Birth Stories Needed

by nicolecallihan

One of my favorite things about our trip to Italy (besides, of course, the requisite shot at the Leaning Tower of Pisa) is that now C. wants to name our daughter: “Luciana Allesandra Bonifacia Camila Caprice Ellenora Fiorella Gabriella Giuseppina Jacobela Letizia Mariola Michelina Severina Stella Violetta Zoila” Callihan. Sort of rolls off the tongue, huh? And so, after all the magic and pasta and magic and pasta, we’re home, and it seems there is much to think about: where to put cribs and desks and blankets and aprons, what to buy, what to beg for, what to dismiss as totally unnecessary.

And then–and this is the one that’s preoccupying me the most–there is the actual birthing process. Even though I know on the grand scale of time it’s a blip, it’s becoming increasingly important to me. My mind’s been in a total whirl since the plane ride yesterday when, during the almost-nine hour flight, I read and re-read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I’m feeling torn about having so quickly chosen a doctor and a hospital birth. I feel like if I could have it my way (I can’t–that whole marriage negotiation thing comes in), I’d have little Luciana Stella in a hot tub in the backyard, but maybe that’s just something I want because I’m pretty sure I can’t have it. (The ole nonsmoking hubs is a BIG believer in hospitals.)

I’m struck, though, by how little I know about how anyone was born. I was premature; my mom asked for no drugs but the doctor gave them to her anyway; I looked funny. That’s about all I know. I felt ridiculous on the plane yesterday because I covered the birthing pictures as if they were porn anytime I heard anyone coming down the aisle. It just amazes me how little I know about birth, how everyone in the world has been born and how I’m (almost) completely clueless as to the process.

So, today, I ask for your stories. Tell me how you were born, how your kids were born, how the two-headed turtle in the pet shop up the street was born. Really, I need as much information as possible. Apparently, all these kicks I’m feeling will result in a very real thing before I can gather up enough breath to say “Luciana Allesandra Bonifacia Camila Caprice Ellenora Fiorella Gabriella Giuseppina Jacobela Letizia Mariola Michelina Severina Stella Violetta Zoila” Callihan.

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