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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

a birthing story - Angela

Here it was, the birthday of my soon to be baby (which I had no idea was a boy at the time). I was ready to go. In this picture below I was so incredibly nervous for my scheduled c-section. I started crying shortly after this, after the real contractions set in, the contractions the doctor warned me I should not feel due to my previous surgeries (thus the need for a c-section). I started crying, wondering if I'd be OK through the surgery, if my baby would be OK through the birth. I was so nervous, unsure of what to expect. Jared was there the whole time with me. He tried to keep me calm.

The contractions hurt. Despite the pain, I was so relieved to feel the contractions. Ever since I had found out I would not be doing real labor I felt cheated out of an experience (those who have been through labor close your ears and eyes now, don't hate me, after all you know what the real pain is like). I felt like it was not fair that I automatically needed a surgery while my other friends got to experience what was only natural.

Quickly I realized I was in fact grateful to have a c-section, to know what to expect in a sense, to deal with the worse or longer recovery afterward. Labor scared me. It was just different for me.

When I felt the contractions I was so happy. I felt so guilty the night before going in for the surgery, guilty that we had to choose my baby's birth date instead of allowing him to come on his own terms. So when I went into labor half an hour after arriving at the hospital, I was relieved and happy. Our child was cooperative right from the start!

So then I was walking down the hallway toward the surgery room. Jared gave me a huge hug, I was crying, very nervous. They gave me a shot in my back to numb me. That was the worst part. It was scary for me. I had to lean my head over as far as I could over my big belly and stay incredibly still so they didn't miss it. It felt like it took three hours but really probably was only a few minutes. I just kept wishing Jared could be there with me during it. The nurse who held me still and held my hand was awesome, very helpful. Then within moments Jared was back, by my head, holding my hand and telling me things were good, we were going to be parents soon. It was very surreal.

The doctor arrived. They started working on me, but we could not see anything with the sheet up. The next thing I know I felt a little tugging, but not really anything much. Then the doctor says, "OK, Dad, get ready," because Jared had told them he wanted to tell me if it was a boy or a girl. And then I hear Jared say, "It's a... BOY!" in this way that I'll never forget, with excitement, surprise and nervousness all at once. Then they lifted Owen up over the sheet so I could see him. And I cried, saying, "He's perfect! He's here! He's beautiful. He's perfect!"

And then he was here. He was crying and alive and OK and out of my belly and totally perfect. (and in fact, I'll tell you the thing we laugh about now, Owen actually peed his whole way across the room from my belly to the weight table!). It was the most amazing thing I'd ever heard, his loud cry, saying, "Hello world, I'm here!"

It was an amazing time. I can't even describe what it felt like in that room. I was totally present, not focused on anything except my husband and my baby and this new family we had created. It was incredible.

They let me touch him and kiss him, putting him up close to my face. I was so sad I could not hold him instantly, as they worked on the rest of the surgery. But Jared got to hold him right away, and I swear that's one reason Owen is so incredibly drawn to and connected to his dad. They bonded within seconds. Before even holding him Jared asked me or I asked him, I can't even remember which, we asked if we'd go with Owen as his name. We had another name picked out, too, but instantly we just knew he was an Owen. Jared texted everyone this picture below with the stats: "Owen Joseph Avery, 9 lbs, 3 oz."

Jared then went in the next room with doctors and with Owen to run some tests, check him out. Soon thereafter I was rolled down the hall to the room where Owen and Jared were. I felt so proud of myself. I was so happy.

I finally held my baby boy. It was amazing. I know I'm getting sappy here, but really, the best feeling in the entire world.

And then instantly I was a mom. A real mother. I had been a mom while pregnant, sure, but not like this. I felt like a real mom once he was on the outside. I instantly felt like I would do anything for this baby, knowing he was mine and Jared's, ours to take care of forever.

Overall, it was an amazing birth story. It was scary and nerveracking and I had no idea what to expect. It was wonderful and beautiful and perfect. It hurt afterward trying to recover from major surgery, but when it was happening and not until many hours later did I even feel it. I was too excited and happy about what it meant, that I got my son out of the ordeal. That was all that mattered. I remember thinking, "I'll go through this again in a heartbeat if it means I get to have these feelings of happiness and pride, and to make my family even bigger with a baby after it." It pretty amazing...

I hope your birth stories are just as incredible.

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