Birth. A day that will change your life forever. This day looks different to everyone. For some, it's actually days...plural. For others it may be so fast you almost didn't make it to the hospital. For some, it may not even happen at a hospital. For others it may include the best Neonatal Doctors and Nurses there are. For some it might be a c-section. For others it might be au natural. For some it may be the day you adopted your children. For others it may be the day you became a foster parent. But whatever you call it, however you experience it...it's amazing.
I always hated hearing horror stories of birth. You want some? I have my own to share. However, that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the awesomeness of birth.
Have you ever heard it said that God has a plan? He has a purpose and a reason for everything. Well, birth is certainly no different. With my first I thought for sure I was going to go in to labor early. I had my heart set on it in fact. I remember thinking every tightening of my tummy was a contraction. I remember every ache, wondering if this was it. And then they started. The night before his due date I was watching a movie with my hubby and my in-laws. I remember feeling them begin in my back and wrap around to my lower abdomen. Despite the fact they were 20 minutes apart I was in denial. I didn't even say anything to my husband about them because I had thought "this was it" so many times before. But this was different. In the back of my head I knew. I went to bed that night thinking if this is it, they will wake me up. They didn't. I was so disappointed. They started up again right after breakfast on his due date. My contractions went from 20 minutes to 3 minutes in just a few hours. It was incredible how my body just took over. How it knew what to do. Fast forward several, okay 12, hours to the actual birth of my son. Yes, I did get an epidural. Because of some side effects to the narcotics in the epidural, and a pretty high fever on my part, the actual birth was so surreal. As he was crowning and I felt like I couldn't push any more my Dr put a mirror up so I could see his little head. His tiny little head. His hairy little head. He had DARK hair! That gave me the extra burst of energy I needed to push him out...3 hours after his due date. I felt like I was watching from outside my body. And yet, when they laid my son on my chest for the first time I knew...I knew this was my destiny. I was destined to be this little boy's mommy.
The second time around I didn't want the epidural. I was anticipating labor to be similar to my first. It wasn't. But again, God had a plan. This time I ended up being induced. I had to have pitocin. I still didn't want the epidural. Fast forward 12, no 16, hours and I finally gave in to the idea of an epidural. No sooner did the epidural get put in (was never fully numb they had to take it out again right away) but it was FINALLY time to push. Maybe it was because I had finally given in to my body, finally allowed it to feel the pain...or maybe God knew I would need the epidural I was dreading...but slightly numb, I was able to push out my 9.8 lb baby...two hours after his due date. My Dr told me if I hadn't had the epidural (did I mention how much I didn't want it...won't tell you why because I said this wasn't about my horror stories) I probably would have been in an emergency c-section because of his size. They placed him on my stomach immediately. I was so overwhelmed with love...and again, I knew...I was destined to be this little boy's mommy.
Did I have some scary moments? Sure. Do I want the world to know them? Maybe another moment for transparency, but not this time. This time I am sharing the wonders of birth. Time time I'm sharing what I tell all mommies out there...do not be afraid! If you are, that's okay too, and actually fear is completely natural, but know that birth is incredible.
With both boys (almost 2 years apart) my heart stopped when I saw them for the first time. I breathed in their newborn smell. Carefully inspected their tiny little bodies. Wept tears of happiness. I kissed their little heads over, and over again. Was this real? Was this little being really the one that had been kicking me the past 9 months? I was immune to their wails. I was grinning. This was our baby. The life and breath of me and my husband. The gift God had entrusted to us to raise. This was the personality I was beginning to see develop inside the womb. This is what he looks like, what he feels like. What a gift.
No matter what your child's BIRTH day looks like...cherish it. Scream a little louder. Sigh a little deeper. Pray a little longer. Love a little more. Own it. The BIRTH day is the day you become a parent...over and over again for every child you have. A.m.a.z.i.n.g. And never again will you celebrate a birthday in the same way. You, as the parent, will always remember that moment in time when you saw your baby for the very first time. As the years go on I would like to think that even for just a moment, on each birthday, I will pause and think of that scrunched up little face wailing at me from the delivery room. And I will say to him "Welcome home baby. I am your mommy. And I love you so much."
Readers--Tell me about your child's BIRTH. I want to know what you loved about it THE MOST!