Both of my pregnancies were unplanned. There is a huge reaction difference between couples trying all they can do to conceive, and a young single mother who gets an unexpected gift or two. Some times I think that the couples struggling with fertility problems will look at some one like me and think that I was not as grateful as what they would be. But just because something comes along that wasn't carefully thought out and anticipated does not mean that it brings any less joy. A new life is a new life. A new baby brings so many changes and emotions that words can't even describe. My children gave me purpose in life and motivation. They were surrounded by love before they were even born. Yes maybe they didn't come into my life my a conscious decision to plan a family, but they came nonetheless and I can't imagine how my life would have ended up without them.
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My husband and I were blessed with three beautiful daughters. The pregnancies were planned, and all three daughters were born on their original due dates. I had no significant health problems or complications with any of the pregnancies. I am married to a man who is proud to have three daughters. His ego was never wrapped up into having a son to carry on the family name or with whom to share male bonding. However, after the birth of our third daughter, a HOSPITAL worker asked, "So are you going to keep trying until you get a boy?" Also, my mother who was never able to witness the birth of her own children due to emergeny c-sections in the 1960s was able to be present and witness the birth of her third grand daughter. She would have been welcome at any of the births, but she didn't decide until the third that she could deal with it.
I only had one child. She was so perfect that I did not need to do it again. Actually, I am not really sure why we only had one child. Both parents working as teachers (not much money) and concentrating our efforts on raising the perfect child did not leave much time for anything else.
Now, I regret having only one child for several reasons. As I age, she has the brunt of anything that I need help with in my life. Much is expected from her. She always rises to the occasion. You only get to have one shot at everything. My daughter only has one daughter. My mother was an only child. You can see the pattern. My great great grandmother had 13 children. What happened!
My pregnancy ran a normal course. I was 23 and my husband was 25. The baby was not planned, but certainly she was wanted once I was expecting. I wa sick the entire time, certainly the first three months. Any kind of smell sent me running. I hated Dr. Pepper (still do this day), and any kind of meat. Despite the never ending morning sickness which lasted all day, I gained 40 pounds.
Back in 1969-1970, exercise was not encouraged. So, I set and ballooned. Additionally, I had no muscle tone when the time came for the pushing. We took no classes because they were not offered in our rather small town. Talk about ignorance of every aspect from the pregnancy, birth, after effects, and the baby herself---a true lack of knowledge existed. The doctors then did not really feel that you should know anything either. These were terms were unknown territory.
stretch marks - a narrow band resulting from tension on the skin (as on abdominal skin after pregnancy
endometrium - (pregnancy) the mucous membrane that lines the uterus; thickens under hormonal control and (if pregnancy does not occur) is shed in menstruation; if pregnancy occurs it is shed along with the placenta at parturition
quickening - the stage of pregnancy at which the mother first feels the movements of the fetus
My birth experiences were a bit different. My first child was planned, a girl, and the joy of our lives after 10 years of marriage. The second pregnancy, which was due when my younger sister was dying of breast cancer, felt awful when I had a miscarriage which was emotionally painful for me and for my younger sister. She had been happy that the baby was due on her birthday and was devastated by the miscarriage. The third pregnancy was a whirl with the baby never still and born with his cord in a true knot times two. The doctor was concerned with brain damage, but he was fine. My son turned out to have Tourettes and was on the autism spectrum, but I don't believe it was related to his birth. Both children have been a joy beyond describing, kept me hopping as a mother and a teacher, and as adults now, a completely different positive experience.
My wife and I had several planned pregnancies and one unplanned pregnancy. There has never been any difference in the way we looked at our children, regardless of whether they were planned for or not.
The birth experience for me, from a father's point of view, was pretty nerve wracking. I was constantly afraid that something would go wrong. I stayed that way until the kids were born and got old enough to seem to have some solidity and "permanence" to them. Babies just seem so fragile!
For me, the birth process went smoothly in the sense that I felt healthy through most of my pregnancy. I only had a bit of a queasy stomach at the beginning but very minor. When I went into labor, it happened late in the evening and I stayed home until my contractions were coming fairly close together. I had back labor. When I got to the hospital around 2 a.m., I remember using my lamaze breathing and staring outside the window of my room at a traffic light to focus on something. I had my son at 8 am so I was fortunate that it went pretty fast for a first delivery. I did a natural childbirth without drugs and I remember that while it hurt, it was bearable. Having a beautiful baby at the end of the process was a wonderful thing.
I'm a father of two. I was present for both births. I stayed the whole time (during the really difficult part of labor at the end during the third phase) up at the head of the bed holding my wife's hand and encouraging and supporting her. I am grateful beyond belief for my two healthy and happy daughters. But I am glad we will not be going through that process again. I hated seeing my wife in that much pain and having to be that concerned both for her and for the well-being of the babies. I'm glad we're done!
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