Mommy’s Corner is a weekly series exploring our journey in becoming parents, our love for our ShuGar baby, and general topics related to mommyhood.
Alright ShuGar Loves – this is a tough post for me to write. Primarily, it’s challenging because it exposes one of my greatest fears out into the internet world, but it also feels good to put it out there. There might be other mamas-to-be who can relate.
ShuGar Boy is due to arrive in less than a month from now! Wow! I still can’t believe it. Although I am happy, excited, honored etc. for baby to arrive, I am also grappling with a big fear for the labor and delivery process. In my fantasy, all I would have to do to have a baby is press this little love button and….pouf….I have my baby boy in my arms.
So that’s not how it happens?
Here’s the thing: I know women literally go through this every second of every day and have beautiful (usually healthy) babies. I am aware that we have made great strides in medicine to really avoid major complications in labor and delivery, in general. I also understand that women continue having babies after their first, so the pain must be worth it.
Yet, none of these things have really done much to calm me because I haven’t gone through it. These women aren’t me. I am not them. ‘Nuff said.
I’ve also hesitated writing about labor and delivery, despite taking four class with Mr. ShuGar, because I don’t want to sound didactic in any way. I am in no way the expert since I’ve never gone through it. I don’t like the idea of me standing on my blog pedestal and saying what any woman should or shouldn’t do. That ain’t me.
My doctor asked me last week to prepare my birthing plan for our next appointment and my mouth literally dropped. This thought immediately ran into my head:
Yikes! I thought I could avoid this topic a little longer. Help!
I realize this next statement might make me sound like a total coward, but here goes. A part of why I avoided having children up until this point was the whole labor ordeal. You see, I have a very low threshold for pain. I cringe every time I have my yearly pap or I break out into a cold sweat when I have my teeth cleaning. Truth be told, I don’t enjoy being in a medical office or around doctors. It’s just not my thing. A part of me doesn’t trust our over-medicated culture, but also I am aware doctors are humans and are fallible. They are not gods.
Regardless, I have never wanted to voluntarily put my body through the level of pain it will be experiencing soon. Yet, here I am staring labor in the face shaking at the knees.
For my birthing plan, I am supposed to tell my doctor what type of medication (if any) I would want, when, how, etc. I also need to indicate other medical involvement with our baby post-delivery. Do I want to go all natural or use narcotics? Will I use an epidural after I am dilated a certain amount of centimeters? Am I adverse to a c-section? These are the type of questions I will be stating in my birth plan.
The hard thing is that I don’t know what I will want because I have no reference to base my decision on. This is actually a contentious topic in mommy world because some women are adamant about not having any medication during the delivery process, whatsoever. It has sort of become a badge of honor. For these same women, a c-section is the thing to avoid as much as possible. Therefore, an epidural is pretty much off the table for them.
I include my mom among this group of warrior women. I have grown up hearing her stories about how she had my sister and I sans drugs of any kind. Keep in mind my mom is not even five feet tall, so that’s pretty bad ass. Does this make me feel any better? Hell no! I am not my mother, so I really can’t put myself in her shoes. I also need to advise her to not try to convince me to choose one way or another, but you know how moms are.
Crazy stat: Both our labor and delivery teacher and my OB told us that over 90% of women have epidurals to aid in delivery! Hmmm…..
As far as me, I really don’t know. All I do know is I want my baby and I to be healthy at the end. There will have to be a level of control I will surrender to the powers that be, which, in this case, will be a higher being and the doctors. I will study the options I have, but really you never know how you will react or what will be needed until you are in the moment. This is the scary part. Letting go. I’ve never been good at that.
Talking to other mothers doesn’t always help either. Some share their birth stories (which will most likely not be mine) or they share their regrets. I had one friend tell me she would have liked to have had her baby at home if she could do it again. It made me think, “Should I have a home birth?” However, she didn’t, so why should I? Why am I even comparing my experience with hers? You find the moment you become pregnant, everyone under the sun and moon starts giving you advice on what they think you should/shouldn’t do.
What I have found thus far, every pregnancy, birth story, and baby are different. There really is no uniform way to do anything. We each have to decide on our own path. This is what motherhood is all about. Making this amazing experience our own story, not replicating someone else’s.
Sweet aside – Mr. ShuGar has been so supportive of my fear of labor. He’s really been a star in my book. He’s tried to ease my anxiety, but, ultimately, this is something I need to come to terms with. The baby will be coming out from me and I need to face that reality, however daunting it may feel. It does provide me a warm blanket of comfort knowing he will be there holding my hand, reminding me of my breathing, and telling me we are doing this all for love.
ShuGar Baby – do you hear that? We do it all because we love you.
Mamas: How did you handle the labor process? Did you have a set birthing plan before or go into it with more of an open plan?
Mamas-to-be: How do you feel about delivering your baby? Do feel any trepidation or have you made your peace?
Non-Mamas: What is something you have feared for a long time? How have you faced your fears?
See everyone at tomorrow’s All You Need is Love Project!
Photo credit: Heart Button