Thursday, March 08, 2007

Part 6

Oh no! Is she still talking about this?

One last thing about the birth story, and then I'm done with it, honest.

Last night was the reunion of our Bradley class. Our teacher always has her previous students come in to share their birth stories with her current students. I thought it was great to hear birth stories when I was a student, but I liked last night's class even more, because I got to hear the stories of people I'd gotten to know over the course of the twelve-week class. It was wonderful to hear from the women who had had relatively short labor and got to experience natural childbirth. I had wondered how hearing their stories would make me feel. To my surprise, I was only a little bit envious and not at all angry or bitter. I was afraid I would be horribly jealous. Mostly I just felt happy for them. It was amazing to hear how everyone--those with relatively simple births and those who had faced more complications--told their stories with such humor and grace. I loved hearing the stories of other women who would characterize their labors or births as fun or enjoyable, because I did love the experience of laboring at the birth center and it's nice to know that others had similar experiences.

I hadn't planned out what I would say when it was my turn. I just started talking. And talking. And talking. I maybe told too much, but perhaps the expectant couples learned something from my experience that could help them. But I think I learned something from telling the story. Writing it all out had definitely helped me process everything that happened. Then there was the time between when I wrote that and now, and something happened in that time: I began to accept things. There are still things that I will always wonder about--just last week I was saying to Brian that I was disappointed that I'd gone for the epidural when I had, as there were so many relaxation techniques that I hadn't tried. I was wondering yet again whether I gave up too soon. Last night I realized, by telling my story and listening to others', that I hadn't given up too soon. I did what I needed to do. Things happened that were beyond my control, but I think I did have an unusual amount of control over the birth compared to some people, because we had prepared so well. I did what I could, and not everything went as planned, and I'm (mostly) okay with that.

Besides, I'm sure it's not the first time things with this girl won't go the way I expect.

Could somebody please send some hair product?


Ann said...

She is so cute!

And I loved hearing your birth story. You are a great writer, and it was a nice series of blog posts. Glad to know you are feeling more at peace with what happened.

Oh, and if I ever give birth, I am going into excruciating detail when I tell the story. There are just some things I know to be true, and that's one of them!

janet said...

It sounds like you are much more settled with everything and how it happened. Your daughter is gorgeous!

jfh said...

omigod,she is perfect! she is already communicating with the camera, and I feel like she shared a funny joke with me. stay away from hair products. her hair is perfect!! lucky you and brian!

Elizabeth said...

Don't worry, there won't actually be any hair product. Even if I had some, I wouldn't know what to do with it. And I think her wild 'do is cute.

Andrew said...

I see she got quizzical down pat after all. She got featured in my talk and got rave reviews (her, not the talk...), as would be expected.