The Cost of Childbirth

As Alsea’s first birthday approaches (10 days to go), I’ve been reflecting on the past year and all that occurred surrounding her birth. It’s also caused me to recall the past 3 ½ years. In these past 3 ½ years, I’ve gained and lost roughly 90 lbs, had 3 abdominal surgeries, spent over $13,000 in out of pocket medical related to pregnancy, and cried buckets of tears. Both our girls were very much wanted and planned babies, and yet they have indeed cost me a lot. Alsea’s c section was very emotional for me. I felt claustrophobic, I was afraid the anesthesia wouldn’t work, and as I lay there strapped to the table, hyperventilating with tears streaming down my face, it was hard to remember how much I wanted my baby.

Once she was safely out and I heard the welcoming sound of a gusty cry, I felt a rush of thankfulness. I got to ride the high of being the mother of two girls for a couple days, but even I knew that although my feelings were real, they were being heavily influenced by some very heavy painkillers. Then things got really hard. This tiny human I wanted so badly couldn’t nurse. I pumped exclusively for 3 months before she finally got the hang of nursing.

People said to me before I had kids that you forget labor and delivery afterwards, that a haze settles over the difficulties and that’s how you end up with more babies! I have not found this true for myself. It’s been a lot. It’s been hard. It’s been expensive.

But as I look at Alsea, almost 1 year old, all 18 lbs of her, and see her little toothless face smiling up at me, I know that it was worth it. When I pick her up and feel her satiny arms slide around my neck, I know that it was worth it. When she finishes a nursing session and grins up at me with a blissful, milky smile on her face, I know that it was worth it.

So, I can’t wait to celebrate my girl’s 1st birthday. She is worth it.

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