Now that we’re in the third trimester, my anxieties have evolved from nesting/shopping/birthing costs to the actual birthing process and breastfeeding.
I have emailed, messaged, and bothered my friends who are moms to pick their brains on the birthing process and breastfeeding. I have tried reading everything online about the two topics. And my anxieties are really best managed by typing, so here I go:
A few years ago, I thought that you could actually request for a C-section! Apparently, you can’t (unless you have a strange doctor). Your doctor will only recommend (and do) it if it’s necessary. Since everything seems to be going well with Squishy and I’m not an unusually tiny woman, my doctor wants us to try for a vaginal birth.
I have to admit that it’s kind of scary for me. A friend told me that labor feels like intense menstrual cramps that keep escalating. What really freaks me out is the idea of pushing a baby out of my lady parts. I still can’t imagine how that would work. I’ve watched plenty of videos, but there’s still a disconnect that my brain refuses to reconcile. I also hope that I’m stretchy enough not to need an episiotomy.
The articles I’ve read and Moms I’ve spoken to who had vaginal births will say something along the lines of our body is designed to give birth to babies. I guess there’s some comfort in that. Also, the mom’s I’ve spoken to say that labor will get so tiresome that you will actually want to push that baby out. And at the end of the whole ordeal, you’re just insanely happy to meet your baby for the first time. ❤
Even if I am scared, I’m hoping for a vaginal birth because (1) it’s cheaper—it’s about half the birthing cost of a C-section, (2) recovery is quicker—as a first time Mom, I suspect it would be easier if I was more mobile, and (3) there are anesthesia options–even if I opt for an epidural (which I think I will), the dosage is less for vaginal births compared to C-sections. But if the doctor ends up recommending a C-section, we’ll go with what she says. We trust that she has our baby’s and my best interest in mind.
I’ve also read a bunch of vajayjay post-partum care articles, and most of them will say that while your lady bits won’t really be the same, it’s not really perceivable by you or your partner.
As far as the birthing process is concerned, there’s not much more I can do except my regular Kegel Exercises and to discuss my birthing plan with our doctor! I’m worried that if I keep reading, I’ll psych myself out. I think I found that sweet spot of knowing some, but not everything.
I’m not worried about knowing too much about breastfeeding. From what I understand, it’s a dance between the mother and the infant and I can only control so much. So, I attempt to have some semblance of control by preparing. Unfortunately, I’ve visited several bookstores and we don’t have very many books on breastfeeding here. There are a couple more bookstores I can hit, but I may have to buy an e-book off of Amazon (which I don’t really like doing because I love highlighters, post-it tabs, and margin writing).
My friend who is based in Singapore (Hi, Leanne!) sent me some really great tips on breastfeed and I’m very grateful. From our initial e-mails, it became clear that an important part of breastfeeding is having your baby latch properly. For breastfeeding to be sustainable, your baby needs to learn how to latch properly on to your nipples so that he/she gets a lot of milk and at the same time, it won’t hurt as much. So since then, I’ve been researching using the key words: breastfeeding and latching.
The articles are really helpful, but another friend suggested that I watch videos! The first few YouTube searchers were shocking and funny. I think people try to keep their adult videos online by labeling it as breastfeeding videos. Mikey found it very amusing. But I eventually came across these two gems from Fit Pregnancy and Faith McGinn:
These videos helped me understand breastfeeding. As I watched the video, I was practicing the positions with a doll at home! Seeing babies drinking up close and understanding what they can do is also really helpful! I feel like I learned more from watching the videos than reading the articles available online. Hopefully, this will make the on-the-job training process easier.
My friend did joke that since Squishy is half Mikey, she doesn’t think he’ll have any trouble feeding. Fingers crossed.
Whew! I feel a lot better now that my thoughts are in a word file and not swimming around in my head. In other news, Squishy continues to delight us with his acrobatics. It’s like he knows when I’m working (he will usually be quiet and serene while I’m at work) and when I’m lounging around at home (especially in bed, where he will try to get his father’s attention by kicking off my R2D2 pillow from my tummy). ❤