How do you want to remember this experience?
July 10, 2018

I never fancied myself the kind of person who would beg for drugs when I had a baby. Even back then I was almost as health-conscious as it was possible to be. I wanted to be awake for the experience, really awake, feeling everything.

I got my wish, even though I’d quickly changed my wish once I realized how much labor hurt. The hospital in my small town wasn’t set up for epidurals. I’m glad I didn’t know that until the big day. I would’ve dreaded the big day. I wanted to feel everything, as I mentioned, but I wanted the option of opting out of that feeling. By not knowing I wouldn’t have it, I accidentally proved ignorance really is bliss.

When the contractions started in earnest and I had a better feel for how painful this time would be, I made a dandy decision. I powered through them with the goal of Darrell not noticing I was having them! It worked. A few hours later the nurses told me I was making this look easy.

It hadn’t been easy, and the difficult part was only the beginning. Katie was born, appropriately, sunnyside up. But mastering phase one gracefully gave me a lot of confidence for phase two.

I chose how I wanted to look back on this most important afternoon in the life, and that choice transformed the experience. Crying and complaining wouldn’t have helped, after all. I let myself feel what I was feeling -- ouch, ouch, and more ouch!! -- but I didn’t spoil anyone else’s day.

It wasn’t so much that I pulled it off. It was realizing the memory I made was largely up to me.