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July 01, 2008

Let The Babies Flow-

BellyI'm one of those Moms that warns others about the side effects of mixing birth control and antibiotics... it equals pregnancy. Our first child was a surprise in this way. And thankfully we had planned on having children anyway, so we just started a little earlier than we had thought. In this pregnancy, I craved breadsticks and pasta and grew as big as a house. Many of us do that with our first- hey we're pregnant! We're eating for two! And when I thought it was time for him to be born, we faced the dreadful experience of being sent home from the hospital when it truly wasn't labor. I soon learned what real contractions felt like. A few hours later my water broke at home and we were headed back to the hospital and within an hour I held my first child in my arms. I was instantly in love, instantly a mother.

When Noah was just six months old and we found ourselves pregnant again (let me dispel another myth that you can't get pregnant while exclusively breastfeeding among other things), we thought someone might be playing tricks on us. But we knew we wanted a large family someday, so bring 'em on. Another boy would make our family an even number. I'd crave celery and only celery during this pregnancy and actually lost all the weight I put on with the first baby. One day in my ninth month I thought I was having bladder control issues all day long, and hubby encouraged me to call the doctor. We headed to the hospital and were told my water had broken and I was leaking... it was time to have the baby. I knew what it was like to be in labor this time around, and didn't believe them, so I didn't even prepare things to take to the hospital. Well, he was ready to come out - all 9 lbs 12 oz of him. I was fine, but he broke his collarbone coming out. They never could figure out why Carter was so big. I still think it was the celery.

We let a couple years pass until we actually had the opportunity to plan our next baby. The surprises were fun, but this time around we chose when we were ready. We had learned a lot through life experiences in the meantime, and were determined to go about this next pregnancy and birth completely natural. I ate healthy foods, exercised daily, and drank raspberry tea to prepare my body for the day our third son would make his entrance into the world. It was my first non-medicated labor and delivery and also my least painful. I only look back on it with peaceful and beautiful thoughts and memories. With Grayson we were now five, and how we would parent this time around would be our favorite way yet.

I am now in my sixth month with my fourth baby- a girl. I'm craving the celery big time and am thinking she might be big like her brother Carter. I've also flip-flopped from wanting a homebirth to deciding on a hospital birth to thinking we may just do a homebirth after all. With each pregnancy, my birth plan has been more specific and designed exactly the way I desire to birth my baby. To a certain extent, we can guide how baby is born regarding our wishes, but truly, childbirth is unpredictable and must have some room for improvisation. The whole way our family even came to be was pretty much by this method of going with the flow and letting God and life take the lead. And for us, we couldn't have planned it any better.

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Stephanie also blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

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