I doubt she popped over to the hospital to stick her hand in a cup of ice while William told her to breathe funny and count to three, but I’m sure she’s got some resources. Yet, no matter what hypno-birthing-in-a-tub-he-ha-ha-breathing-scented-candle-meditative-state you’re planning on Your Grace, I have some terrible news: it ain’t gonna work. Your “birth plan” even imprinted with the royal seal, will be tossed out the window.
1. Birth is pain, to paraphrase Westley, and anyone who says differently is selling you something.
2. Even if you get an epidural, as I did with my first, there will be pain involved.
They’re called needles. And they’re as long as Estimate, the Queen’s winning horse’s, legs. And then you get all loopy and can’t go to the bathroom…it’s very undignified.
The first go ‘round, I realized in the midst of our birth class that my husband counting in my face and telling me how great I was doing annoyed the be-jesus out of me. Yet, when he did or said something funny, it was distracting. Great! So off to the hospital we went, suitcase full of Eddie Izzard, The Daily Show, Hot Fuzz, and, just in case, the entire Harry Potter DVD collection. But I did not watch a single thing the entire time. Little did I know that would be the last time in five years I would ever be able to watch anything start to finish without interruption. The point being, I thought I would want one thing, and in the end, I just wanted it dark and quiet and peaceful. And I wanted that baby out.
I didn’t want pitocin – the drug that helps to induce contractions – as I had heard it statistically leads to more C-sections. Someone on the internetwebs said that. But my first child was taking her sweet time. My water broke and apparently there’s a time limit to how long a kiddo should be hanging around womb side after the pool’s drained. So we got the dreaded p-word in my system and things started to move. But not fast enough. My baby’s heart rate was faltering – decelerating. I didn’t want to use any means other than my killer kegel muscles to get her out, but without a suction, I would not have a scrumptious near five year old bounding about my house.
Do not, for one instant, berate yourself for not having the birth you dreamed of - or others dreamed of for you. Whether it was covered in rainbows and unicorns and lavender and ended in ecstasy, or it was forty hours of pushing followed by a c-section, what you will have (hopefully – we’re praying for you!) is a happy healthy baby and a happy healthy mommy. Being one of the most famous women in the world is hard enough without adding weight to the schmucks who will try and critique how your baby came in to the world. So hold your head high. You've just birthed an heir and in an instant, become a mom.
*note: this is a re-post from pre-George's birth.