Some Thoughts.

February 2, 2012

I've had a few people ask me if I regretted taking medication the day of Lydia's birth, after planning and preparing to go medication-free. 

 

It's a fair question. I wrote the birth story post the night of her birth and I've had a week to reflect on the experience.

 

I think it's always hard when things don't go the way you plan. It's okay to have an idea in your mind of how you want things to happen, and even though you realize it might not go that way, I think it can still be hard to accept that things didn't turn out the way you had hoped. Obviously, a healthy baby was the end goal of Lydia's day and that goal was achieved. Honestly, in my case, I have no regrets. I wouldn't change anything.

 

I gave birth in a hospital because I trust my doctor's care. When the presence of meconium was discovered, I felt that it was as big of a deal as the doctor was saying, though some might disagree. One specific friend comes to mind who came too dangerously close to losing her baby because of meconium and since then I've never taken the issue of it lightly. When that came into play, I was open to whatever my doctor instructed, even, ugh, pitocin.

 

Out of my eight hours of labor, seven were without an epidural, and five of those hours included pitocin. I wouldn't change anything about it. I wouldn't have gotten the epidural sooner. Despite the pain, I actually, in some indescribable way, enjoyed labor. I was able to take a deep breath as soon as the contraction began, to inhale and close my eyes and completely relax myself bit by bit, to make sure my hands were unclenched, my toes were uncurled, my face was limp, as the contraction built and built. All of my focus was on complete relaxation and breathing (a high-five to yoga), to the point that when the contraction was over, I was almost asleep. It was amazing. I literally fell asleep between contractions because I was so relaxed. It was the most blissful comatose state. For as painful as each contraction was, the rest time in between was just as restful. I was in awe of the experience and loved it. 

 

As the pitocin increased, my rest times decreased, to the point where relaxing between contractions and tolerating excruciating back labor was becoming pretty futile. From what I understand, transition, the period of dilation between 8-10, is the most difficult part of labor, and my doula explained that what I was feeling at a 6 is what I would have been feeling at an 8 if I wasn't on pitocin. When I received my epidural at a 7, I was at peace with the decision. The epidural was short lived, as I quickly progressed and began pushing within the hour. I still felt the pressure to push and felt that I was still in control. Because I only had the epidural for a short amount of time, I recovered well and was able to get up and move around soon after Lydia was born. 

Her birth was wonderful. When it came time for me to push, my mom and my mom-in-law happened to be in the room with my doula and my husband and I. As the nurses set everything up, I asked my doctor if they could stay (totally a last-minute decision on my part and much to their surprise!) and she said they could. So, they were able to be there for the birth of what we think will be our last baby. This is something that I would not have necessarily been open to with my other babies, but this time the timing was just right and I wanted them to stay. I think it's easy to forget in the midst of the hustle and bustle of birth that the experience itself is truly a miracle, and hearing my two moms gasp and cry as Lydia was born helped to give the moment the poignancy it warranted. It was amazing.

 

So here I am, the mother of three. THREE. Wow. The song I chose to listen to while I was in labor was "Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer" as performed by Keith and Kristyn Getty. This song is special to me because it is the same song that saw my Dad through chemotherapy when he had cancer three years ago. The lyrics are simple and powerful. I find myself, now that Lydia is here, singing them to her as her lullaby, in the quiet hours of the night.

 

Jesus draw me ever nearer

As I labour through the storm.

You have called me to this passage, 

And I'll follow, though I'm worn.

 

May this journey bring a blessing,

May I rise on wings of faith;

And at the end of my heart's testing,

With Your likeness let me wake.

 

Jesus guide me through the tempest,

Keep my spirit staid and sure.

When the midnight meets the morning,

Let me love You even more.

 

Let the treasures of the trial

Form within me as I go-

And at the end of this long passage,

Let me leave them at your throne.

 

May this journey bring a blessing,

May I rise on wings of faith;

And at the end of my heart's testing,

With Your likeness let me wake.

 

I can't tell you how much peace these words bring to an exhausted Mom who is slightly terrified at how in the world she is going to effectively parent and love the three precious kids God has blessed her with. The road ahead feels positively daunting and these words bring enormous peace, a constant reminder that life is for His glory, not for the glory of my own, and that I want only to be more like Him when the journey is through.

 

Have a lovely day, friends.

 

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