My first pregnancy was a dream - I didn't have any morning sickness or other annoying symptoms besides fatigue, and generally I was feeling great. I credit a lot of this feeling great to my prenatal yoga classes, which I highly suggest any first time mom take full advantage of, because you're not going to have very much time for it the second time around!
We had just moved from our little apartment in New York City to a quiet townhouse in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, and because I was planning on being a stay-at-home-mom I didn't bother looking for a new job at the time. I was still doing some work for my previous employer online, but for the most part I had the last 6 months of my pregnancy to just focus on myself and getting ready for the baby (a blessing that I will never forget or take for granted - I'm well aware that it was a rare opportunity for me).
For the most part, I spent my days picking out non-VOC paint samples and outfitting our daughter's nursery with beautiful white furniture and pink accessories. Her closet was stocked with adorable little dresses and outfits that I knew she'd only get to wear once or twice. Everything I did was already for her. I would read out loud to her so that she could hear my voice. I would blast classical music throughout the house as I ironed in hopes that Mozart and Beethoven would somehow rub off on her in-utero.
To say it bluntly, I was blissfully smitten (and ignorant).
People would ask me if I was ready and I'd delight in saying, "Oh yes, I can't wait to be a mom!" I kept getting compliments on what a great mom I was going to be, with so many years of daycare experience under my belt. My confidence was high and my heart was ready.
It wasn't until I was about 35 weeks pregnant (which I am right now with number 2) that it dawned on me that at some point this little girl was going to have to come out of my body one way or another. That there would be a hospital, and doctors, and most likely a lot of pain. That there would be labor. Yes, I'd been to all the classes and read all the books, but for some reason the moment that I realized what a personal experience this would be, I went a little bit batty.
What if we don't get to the hospital in time?
What if I don't even realize I'm in labor?
What does a contraction feel like? I don't think I've even had Braxton Hicks contractions.
What if I'm just not good at it?
Do epidurals always work? What if something goes terribly wrong and I'm allergic to the epidural and it kills me and the baby?
Am I even brave enough to get an epidural?
How do you "push"? What if I poop instead? (I was relieved to learn later that this is a very common concern.)
What if I have to have a C-Section? I don't know anything about C-Sections! What if they can't "put me back together again?"
What if I forget my hospital bag?
Would they really CUT OFF my wedding ring if my hands were too swollen???
What if I pass out in the middle of it all?
Luckily this exchange in my head only went on for about a day before I slapped myself back to reality and told myself that I was just going to have to deal with the cards that God gave me, and that He would be there with me while I went through all of this.
|Me with our precious daughter in 2009, just moments old.|
The epidural didn't hurt (except afterwards when they ripped the tape holding it on off my back), it worked really well, and I highly recommend it (though after almost passing out at the sight of the needle, my husband has informed me that he will not be in the room next time I receive one).
The rest came pretty naturally. After about 11 hours of labor, I only had to push for 20 minutes to get out precious little AJ out into the world (including a brief two minute scare in which she was literally stuck and there was fear that her shoulder would break or be dislocated).
Now only 4-5 weeks until I meet my little man! (AJ was a whopping 8 lbs 9 oz, so we find out this Friday during an ultrasound if little man will be joining us a week early via induction). It's funny how nostalgic pregnancy makes me. :) Now if I could only get these stories down in her baby book!!