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Thursday, January 1

Labor Amnesia

If you had been a fly on the wall during my 36 hour labor there would have come a point when you heard me desperately telling Adam that I didn't want to do it anymore, that I wished they could just c-section me and end it (of course, if that had actually been presented as an option I probably would have run screaming in the other direction as I was absolutely terrified of getting a c-section). My point is that labor is hard, especially 36 hours of it. Things certainly got easier once I was given some nitrous oxide. In fact, I began to enjoy myself at that point (laughing gas and I are great pals). Then of course came the exam from hell (pardon my language, but there really is no other way to describe it) which yielded the information that I had made no further progress. No progress = "We're going to augment your labor."


Here's something most doctors won't tell you about induced or augmented labor: it's bad. And by "bad" I mean that it hurts way more, and tires the laboring women out way more than natural labor does. So when I was told I was getting augmented I basically said "Fine...but only if you give me an epidural." I had dreamed of, planned for, and expected a 100% natural labor, but after having been in labor for 30 hours and not having gone to bed in over 45 hours my body was spent, and my mind was spent. Baby had been doing well but it was only a matter of time before things would have started going downhill. If we didn't do something I probably would have ended up with a c-section. And, frankly, I just wanted to be able to enjoy the rest of the experience.

And I did, as best as I can remember.

See...here's the thing (and one of the reasons for the title to this post): you forget a lot about what happened in labor. Even as I wrote this I had to ask Adam for help with the details. Much of those 36 hours are lost in a haze.

And here's the other reason for the title: you kind of forget how much you wanted it to be over and to never have to do it again.

I remember wanting to be done at the time. I think I remember wanting to never do it again at the time. But, as weird as it is, I don't feel it anymore. In fact, I feel nostalgic about the whole ordeal! Call me crazy...but I'm looking forward to doing it again some day (of course...I'm also assuming I won't have to do it for 36 hours next time). I guess this "labor amnesia" is Nature's way of ensuring women continue have babies.

What frightens me about the idea of doing it again is not the prospect of laboring and giving birth. Rather, what frightens me is the prospect of sharing my love and attention between two little people instead of being solely devoted to Lucy. When I try to imagine having another child I think of that potential person with suspicion and resentment...as if he or she would take something away from my precious daughter. These feelings must be either A: unique to me or B: common among mothers, but temporary because, well...there are an awful lot of families with more than one child.

I imagine, that like the feelings I had during labor that are already fading from memory these too will fade. And someday Lucy will have a little brother or sister to boss around.

3 Stubborn Stains:

Kamity said...

I think lots of moms feel similarly about the idea of having more than one child (unless, you know, they didn't want to have babies in the first place) but then they realize they're not replacing anything ... it's just different. You love all of your kids differently, and things aren't taken away when new kids come ... the dynamics just change a little. You know?

(I'm going on two weeks of sleep deprivation from playing too much. Dah.)

Kristen said...

You explained it well. We do it again because we forget all the details about the moment and that baby hunger sets in. Now that Parker is almost 2, Things have settled down enough to get ready to have another one.

Lori said...

I think what you feel about not wanting to share your love and attention with another child is one of nature's many ways of attempting appropriate child spacing. I remember feeling the same. And I kinda feel the same again with my second, though I understand now how it feels to love two children separately but equally.

And I felt the same about 'labour amnesia'. At the time I thought, 'This is *insert dirty word*. Why would I ever put myself through this again?!' Now I too look back on it fondly. It's crazy, isn't it!

By the way, I mainly came here just to leave a comment saying how grateful I am to have read your blog the other day and thus discovered Motivated Moms. I've started the trial version now too and feel very optimistic as well. Good luck to us both!

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