Wednesday, September 6, 2017
3:28am // Water breaks
Labor at home for 4.5 hours
8am // Arrive at hospital, 3cm dilated
Pump to naturally induce labor for 5 hours
3pm // Epidural + Pitocin, 4.5cm dilated
8pm // 10cm dilated
Push for 2.5 hours
10:30pm // Fever + infection, Selah’s heart rate gets erratic
11pm // Selah arrives via emergency c-section at 8lbs 13oz // 20in.
A couple months back, I sent my husband this article about the importance of dads taking candid photos of mom + baby, as a way to genuinely capture moments. This would be his first candid. I hate it. It’s right after my c-section and I’m unconscious (sedated after c-section). The amount of pain + stress I was in at the moment of sedation, is somehow frozen on my face and now, forever in my mind.
If I had to describe my birth story in one word, I would say it was traumatic and felt exactly how this picture looks. And, that’s sad because the whole day wasn’t traumatic at all. It was a slow, but steady, build with some really rough moments, like the epidural, which had to be started over 4 times! But, even the active labor wasn’t the nightmare I thought it would be. It was calm, with dim lighting, good music, and the most important people in the room.
Unfortunately, I don’t think of any of those calm moments when I think of Selah’s birth. They are all drowned out by heavy thoughts of fear mixed with pain and no choice but to surrender to the plan at hand.
I’ve been trying to write this story + my truths for weeks, but nothing is coming out. I want to talk about how everything I didn’t want to happen… happened; how I was terrified that one of us wasn’t going to make it out of that OR; how I didn’t get that beautiful labor + delivery that was followed by a family photo opp and the moment where I fall deep in love with my daughter; how I feel set up for failure by being expected to care for a newborn with a body that is being held together by sutures + tape; and how birth plans are for birthing centers + at home births because in a hospital you pay for that medical piece of mind by sacrificing your birth plan. There is only one birth plan in a hospital… theirs.
But, all I can think about is when I miscarried and how my mind began to protect my heart by blurring memories + distorting time. Its happening again. Everything is a blur and fragmented in my mind. I think this case of writer’s block is also my mind’s way of protecting my heart and pushing me to again, surrender.
And so I do. I surrender + stand in gratitude that both Selah and I are here, safe and healthy. And, I’m working to accept and release the trauma of her birth, without trying to understand it so that I may move forward, be present, be light, be somebody’s mother.