Granola girl

I haven’t written much about the labor experience yet, but it’s not because I haven’t been thinking about it. Mainly I haven’t written about labor for these reasons:

# I am still trying to figure out how to describe it;
# I can’t remember half of it;
# It is rare to have both hands free these days for typing.

The labor and birth was everything I had hoped for, but totally different from what I expected. Even though I had read many accounts of labor experiences, nothing could have prepared me for the primal intensity of going through labor and pushing a baby out. As my friend Kriss said, “After giving birth, you walk down the street and realize that every mother is a hero to have gone through it.”

Before birthing Lucy, I thought that getting an epidural would probably make someone’s birth experience a bit easier, at least physically. But now, I think it doesn’t matter whether one takes drugs or not; the epidural needs to have worn off by the pushing stage anyway, and that was the hardest part! I was personally glad to always have the option of getting an epidural while I was in labor. Knowing I could ask for one made me feel like I had a choice in the pain, at least for part of the time. I find it really interesting that I can’t remember so much of labor. Just like all the books say, your body produces endorphins to go along with the painful contractions and it makes you space out. (See photo.) Jon keeps telling me amusing anecdotes from labor and asking, “Do you remember this?”

Spacey bandana girlIn the days to come, I want to work with Jon to record our labor experience. And I’ll write more as things continue to occur to me. Here are a couple of lists that have been tumbling around in my head for a few days:

5 Things I Didn’t Need to Pack in My Hospital Bag
# my “finger labyrinth”:
# warm socks (no socks needed)
# mp3 books on iPod (like _Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason_)
# the laboring outfit I had chosen (it lasted about 15 seconds)
# _Legally Blonde_ DVD

5 Things I Was Glad to Have Packed
# Jon’s bandana (see photo)
# my water bottle
# my pillows
# granola bars and juice boxes
# comfy non-pajama clothes to wear during the two days after birth

When I was a day camp counselor in high school, I received an award for being the honorary “Granola Girl” of the staff team (mainly because I didn’t wear make-up back then, I think). I suppose I’ve always had a leaning toward doing things naturally (although now I’m in favor of make-up). I’m really glad I was able to give birth to Lucy in the way I did, but I’m quite conscious of the fact that it didn’t have a lot to do with me. God mercifully provided a manageable, 12-hour experience and somehow helped me to push this girl out!

4 Replies to “Granola girl”

  1. The really important thing is that you feel like it went well! Good for you! And Jon! And Lucy! A note of caution: as hard as it is to believe, it is very likely that more and more of the labor and delivery will slip away from you each hour/day that goes by… so for the greatest detail get it down quick – and Jon will probably have to fill in the lion… er, bear’s share of it.

  2. Allison, I totally believe it that I’m going to forget more and more. Must write it down this week! I can tell it is fading because I remember thinking, “How is it that women do this twice?” right after she was born, and now I think, “Oh, I could have another one, it wouldn’t be too hard.” :)

  3. I had exactly the same experience – “No way!”… to “Sure, why not?” in an astounding ly short amount of time. God really knows what he’s doing! By the way, I am ordering the catalogues this week, so I’ll either get on in the mail to you in the next couple of weeks, or I’ll see if there is a good time for a quick drop off in your neck of the woods.

  4. Allison, that is great about the catalogues (Montessori stuff, for anyone else who wants to know). Let me know if mailing or drop-off works best and I’ll get you a check.

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