Push

Dear Internet,

Here I am in Illinois; my sister’s party was a success. We’ve also spent a lot of time talking about (and, in my case, to) our brother. I’m flying back to Stumptown later today, and then my next trip will be to my parents’ (and brother) for Thanksgiving. Mr. Book has to stay behind, as he is working all that week. Quel bummer.

I’ll get back to adoption stuff now, I swear. 😉 Ruth’s friends are adopting through foster care a sibling group of three kids, all younger than their bio son, and the boys were just placed with them last week—my adoption universe is getting a little more complex. The boys’ foster mother is apparently adding some tension to the situation, but hopefully it will all be resolved soon. I expect to meet them at Cricket’s birthday party in December.

So I have a present, wrapping paper, bows, and a card for the birthday—which is still a month away. I never, ever wrap presents: a mixture of apathy and lack of skill on my part. But I really want to do everything just right, so I bought some nice paper and will spend some time carefully wrapping the blocks. The card will be mailed in advance, since the party is several days after his actual birthday. It’s a funny thing; I know his due date, and I know that he was born three days earlier, but for some reason I spent the first few months of his life unable to decide whether he had been born the eighth or the ninth. I know that I am lucky to have a birth certificate I can consult, but I didn’t want to pull it out and look at it…. Still haven’t, for whatever reason.

Cricket’s birth was kind of rough—I was in labor for a few days, and by the time I was ready to push, I was just sick and exhausted. It was natural childbirth, but I still couldn’t feel when I was supposed to push because I was too tired. I just pushed for as long as I could, breathed, and pushed again. The midwife really wanted me to reach down and feel his head at the critical point—I’ve heard that that can bring on a second wind for some women—but I politely declined each time she brought it up. I guess that sounds strange, but I had the idea that I knew what I needed to do and just wanted to keep working at it until I was done, no side trips. I only pushed for forty-five minutes, so I guess that wasn’t the worst idea. He was perfect when he was born, and huge! Ruth and Nora weren’t in the room with me, but they were in another room of the birthing center, and they came in as soon as I was decently covered. I asked Ruth to cut the cord, and was secretly annoyed that she didn’t seem excited about it. Then again, it is kind of gross. 😉 When and if I get to have a child of my own, I want natural childbirth again; it was hard, but a lot of that was because it was my first time. And with my personality, I can’t imagine that being less in control of the process would make things any easier for me.

When I was younger, my mother was a Bradley instructor. I picked up what I now realize was an unusual amount of information about childbirth and laboring from her, and didn’t end up actually taking childbirth classes when I was pregnant (although I may have fudged about that to the midwives). I did have a very hard time mentally during transition; there was a lot of pain that I couldn’t affect, and I ended up throwing up and worrying that I couldn’t make what was supposed to happen next happen. Happily, once the midwife broke my water, everything moved along nicely.

I took a pregnancy test today. Not that there was any real need, but my birth control is causing me to skip a period, and I wanted the peace of mind. I am 90 percent relieved and 10 percent disappointed. The disappointment makes me feel stupid, but I guess it’s something I need to understand better and finally learn to live with.

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