Jack of Many Trades

Inferiority, Complex

Originally posted: 2014-04-20

This isn't really my story to tell, but my spouse doesn't blog much lately so hopefully she doesn't mind...

When we started this whole parenting gig, we talked a lot about what she wanted her pregnancy to look like. The answer was: midwife, no drugs, as little medical intervention as possible. That sounded good to me, so we went ahead with that plan. We diligently saw a midwife for nine months and she did all the right things but there came a point where that all went out the window.

Last week, I watched her discuss the possibility of needing to induce labor, and the midwife was so careful and clearly expecting pushback based on her goals.

"I've been thinking about this," she told the midwife, "and working up to it." The health of the baby is paramount; we didn't want to risk sacrificing that for the ideal of a perfect, natural birth. That's how life works, whether you're planning a wedding or a birth or anything else. Dreaming and planning are important, but sometimes the path to those dreams doesn't materialize. Maybe to get what you want, you have to take a different path.

Maybe you have fourteen hours of contractions every three minutes, because your squirmy little baby likes facing the wrong way at every possible moment. Maybe you decide to accept an epidural because the alternative is being too exhausted to push when it's finally time for Lil Squirmy to enter the world as a total n00b.

I've read pagan mothers describe perfect, magical, natural births free of complications. I think its wonderful, and maybe I'm even a little envious. The day after the birth, as she lay dozing in a hospital bed with our newbie finally asleep in the hospital bassinet beside her, a chain of links landed me at Sarah Lawless's account of her pregnancy and birth experience. At the time, it was a bit of a kick in the teeth.

Now that we're home with the Newbie and I've actually gotten a few hours sleep, I'm able to be more philosophical. The birth wasn't perfect, but she was able to have most of what she wanted with minimal medical intervention. We're not perfect parents - most of this gear came from Goodwill, for the gods' sake! - but we're doing the best we can, and we're going to keep doing that.

And besides, Sarah Lawless has always been about ten times more better at witching than me, so I shouldn't be surprised. I'm not a witch anyway! I'm a magician, and a techno-chaos-type magician at that. Not the classy kind of magician. And I'm okay with that. I asked my goddess for a baby and we got one (Hail, Mara!) and that's magical enough for me.