Full disclosure: I am beyond proud of Tracy for having her dreamed-of natural birth. Sometimes I cannot imagine just how she did that - with no medicine at all. She makes me marvel at her strength not only in getting her children out of her but also in how she is raising them. (It's probably good that I admire her since she is my blogging partner!)
With that, here's my story. And, I warn you that it lacks any sort of glamour or achievement - aside from the fact that I got a beautiful, healthy, perfect baby out of my body. For that, I am eternally grateful. I tell you this story because I know I am not alone in how this whole thing went down. I was Tracy's polar opposite in the planning for the birth. I made no plan, wrote no dissertation to hand the doctors and just wanted to birth a healthy baby. And, I did that. So, why the regret?
AK was due on October 29th. She didn't come that day. Two days later, we signed the stack of papers that accompany the painful process of buying a home. On November 7th, the movers were scheduled to come move us from one home down the hill to our new home. I don't think it's possible for me to explain to you why we did this other than I think it's safe to say that our minds were effectively eroded by the excitement for our little one to arrive. So, finally on November 1st, we started the eviction process.
I warned you that it's not glamorous and the birth story is actually not what this post is about it. So, I'll finish Part A quickly. We started the induction gently, with no drugs, which I am thankful for. Husband and I enjoyed our last night to sleep - somewhat peacefully, or as peaceful as it can get in a hospital. The next morning, the contractions started, I snapped my fingers and the man that I professed my love to for the next forty-five minutes arrived to insert the world's biggest needle into my back.
I rested for what seemed like days although in actuality it was only a few hours. At around 3pm on November 2nd, I started pushing. And pushing. And pushing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Yes, there was the tippy top of a little bald head, but nothing else. Ever. Finally at 6pm, overcome with exhaustion and frustration, I was wheeled in for a C-Section and at 6:56pm, my sweet AK finally graced us with her presence. And, she was perfect.
So, what's the big deal? I didn't even have a plan.
I guess now thinking about it, I did. I wasn't able to birth my baby the way so many other women do and I regret that. There. I said it. Still, eighteen months later, I regret that I couldn't push my own child from my own body. I do realize that there is truly nothing more I could have done, other than continue with the futile attempts to push while breaking every blood vessel in my face. AK has a GIGANTIC head. I am a rather small person. You can do the math. I just wish I could have.
In the scheme of my amazing world as AK's Mom, this regret is a minuscule portion of the emotion wrapped up in parenting her. But, it's real and it deserves its voice. I also know I am not alone in this feeling and perhaps giving these feelings a voice will soften them slightly.
Regardless, I have learned a few things in this process:
1. It's OK.
2. Things don't always go according to your unwritten or undefined plan.
3. Just making and delivering a perfect little human is a feat that deserves nothing but the greatest fanfare.
4. It's OK.