I don’t tell my son’s birth story without taking a pause.
It was not an easy breezy or cinema-like birth…
In fact, there were times where it was downright nightmarish.
I’ve decided to share a watered down version of it, both for my healing and for others who may relate to the type of birth.
April is cesarean awareness month, and while the birth of my wonderful son was something I’ll love forever, it came with its share of challenges.
My pregnancy was pretty easy for the most part. My husband and I had the opportunity to spend time with one another in the aftermath of the height of the pandemic. I worked from home and had the ability to have home cooked lunches with my husband and even take naps during some lunch breaks.
While we loved our tiny paradise, there were times that it was lonely. We were strict on being careful, so our social lives were put on a slight hold and it took a great deal of adjusting.
My baby shower was over zoom, and it was wonderful – but sometimes I wish we could have had the freedom to do it in person.
As my due date got closer, my husband Kevin and I cracked down on our rules of safety even more (if he got Covid-19, he would not have been allowed to attend the birth of our son).
People understood, but at the same time, we knew they really didn’t at all and thought we were being hyper about our decisions.
But…when it came down to it, they were our decisions, the right ones, and they were for us.
After 10 days past my due date, we pushed for my birth to happen (no pun intended)…it was time. The hospital told us they were at capacity, but we went in anyways. My water broke while we were in triage, and the 4 day labor began.
My son was pretty comfy in my belly, and didn’t feel like coming earthside until he was good and ready. I did 3 days unmedicated, until my exhaustion took the reins and my body & baby needed an emergency c-section.
I remember the tears of defeat and feeling like I failed. I remember my husband being the only person who knew exactly why I was crying. It was a weird comfort having my support person understand the state of it all both from an outside (he wasn’t in labor) and inside (he was the father of the baby) point of view.
As I was taken away from the cocoon-like hospital room we had called home for 3 days, I thought about the last few days and how I’d powered through them…. And then I thought about how powerless I suddenly felt, and how I couldn’t do a damn thing about whatever was happening next.
While I laid exposed on the table, hearing the roll call of all the staff present for the surgery, I remember feeling my son squirm around, almost hugging his home for the last time.
My son was born, a 10 lb boy and healthy as could be. The moment he was shown over the curtain, I could feel the love gush through me.
He was here. He was safe. He was ours.
Moments later, complications arose, and my husband & son were escorted away from me. I knew from movies this wasn’t a good sign. People were silently moving fast around me, and I began to lose the moments I wanted so badly to keep soaking up.
When I woke up, I had someone painfully pushing on my stomach – and I knew it was the beginning of the uphill healing process of my cesarean.
I won’t get into the details. But my body was put through it…and it was beyond tired.
The next few days we navigated being new parents on the overflow floor. Because of the Covid policies we couldn’t have visitors and we relied on facetime. We missed those precious moments of sharing our beautiful son with the ones we loved most.
While at the same time, we soaked up the time being a new family of 3, and sharing the moments all on our own.
Today, we are so grateful for our little family. I still have days I feel the pain and anxiety of it all, sometimes even physical pain. My body has forever been changed, and my mind has too. I have a different level of appreciation for what my body can do and what I can endure. Every night I fall asleep loving the family we built and every day I wake up to my sweet boys (cats included).
Throughout our journey as a couple, we made many well thought out plans. Good ones too – spreadsheets and all – but life often chose something different for us…and I’ve found that the unplanned events are the ones that have become the most precious moments that we wouldn’t change a bit.
“”Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon