I dreamt about the day you’d be born. It was like a movie trailer that played on repeat in my head. That perfect scene where your daddy and I would be grinning ear to ear and he’d kiss me on the forehead as the doctor placed you on my chest. You were crying your first cries and I’d hold you and say “Mommy’s here. I’ve got you.”
As my belly (and feet) grew over the 9 months, I hoped and prayed that my body would just know what to do when the time came near. This whole “giving birth” shin-dig is instinctual to us moms, right? Women have given birth at home, in fields, and heck, even in stables and with less modern resources than we have today.
Had I only known that my hopes and dreams of the perfectly planned out natural birth would go so awry.
At 40 weeks, the doctor informed us that our best option to safely meet you was to schedule a Cesarean. You were proving to be too big and comfortable to have any interest in heading out on your own (pun intended). I believe the specific words she used were “You’re not dilated and baby is going to be larger than anticipated, so I’m not confident you could pass her anyway. I would not even attempt it.” This news crushed my soul. It took every ounce of strength I had in my overdue body not to break down right there in the office.
Once home, I sobbed for hours. I was scared. Scared of why my body wasn’t doing the thing it was made to do. Scared of having a major surgery. Scared of something else going wrong. Scared of the cords and machines and the huge needle that’s used for the spinal. Scared of the physical and emotional scars I’d have because of what felt like MY failure as the first act as your mother.
I felt robbed of the chance of even trying. I wouldn’t get my Superwoman, movie worthy moment of accomplishment and joy. But I had to do what was best for my baby. So, being young, nervous, scared as all get out, and ultimately simply uninformed about other potential birth possibilities, I proceeded with scheduling the Cesarean. What a humbling moment seeing the date circled on the calendar – Thursday, September 6th. That’s when I’d get to meet you despite the logistics of how.
There were only four days in between that doctor’s visit and your birthday. Those were the longest days filled with a deep internal sadness and despair for your mommy and many a consolation and encouraging word from your daddy. There were conversations had that contained too many “just in case” surgery details for my comfort. And many decisions that were made that could dramatically affect my life and yours if things didn’t go as scheduled.
Then that day came.
When I woke up on the morning of September 6th, I felt an odd peace. As family members kissed your daddy and I “bye” and they rolled me through the doors and into that cold operating room, I no longer felt scared. It’s like my “mom mode” was switched on and I was determined to be brave for you. I took the cords and machines like a champ and barely flinched when that huge needle pushed through my invisible cape and into my back. I was brave for you. The doctor cut and I felt the pressure rising in my chest from behind the curtain as you were taken from my body. I was brave for you. As I lay on the table, arms outstretched like Jesus on the cross, I realized the sacrifice I was making to ensure your healthy existence in this world was only the beginning of what I’d be willing to sacrifice for you from that day forward. I was brave for you.
I was brave for all 7lbs 13oz of you. Surprise surprise, you turned out to not be a big baby and I wouldn’t let the circumstances turn ME into one. God only knows why we were led down this particular path for your Cesarean delivery. Would I have been able to have safely labored and delivered you into this world on my own? I’ll never know. But, I found comfort in knowing that you were here and safe and perfect. I find comfort in sharing this story so that other mommies may find the same peace and power in their delivery story despite it being written differently as they originally intended.