When you find out you’re pregnant, you think “This is the best day of my life!” For the next 9 months, your world is filled with nursery decorating, baby shower planning, gear shopping and lots of anxiety. Your feet swell, your legs swell (um, no one told me about this!), you eat like a horse and feel like a beached whale. You finally give in to packing away your cute tops and skinny jeans and resort to maternity shirts and baggy sweatpants or jeans, complete with belly band. By month 10, you’re counting the days until you feel somewhat human again. You can no longer see your feet, so you rush to get a pedicure days before your due date (because your feet are, of course, the main focus of this upcoming event! :P) You pack your bag and place it at the door and wait.
My day came at exactly 12:00 am the day after my due date (my son clearly got his promptness from me!). I laid in bed for a while, trying to find a position that would alleviate some of the pressure and pain I was feeling. I was used to feeling terrible, so I thought nothing of it. After about 20 minutes, I decided to get up and get a snack, sit on the couch and try to get my mind off my misery. But as I sat on the couch, timing my contractions, I got the strangest feeling that this was not quite normal. Finally, I woke my husband up and told him I wasn’t sure but I thought we might not be sleeping that night. We got to the hospital around 3:30 and by 5, family had been called. We were going to have this baby today!
I will admit, when I had discussed my fears of labor with friends, family and co-workers, I took comfort in their assurances that this wasn’t as bad as most say.
“Not to worry.”
“You can handle it.”
“Wait to get the epidural as long as you can.”
And I will now admit, I was not prepared. I believed the lies of these other mothers, snickering behind me as they gave me false hope. I got to about 4 cm before I got my epidural. Those were the worst hours of my life. I have never in my life felt so much pain… To those of you who have bravely gone through childbearing “medicine free” or “naturally”…you are crazy! Good for you for proving to the rest of us how wonderful modern medicine can be. I would never belittle this quite magnificent feet that some undertake but I will say, personally, I have nothing to prove to anyone by not taking advantage of the great medicine discovered in the last few centuries.
My experience with the epidural was quite wonderful. I recommend it to all the pregnant women I know, who are unsure of what they want to do. I feel like by having some pain relief, I got to enjoy the day a little. I could visit with people and even rest a little. By NO means did this make it easier but definitely an appreciated addition to my day.
That day was nothing like I had planned or even thought it might be like. Don’t feel like a strong woman? Have a baby! By the time you’re finished, you feel like a superhero. It’s amazing the strength you find in yourself when another life is in your control. And ladies, you will be amazed by the strength of your husbands. Mine was rather worried about the whole experience and before that day, I pictured him, at some point, lying on the hospital floor, passed out cold. But he really surprised me. He became strong enough for the both of us. Pregnancy can really test your marriage. And I have found, in our case, it made us so much stronger. We discovered what true, unconditional love felt and looked like.
Yes, being pregnant is hard. Having to take someone else’s need into consideration in everything you do. Avoiding too much caffeine. Kissing exercising goodbye. Laying aside your wardrobe. Living completely for another person. But when you finally get to hold your living, breathing, healthy baby, you realize just how worth it the whole experience was. And you discover that you were meant to be so much more. I finally felt like I had found what I was meant to do with my life – why God had put me on this earth. It was to be Lucas’ mom. And I couldn’t ask for a better job. 🙂