Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Part 1: Birth Story

Birth stories have never really been my thing.

Whether they are your thing or not they are a standard topic of conversation for women. Probably because giving birth is such a miraculous event that only women can truly relate to. Men who have been by a women's side in this experience have a glimpse into the unique strength each woman has emotionally and physically but can never completely understand.

My brother Alex, Mom and me at about 34 weeks along.

Regardless of C-section, vaginal or combination stories, all birth stories are so very personal. A dear friend of mine, who is moving away, strongly encouraged me to share my most recent birth story. I asked her why. She replied, "Because I think you have a nice way of having a strong opinion on something without being judgmental. You have made me wonder if my next baby should come a different way."

So I am going to follow through and share my birth story with Hannah. I will do my best to share the story and my choices without being judgmental. In advance, please know, if you have or plan to give birth, the most important part of the experience is to remain true to yourself and your goals. Be honest with your expectations and be easy on your heart as it is the hardest thing you will ever do.

After having two kids I had a pretty good idea of what pregnancy, labor and the early days were going to be like. Also, really wished there were things that could be different/easier. For my first baby I really had trouble bonding, breast feeding, adapting to motherhood emotionally and settling in. It took a very long time physically and emotionally for me to be whole again. For my second baby, bonding and labor was easier but I still really struggled with breastfeeding and emotionally getting back to a level state.

My approach to having my third baby was intended to be much like the first two times. Go into labor, go to the hospital, get an epidural, have a baby and move on with a new bundle of joy in the family. I hadn't put a lot of thought into making any dramatic changes to the plan.

Until I was about 33 weeks along.

It was about then that I started to get a lot of stress, anxiety and this constant pressure feeling on an emotional level. I had one weekend in particular when I felt like I was at breaking point. Would I be able to survive three kids? Would I be able to bond with this baby? Would I be able to breastfeed this baby? What will my relationship with my other kids be like? Will I be able to handle the stress of everyday life? I was a wreck.

Yikes… I think this might be a long topic. I will have to circle back here again tomorrow. 

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