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Becoming Mothers: Our One and Only

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My husband and I never wanted to have children. It’s true. We were happy being childfree. We loved the life we had, and we didn’t want to change it. Our Family of Two was perfect.

For years we followed This Plan, and it wasn’t until the year I turned 30 that my mind started to open to the possibility of having a child. I know the fumes from that cliché are potent enough to smother someone, but what can I say? It’s true.

After an honest discussion, we realized that we were still on the same page, even though The Plan had changed slightly. One is more than None, but people change their minds all the time, especially when the word “never” is tossed around.

We joked we were on The Binary Plan, which is computer geek-speak for the “One or Zero” Plan.

We stopped preventing, and The Plan of One or None turned into two little pink lines on a stick.

I won’t bore you with the details of my pregnancy, and I’ll skip to the end! (If only it were that easy…)

I don’t respond well to pain medications, so I needed to take those complications out of the equation before they could even happen. I read everything I could get my hands on, and practiced my relaxation techniques for countless hours. We found a Doula we loved and trusted, and I knew that she would get us through this experience.

Although I wanted as little intervention as possible, I wanted to have my baby in a hospital. We decided to leave the medical decisions up to the professionals, if it came to that.

I was focused, determined, and I made it to 10cm without any pain meds! But, before I could start pushing, my cervix started to swell. Somebody (I won’t name names, but it rhymes with Claire) was twisting and turning the wrong way. So, I went from 10cm back down to 8cm, which landed us at a crossroads: We could continue on this path and have a C-Section, or I could have an epidural to slow labor and make the swelling go down.

I wanted neither of those two things, and I remember feeling defeated, exhausted, and overwhelmed. My Doula tried her best to console me. She translated all the med-speak into English, and we made our decision. We opted for the epidural and crossed our fingers that we (me and the troublemaker) would both would tolerate it well.

We did! The labor slowed; the swelling subsided, and I got to go through “transition” twice, which is just as much fun as it sounds. After 36 hours and 49 minutes (but who’s counting?) of labor (1.5 hours of which was alllll pushing), Claire was born on the last day of November 2005. She was 8 lbs. 6 oz. and perfect.

She’s our One and Only, the final piece to our Family of Three, and we wouldn’t change it for the world.

For real, this time.

Author: JoAnn

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  • comment avatar Amber Johnson May 4, 2012

    Hahaha–36 hours and 49 minutes (but who’s counting?) A nice little reminder for Princess Claire in years to come. Love your story!

  • comment avatar Ratna May 4, 2012

    awwww…. so glad you decided to do 1 instead of 0 – we love her and you guys!

  • comment avatar Daria May 4, 2012

    Holy cow! 10cm without epidural? Transition twice? You are my hero. 🙂

  • comment avatar Lisa Vratny-Smith May 4, 2012

    You are amazing, JoAnn! Love the unnamed person rhyming with Claire also known as the troublemaker! 🙂

  • comment avatar Lori Lavender Luz May 4, 2012

    Like the others, I’m glad you chose the OTHER binary plan, for two reasons. One rhyming with “Claire” and the other rhyming with “JoAnn.”