Monday, August 28, 2017

Peanut's Birth Story: Lessons Learned

Well, it's been seven whole weeks since our little Peanut was born.  That's long enough for him to have been baptized, moved out of newborn-sized clothing, and experimented with bottle feeding in preparation for daycare.  It's long enough for me to have lost twenty pounds (although, if we're being honest, half of that was just him), begun a modest freezer stash of milk, and received the go-ahead from my doctor to begin an exercise regimen and engage in other activities which I am nowhere near mentally prepared for quite yet.  Seven weeks is a long time.

And yet it's not quite long enough to recover.

I've recovered physically, at least according to my doctor.  But I'm not really over it.

With our daughter's birth, I wrote up a little list of "lessons learned" as if giving birth is an exam that you study for, and everything will be fine if you know the right answers.  I do think that is a list of valuable takeaways from that particular birth, but if I learned anything from conceiving, carrying, and giving birth to this baby, it's that you just can't plan these things, not truly.

I had a very solid, smart plan for this baby.  I had planned exactly which month I'd get pregnant, so that maternity leave would line up just right with everything else going on in our lives.  I had planned to exercise more regularly during this pregnancy, enabling me to better endure labor and have a successful, trauma-free delivery.  I had planned to labor in different positions than I had the first time, to stay away from the stresses of the hospital for as long as possible, and to have the stamina to just not need an epidural and all the complications it brings.

It took us six months to conceive this baby.  I know that doesn't sound like a very long time to those couples who struggle for years to conceive, but when our first child was a total surprise- when we didn't even have to try- we sort of expected an actual planned pregnancy to be easy to achieve.

I was so, so tired during this pregnancy.  I couldn't sleep, and even when the sickness of the first trimester had passed, I still had a lingering nausea most of the time.  By the end, my feet and legs were so swollen that just walking from my car to my desk every day at work was painful and exhausting.

And though I had the perfect Birth Plan, I was completely unprepared for the way this child was going to enter the world.

Now, don't get me wrong- I still believe that Natural Family Planning is an incredible tool for understanding your fertility, I still believe that birth is like a marathon for which you have to train, physically and mentally, if you want to reach the finish line, and I still believe it is incredibly important to do that training with a coach whom you would trust with your very life and to have a clear list of priorities for your birth.


God's plans always, always, always trump our own.  The best we can hope for is to acknowledge what His plan is, and be flexible enough to adapt to the situation we find ourselves in.  In other words- go with the flow!

Says the girl who still occasionally has nightmares reliving this particular birth experience.

The actual story is much shorter this time.  Come back tomorrow if you'd like to read the prologue, and Wednesday for the meaty part.

Much love,
The Geeks

The story continues here.

Comments are turned off for these posts, because this is a monologue, not a dialogue.  I need to say all this to help myself move past it, but that doesn't mean I necessarily want to hear what anybody else has to say- and I mean that in the most charitable way.