Tuesday, May 10, 2011
For some reason when I'm pregnant I get an overwhelming desire to read about pregnancy, birth stories and any other experience that women have gone through during and after this ordeal of growing and delivering a life. You would think by my fourth it would be old news but it somehow seems new every time.
This time I collected all the books my library had about midwives (which wasn't much). Mostly their stories or memoirs. The one I most recently started reading is about a midwife delivering babies shortly after WWII in Britain. It wasn't exactly what I was thinking when I requested it but hey, how bad could it be? One comment she makes early on is that it seems that once that baby is finally in the mother's arms she forgets all the pain, hardship and suffering that she just underwent only minutes ago. In the author's thinking she must, why else would she ever do it again? I'm not sure how many times I have heard this theory but it drives me crazy. I haven't talked to many women but all I know is that even when I was pregnant with my first I had to make a bee line for the door in order to avoid hearing all the gruesome and excruciatingly painful accounts women could tell of their own labor experience. At the time I was naive enough to think that if I didn't listen somehow it would be a much less painful experience for me.
I have to admit that even at 17 weeks pregnant with my fourth I have moments of panic. What am I doing? Why am I doing this again?? Am I insane??
I remember vividly the birth (and pain that came with it) of my 2nd and 3rd babies (not my 1st but that's for another time). In fact after Christopher I was so sobered by the overwhelming feeling that I couldn't possibly go through it again. We have always wanted to have 6 kids but at that time I realized there's no way we could afford adoption and I just couldn't have another baby naturally. This was a devastating reality. Of course things changed but not because I forgot the pain or it was somehow minimized by the tiny, somewhat bluish and unnatural looking baby in my arms right after delivery. The thing that made me want to do this again was the joy that I have with my boys right now as they age and the long term perspective I keep having to maintain that reminds me of how wonderful it is going to be to watch them all grow and start their own families and impact the world in new and better ways (something we could have never done alone).
So I'm not sure about you but I don't forget. I have had to move on and put things in the perspective that looks past the few hours or more of excruciating pain to the life it will give us.