As the days creep closer and closer to the actual birth of baby #3, I realize I need to start thinking about my delivery plan and minor things like baby names. You see, the third time around, I haven’t had time to read the day-to-day updates about the progression of my baby and bask in the glory of pregnancy like I thought I would when I first got pregnant.
I forgot life is happening, so this child is comfortably housed in my belly while I hustle through my day. After I put Raymond (age 5) and Anne (age 3) to bed, my baby and I finally chat in the sweet serenity of a quiet house.
When it comes to childbirth, I’ve seen labor and delivery and feel a little more like a pro when it comes to my “desired birthing plan”. I have managed to brainwash myself to forget about the intense pain long enough to get pregnant again and the truth is, I know what works for me during childbirth.
I certainly know what I will and will not be doing this time around...
#1 I will not be brave.
I’ve got the actual delivery part down. My coping skills during the most intense part of the delivery is to be a funny cheerleader for everyone in the room. Phrases like, “Come on guys! Let’s get this baby out!” and “15 minutes! This baby will be out in the next 15 minutes! YEAH!” can be heard echoing throughout the delivery room.
Where I will not be brave is waiting for pain meds. There is no need for me to do laps around the birthing floor, my husband rubbing my back while I claw my fingernails into the wooden rail on the wall. To be honest, I don’t want to do that. I know delivery is supposed to be beautiful, but I have yet to capture the beauty in radiating pain shooting through my body and nether regions.
With baby #1 the pain meds kicked in for the delivery so it took the edge off the pain. I am saying that now and chuckling to myself as I still vividly remember feeling every “beautiful” contraction up until the moment my baby boy came ripping out into the world.
Baby #2 came a little faster, so in my pompous I-know-it-all-attitude, I waited for the epidural. It took the anesthesiologist an hour to get up to my room and by that time, it was too late. Kicking in after the delivery, I felt every dilating moment and reaped the benefits of pain meds after the birth.
The point is, I know I can do it without drugs, but I don’t want to.
#2 I will be feeding my baby, but I will not be feeding him/her from my breast.
Breastfeeding was not a very positive experience with my first 2 children. I felt pressured and stressed. I wasn’t very good at it, and being a determined and stubborn individual, I tried and tried again. When speaking to a lactation consultant, she assured me that what I was doing was “in the best interest of my baby.”
Through tears I thought, “Is crying and having anxiety over not being able to breastfeed good for my baby?” I thought the first few months with my baby were supposed to be the most joyous time, but all I could think about was breastfeeding and how I was failing at it.
All day and night I was a breastfeeding and pumping mess.
“One more day... I will give it one more day,” was my constant mantra.
The absolute relief I felt when I finally stopped breastfeeding was the most comforting moment of those months. I realized I was not neglecting the nutritional needs of my baby and was finally able to enjoy the beautiful being in my arms.
So this time - no breastfeeding. I am going to feed my baby formula, which by the way has sufficient nutrients, and I couldn’t be more pleased with my choice.
I have already received slack from some nurses, but this time, I will not be guilted and convinced to think I am making a poor parenting choice by not giving my baby the "best start in life".
The best start in life??
Baby Rago will be drinking formula from a bottle being fed by me, his/her daddy and other various relatives. We will smother this baby with love, kisses, fresh diapers and funny faces from his/her siblings.
And there you have it. It takes practice, this child rearing thing, and once you start listening to your heart and love your family the way they need to be loved, life seems to get a little easier.
A little bit...
Bring it on, labor!
If you could do it all over again, how would you change your labor and delivery?