I was recently asked how women in general have the courage to go through birth more than one time.
My response: Are you kidding? When I think over my last birth experience (11-05), I keep wishing I could go back to that last hour of most intense, hard, full-on kill-me-now labor. While it was hard and intense, what I remember and long for is the closeness that was in that room with my mom, husband, doula, and midwife. The quiet support they offered me. The jokes in between contractions. The anticipation of knowing the baby would be here soon. There was such a special feeling shared amongst us all -- like there was absolutely nothing else happening anywhere else in the entire world, or universe, for that matter.
Yes, during that intense time I said two funny things I 150% meant. 1) I told my midwife, "I'll let you pull him out with a vacuum, you know." 2) I told the room, "I don't think I can do this again."
My first baby was pulled out via vacuum after three hours of pushing. I felt let-down and insignificant, like my doctor could not help me push him out by suggesting another position, or just letting me take my time -- it was more like she wanted to get home. My dh knew I would be so upset if I actually did have this baby pulled out that same way, so he knew he would not let me do that (if it were not needed). My midwife laughed, too -- she recognized it as a cry for help and plea of desperation, but not what I really would have been happy with in the long run.
When I said the second thing I meant I could not have another baby after this. My midwife looked at my husband and said, "Do you want to get this in writing?" I held strongly to this until day 6 postpartum -- and then I remember thinking, "I would do it again."
There is just something so incredible about being on the cusp of that life-changing experience. I think I would have 5 labors/births to not have to go through 9 months of pregnancy, that's really where the draining experiences come in my opinion!
Before my first baby, I didn't have so much fear simply because I had no idea what to expect. After my first, and seeing how things went and knowing more, yes I was pretty scared to have another baby. After my second I was even more scared -- they say the third birth is a wild card, and I also had this cognitive distortion that, well babies and I were safe the first and second time, so something bad is bound to happen now!
After my third birth I felt like, heck -- they are just starting to get good! Having my third baby made me want to have another one, and I never felt that way before.