Six months ago on this day I gave birth to my daughter. It has been six months since I stopped being my own most important person. It has been six months since I learned what is true love. But that day six months ago when Amelia was born I was going through a process that is called labour and it did not at all go as I had planned for it, and apparently it rarely does.
Prior to giving birth I did my fair share of homework and was sure that the only right way of doing it was natural and without drugs, ideally at home, with candles, zen music, breathing the pain away and actually perhaps even reaching euphoria and enjoying the process. I watched youtube videos of women delivering their babies in the bathtub and having an orgasm in the process and read books on breathing techniques and hypnobirthing methods. I practiced meditation daily. I learned to breathe with my abdominals. I did whatever the books said and was trying to convince myself that I can triumph in letting it happen au naturel and that everyone who takes drugs is just too spoiled. Afterall cats and dogs do it, so can we. Women did it through generations, so can we. Nature can’t be wrong.
I had a perfectly planned birth plan from the white gown that I want to be wearing during birth down to the tracks I will have playing in the room for the crowning moment. I made 10 copies of it for every nurse on the hospital floor and was determined to decline drugs.
The beginning was promising. Water broke on its own, like in the movies. Contractions were bearable. I was doing reggae type dancing throughout them and was bragging that its a piece of cake. But soon enough of course I was swearing and screaming and squirming like a possessed demon on a birth ball, but still determined to do it. No breathing techniques or meditation was helping and the suffering was just agonizing. I knew I was done. I asked for drugs.
I made it through five hours of intense contraction before giving in. Maybe its not good enough. I couldn’t help but feel a bit like a failure as I lay there having them insert the needle into my back. The pain has stopped. I was able to talk again, I stopped swearing, and I lay still and passively waited. I no longer was in control of my body. It was at the hands of the doctors and the drugs they kept giving. A bit more of this and a bit more of that. I felt like a corpse and not at all like a birthing goddess who moans with pleasure and does some sort of magical tribal dance while birthing her baby. Ok at least that was the image I cultivated by reading too many books on the subject of natural birth.
My daughter was born finally after 16 long hours. She came out into the world and I instantly fell in love. She was healthy and beautiful, so small, so fragile, so precious. Buuuuut.. before she made her entrance, she got stuck in the birth canal since it just wasn’t opening as it was meant to and her heart rate was dropping rapidly. A cut had to be made for her to come out and if there were no doctors and scalpels around she could have died. The doctor saved her life. This was when I realized that if I had been a bit more stubborn and chose to stay at home and do a bathtub birth, things could have ended much more tragic….
As much as I am a believer in all things natural and a holistic way of life, hospital birth with doctors is definitely something I would choose over and over again. Amen to the 21st century modern medicine and all the lives of mothers and babies saved because of it! Also, I’d like to officially admire all those mothers who were able to labour without drugs. You are heros and your strength is inspiring!
Today my daughter is six months. She is the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. The moment I first saw her and put her on my chest was the most intense euphoria I ever felt. Somehow in all that chaos of labour she did manage to enter the world to Ave Maria track playing in the background. So may the angels and St. Mary watch over her and grant her a very happy life! Happy 6 Months Birthday, Amelia!
<3 <3 <3