The other day, my mom asked me what she called the million-dollar question: After everything I had been through — really rough pregnancy, a dog attack that sent me to the hospital, and an insanely hard labor and delivery where even the epidural failed to relieve my pain — was it all worth it?
I think the real question is: Would I do this again?
My first, gut response is no. Hell no. There’s no way I’d relive all that pain and suffering.
But now, looking at this little baby, he somehow makes me feel like I’d do it all over again if I knew this was going to happen.
Women have told me throughout my pregnancy — even my mom — that I’ll forget the pain. I won’t remember having two catheters in me at once. I wouldn’t remember the intense pain of contractions that I felt for two straight weeks. I wouldn’t remember the feeling of being in active labor when the epidural stopped working. (Yeah, that was fun.) I wouldn’t remember going through all of that — the internal monitor in my uterus, the infection I got while in the hospital, the feeling that you’re being stabbed from the inside the uterus as it contracts — and then having a C-section. I wouldn’t remember how it felt to get the urinary catheter removed the next morning and having to walk, slowly and unsurely, to the bathroom on my own, hooked up to an IV and trying to nurse a newborn.
All that, yeah, I’d forget it once I was holding the baby in my arms.
This entire pregnancy was nothing how I had imagined. I saw women competing in triathlons in their third trimester, surfing well into their second, and sporting cute maternity clothing. I was lucky I took a shower during my pregnancy.
I really thought I was going to be that on-it mother, hiking and taking weekly Pilates classes, eating a schedule of healthy foods that would benefit the baby’s development, reading to him in the womb. Instead, I was puking in the office bathroom, surviving on cereal and Slurpees and taking a Unisom before I went to bed every night.
Women who saw me struggle through the pregnancy would often tell me, “Don’t worry. Hard pregnancy, easy delivery.”
Ask any of the nurses who saw me over the past two weeks and they’d tell you my labor and delivery was pretty bad.
I likely won’t forget the pain, not just because I’ve documented it in a journal that I’m going to give my son when he can read (just kidding), and, to be honest, I don’t want to.
The pain and suffering were part of this whole experience that resulted in a healthy, adorable (I’m biased) baby boy, and I couldn’t have wanted anything more.
So was it worth it? Of course.
Would I do it again? Ask me in a month.