I was reading a little Anti-Supermom tonight where she declared herself a slacker for "only" having birthed three babies thus far and being a happily married woman. It brought to mind what made me feel like that with Madelyn.
Because of how things went when I was laboring with Corey, I decided to make a few changes in my approach to pregnancy with Madelyn. For one thing, I walked everywhere the second time. Took the stairs at work unless I was toting something too heavy or awkward to be reasonably safe. If I was off on the day of a doctor's appointment, Corey and I walked the 2.5 miles there and back. Since the hospital was only two blocks away, I figured we'd walk over when I was in labor, too.
Labor started slowly on a Thursday night. By 4:00 the next morning I was counting contractions, but insisting Tom should go to work. After shuttling Corey out the door to school unaware, I canceled my chiropractic appointment and lunch with Nancy. Corey returned sometime after noon and I told him we'd likely be meeting his Bruster* by the end of the weekend. Then we walked around the neighborhood for about 90 minutes. His job was to time the contractions.
Bruster was the name Corey gave for the baby because we didn't know if he was getting a brother or a sister.
After 60 minutes of walking, I called Tom and told him not to resolve everything before coming home just because he'd be gone for a few weeks. And to stop and get snacks for himself because that was on my to-do list for the day. Oh, and to pick up dinner for himself and Corey and wonton soup for me. That's right, I had him multi-tasking on his way home to witness the birth of his first child. But it was some time after 3:00 and I didn't want Corey whining about being hungry or Tom feeling faint because he hadn't eaten.
Once Tom made it home we ate (hardly anything) and assembled all of the crap we were taking with us to the hospital. Rolling suitcase full of clothes for me, Tom and the baby. Bag with shower stuff. CD player/alarm clock (we're old school like that). Video camera. Two extra fluffy pillows. Backpack with snacks for Corey and Tom. Oh, and a game, 'cuz I just knew we were going to be playing Boxers or Briefs at some point. Corey was pulling or carrying everything but the pillows.
By the time we finally left it was almost 6:00. At the halfway point my contractions were sometimes only a minute apart and hard enough that I would stop to lean on Tom. Tom commented, "Phew! Next time we should put the pillows into a carrying case. This is a lot of work!"
Corey retorted, "You're doing a lot of work? I'm carrying everything! And I don't even want to hear about NEXT TIME until we get through this one!"
At this point I could breathe again and laughingly pointed out that neither one of them was doing the most work.
Those two blocks took roughly 30-45 minutes.
I must admit I felt pretty damned cool about walking to the hospital while in labor.
What was it?... three days later when I heard the story on the news about a teenage girl in Long Beach who gave birth on her own at home without waking anyone up and then ran with the baby to the hospital before her placenta had been delivered.
Yeah, I'm not that cool.