As visceral as the childbirth experience was for me — twice — I have a lot of gaps in my memories of it. I would love to go back and ask myself some things about giving birth, especially now that I’m more than nine years past the first time I did it. I can recall the lighting and how part of the overhead fluorescent bulb was out, and the painting that hung across from my hospital bed, especially since I had the same delivery room with both my kids. However, there are some details I’ve blanked out on, and I’d love to know them so I can have a fuller picture of the most life-defining episodes of my time on Earth so far.
I remember the reclining chair my husband slept in while we waited for my cervix to ripen overnight. I remember hoping I wasn’t peeing after they inserted a catheter post-epidural. I remember Life in a Northern Town was playing when my daughter entered the world. I even remember asking to see my placenta and being rather impressed that I grew this whole other organ that served my gestating fetus before it was born.
Still, while those memories are impressive and worth hanging onto, all those things don’t complete the picture of the childbirth experience for me. So here are some questions I want to ask myself about giving birth, 9 years after living through it. If only I knew the answers.