Saturday, September 25, 2010

No longer an urge

Today is the day that my daughter was born by urgent cesarean at 35 weeks for fetal distress, three years ago. She was a teeny, tiny 4lb 7oz bundle brought to me and stuffed into my neck where I couldn't see, but only kiss her sticky cheek.

Every year around this time I think back to her birth and I find that the further I move away from all of my birth stories, the less I feel the need to relive them. There is an important healing that happens every time we tell the stories of something that changed us; we reap information and healing and integration every time the story is told.

I started to share my birth story, and I realized that I didn't really need to anymore. I don't need to write it out, I don't need to relive every terrifying moment. It was scary, and it was one of the hardest, most courageous things I've ever done. I did it, and it's done.

When I look back at the births of my sons, at the time I was very upset and even traumatized. I look back and think that I had pretty good birth experiences, all in all. A lot of my suffering was my own creation- hanging on to an outcome to the bitter end as my plans were decimated by pre-eclampsia and a baby who needed to, but was just not ready to come out. Not having the knowledge about what I was agreeing to when I asked to be induced - these were what I used to call mistakes, and now I just consider it a part of their stories. No more urge to look back and judge myself. I realize fully in my soul that I have only EVER done what I knew best in the moment to do, and that bitchy nurses and impatient doctors and doulas with bad breath were all just players in my story. They weren't what defined it unless I empower them so.

Who was *I* in those moments? How did *I* show up - for myself - for my birth - for my babies?

I don't mourn for a birth I never had. I do wish I could have gone into spontaneous labor at least once, but then I remember that my regrets are rather privileged in a world where women give birth to long dead babies with no one at their side, on hefty bags in bays of other women also laboring, in facilities lacking even basic supplies. I didn't get to go into spontaneous labor but knowing that I had a really great chance of surviving my births, that my children had a great chance at survival, that I had every tool at our disposal should it be needed, that my pre-eclampsia was caught early and not when I went into seizures giving birth - it humbles me.

I am not minimizing my births by comparing them to someone else's awful story; these are my stories and I claim them fully. I claim the Divine Mystery that tells me that no matter how well you plan, something that will surprise you is up ahead, I claim full responsibility for the choices I made, and I claim the lessons I've learned because of my births.

This is Eidie's gift to me today! Happy birthing day to us both. May her uterus never be cut and she birth in the arms of those who love her, should she decide that making babies is something she wants to do. ;)


Cyndi said...

This totally made me cry. You are such an amazing Being, woman, mother friend. I'm so grateful for your evolution and all that you have reaped because you had the courage to be present, awake and aware even in the darkness. I love you. You amaze me.

The Mama said...

i want to cry, dear friend. Such an amazing piece, here. love ya both. and, happy birthing day to you.

KC Christian Doula said...

A.Mazing story. L.O.V.E it. :)

KC Christian Doula said...

L.O.V.E this post. Thank you soo much for sharing. :)