I make no secret of the fact that I believe in natural birth. I would never (EVER) judge a woman who chooses an epidural. I have been there. I know how it feels. But for me, there are so many aspects of a natural birth that cannot be duplicated in any other way.
I think every birth story has it's lessons.
Sam's birth was beautiful, intense and long (although on the short end for first births). For R and I, it was an intimate, bonding experience. I felt like an animal and I crossed to the other side of it very different--more mature and completely empowered. If I could do that, I could do anything.
After giving birth to Sam, I was sure that I could climb Everest if I wanted. It helped me in so many aspects of my life. It gave me the confidence to pursue career goals I had previously discarded as "too competitive" or "next to impossible to achieve." And guess what? They weren't.
I expected the same transformation with the new birth. Perhaps that was too much to ask. Do I feel empowered? Well, sure. Pushing an 8 pound human out of a space tiny enough to hold a tampon in place is quite the feat. I probably could scale at least Kilamanjaro without a problem. But I had already done it once before. I was already "transformed" if you will.
So, what is the lesson from this birth?
To trust my instinct. To have a little faith in myself and my body. I spent weeks convinced that the baby would never come after we passed 38 weeks (the date where Sam had arrived). I was so anxiety-ridden. And for what? For a baby who arrived directly on his due date to the tune of a textbook perfect, efficient labor. I wasted a whole lot of time stressing.
So, maybe his birth has not changed my life in quite the way Sam's did. But I am still changed by it.