Saturday, November 17, 2012
I Probably Should Have Taken The Drugs
I’d like to recap on a topic I briefly mentioned in one of my posts earlier this week. I’ve been going through a slight bout of nostalgia in the past few days. I’m absolutely sure it’s just because I’m in that lovely stage of the month where your hormones like to screw with your head. In a few days’ time I’ll be right as rain and back to thinking my children are daemons that have been put specifically on earth to turn my hair grey and not these beautiful, perfect beings that emerged from my uterus.
One thing that really gets me through these brief spells of insanity is reminiscing about how child birth really was. Oxytocin is a strange chemical. It’s the hormone produced in the body that ensures our survival by making parents love their babies unconditional and not want to strangle them. It’s sometimes known as the “love hormone.” It also does other funny things like cloud over the horrors of child birth. You don’t forget that it happened or that it sucked really, really bad but sort of down-plays the memory to a milder version. Think along the lines of the “White Diamonds” perfume commercials that Elizabeth Taylor was the head figure for. You could still make out it was her but they fuzzed enough of her out that you couldn’t quite tell how much she had aged.
I’ve been chatting recently with a few close friends that are expecting right now. While I’m really excited for them I feel bad when we start getting on the topic of child birth. I’m not so reluctant to talk about it with the friends that have already had a baby but more the first time moms. Every person has their own beliefs on how childbirth is going to go and they have several women already shoving down their throats what to expect when you are finally about to push metaphorical watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon.
I have gone through two completely opposite forms of child birth myself. They couldn’t be much further from each other if they tried to be but they were both awful.
My daughter was a crazy precipitous birth (just means really quick), from first contraction to fully dilated in less than two hours. Not only was she coming extremely fast but upside down. No one was aware that my daughter was also coming out rear end first until I was 10 cm and ready to push. The results were one nurse with a bruised chin (I was actually throwing punches, but trust me she deserved it), a mom who was put unconscious and a new baby brought into the world by emergency caesarian. They said that when they knocked me out my doctor had to hold her up inside of me because my body was pushing with or without my permission.
My son was a typical run of the mill labour/delivery. I had 12 hours of contractions, getting more intense as the time went by. Once I was given the ok to push it actually took 2 hours to get him out. It was one of the hardest 2 hours of my life; unlike my daughter who was going to fall out I actually had to give it all I had to bring him into this world.
Throughout both labors I didn’t take any drugs, well except for the whole anesthetics part in my daughter’s birth. I’m not even sure why. I’m not a tough girl, or even a girl that thinks she’s tough. I actually consider myself having a fairly low pain tolerance. I’m also not against taking drugs during child birth. I hadn’t planned to be the woman who refused to take drugs because I have a belief one way or the other. It just sort of happened that way. All I know is after both kids I was DONE ever having kids again.
Oxytocin or not there is no way I’d want to participate in that type of hell again. Child birth is Mother Nature’s final kick in the box (so to speak). I mean as my mom put it so nicely the other day “Women get the shit end of the stick when it comes to human reproduction.” It’s bad enough that from the time we are young girls we have to start this monthly cycle of hormonal nightmares, cramping, bloating and plain nastiness but we also are the ones that really experience the real depths of hell that child birth is.
A very close friend of mine actually just had her second baby. We were discussing the differences between our experiences. She, like me, did not use any drugs for her first birth but in the second went for the epidural. Even the way she talks about her second birth experience makes it seem like an almost tolerable exploit. It sounded reasonable and a very calm way to bring in your new miracle of life.
Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t take the drugs because in these brief moments of insanity I’d possibly consider another baby, then again probably not. We go through enough pain and terror in our lives as it is. If you want to go and experience what childbirth is and all the thrills it has to offer I can’t blame you because I think that might be another silly hormonal trick our minds play with us but coming from experience it’s not going to be pretty. In my honest opinion I would go back and save myself the trauma, I probably should have taken the drugs.