To Scream or Not to Scream…that is the question!

Welp, I was finally starting to feel better (for two whopping days) when I got slammed this weekend with a return to the First Trimester. I’ll spare you the sordid details. Let’s just say I pulled two all-nighters in a row as I prayed to the porcelain gods. I’m trying to keep my spirits up but hope this phase will soon pass!

With seven weeks to go, it is evident Junior is that much closer to making his entrance into the world. And as much as I try to call upon the Powers That Be to deliver this child via a blessed, mythical creature called the stork (that some woman in labor inevitably conjured up), I know the reality.

But I also know the options: to have pain or not to have pain. Though I’m all for anyone who wants to attempt the former, I have a great testimony of the latter.

Jamie is fully supportive of epidurals, primarily because he knows my level of pain is intricately connected to the out-lashings he receives during labor. He has always understood that. During our prenatal classes we watched a video of two babies being born: one naturally, the other with painkillers.

Following the presentation, our pro-natural doula asked the class: “Now, can you tell me the difference between the two deliveries?” She was obviously searching for anti-drug answers such as how the woman having the epidural was hooked up to lots of wires.

My blessed, blessed honey raised his hand and brazenly announced, “”Uhhh, yeah. The woman with the epidural was smiling.” We were obviously blacklisted by the doula after that one.
A recent playdate with my friend Dawn and her little boy caused further reflection as she extolled the virtues of natural childbirth. “I had an epidural with my first but I couldn’t feel a thing and it delayed labor,” she explained. “But with my second baby, I didn’t take anything and he was born much quicker.”

She then recommended a book, The Bradley Way, which allegedly gives wonderful insights into the entire process. Now, I had a friend loan that book to me when I was pregnant the first time around. I deemed it was not a good sign when I almost fainted at the graphic birthing pictures. Once I recovered, I admittedly didn’t get too far into the book when I discovered the Table of Contents was bereft of certain key words such as “epidural” and “painkillers.”

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not some kind of wimp. Anyone with a passion for athletics enjoys a certain level of pain. But call me crazy–climbing a 14,000-foot peak with my legs and lungs burning is a good kind of pain. Having mind-numbing contractions course through your body as your very innards feel as though they are being ripped from you; this is my definition of not good pain.

When Dawn asked me what I would do differently with this labor, I gave her my honest answer: “I plan to have more drugs. Sooner.”

I’m not out to prove anything this time around to see how long I can cope before reaching the breaking point. I’m going in already broken.

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