what was what.
It wasn’t like that.
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It wasn’t like that because I remember all too vividly what giving birth is like.
Walking in at 1,789 pounds,
the ear temperature checks,
the hospital gown that falls off your shoulders,
that fetal monitor thing they strap on your belly that is so uncomfortable,
the beeping machines,
the chipped ice in those Hondo plastic cups,
the squeaking nurse’s shoes and how they talk so quietly but you still want to punch them in the face,
the doctor breezing in to save the day after you’ve been through hell and back and how you want to punch him in the face too.
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Then the tour guide went into the after-care:
the giant pads you could duct tape together and sail home in,
those stretchy Grannie panties (although for some reason I really really like those),
the squirt bottle cleaning tool,
and the antiseptic spray,
I’ve had a lot of anxiety about this pregnancy…more than I can remember having with the others. I haven’t done this in five years. I was only 25 last go-around and maybe because I’m 30(!!) now, I’m not sure why, but I’ve thought about almost every scenario of something going wrong.
What if this?
What if that?
I’ve thought and rethought about all those things listed above and sweated over these things. I’ve remembered over and over how I got to be my sister’s birth coach and how horrible her doctor was and what an awful birth experience she had. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night thinking thinking thinking…
Being in that hospital last night made me remember all those things about birth so vividly. BUT…and you mamas know there’s a “but”…I remembered something else last night. Laying in the tub before bed last night I remembered some other things about giving birth…
that feel of your newborn that’s never seen the light of day except for right then, with you…on your chest…him looking into your eyes and you into his.
The hot tears that roll down and fall on your baby’s little misshapen head,
that feeling of utter relief when the shoulders pass and you know it is out,
hearing that first squeaky cry,
looking up at the face during those last hard pushes that has been there with you through it all, telling you how brave you are, how beautiful, how strong, how amazing.
Watching that same man get nervous to meet his new baby too, wiping his sweaty hands on the back of his pants over and over and over…
…that moment when the doctor announces, “it’s a ………” at the very end of nearly ten months of wondering.
Inspecting that newbie’s ears and eyes and how much hair they have…
staring at their face for hours until the others come in to meet their new brother or sister and seeing their faces grow older before your very eyes…but not in a sad way, in a happy way…a this-is-how-it’s-meant-to-be way. Seeing those older kids in a new, strange place with plenty to explore and check out, but none of it matters because there’s a special bundle waiting to meet them that they’ve been waiting months and months to see too.
It’s scary, birth is.
Whether it’s the first or the forth…it just is.
But I can’t recall even one mom saying she’s rather give her baby back than relive that I.V. or those giant maxi pads…not even one.
I have anxieties…even after doing this three times, but its funny how even those memories wash out the scary stuff. I know it’s going to be uncomfortable and a little freaky…but I also know the end result.
And that is really really worth it all.