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Part I: Pregnancy: A New Frontier

Sep 26, 2020

And then, there it was. My next adventure…Parenthood.

I panicked, and a flood of memories came into my mind…sipping a latte at my desk looking out over the San Francisco cityscape from my office; relaxing on the beach in Fiji; arriving on the first day of my MBA program to find that I was the only one in a suit; presenting my regulatory implementation strategy to someone in the EPA; looking out over the ocean at a café in Big Sur and deciding to start our own company; waking up at dawn and jumping into my hunny’s BMW convertible and driving up the California coast looking for inspiration…was it all gone? Would I ever do anything like that again?

Two lines stare back at me. My heart skips a beat, I feel nauseated, elated, and terrified. Holy hell. I feel an unfamiliar sense of intimidation as I look out on the future and I see…well, I don’t know what I see, just unknown terroir.

 I’d always thought theoretically one day maybe I would be a mom, but here it was. So now what? Okay, I know how to tackle things: methodically and strategically. I’m supposed to learn stuff about having a baby and being a parent, right? Easy enough, so I prepared.

I searched for the best OB practices starting with the renowned ivy league research hospital nearby. I chose a birthing center based on careful criteria such as the availability and number of midwives in the practice, the intimacy of the room and environment, the tendency to certain practices such as c-sections, episiotomies, etc. I found an amazing midwife. I took birthing classes that taught me pain management methods (I was determined to go natural), breastfeeding techniques, and how to think about what kind of a parent I wanted to be. I bought and read the books. What to Expect When You’re Expectingwas reassuring, but otherwise a bit dry (as were the other books I flipped through). I toured my birthing center. I researched every product and put together the best of the best nursery. I joined mama groups and messaged tirelessly about what it would be like, comparing products and theories about sleep training and feeding schedules. I had a nurse take me through all the stages of labor and delivery. I did everything perfectly and

I was totally unprepared.

When labor started I knew I had completely missed the boat. The reality is, I, a strong-willed, highly educated, and independent woman, totally fell apart and became stupidly dependent on everything outside of me to get my baby out. I had been an A+ student, but I was ill-equipped to handle the foreign sensations of birthing.

My partner half dragged me into the hospital, while I stopped every ten feet or so to crouch down on the floor and cry. When the midwife trainee finally measured me I was only 1.5 cm dilated. “You’ve got to be $%&@ing kidding me!!,” I screamed. Give me ALL the drugs now!!

Continue with Part II...

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