Friday, May 29, 2009

Birth Stories

I love hearing birth stories. I don't know what it is. I don't care if you had the worst experience or the best. I don't care if it was euphoric or if you were knocked out for half of it. I'm like a preteen in a horror movie, I can't seem to focus on anything but your birth story. I want to know the details (okay, not the details) but the good stuff, or the bad. I love hearing how they had a hard time getting your epidural in or how the sun came out just as the baby started crying or how your crazy aunt Ethel burst into the room mid-push. That stuff makes me happy.

But I don't tell my birth stories. Hardly ever. I like to, but people look at me like I'm crazy every time. Ethan was stillborn, so that story depresses people. And I get it. It's a depressing story. And about two minutes in, when I start crying, that doesn't help. The girls were both c-sections and for some strange reason, people don't seem to think that there's any story to a planned, scheduled c-section. What, you showed up on time, had some anesthesia and got cut? Greeeaaaat. What a wonderful story.

I have stories, though. Oh, do I have stories. I have the anesthesiologist who couldn't get the spinal in and stuck me 11 times. I have the near hallucinations I had post partum when I was sure I'd never get to hold my baby because she was dying. I have the screaming, and I mean screaming baby coming down the hall and my assurance that it was mine, even though I'd never heard her cry and then was right and she screamed right up until that nurse put her in my arms and then she was FINE. I have the time The Husband and I tried to room in with the baby and we didn't even make it to midnight. I have the crappy hospital photographer who did such a bad job, I just did it myself. I have the nurse who read my chart every time she came in and then proceeded to give me "new mommy" instruction.

But I don't tell those stories, because I say scheduled c-section and then all hell breaks loose. Some days, I get "Why?" "Did you know that isn't good for the baby?" "What was wrong with her?" Some days I get attacked. One day I answered the why question honestly (Brynna was showing as 10 lbs. on the ultrasound and was three weeks early and they proceeded to tell me for ten minutes how inaccurate those things are. Never mind the fact that she did, in fact, weigh ten pounds. Once, I had a woman tell me that it was a pity that I'd never get to experience the orgasmic beauty and joy of a natural childbirth. Ethan was born naturally, and that was enough for me, thank you.

Some days, I don't get any of that, though. I just get blank stares. Like, oh really, where's the story in that? Do you people watch A Baby Story? Like half of those births are c-sections and there is enough story there to film and broadcast on national TV.

Anyway, I'm digressing into whininess and I really didn't mean to. The point is that I love birth stories. Some day, I'll post all of mine on here. And you can ignore them, if you want. Or if you are like me, you can grab some popcorn, pull up the screen and read with the intensity usually saved for train wrecks all about my intestines pulled out onto my belly and the gross stuff they make you drink to keep you from throwing up, and Motown on the radio in the OR. I'll tell you about my (must be part of that hallucination thing) memory of the drs. sharpening the scalpel while that insane 13 year old girl poked me repeatedly in the back with the worlds longest needle.

For now, tell me one of yours.


Emily said...

Thanks for posting your birth story on Dooce. I posted mine a little later. I think it's hard to tell such as heart-breaking story, but I also think the story of stillbirth needs to be told more often, because it is more common than people want to accept.

Jessi said...

You know, people are never mean about it or anything, it's more like I just don't like making them uncomfortable. Isn't that crazy? I kinda like talking about it because it's all I have of him. Anyway, thanks for clicking over and reading.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I would love to hear all of your birthing stories - any time, any way, any day. Painful or beautiful, they help make up who you are today, and that's somebody I haven't met lately. Yanno what I mean?

Suze said...

Okay! Sometime when I have a minute I'll share.
And I remember hearing about Ethan. I just can't imagine. I'm so so so sorry that had to happen to you.

Joni said...

Jessi! Oh my goodness! I followed your link from Facebook over to your blog, and I'm so glad I did! I'm having such a good time catching up with you by reading your blog! I love your posts, and I hope you don't mind if I follow your blog from now on.

I'm so sorry to learn about Ethan, and I would love to hear your birth stories - all of them. Here's the link to mine that I wrote on my blog about 2 weeks after Elias was born: