Oh, how many times I have taken to this keyboard to vent my fear of pain! My labors are short but brutal and I freely admit that frequency of child birth in my life does not in any way make me more at ease. I am not the "expert" that people think I am because of my number of children. I just have a greater physical, emotional, and mental memory of labor and delivery pain. So, I suppose I'm an expert in anxiety and pain management. Not.
I was rereading posts on this topic from my last delivery and was put somewhat at ease by the reminder that the baby makes it all worth it. But I'm still on this side of the whole thing and my panicky mind occasionally wonders if there isn't another way through this.
Nope. Not really.
I've been tempted by epidurals only to have the option completely taken away by the speed of my labors. I couldn't be spared the pain if I wanted to be. Can't go around it... gotta go through it. And there's nothing that is "easier" about the 6th or 7th time. If anything, my mental apprehension is stronger even while my body is more accustomed to the action.
Added to my fear of pain is a little fear that seems to increase with age... a fear of bad things happening. The older I get, the more I meet suffering in various forms and the more my mortality impresses me. I am not particularly afraid of death; what I am afraid of is pain, but even more, the thought of leaving my children while they are still young. With each labor and delivery, I count my blessings and breathe a dramatic sigh of relief to have made it through unscathed. My husband has a similar response. Childbirth is one of those uncontrollable moments in life. A total surrender. Thank God for faith.
It is 5am and I have been sitting awake for about an hour, alert to the crazy movements of my unborn daughter. She and I are spending some quality bonding time together. I love it when she moves and I try to picture her little legs kicking and arms waving. And then my thoughts run this way for the millionth time:
I know the science of it. I know the experience of it. But it still surpasses all my powers of comprehension to imagine how this child is going to get out.
It's time to try to get a little more sleep before the morning rush begins. I think I'll try the couch... seems to be a little kinder to my back. Perhaps I'll talk to Jesus one more time about my fears. He is good. He is mercy itself. And whatever comes will be under His loving hand and for my benefit. Blessed be God!