Doing Soft Labor
When women, particularly young mothers, get together, occasionally the conversation will drift toward childbirth. You hear stories of long labors, mistakes made by doctors or nurses, cesarean sections, excruciating pain, complications, and so forth. Mothers are always eager to tell their "horror" story and will inform you of all the stories of friends and relatives, but sometimes, someone will come up with the story of the incredibly quick labor; and the woman who experiences that labor quickly becomes the envy, and most hated, of the group. Fortunately, I have been that woman twice, and frankly I'm proud of it, labor was one of the easiest tasks I've ever accomplished!
It was around May of 1991 that my husband and I found out that we were going to be parents for the first time and, honestly, it was the scariest thing I've ever heard! Not that I never wanted to become a mother, but I had been married a little over a year and I wasn't sure that we were ready. Beside that, all the stories I heard about labor were horrifying!! Who in this world wants to go through thirty-six hours of pain and suffering? I kept hearing Carol Burnett telling men to take their bottom lip, and pull it over the top of their head so they could experience the same pain. My mom even scared me when she told me that she went through twenty-six hours of labor before the doctors concluded that her pelvic bone was too small to allow my brother to come naturally, forcing a cesarean section. But after discussing this with my husband Chriss, he and I decided that this was meant to be, and quickly became elated over the prospect of hearing the precious cooing of an adorable baby in about six months.
Throughout my pregnancy, terrible thoughts continued to haunt me and I decided that I was not going to be part of another horror story that fell from the lips of my female friends and my family. I began reading all the books I could find on the subject of healthy pregnancies and, although I just couldn't keep myself from all of those glorious foods at El Tapatio, I walked often to keep in shape, so to speak. After all, a few books said that the more physically fit you are, the shorter your labor may be, and I figured it was worth a try. Every day I walked to and from work, approximately one mile each way, and every day, before I left work, I had to convince my coworkers that I was okay and that I wouldn't go into labor somewhere on Concord Avenue; fortunately, I was right.
In the last week of September, I went in for a routine checkup and was informed by my doctor that I had already dilated to one centimeter. This news was too much. After all, my due date was November 27th and throughout all of my paranoia regarding painful labor, I never gave one thought to the possibility of early labor. After being interrogated by the nurses, the doctor decided After I was interrogated by the nurses, the doctor decided to send me to the hospital to check if I had gone...