My mom was here for a very quick visit a few days ago. As she had just been in Arizona to see Mike and Alicia after the birth of their first baby, conversation naturally circled to pregnancy, labor, and delivery from time to time. Mom and I had never really talked about the topic much before. She summed up her child-bearing experience by saying, "I was made to have babies."
She told me that she conceived each of us the first month she started trying to get pregnant! She never had morning sickness and her pregnancies were really smooth. She was very active throughout her pregnancies: up to her eighth month with Mike she was doing transfers of her 250 lb. patient by herself. She also told me that during the blizzard of '79 when she was pregnant with me, she walked a mile to and from work when she was in her ninth month. Other hospital employees who lived closer to work (and were not pregnant) were calling, saying they couldn't make it in for their shifts. Their managers told them, "if Jane can make it in, so can you." I also found out she had all of us naturally. Apparently, I started to come but then mom stopped progressing. They gave her pitocin (which I've heard makes the contractions much more intense) but she still didn't use any pain medications to deliver. Mike and Keith were both pretty quick and easy labors for her.
I found all of that to be very interesting and quite encouraging. My hope is that my experiences having babies will be as positive as my mom's experiences were. It kind of puts the pressure on, though, doesn't it? I hope that I have similar experiences as my mom did, but what if I don't? It's a pretty high standard to be compared to. One other thing to consider is that I'm currently the age she was when she had already finished having her kids, and I haven't even started yet! I'm sure that's a factor, but let's hope genetics are a stronger influence.
My mom is amazing and I can only dream to be as great as her, both when it comes to having kids and to raising them.