Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Kind of Normal —or— Why Western Medicine Rocks My World

Dr. Husband and the baby and I are home from the hospital now, and it turns out that being the mom of a newborn is a hell of a lot more fun than being the mom of a not-yet-born—and I haven’t even taken any of the Percocet yet! Yes, yes, it’s mesmerizingly lovely to gaze into the rich, Seattle blue-grey eyes of my sometimes-gorgeous baby, but equally lovely is witnessing the varicose veins rapidly disappear from my southern regions. It turns out that enduring such pleasantries for two months is good conditioning for enduring the after-effects of a vaginal delivery.

Speaking of which, giving birth to my baby was truly one of the best experiences of my life—just like the “normal” and “natural” childbirth advocates of the world—and all those dreadful pregnancy books—promise. I was, as you may recall, terrified of the whole hospital aspect of childbirth: all those needles and tubes being inserted into places formerly unvisited by foreign objects, all those chemical smells and beeping monitors and florescent lighting. But I had the world’s greatest labor nurses and anesthesiologist and obstetrician, and in the end, I slept through most of my labor.

Have I mentioned how much I love epidurals?

And how much I love Metoclopramide, which failed to stop me from throwing up (but, hey, my first 20 weeks of pregnancy more than prepared me for that!) but succeeded in knocking me out for two hours during which my cervix dilated seven whole centimeters. And for those pregnant ladies out there wedded to a “normal” “natural” childbirth: Do you have any idea how much it would have hurt to have your cervix dilate SEVEN centimeters in two hours? How abnormally, unnaturally excruciating it would be?*

I myself was lucky enough to have the world’s greatest epidural. I didn’t feel a thing—just a light, painless pressure as I pushed for 40 minutes and my baby slid out of my body and into the world. My hefty baby girl with whom I fell instantly and completely in love.

The entire experience was just as glorious as my Lamaze coach promised—but without any pain.

And I hate to gloat (but that won't stop me!)—I didn’t even break a sweat.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go take some more Advil and apply a new Tucks to my tender (but proud!) nether-regions. Because even the world's best epidural has to wear off sometime.

*Okay, fine, my cervix may well not have dilated that fast without the Pitocin coursing through my system, but whatever. I just had a baby. Cut me some slack.

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