I remember when I first found out I was pregnant. I had all these grandiose ideas then.
I was never into the midwife or doula thing, but I was striving for a natural birth. I had envisioned this amazing picture in my head. I’d go to term and one morning my water would break. I’d remain calm, cool and collected and start timing my contractions.
I would fill my tub with warm water and weather out my labor surrounded by dimly lit candles as the soothing scent of lavender wafted through the air. My iPod would be playing peaceful music that my husband and I had spent hours picking out for our “Welcome to the World Little One” playlist. And once my contractions got closer and closer, we’d drive to the hospital, go to the delivery room and deliver a baby easily and without complications.
I mean, that’s what happens in the movies…right?
Oh and the other thing I envisioned was the baby coming out and immediately inching towards my chest to start nursing. That, I did see in a documentary they showed in my “Breastfeeding 101” class weeks before I delivered. And nursing would come so easily and naturally.
All these wonderful mental pictures quickly came to an abrupt end when during my last visits, the baby was breech. Her tiny head was up and her feet were pointed downward. She basically wanted to come into this world dancing rather than swimming. There was talk of having my doctor try to turn her, but given some cervical complications I had, that was not a safe option.
My first fantasy was shattered. No dimly lit, lavender infused, soothing musical labor in the tub for me! In its place, I found myself getting an epidural, having a C-Section and listening to the doctor’s choice of music. Instead of my daughter coming into the world listening to Caribbean Blue by Enya, she arrived to Viva La Vida by Coldplay and I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas.
Next up…nursing. This just did not come naturally to me. I had a million and one physical issues and just couldn’t do it. So, I learned how to invest in formula. Dream #2 of becoming a La Leche League mom died instantly.
Then, there was television. I swore up and down that my daughter wouldn’t watch television until after she had traveled the world and got her PhD. Once again, I was proved wrong. Somewhere around 6 months, I realized I desperately needed to get practical things done. So, into the DVD went Baby Einstein and I learned how to shower, wash my hair and blow dry it in twenty-eight minutes flat.
I can now proudly say she easily identifies pieces by Beethoven and Ravel. And, at twenty one months, she can also sing 80% of the songs from The Sound of Music flawlessly. Yes, when I need a little more time, I actually pop in a movie!
And so I’ve learned that childrearing is much the same as anything else in life. You learn to revise your rules and adjust to what your reality is. And just for the record, my daughter’s personality is much more Fergie than it is Enya.