I’ve never been particularly hardcore about natural childbirth vs. chemical interventions. This issue can be insanely divisive, but I kind of feel like, it’s your day, lady. Do what feels right. Initially, my philosophy for my own birth experience was similar to Kristen Bell’s recent statement which I swear I did not read in Us Magazine:
“When I arrive at the hospital, I want a glass of whiskey, I want the epidural in my back, and I want to be hit in the face with a baseball bat. And just wake me up when it’s over.”
A girl after my own heart. I make jokes about 1950’s morphine-induced “twilight sleep” and how I want to wake up to a fluffy clean baby, Betty Draper-style. After some reading and some (really) excellent lamaze classes, I start to think, why the hell not? Let’s take this body out for a SPIN and see what it can do! I can be a warrior woman! I mean, I can TRY, anyway. I settle on laboring as long as I can without drugs (just to see), and when I can’t stand it anymore, I’ll take the needle in the back, no hard feelings.
Little do I know it will be needles, chemicals, and scalpels from beginning to end, and nothing natural about it.
As I’ve mentioned, this little boy does NOT want to exit my uterus. I go to the doctor a few days before my due date, all ready for her to tell me that I have to stay because it’s HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. Instead, I’m told there’s been no dropping, no effacing, no dilating. I cry when they make me schedule an induction. I think surely something will happen before then. At 3, 7, and 12 days late, still nothing. FML. Chemicals it is.
Interventions are becoming more common, and a lot of people blame doctors who are in a hurry to play golf, pharmaceutical companies that are in a hurry to make money, and the dismal state of our healthcare system. Each of which may be the right entity to blame. I decide to trust, because it seems like the best option. Trust the doctors, trust the nurses, trust everyone. I mean, in my case at least, they have a point.
I always picture it going the way it does in the movies– an extremely public water-breaking (elevator, coffee shop, the Improv) while wearing an adorable dress and smiling sheepishly, or reaching over in the night, calmly squeezing C’s arm and saying, “it’s time.” My packed bag will be all ready to go, but my adorable husband will stumble around all nervous and wound up, speeding us to the hospital while I glow maternally and do some deep breathing exercises. I know it doesn’t REALLY happen like that, but when it’s all said and done, I do feel like I missed out on that moment. We know it’s time because, well, it’s the appointed time. Scheduled.
We leave the house at 12:30 a.m., since inductions are scheduled to start overnight. We’re all packed, we’ve eaten, we’ve mostly slept. We drive slowly, no traffic, no ticket we have to use the baby to talk our way out of. I’m still secretly hoping that we’ll hit a pothole or something and I’ll go into labor. I have a very clear memory of pulling into the hospital parking lot and thinking,”this is where we parked the car when we came for our having-a-baby appointment.” We go to the desk, no pain, no doubling over. I fill out paperwork, get a bracelet, am shown to my room. It all seems terribly anti-climactic; I am a non-event. By the time it’s over and N is finally here, I can’t believe I ever lamented the lack of drama.