Telling a story means reliving it. The emotions and the physical feelings, the good and the bad. It all comes rushing back.
For months, I have been reluctant to relive Allison’s birth. It was too hard.
I started talking about Allie’s birth to my friend Julia not long ago. Talking to Julia about it led to talking about it on Twitter and thinking about it more often.
I am finally ready to accept the experience, to lay out the details, to share it publicly.
It happened. I can’t change it.
It happened, and it’s okay.
It’s about time.
The Back Story
I had heard a thousand times that every pregnancy is different.
Every birth is different.
Every child is different.
I didn’t really believe it.
After my blissfully easy labor and delivery with Grace, I was convinced that any subsequent labors would be a breeze.
Delivering a baby? I could do it in my sleep.
No big deal.
In the moments after Grace was born, the midwife had told me that my body was made for birthing babies.
I thought it was all me. I was so good at having babies that the second one would be as easy as the first.
I was wrong.
My second pregnancy was different from my first all the way around.
With Grace, we tried to conceive for months. With Allie, we were not trying to conceive at all.
With Grace, I threw up every day, losing pound after pound as I failed to nourish my body. With Allie, I hardly threw up at all. Quite the opposite, I was famished for months. I ate and ate and ate, especially at the end.
With Grace, I had few restrictions, just a normal, healthy pregnancy. With Allie, I had complications very early on, leading to a slew of restrictions that never went away.
With Grace, my blood pressure was a little high, but never enough to be of concern. With Allie, I was on bed rest from 32 weeks until she was born because my blood pressure was dangerously high for both of us.
I thought bed rest would be great.
My bed rest instructions changed several times during the first two weeks, but at the beginning of week 34, my instructions became strict. Lie on your left side except when you’re going to the bathroom or coming to the doctor’s office.
I spent Thanksgiving on bed rest. The entire Christmas holiday season was lost for me, no parties, no shopping, no trips to see Santa. I was still on bed rest on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day.
My blood pressure was erratic. I was in and out of the hospital. I spent many afternoons being monitored, many days collecting all my urine for protein analysis.
By the fifth week of bed rest, I was hopelessly depressed. I spent very little time online and even less time on the phone. I withdrew from everyone I knew.
By the sixth week, I was crying every day for long periods of time. I was suicidal.
I didn’t tell anyone.
Please don’t hate me, Dear Reader, but I’ve decided to break this story into pieces and make it a birth story series. It was just so long, and the story doesn’t end when the baby emerged from my nether regions.
Part 2 will post on Saturday.
© 2011 – 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.