I watched the end of an episode of Mad Men… Um, how is January Jones still so beautiful even when she’s drenched in sweat and pushing out a baby in a chemical fog!? (And why am I apparently obsessed with her?) As I understand it, this was how all the ladies gave birth back then. It’s called twilight sleep. Man, I would have been begging for some of that stuff if I’d given birth in the hospital. Not that twilight sleep appears to be so great. Actually it seems almost inhumane. I was just making the point, having a baby is really hard. (Duh). Really though, I learned all about twilight sleep and all the other crazy shit they did (and often, still do) to laboring women throughout history in this fabulous book called… wait for it… “Birth” by Tina Cassidy.
I had a natural, totally unmedicated birth at home. I talked about it a little here but not in depth. It was such a powerful experience, I guess I’ve been thinking if I’m going to write about it, I need to take a lot of time and care to write something that would do the experience justice, so I will settle for writing about writing about it. For now, know that it can be done and it was by far the singlemost empowering, life-affirming, challenging thing I’ve ever done, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I am pretty sure I would never have been able to have this experience if I’d had a regular hospital birth with a typical ob-gyn, for many reasons- I went into labor 2 weeks past my due date, the baby was predicted to be big (which she was, at 8 lbs, 8 oz), and I am small (5’0″ and 115 lbs when not pregnant), and the labor lasted over 24 hours. Plus, even if I’d been able to try a natural birth in the hospital, I think I would have been begging for an epidural.
I wasn’t really planning to discuss birth though. During my run, I also watched the pilot episode of The Wonder Years during my treadmill run. I forgot how much I loved that show. I cried a little (which is hard to do when you’re running) during the scene when they learn Winnie Cooper’s brother was killed. I can’t remember if I cried the first time I watched it, but I probably didn’t. I cry at everything now. Not sure what that’s about.. either hormones or I’m just a big baby.
When I was done with the run, I took a quick shower and got partially dressed, at which point Sweet Pea was awake and fully crying, speaking of crying babies. I tried to delay retrieving her from her crib as long as possible because she does this thing lately, especially right when she gets up from a nap, where if I’m not holding her, she’s crying. Not whimpering or whining, but full on 10/10 intensity crying. I’ve tried to put my pants on while holding her and it doesn’t work. I try and tell her “Hey! I am right here!” but she doesn’t seem to care. She just wants what she wants when she wants it. Not sure where she gets that from…