LESSONS OF NEW MOTHERHOOD
Let me preface this by saying that labour and delivery was one of my biggest fears throughout my entire pregnancy. As someone with a perceived low pain tolerance, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to manage the pain I was inevitably going to endure. I made the mistake of watching a home birth video at six months pregnant and decided right then and there that an unmedicated birth was simply something I was not cut out for.
I had a great, low-risk, pregnancy and walked out of each prenatal appointment confident that everything was going the way it should. Out of the blue, at my 37 week checkup, my OB had concerns that I was showing some signs of preeclampsia. I went into the hospital to have some bloodwork done and received a phone call later that evening informing me that I needed to pack my bags and head to the maternity ward. Because I was technically full term (to the day), they decided it was best to induce me.
Everything happened very, very quickly and I (unknowingly) went into active labour shortly after my second round of gel. My contractions were getting stronger, longer and closer together. As the intensity continued to increase, I became nauseous, shaky and sweaty. I could feel an intense amount of pressure on my pelvic floor and asked my partner to page a nurse as I thought maybe (read: hopefully) it was time for an epidural.
The doctor came in to check my cervix and low and behold (in less than 3 hours!) I was fully dilated. I was told it was time... baby was coming and it was far too late for an epidural. In that moment I panicked. All of the mental preparation went out the window and I remember repeating "I can't do this...."
Well, it turns out I could do it. And I did do it. They quickly ushered me to a wheelchair and moved me to the birthing room where I pushed and delivered my baby boy just 9 minutes later. All of my doubts, fears and pain went away the moment he was placed on my chest.
I'm sure there will be many, many times in the coming days, months and years that I will underestimate or doubt my capacity to do something. But it was that sunny Friday morning that I learned my first two lessons of motherhood:
1) Some things are simply not meant to go "according to plan."
2) I am capable of doing things that I once thought were impossible.
All it took was an accidental natural birth to set the record straight.