Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Transparent Moment--Birth

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!


  1. Amazing. The pain, the exhaustion, the fear all slip away the second that baby is in your arms. I swelled with love and pride when I first had my baby on my chest and the swelling is yet to cease.

  2. Love your post. Made me cry :) And thanks for reminding me to remember that day--amazing! :)

  3. Beautiful writing. I was so happy that you avoided the "horror stories.". They get old. Birth is so amazing and beautiful and enlightening and humbling. There is no one word to describe it. I never thought I could love anyone or anything more then I did in that first moment holding my son. But it never fails that I seem to fall more and more in love with my baby each day.
    Great topic

  4. My son's birth was wonderful up until the 3rd hour of pushing when we went in for a c-sec. I remember the first 13 hours as so peaceful and exciting. The rest was terrible and really I didn't feel joy or a connection to my son until a few days later. My daughter was totally different. Everything was scary until they laid her on my chest and the world felt right! Being a parent is the most amazing thing!

  5. I have loved looking into every little face that God has entrusted to me. The adorable little buggers. I wouldn't change a single thing about their births. It's all part of our story together. Thanks for the reminder to love the story.

  6. Thanks for sharing, what a beautiful post. Being a parent is receiving the best gift in life. :)

  7. I LOVE this post!

    Thanks for following Three Crazy Munchkins- I'm now following you back. I love your blog (and that header picture-awesome!) already and look forward to reading more!


  8. Oddly enough, I loved the use of pitocin in both of my labors. Without it, my boys probably would have remained in my uterus for...well, FOREVER. They didn't want to come out! Both were 5 days past their original due dates-one epidural, one natural. I had such a love/hate relationship with that stuff!

  9. THANK YOU!!! I so clearly remember you telling me not to listen to the horror stories and that birth is an amazing experience. You were one of only a few positive stories...even the day before my induction I had other women telling me how horrible pitocin-induced contractions would be. What good comes from that?

    My reality, it was AMAZING! I had MY doctor, a fabulous nurse, a great hospital, my loving husband and after 12 hours of work, a lovely, healthy, baby girl. And honestly, pitocin was no worse than the spontaneous contractions that I had the night before. It is not that I think we should sugar-coat the hard work involved in giving birth, but please, let's not instill fear or worry unnecessarily. You were right, giving birth was AMAZING and the end result was my beautiful baby girl on my chest - talk about a reward.

  10. GREAT post!

    I have had 9 NATURAL births ( no pain meds or epidurals). But ... 7 of those were induced with pitocin. My babies just like to stay inside, so the doctor needs to nudge them a bit with the pitocin.

    My doctor with my first baby knew that I wanted to have a large family. Just minutes after giving birth to my 10 lb. 1 oz. BIG baby boy (after 10 hours of 1 minute apart contractions), the doctor smiled and said, "You really want to do this again next year." To which I responded, "You bet."

    The 10 hours of hard labor completely disappeared the very minute that my precious baby boy emerged. And ... just 14 months later, the same doctor delivered my little baby girl. And ... 16 months later, this doctor delivered baby #3. Yep. 3 babies in 2.5 years. Life was WONDERFUL!

    Then came the TWINS. Oh my! What JOY! It was a "high risk" birth, so the delivery room was filled with doctors (1 for me 1 for each baby), nurses, an anesthisiologist (just in case he was needed). I went the full 40 weeks with twins, so they were finally induced.

    While all of the doctors were sitting around chatting, the first baby seriously popped out and almost landed on the floor. (no pushing ... her big sister must have pushed her out first) Then, after a tense couple of minutes, the doctor delivered "baby B" feet first. Baby A weighed 7 lb. 2 oz. and Baby B weighed 8 lb. 3 oz. Yep. 15 1/2 pounds of baby. Crazy! But BLESSED beyond belief!!

    After 10 bio. babies, the Lord led us to adopt from Africa. What a crazy 9 month "pregnancy" that was. But, we will never forget the absolute JOY of walking through the orphanage gates to meet our new children (ages 6, 9, 11). Truly AMAZING!

    The LORD has BLESSED us abundantly, with our children. And ... YES ... each and every "birth" story is a reminder of His BLESSINGS.

    Laurel :)

  11. We just had our first and boy, what an experience

    From a father's prospective, we did have one of those horrible labor experiences. Bad epidurals, terrible pain management issues, pitocin racking my wife with painful contractions, so on and so forth....ending in an emergency C section where they had to put her completely OUT because the second epidural didnt work...BUT

    When the nurse came out of surgery and alerted me that we had a very healthy, very big baby boy about to join us, I broke down in tears. 12 hours of being the only family memeber in the delivery room and trying to stay strong for my wife was a terribly hard thing to do mentally.

    It was all worth it. It strengthened our marital bond, and now....puts us together with a purpose of raising our boy!

  12. Thank you for sharing such a birth story with such a positive perspective. As lots of women have probably experienced, the birth of our little boy 7 months ago didn't really go as planned. As weird as this might sound, I am a little envious when I read a mother's story of how the contractions started and their body just took over and knew what to do. I don't think my body got the memo. But, in the end, I'd do it all over again (and probably will in a few years!) Thanks again for your post!

  13. Good post about those beautiful days! The day my daughter was born (5 weeks early) I was in shock and so in LOVE!!!! I remember saying, "there really WAS a baby in there!" Ummm, DUH right? Well, I was in denial because of all my fears but now... I embrace the fact that I had a baby and she is amazing and I feel pretty amazing for having the courage to deliver a human!