I’ve never been one to be all judgy wudgy when it comes to parenting, or anything else for that matter. It just ain’t my bag, man. Unless it’s unfit parents. Now that infuriates me to no end. But that’s just being a decent human being. And that I’m all sortsa for.
The reason this popped into my head today is because I have a dear, sweet friend who recently had her first child. A beautiful baby girl that I simply cannot wait to get my hands on. She has the smoochiest little face I’ve ever seen. Outside of my own chirrens, natch. But a complete cutie patootey nonetheless. She posted the link to an article about Mommy Wars, and its various issues. Mainly concerning breast feeding vs. formula. And it just really made me stop and think. About my own issues with that taboo subject. And the rest of the things that we don’t talk about for fear of being judged, and found wanting.
I’m certainly not an expert, by any means. But I know what I know, ya know? I’ve been pregnant three times, and had three successful births. Three very, very different births. The first was all natural. I was scheduled for an induction on a Monday, but my water broke late Saturday night. We leisurely made our way to the hospital and settled in. The contractions weren’t really strong until around ten-ish the next morning. Because my mother didn’t have an epidural with either of her births I didn’t want one. Everything was moving right along until roughly about one. Then shit got real. And it hurt. A lot. Did it ever hurt. My poor dad was trying to comfort me and rub my legs when the contractions really started coming. All I remember is him saying ” Wow, Sis…here comes a big one!” and then I yelled something at him that involved “leave me the fuck alone and stop touching me”. Yep. Daughter of the Year, right here. My mom told me later that she didn’t think she had ever seen that look on his face before. Needless to say, she was also a little unhappy about the f-bomb. Dude. They call it labor for a reason. I should add that all throughout the day doctors and nurses kept coming into the room because they couldn’t believe I wasn’t having an epidural. Apparently, it’s quite shocking. Shortly after my potty mouth drama, my beautiful Nub was born. He was beautiful, y’all.
Fast forward almost two years. Pregnant with Dub. And he is showing no signs of wanting to come out. Ever. We joke about him still being in there if he’d had his way. So an induction is scheduled. We go in at the appropriate time. I get hooked up to pitocin and we wait. And wait some more. And some more after that. My BFF and half our family were there with us. Waiting and waiting and waiting. Still nothing. The nurse comes in with some sort of crazy talk about sending me home if nothing happens soon. At which point I tell her, rather emphatically, that I am not going anywhere until this baby is out. Period. The end. So she decides to go ahead and break my water. Yeah, good move. It slammed me into full-blown labor. Like immediately. At this point I am begging for drugs, because HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. This pain? Is unrelenting. There is no focusing. No breathing. It fucking hurts. I was told I would have to wait thirty minutes because I needed a saline solution first. Which I quickly agreed to. Everyone came up to me and asked me if I was sure, and I bit their heads off. I snapped that I was getting one whether they wanted me to or not and I didn’t give a fuck what they thought. Surprisingly? No one had anything to say about the subject after that! The epidural? It’s magic. And bliss. And possibly heaven all rolled into one. The relief was instantaneous. And so, so good. So I’m back to being funny and all chill. The nurse comes in because my monitor is all wonky and she says they will just check real quick. She flips up the sheet and yells for them to call the doctor because the baby is coming! They all rush in and ask if I’m okay. I’m numb from the waist down, y’all. Um, sure? They ask if I can push and I tell them if they don’t turn my epidural down I can do whatever they want! My beautiful Dub arrives post-haste.
Fast forward five years. My babies got bigger with each pregnancy, and Dub had a condition that made it potentially dangerous for me to have any more children unless it was a c-section. We had it all scheduled and made it to the day of. Only Dub decided the time wasn’t going to work for him. It was still awesome and beautiful in every possible way. There were serious drugs. Which make the first two days of his birth a bit hazy.
My point to these stories? You can plan all you want to. Babies are always born on their time. In their own way. All you can do is be prepared for them to change your world. For the better. There will come a time when you can no longer remember what your life was like without them. Breast feeding, formula…it doesn’t matter. IT’S YOUR CHOICE. YOU ARE THEIR MAMA. I support you one thousand percent. Either way. If you feel like talking about your choice to me, I will listen. I will absolutely support you. I had to use formula, for medical reasons,for the first two. I tried for Bub, but my milk never came in. I get the frustrations and the guilt. I’m here to assure you that you have nothing to be guilty for. It’s your choice. I support you. Either way. I’m not here to judge you and your choices.
Like I said…it ain’t my bag, man.