Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Birth Story, re-visited

So eight months later, and I'm still reveling in Theo's birth.  I went through my usual phases post-partum:  shock, massive adjustment and aligning what really happened with the imaginary life I had in my head.  There were some disappointments, and in my usual fashion, those took center stage for a while.  But now, as I am finally getting the feel for my new normal, some events have occurred that make me more able to digest the events on the day Theo was born.  I am remembering other details and feelings now that the main feeling of relief has tempered down to reality.

One funny thing is that I was watching Nanny 911 while in early labor.  My now 15 year old daughter was watching with me, as I was jotting down contraction times so I could assess when to call the midwife.  I remember discussing how watching that show was enhancing my self esteem and comfort in my ability to parent yet another child.

I remember trying to get my husband to come up from his home office and help me get the bedroom ready for the birth.  I remember being very angry at how distracted he was that day.

I remember the quick decent into labor land, and my immense relief when the midwife showed up earlier than I had expected.  My labor picked up so quickly (maybe because I was at home and my body knew it could just go for it, instead of gearing up for an hour of relocation?), and I remember saying, "I hate this part of labor", referring to the part where the pain is intense, but you really have no idea how long it might go on.  If I hadn't been so firmly in labor land, I would have recognized I was nearing the homestretch, and everyone was telling me so.  But I wouldn't be persuaded.  The nurse asked me, "What part of labor do you like?" and I remember answering, "When it is over!".

As I relayed in my original birth story, once I got in the water, I had maybe 5 contractions before Theo was born.  It might have been more, but it wasn't many.  One of the worst parts was my husband left momentarily, and ended up missing the actual birth.  He heard the baby being born, and dashed in immediately after, but I have to admit I was upset by that for some time.  That never happened at the hospital births!  But it was a small price to pay for the amazing part after Theo was born, getting in my bed, the relaxed, happy atmosphere, and the complete ability to me comfortable.  I had never loved my home as much as I did that day!

Now, to prepare for this birth, I had gotten some essential oil beeswax candles, made a play list of inspirational and comforting music, gotten snacks and drinks for the attendants, and so on.  The birth was so fast, none of it got used, and weirdly that left me feeling I had failed in some way.  It took me months to go ahead and burn those candles, listen to the music and realize I wasn't hosting a party or setting up a scene for a play, I was just having a baby, and I did that just perfectly.

Months later, my 12 year old daughter set up my bathtub with bubbles, my scented candles and music, having no idea this was something I had missed during Theo's birth.  It was so nice, just making peace with what really went down that day, especially because it really was an amazing birth.  To integrate my disappointment with my gratitude was the missing piece in my analysis of Theo's birth.
                                                                        Theo then

                                                                     Theo now

 So the lesson from this birth was that life isn't a performance, it is real.  It is the real thing, and hinging my happiness on the appearance of having it all together is just getting in the way of me being entirely present to my own life.

And really believing that is a such a gift to be given along with my sweet little Theo.  I am so blessed! 

(for the original birth story go here)

My daughters are in the blue choir. This performance was last summer, and I am currently dealing with new facebook crashing into new blogger. Oy.