My husband and I were married for seven months when we decided to have a baby. Well, I shouldn’t say “we”, it was more of a “me” decision, then constant nagging on my part until my poor husband agreed. He loves babies, it was just not a good time for us at the moment, and he wanted to wait. I, on the other hand, believed that there will never be a perfect moment to have a baby, so I might as well have one now. I was incredibly excited about the idea of becoming pregnant, and did everything in my power to make it happen. I was one of those women who wanted to get pregnant as soon as possible. I am talking about laying on my back and keeping my legs up Phoebe style (this is a Friends reference. I love that show).
The day I found out I was pregnant, was one of the happiest days of my life. I came home and told my husband about it immediately. I was so excited that I did not even stop to think of ways to surprise him. I just blurted it out. After ten minutes or so of silence and shock, he got happy about it, and then we proceeded to tell our parents and family members. Yup, you guessed. I cannot keep my mouth shut when I am excited.
My pregnancy was very smooth sailing for the first seven months. Both my doctor and I were surprised because I had four uterine fibroids, which were larger than the baby, and was considered high risk pregnant. I had no pregnancy symptoms or side effects such as morning sickness, low energy. I worked full time during most of my pregnancy, and the stress of my job did not impact negatively on my baby. However, my last trimester is when things became complicated. This is usually the case for most women, as during these last three months our babies grow exponentially, and everything becomes problematic, even breathing becomes a challenge. My biggest problem was becoming lightheaded and passing out. One time I passed out at work in the hallway while I was walking to the bathroom. Thankfully one of my male coworkers was in close proximity at the time, and noticed that I am not looking too good, so he rushed to me, and caught me as I was falling down. I will forever be grateful to this person for saving me that day.
Since lightheadedness and fainting became usual occurrences, I could not continue to work anymore, and had to take my disability leave earlier than I planned. I mean can you imagine me in front of the judge in court, then pass out in the middle of an argument? Not professional at all. I was home most of the time, since I did not want to risk driving by myself either. I pretty much watched Friends on Netflix 24/7, since I could not sleep due to back pain. To add insult to injury, I was gigantic during my pregnancy due to my fibroids. At three months pregnant, most women don’t even show any belly, but I looked seven months pregnant at the end of my first trimester. My husband lovingly dubbed me his “blue whale.”
I had another realization towards the end of my term-I cannot control everything, and no matter how much I plan, things will turn out the way they do regardless. For as long as I remember, giving natural birth vaginally and without epidural has been something that I wanted for myself. Call me crazy, but I wanted very much to experience going into labor, the pain, before I hold my little one in my arms. My way of thinking back then was that I have to earn my baby. I have discussed with my doctor at length that I was not interested in c-section, and wanted vaginal birth. Thankfully, my ob-gyn was old school, and he did prefer vaginal delivery to c-section, so he never pushed me. However, at my 38-week check up, he notified me that vaginal delivery is out of the question because one of my large fibroids is covering the cervix (the place where baby is supposed to come down from.) Moreover, because my fibroids grew in size, it was not a good idea to wait until I was full term. Therefore, my doctor scheduled me for next day c-section. It took me a long time to come to terms with this decision. Obviously, my baby’s safety was the most important aspect to me. Therefore, I had my c-section, and delivered a healthy baby boy. However, I felt cheated. I actually cried because my doctor said that I should never attempt vaginal delivery for following pregnancies either. It took me some time to come to grips with it, but when I did, I wanted to slap myself. What was I thinking? I had a healthy, beautiful baby, and instead of being overjoyed about it, I was upset about the method I gave birth. From this point on, I developed a different perspective. I was a mother, I was fortunate enough to become a mother without medical intervention. The only feeling I allowed myself to feel was joy.
I know I was not alone in my way of thinking. There are to this day prejudices out there, even among us women. Some of us think giving birth vaginally means that woman is stronger, and a real mother. While others think that having epidural shot is a sign of weakness. This is an outdated and frankly ridiculous line of thinking. Being a good mother is not even about giving birth. Being a good mother is about how you care for your little one after birth.
I want to hear about your pregnancy stories and experiences. Did you have a birth plan? Did everything go according to your plan?