Would I run another marathon? Marathons are a funny thing. After I crossed the finish line at the Disney Marathon back in 2010, I declared, “I am never doing that again!” I had never run that far before and found the experience of training and racing to be absolutely grueling. Of course, it did not help that it was less than 20 degrees on race day (yes, in central Florida). I was cold, miserable, and tired, and I could not imagine doing a marathon again. I had finished in 4:52 – the race took me much longer than anticipated.
Wouldn’t you know it… 9 months later, I did another marathon. This time, the weather was in my favor, and I knocked a half an hour off my finishing time. I was super happy but still – when I crossed the finish line, I said, “I am REALLY never doing that again.”
But now… man! I have the urge again! I realize that it’s totally insane, and I’m not seriously considering it, given how much trouble I had training for a half marathon back in January…. but I did find myself Googling “North Carolina marathons” the other night. I kind of think marathons are like childbirth – you have to forget the pain of the last one before you can consider doing it again.
Which leads me to…. Would I ever do drug-free childbirth again? I get this question all the time, both in real life and on the blog.
Drug-free childbirth was extremely important to me. I planned and studied for it before months (we did Bradley Method classes – here’s my pre-birth and post-birth review). I wanted to go drug-free because that was how I always imagined childbirth; I was also scared of unnecessary medical intervention. When I was planning for a drug-free birth, lots of people said to me, “It doesn’t matter how the baby arrives; all that matters is that you both are healthy.” And while I agree that all that ultimately matters is a healthy mom and baby, the way I gave birth mattered to me a lot. I think it’s short-sighted to insist that the atmosphere of the birth doesn’t have the potential to have a big impact on the mother. No matter what the birth entails, it is awesome if it is an empowering, emotionally fulfilling experience for the woman (and I really do believe that you can get this in a variety of birth scenarios).
Anyway, I didn’t end up having a completely intervention-free labor (here’s Henry’s birth story – Part I and Part II), but I did have a drug-free birth, and I don’t regret anything. I still shudder when I think about the three hours of pushing, but yes… I would do it again! It took me a while to be able to say that with confidence. Labor was very long and (obviously) very painful, but I do think drug-free was the best way for me. Now that I know I can do it, I will try again with baby number two. And like Henry’s birth, if I end up needing interventions, I’ll be okay with that because I will know the baby and I really need it. Drug-free birth isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally cool, but I appreciate how more and more medical practitioners are empowering women to know that it’s an option to try for if they want to. And I love to be an encouraging voice for other mommas-to-be who want to go drug-free!
Would we wait to find out our baby’s sex again? YES, YES, and YES!
I wrote an entire post about the subject, but this quote sums it up quite nicely:
Not knowing the sex of the baby was a HUGE motivator during labor. Whenever I wanted to break down and quit (not that I could’ve…), I thought to myself, “Just a few more hours and you get to find out if it’s a boy or a girl!” The excitement of not only meeting our baby but finding out something so basic about him or her was tremendously motivating. And after three hours of pushing, I got to hear the sweetest, most amazing news ever: the Husband shakily announced that it was a boy, and Henry began to wail. I’m so glad we asked the midwife to let Kristien announce the sex because it made it even more special. My initial reaction was, “Oh, of course it is a boy!” It just felt like the way it was supposed to be… I’m sure that no matter when you find out your baby’s sex, it is a special moment, but the rush of emotions that accompany delivery PLUS the joy of seeing your baby for the first time PLUS finding out the sex after 40 long weeks is overwhelming.
I try to convince everyone I know to wait to find out their baby’s gender. It was really fun to find out after birth!
Would I breastfeed again? This is another question that I get a lot. Breastfeeding was quite a journey, and I ended up exclusively pumping for 6 our of 8 months.
Breastfeeding really wore me down mentally, emotionally, and physically. Pro-breastfeeding advocates hate to hear that, I know, but it was really hard for me. I do believe it’s the best option, and I would never try to dissuade someone else from doing it, but the reality is that for some people, it’s really, really hard (and for lots of people, it’s really, really easy and wonderful!). BUT – I would do it again. Or at least I would try to do it as long as possible. My plan is to try to make physical breastfeeding work for BabyHTP 2.0, but if I can’t, I’m prepared to pump again. I know I won’t make it to 8 months next time if I’m exclusively pumping though… but that’s okay.
Onto something lighter and non-baby related… Would I buy an expensive blender again? We had a super cheap blender than was over a decade old, and a few years ago, I decided to spring for a refurbished Vitamix. It was SUCH a good decision! Vitamixes come with an insane warranty (I think mine is 10 years), and they blend so much better than the cheapy blenders. If you have the money to spare on a nice appliance that you’ll use regularly… I think it’s worth it.
And lastly…. Would I adopt Pippa again?
Oh my goodness! Yes! We LOVE Pippa so much. It’s always scary to add a new pet to the family – it’s a lot of responsibility and it can throw the dynamic off. And although we carefully weighed whether we were ready to adopt another pet before bringing her home, I was still anxious because the addition of Pippa meant that the adults were officially outnumbered by furbabies. Two pets to three seems like a big jump!
I always said I was not a cat person, but you know what? I am definitely a Pippa person. She is so beautiful and sweet and fits in with our family so well. The dogs have warmed up to her, and I frequently find her snuggling up to James (!!) in his dog bed. I love taking care of Pippa, and I am so glad that we could give her a warm, loving, and busy forever home. And I think she likes me the most, which is pretty cool.
So – what about you? What would you do again, and what would you not do again?
YES. There’s no space for regrets in a full life 🙂 thanks for sharing your specific insight, Caitlin!