I’m pretty sure I told my sister I would have a natural birth. And by natural I meant, no drugs, only candles lit, calm, quiet breathing, perfect natural birth. Also, that Sarah McLachlan would be playing in the background. I’m also pretty sure this was before I was pregnant with my first child. And probably before I was married.
Then there was the day I was 34 weeks pregnant with my first child and my doctor said my daughter was breech. Basically, that means she was not head down in the correct birthing position. She was head up and her legs were up too. She looked like a professional diver when they are mid air in jump and their legs meet their face. And she was comfortable living there. She didn’t want to move. And we tried. And to no avail. Little stinker wanted to stay put. And 5 weeks later she was still breech. Despite our efforts, she made it very clear she was staying in the position she chose. And almost 6 years later and I can tell you this, she wouldn’t have changed a thing. That’s my daughter and this is her birth story.
At 38 weeks, my Doctor and I discussed the terms of a C-section delivery. And she prefaced the conversation by saying, “If she turns or we can successfully turn her, we will not do the C-section. But if she doesn’t, here’s how it will go.” It was the most frightening moment of my life. Also, extremely disappointing. Fail. After all, I was born to give birth naturally. I was Mother earth. I was powerful. I was woman. I was about to give birth to my first child and I had it all down to a science. And low and behold, God had other plans.
Fearful and ashamed, I cried on my husband’s shoulder and he and my Doctor looked at me and said everything will be ok. My Doctor kept telling me “It’s going to be great. I promise. I do this everyday.” Still not relieved I called my sister (my other Doc) and cried tears into the phone. She knew I was disappointed but she said the same thing. She also said “This will still be the best day ever. You’re going to have your daughter.” I cried again. Hard.
A few weeks later on a hot July day, in a white operating room in a Nashville hospital, my daughter was born. And hands down, it was the greatest day of my life.
I will never ever forget that day. That moment I became a mother. That moment my Doctor pulled her from my body and I saw her face and I knew she was Kona Blue. My husband looked at me, I looked at him and it was magic. Most beautiful moment on earth. Most powerful. Most precious. Most important.
To be honest I don’t know any different than that birth story. All my previous thoughts, my previous doubts, they disappeared. My daughter was born. I had a daughter. My moment in childbirth was mine. And it was everything perfect I’d ever imagined. C-section fail? Actually, C-section success.
Sure the spinal was a little painful and the catheter went in before I was numb and yes, I still have the itty bitty scar. And walking the first day after surgery felt like I was in the olympics at the age of 90. And trying to wear a happy face while dealing with crazy incision pain while nursing a newborn was quite intense. But I had her. We had a daughter. And there wasn’t anything on earth that could top that. Nothing. And although I’ll always be reminded of her birth from the tiny scar below my bikini, I wouldn’t have changed anything. Because all I know is how our birth story unfolded. And I’ll forever be grateful for our story. And although I’ve witnessed other’s birth stories, in person, and although they were incredibly beautiful in their own right, my story is mine and I can revel in it forever.