The first time, I was scared of everything. The entire process of labor and delivery, having an epidural, getting an IV for the first time, what if I pooped on the table???. You name it; I was terrified. I knew that labor and delivery was inevidible though I plugged along pretending that it was no big deal. It was no surprise that I had a nervous breakdown upon hearing that I was 5cm and needed to get to the hospital so they could make me contract. Screaming sobbing incoherent breakdown, mind you, and I think that if I had carried on any longer, Hub would have smacked me. Everything happened though. Sure, the 1st IV didn't take and my vien burst. Sure, they gave me way too much pitocin and I was in agony. Sure, I pushed for 4 hours, so hard that muscles I didn't even know I had ached. And sure, I ripped, tore and was cut and had a zillion stitches but really, before I knew it, it was over and I was eating the best chicken salad sandwich of my life while my baby boy was being cleaned up and brought to me for the first time.
The second time was not so scary. While I never bought in to (and I still don't) that crap about "as soon as the baby is out, you forget it all", at least I knew what to expect. I knew the doctor and midwife, the hospital, the labor and delivery process.....I was golden. Until I went in to labor a whole lot quicker than I'd expected to. Until my body started pushing our baby girl out involuntarily as the epidural was being placed. Until I pushed said baby out with no drugs. Until she was sick and unable to room with me; unable to bond with me....or I with her. Until I went through the worst period of depression I have ever gone through. Until I thought "Oh my God, what if I never love her?" It took 2 months---until she was hospitalized for an infection, and we finally bonded...3 days in the hospital together as it should have been to begin with. And indeed, everything was just fine.
This time, has been scary. It's definitely the hardest pregnancy I've endured. I worry about her blood sugar and being seperated from her in the hospital. I worry about our change in family dynamic; mostly the impact of changing Lucy from baby to middle child. I worry about the possibility of a c-section, and recovery. I worry about being responsible for 3 young children and I wonder how I will ever do it. The time....the money....the energy. It will be fine though, right? We'll make it through just as we did before? We will, right?
Tomorrow we will be going for a family portrait; the four of us for the very last time. And within the next six days, our family will change--a new baby girl. Taking us from four to five. Changing all of our lives forever.
For the better.