One of the first things I am urged to ask any new mommy friend is about their labor story. Everyone has something to share: advice, humor, and all the icky things that they don’t tell you before you get to the hospital. Being 16 when I gave birth to my first son, I was the epitome of unprepared. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and my age pushed my anxiety further. I had imaged my reaction to becoming a mother, the deep love I would feel when staring into my baby’s eyes for the first time.
On his due date, my Aaden came into this world wide-eyed and perfect.
2 a.m. rolled around, and my contractions began. A rush to the hospital with a nervous body, mind and soul kept my heart pounding. Before I knew it, it was time to push, despite the fact that the numbing from my epidural began to wear off in my left leg, and it was too late to refill the IV. That was quite possibly the longest twelve minutes of pushing ever. Despite my assumption, I didn’t cry when he was born. In fact, I didn’t shed a tear, happy or sad. My mom has a video of the birth and all I could do when it was all said and done was rest my head in my hand, tired, relieved that all the waiting, pushing and pain had come to an end. “Why didn’t anyone tell me how horrific this would be?” I thought. Though my first born son was by far worth every stretch and stitch, I was convinced that this whole child birth thing was not for me.
Three and a half years later, Logan decided otherwise, and came into our lives gracefully…with a little help. A week past my due date, my husband and I spent the night at Florida Hospital to await the induction of baby boy #2. I was given a gel-like insertion that would help ripen my cervix, and by morning, I had steadily progressed. A smooth afternoon later, my doctor was waking me up from my last relaxing slumber to tell me, “It’s time to push!” A rush of nurses flooded the room, and all I could think was, “Do I really have to push a baby out right now? I just want to sleep!” The pain was nonexistent, the nifty meds were numbing correctly and suddenly, after the second time around, I felt like I had this under control. Logan, quite literally, slipped out and into the doctor’s hands within minutes.
To this day, I am glad that I didn’t allow my first, not-so-pleasant labor experience to shift my desire to give my son a sibling. So much respect and praise is given to those women who have given birth naturally, with no medications or epidurals…Kudos to you! As for me, we will stick with pain free and easy-going!
What is your labor story? Was there a major difference in experience between your first and second (third, fourth) children?