It’s no secret that I love a good birth story. One of my favorite old family stories, one I really need to carefully write all the details about, is one in which one my ancestors helped his wife out of a wagon so he could deliver their baby under a tree.
I have had the same two big fears with all four of my pregnancies.
The first fear is that I will succumb to precipitous labor and deliver my own baby alone in my living room while Ryan misses everything, or that my husband will pull over and use his calloused mechanic’s hands to deliver our child.
My ancestor had her baby outside on the ground and I know many women who had successful home births. Still, I fear the unknown. I fear complications. I fear that my baby would die in my arms, or that Ryan would come home to find himself a widowed father—of three? Of four?
My other fear is The Emergency C-section. One of Ryan’s aunts has two beautiful, healthy children who born via C-section. His cousin Stacia shared her beautiful C-section story in Blessed by Birth and her little boy is clever, hilarious, and—most importantly—healthy. My aunt’s son was born to an emergency appendectomy-C-section combo, slightly premature but now taller than me and a sturdy young football player. A decade later, her little sister had her own healthy baby boy via C-section. My of my friends and acquaintances have had healthy C-sections.
Still, I fear the unknown.
I fear the circumstances that would require it and the complications that might ensue. I fear the way it’ll feel. I fear that I might not hold my baby for a long time. I fear the pain and the recovery time. Again, I fear the possibility of death.
I know my fears are unwarranted. I know I’ll likely have a fourth healthy hospital delivery. I know that others have gone before me even if I don’t.