And folks, let me tell you, it ain't pretty.
After nine hours of intensive childbirth preparation classes last weekend, Max and I are officially childbirth experts. That have never given birth. And we expertly know one thing: it looks hard and painful, and it will take many hours. OK, that's three things.
Seriously though, this class left me scared to deliver, which I never was before. It left me unsure of my decision to demand multiple and frequent epidurals, and it left me excited about all of the supposed foot and back massages I'll be getting.
If there are any moms or dads out there reading this post, I'd love you to weigh in. Did you (or your lady) deliver with our without pain meds? What are your experiences? Would you/did you do it the same way the second or third time? If you had an epidural, were you able to move afterwards? Was it hard to know when to push?
I do know that childbirth is natural, that women have been doing it for a very long time, and that in about 6 weeks I'll be doing it whether I want to or not. I know that everything will be just fine, and that at the end of it all, little Samson will be there all goopy and alien-like, and it will be the happiest day of my life. Duh. So I'm not concerned per se, and I'm not scared as much as I am anxious about the exact level of pain we're talking about here. I can handle anything, for I am strong like bull. I also cry when Max has to fix an ingrown toenail on my dainty little foot. So clearly, you can see my dilemma.
I'm also not too terribly concerned with preserving the "natural" experience of childbirth, or making the process seem more "medical." I will go into labor, Samson will be born, the three of us will bond, then he will start pooping and demanding an allowance. Whether I am one with the Earth Mother during this process or I have an IV sticking out of my back is of no consequence to me. Although, considering how much fun I like to make of hippies and new-age types, I'm less inclined to look down on anything that takes away from the whole birthing-from-within concept. It's OK, I'm allowed to make fun of hippies. I used to be one.
There's also no question about whether or not I can go through a non-medicated labor and birth. of course I can. The question is, do I want to?
My poor OB. My normally 7-minute long check up is going to take 45 minutes this week.