why I would have taken the epidural at 6 weeks and why we shouldn't judge each other
I have less than a month left (not that I'm counting except that I TOTALLY am) until we get to meet our little boy. And when people ask me "Are you getting excited?" my honest answer is "I'm excited to not be pregnant anymore." I just can't pull off the super expectant Mama thing. Sorry to disappoint. Problem is I've done it twice before and I know what awaits in those early days and months and I'm just not a newborn gal. And mentally, physically, and emotionally I was never thinking I would be there again so truth be told it is still hard to 'go there.' And if you have read this blog for any amount of time you know I'm just not that great at faking anything. There was a time I would not have admitted that for fear of judgement but somewhere in between changing Anni's diapers and sending her to second grade I got a bit more comfortable and more honest with myself and others. And it is ok. It is ok that we are built differently. It is ok that we all have different strengths and weaknesses and God uses it all. I love my kids and I am blessed to be able to carry and birth them and of course I will love this little boy but I'm asking God for a lot of grace (and lattes and glasses of wine) to survive the next few months.
Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to 'do you' and I'm hoping in that freedom I will be surprised this time around. Maybe the sleepless nights aren't as bad as I remember them? No, they pretty much suck. Maybe breatsfeeding won't be as horrible as it was the first two go arounds. Sigh. I could spend time being sad or feeling guilty (and I would be lying if I said I haven't) about my lack luster super prego attitude but it is what it is. I wish I could watch in wonder at my expanding midsection but the reality is I mourn that I had to purchase granny chupis again. I see the months and months of hard work that will be required to get any semblance of a waist back. Old insecurirites that I like to think I don't struggle with anymore (but truth be told are never far from the surface) emerge. And I am reminded that control of my life is something I gave up to God a long time ago but I always find myself trying to snatch back. This is something God has brought me to to promote healing and restoration in my life. I'm trying to lean in and trust in that. But I am also trying to be honest with myself. And the honesty helps me prepare and process and have hope.
As D-day approaches I think about giving birth again and how that is a sacred, scary, beautiful, and enormous thing. Birth plans and birth stories are the thing to talk about when your belly bulges and you waddle everywhere you go. But I need to be honest I am just not that stoked on them. I care about those that are close to me and learning through other's experiences gives me appreciation for the vast array of experiences motherhood brings. But can I just say please, can we share without judgment or a vibe that says I'm more hardcore/super mom-ish than you? Humility is needed for us all. Because no two women, babies, or circumstances are exactly the same. Hyperemsis has changed everything about pregnancy and birth for me. With Annikah I could plan, think, and felt I was able to make decisions about what was best for me and baby. I puked like a normal person and it eventually went away, I read books, counted kicks, soaked up information on breastfeeding, birth, and all things newborn. With Evy and this pregnancy I have been on medication every few hours since February, focused on surviving, cried at every doctor visit, and feel anything but able to really process and think through these issues. And yes, there is a lot of differences simply because Annikah was my first but I have been in survival mode for months and even though I keep down more food than comes back up these days I am just exhausted. Truth be told if a voluntary comma was offered when I was first knocked up I would have jumped at the chance. No, fo' reals, I would have eagerly signed the epidural papers back in March. My birth plan this time around is: get baby out by whatever means necessary and then EAT and celebrate! And I'm ok with that. I am so glad there are women who give birth at home surrounded by friends and family and are able to do so without medical intervention. I celebrate you (well, ok I must admit sometimes I roll my eyes internally and full disclosure I am working on my own judgement)! But I also want to say that every birth is a miracle and everyone is different and goes into the birthing process with totally varying emotions, physical strength, and occupying a different spiritual space. And we don't need anymore "my birth story is better than your birth story" attitudes out there. Share and be free but know that your experience is just that; yours. I've seen this comparison trap we women easily fall into transfer shame, guilt, or feelings of failure. I have bought into that. But it is lies y'all! Let's celebrate the fact that God allows us to be mothers; through adoption, water births at home, emergency C-sections and everything in between. Comparing and judgement will always lead us down one of two dangerous paths: feeling inferior or superior and neither of which are helpful or true. Both rob us of being women who can embrace motherhood and support and love each other. Giving birth is not easy but it is a shared experience all over the world and as women let's unite to celebrate and empathize and listen to the joys, the struggles, the ups and and downs. Without judgement. I'm in if you are.
less than 4 weeks and counting,
aka the puking peg leg prego