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I’m writing this with a baby on my lap. My baby. She is a week old, and she’s perfect.**

I’m not going to go into all the labor details here, but there were a couple of things that happened during the birth that really interested me from an information processing point of view.

The first is that, according to my husband and our doula, I didn’t start talking about an epidural until after the anesthesiologist came in. My recollection is that I started talking epidural when the contractions became unbearable – query whether there’s any link between what I was experiencing before and after the hospital reminded me the epidural was available.

The second is that I wanted to do a natural childbirth because I thought it would lead to the best outcome for me and Zed. Everything I was reading and hearing pretty much said the less interventions you do, the better – less chance of a C-section, better breastfeeding, etc.

Suffice it to say, I ended up having two interventions – I got an epidural, and the OB broke my water. Both were exactly the right moves at the time, and both made the labor much shorter than it would have been otherwise.

The thing is, I was so focused on the potentially negative effects of interventions, that I hadn’t bothered to consider the positive. Although the teacher in my birthing class discussed pros and cons for everything, I didn’t really pay attention to the pros because my mind was already made up.

I didn’t do this consciously. In fact, I’ve always thought of myself as very open-minded. But when I was thinking about the way labor had gone post-birth, I realized that I hadn’t really factored in the potential benefits of interventions.

It made me wonder what other things I might have missed because I only paid attention to the information that supported my point of view. And I’m hoping, as A and I confront the myriad of choices and decisions that is child-rearing, I’ll remember to pay afternoon to all the information out there.

*The color of our new car. Also our code word for “I actually mean that I want the epidural now”.

**In case you’re wondering, you didn’t miss the pregnancy announcement. A and I decided that we’d like to keep little Zed off the internet for the most part. So I probably won’t be talking about her here very much.   Incidentally, Zed is also the reason I haven’t posted much – for some reason, pregnancy has been my main focus for the past nine months.

Also, if you’re doing the math, by the time this goes up Zed will be about 2 weeks old. We call this the newborn effect – everything takes twice as long as it does in normal time.