I'm about to give birth a second time.
Funny, I remember after going through this the first time I said, "I don't think I can ever do that again." And like a teenager who has stolen her parent's vodka, here I am, at it again. At least after the pain of labour, you have something sweet and amazing to nurse other than a hangover.
Though, as much as I'm bursting with excitement to meet our second baby, I'll be honest with you—I'm a little more terrified this time around. Why, you ask? Well, here is the thing: IGNORANCE IS BLISS, PEOPLE!
The first time around, I had no idea how much pain I would endure. When the nurse corrected me and told me that my pain was likely a "2 out of 10," instead of the 6 out of 10 that I had thought, I had no way of knowing she was right!
When she smirked at my desire to have my baby before midnight (I wanted a leap-year baby), I thought she was being pessimistic. Turns out, she was right. I didn't give birth to my son until 3:11 a.m., on March 1st, after 12 long hours of intense and active labour.
So, I've decided to do what any scared mom about to give birth a second time would do—I'm lying to myself.
Sure, some might call it "The Power of Positive Thinking," but I'm too honest with myself to even believe that crap. I'm lying. I'm flat out lying to my brain, and guess what? It's working!
I've told myself this: "Second babies often come quicker! Your body already knows what it's doing! This baby won't be posterior (sunny-side up), therefore it won't hurt nearly as much! You've done it once without drugs, you can do it again!"
I've closed my eyes and envisioned the whole routine. Like an Olympic figure skater. And guess what? I'm going to get a gold fucking medal, and THIS WILL BE MY NATIONAL BIRTHING ANTHEM!
So, with 2.5 weeks until my due date, I will hold my head high, take deep breaths, and continue to lie to myself (this also includes lies about how many grams of fat are in chocolate).
I'm going there. Again. I'm going "down there."
It's time for "Vagina Talk With Jen: The Labour Edition."
Over the past couple of years, I've had many discussions with mothers and mothers-to-be about anything and everything to do with pregnancy, labour, and babies. From hemorrhoids to nipple cream, I've "been there, discussed that." And one question that comes up again and again is this one:
If you're having a vaginal birth, do you want your significant other to SEE the baby come out?
Many women have very strong opinions on the matter, and have thought long and hard about their reasons. And there is no right or wrong answer—it's whatever you're both comfortable with.
However, I find this discussion very amusing.
I remember with our son, I was somewhat indifferent and left the decision to my husband. I said, "You can look if you want to, but if you don't, that's fine too." But if he did look, and was emotionally scarred from the visuals? That was his problem. Not mine.
In the end, he didn't really have a choice. He was holding my ankle up to my ear while I was pushing, so, yes, he saw everything. And he said it was a pretty surreal and amazing experience to watch your child come into this world (I bet it looked a lot more amazing than it felt) Anyway . . .
That was our experience, but I know a lot of mothers and mothers-to-be are horrified at the thought of their better half seeing their vagina's in such a . . . flexible . . . state.
But here is the thing—after thinking long and hard about this, I've decided there are three good reasons that partners SHOULD LOOK during a vaginal birth.
1. IT'S ONLY FAIR. You've just spent 40 or so weeks growing a human inside of your body. This little human has beat the shit out of your bladder and wreaked havoc on your hormones, while your partner has had the pleasurable experience of not experiencing any of this. Therefore, it's only fair that they watch this little human push its way out of your vagina. It's sort of like rubbing a dogs nose in the carpet when it has an accident—"See? See what you did?" Maybe that's not the best analogy, but you get my point.
2. IT WILL DECREASE THEIR LIBIDO FOR A GOOD SIX WEEKS OR MORE. After a woman has a vaginal birth, typically it takes her a good six weeks to recover. At least. So that means no vaginal-sexy-time for the partners. Boo-hoo. Isn't that sad? I almost feel sorry for them. But then my stitches get itchy and I remember, "Oh yeah, I don't give a shit! And speaking of shit, what happened to my asshole?" Oh the joys of childbirth. So, if you want to tame the hormones of your partner, I think it is a good idea for them to watch the vaginal birth. This will be a form of sex-repellent for them and will hopefully last until you're feeling ready to pounce again. It's science people, seriously. I'm a genius. In fact, I'm so pleased with myself for having come up with this theory, that I might just call David Suzuki and get him to do a little documentary about it.
3. WHEN ELSE WILL THEY HAVE THE CHANCE TO SEE SOMETHING THIS FREAKING COOL? Seriously. All jokes aside, childbirth is pretty incredible, and being present to witness the moment your child enters the world is a true gift. Nothing you watch on Discovery channel will ever compare. So, grab your popcorn and take the front row seat—your child is about to enter the world!!!
So tell me, how would you feel about your significant other watching as you had a vaginal delivery?
I'm 35 days away from my due date, and I couldn't be more excited. I cannot wait to meet this little girl or boy!!! I keep looking back at newborn pictures of Cole and my heart leaps with excitement—"We're going to have another one of these! Eeek!"
But I'll admit, a thought has crossed my mind.
"What if we have an ugly baby?"
Our son was shockingly adorable (we were prepared for a pasty, bald, only semi-okay looking child—it's all about lowered expectations, people), but what if this kid isn't so lucky? What if Cole took all of the "cute genes"?
I know, I know, I know. I'm horrible for saying this, and no matter what, I know that I'll love my child. Even if it's a big-headed-wart-ridden-baby that closely resembles Shrek. In fact, if that were the case, I'd probably love it more (sorry, Cole), because I'd feel defensive of my poor little troll-like offspring. It's like that animal at the shelter, the one you just have to adopt ,even though it's ridden with fleas, has a lazy eye, and neurotically chews its limp paw. Don't you just love those animals that much more?!?
All kidding aside, as long as my baby is healthy and happy—and doesn't completely tear my vagina apart—I'll be a very happy Mama. Shrek baby or Cinderella (I'm still convinced it's a girl), I absolutely cannot wait to smother this baby with a million kisses. Hurry up time. I'm not very good at being patient when I'm excited about something (you might remember me writing this post last time I was pregnant).