Monday, September 17, 2012

Enjoy Birth?

I've got my kids' school routes down pat. I know the way like the back of my hand. Monday through Friday, up-and-down the same streets we go. I know where all the cute houses are, where the cops hide, where that one cat crosses the street, and I know where "Vicky" - a woman we named - waits for the city bus.

And because I drop-off/pick-up from three different schools this year, it can get tricky. I think, "If I have to turn left... at that horribly-timed light... one more time... I'm going to burst!" So I keep from bursting by looking-out for new things of interest - helps ease the monotony. 

And then one day, a new thing. A bumper sticker on the back of a minivan: ENJOYBIRTH.COM. Enjoy birth? Isn't that like "Enjoy Colonoscopies" or "Enjoy Root Canals?"

I guess for some women, the whole birthing process is fabulous. One little Diet Coke "burp" and out pops baby. (Uh, I mean natural beverage.) But for my first experience, it was anything but fab. Believe me, I tried. Jeff and I took classes to educate ourselves. I went into it so "prepared." After all, I packed honey sticks for energy and brought vanilla-scented Glade candles to promote "calm" - you know, for when things got a little rough

And somewhere between saying no to the epidural and being told things are going to get really-really-real down there if I refuse an episiotomy, I decided I wasn't "cut" out for this and became "numb" to the whole idea of natural birth. (Ba-dum-bum!) Perhaps if I remembered the honey sticks and candles at the bottom of my duffel bag...

So through sweat and tears and some kind of medicine that made me loopy, my 8-pound-15-ounce baby girl was born. And three-ish years later, my five-foot-two-inch self pushed out a whopping 10-pound-4-ounce baby boy. (I was a birthing-floor celebrity that day!) And then my third baby - so sweet and light as a feather at 8-pounds-8-ounces - came another three-ish years after that.

Strange thing is, my heaviest baby was the easiest to birth. But I was for-reals prepared for him, for I said "yes, please!" to everything the doctors and nurses suggested. I finally felt peace when I eased-up a little on thinking there was a conspiracy theory behind doctors using epidurals and all-things unnatural. (I was weirder back then.)

And you know how they say in real estate, "Location, location, location?" Well my doctor says, "position, position, position," when it comes to easy vs. hard labors, and apparently my son was in textbook-perfect position. (But shhh, I'm "sticking" with epidural.)

Sure, women have naturally birthed babies for what now, a couple hundred years at least? :) I really admire them. It takes courage and lots of honey sticks and candles. But either way - natural or "traditional hospital" style - the Bible says to commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:3).

So, Maybe for a brave, commendable few. What about 100% yes for everyone!


  1. So funny- I've seen that van, too, and my first reaction was: "Oh, I did. Because I had an epidural all three times!!"

    1. YES! Once you get one, it's like sitting on a fluffy cloud in comparison!