31 January, 2012

birthing babies

i was so lucky to be able to be there for our super awesome friend when her beutiful baby entered this world a few weeks ago. to watch her for eight hours labor naturally and deliver her baby while squatting and being held by her loving hubby was truly a profound and life-altering experience. it was the first birth i had witnessed. and now i sit here waiting for you to wake up so we can join our other super awesome friend as her second baby is born.

i have a whole new perspective on birth than i had three years ago when your brother was born. i remember being sick with pneumonia and hospitalized when cooper was just ten weeks in the belly. i stayed home in bed taking tylenol every four hours as the doctor suggested. i went to three doctor visits. your dad made a million calls to the OB. no one seemed worried. finally we went to the ER on a saturday and they said i had pneumonia and that i would be admitted.

cooper survived that experience and so did i. but it did not cause me to take any responsibility for my own health. i look back at that person and want to slap her. tell her to drink more water. to take healing herbs. to see a naturopath. to sleep. to drink garlic lemonade. that person is a stranger to me now.

this is all coming up for me because although i mothered you natuarally while you were in my womb, i still ended up getting screwed out of the experience of birthing you naturally. we all know the story so i won't go into it again here. but even though i can live with my decision to have the surgery, it doesn't mean i won't mourn the loss of the birthing experience i had hoped for.

seeing my friends getting to labor naturally, seeing everything happen at its own pace, the way nature intended really brings up mixed feelings for me. i look so forward to being able to experience it all. the anticipation of the due date. the first minor cramping. the contractions spaced far apart. then close together. then more intense. the exhaustion. the excitement. the burning. and the feeling when that baby's head finally makes its way out into the world. and then to be able to reach down and scoop that baby up into my arms and hold that baby to my chest. and kiss him (or her). and sharing all of this with your dad. i want to feel it all.

with cooper i had an epidural. and morphine. i could feel nothing. i couldn't move my legs. i was shaky and cold. and sad.

with you i was cut open. you were taken out. i couldn't hold you. i passed out from the shaking and from the pain. it sucked.

and though my two personal birthing experiences were in fact life-altering for me, as well as i guess for many others people, i still am begging the universe for a different story the next time. a story with a different ending.

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