Saturday, October 11, 2008

Speaking from experience?!

I sat down in one of the closest seats to the bus driver, near the shelf on which I had placed my heavy backpack. He sat several seats away from me, across the way, perpidicularly (if you'll allow me to make up a word). Yet he spoke loudly enough for me to hear as he pointed at my belly.

"When you done?" he queried.

The finger point helped me discern the meaning of his question and I said "I'm due December 4th."

"I bet you can't wait."

"Well, actually I just started a doctoral program and I have A LOT of work to get done, hopefully before the baby arrives, so, actually, yes, I can wait."

"This your first?"


He raised his eyebrows. "Don't panic."

"I'm not panicking," I replied, "I feel good about what's coming. I'm hoping for a home birth." O.K., didn't need to share that, but... it just came out.

"No drugs?!" He replied. He rolled his eyes. "Just you wait, you'll change your mind as soon as you feel that first pain."

"We'll see," I said.

I believe he elaborated on the horrors of birth a bit longer for me and then he turned to his seatmate and started telling the story of how someone in his life gave birth in a car. I turned my attention elsewhere.

I relayed this to Kevin when he got home. To which he replied, "Like he knows from experience or something, sheesh."


Shifting Gears said...

Everyone experiences childbirth differently...I don't foresee you have too much difficulty considering you walked around with a broken toe that was broken nearly completely off (OUCH!!)

Besides you have a most awesome coach (You the man Kevin) and you have already started mentally preparing yourself for what is to come (love the idea of singing through childbirth).

Don't listen to the horrific tales...When they hand that precious bundle to you, your arms are going to be wide open and you won't feel anything but joy!

Iris said...

I'm rolling my eyes with you. Sheesh...

daisy said...

Funny, sa, but when I carried you, people always said, "I bet you can't wait or I remember being at a LaLeche meeting and evry pregnant mom saying, I'm due at such and such a time and I can't wait. I always said, I can wait. Not because I didn't want to have you, not because of all I had to get done, but because I was liking carrying you! Love, Mom

Sneaksleep said...

I know I'm not the first to say it, but I think a lot of things in the world would be different if men *could* experience childbirth. Every woman is different, every birth is different. Yours will be exactly what it should be.

Jon said...

Hi Sarah: I'm just now following your blog. I'm thinking of and praying for you and the babe on the way and Kevin. Having just gone through labor a little over 6 months ago, I would say you might want to vocalize without singing any particular tune. One of my friends who had a natural birth said that one has to "surrender" to labor. Maybe this is why I had trouble near the end and why my contractions fizzled (they gave me Pitocin soon after and then I got an epidural) when I was already 7 cm dilated; I really wanted to concentrate and I think I unwittingly fought the pain rather than surrendering to it. One other little piece of advice -- if the breastfeeding doesn't come right away, don't be scared. It will come -- just persist and continue to work with your baby. The baby only needs a teaspoonful of the colostrum at every feeding for the first few days until your milk comes in. If you can't get the baby to latch on at first, you can express colostrum and feed it to him/her with a syringe. I'm sure you've read about all this, but it helps to remember. For something so natural, breastfeeding is definitely not easy at first. I wish someone had told me that because I was needlessly afraid (even though I had read some books). Blessings, Emily

Silent said...

The best advice I got for during labor was "listen to your body." You'll have your own experience and you'll know what to do. I have a low pain tolerance and didn't have pain relieving drugs at all until some Motrin post-birth.

I'll also second what Emily said about breastfeeding--it takes some time but is worth it and gets easier!

Sarah S-D said...

thanks, em! glad you're reading now and let me know if you do start blogging so i can return the favor. thanks for the tips. 7 cm was transition for you, that's when a lot of women get terrified and want to give up, from what i've read. i hope you have some peace with your birth process. as laurie said to jonathan when we were all together in June, there are cases when pitocin is a life saver- and I imagine it was for you. And, further, very few (if any women) can handle the strength of contractions with pitocin without an epidural so the two interventions often go together. you labored naturally for a good chunk of the way. i'm so glad you got that experience, but, above all else, that you now have a healthy, happy baby. and thank goodness interventions exist if we need them.

yes, surrendering is a good image. my sister sang with the mom in the first birth she ever attended until transition and then the mom said, "O.K., you sing. I can't anymore."

I forgot another line in the conversation, when he started talking about pain I said 'Yes, but it is pain with a purpose.' Hope I can keep that perspective.

Thanks for the breastfeeding tips. My seminary roommate has shared that her transition to breastfeeding was the most painful part of motherhood for her. She gave me a book she found helpful. Your simple tips will also be treasured.

Sam is beautiful! I love seeing pictures of your gorgeous family on jonathan's blog!