Expectation. Trust. Open-mindedness. Love.
After reading Sabine’s post I thought I’d share a little bit about what childbirth taught me. It taught me how amazingly strong we are as women and how to trust the Universe to look after us.
Both of my pregnancies were extremely tough, as well as both of my deliveries. I wanted the natural home birth with candles, warm water, beautiful music and wonderful midwives who were motherly. I did get extremely wonderful care from the motherly midwives, but the rest I had to let go of in order to save my babies.
I was taken in to the hospital after 30 hours of labor when Karson was born. I was scared to death to have something happen to him, and to be honest I was absolutely exhausted. He was stuck so off I went to have every drug in the book, and eventually an emergency C-section. They had a heck of a time getting Karson out.
My second pregnancy was not much better – the birth was just as scary. I was allowed to try to birth with my midwife out of the hospital, but with my history, if there were any complications at all we were to rush to the hospital. About 6 hours in to my labor I had the most horrific pains. There would be no soft music or warm water this time either. Straight to the hospital and not long after, rushed in for another emergency C-section. This time my placenta had ruptured and I was bleeding very badly.
I delivered Kadie but was not allowed to see her for over two hours as I had to be closely monitored. You can imagine how Doug felt with a newborn baby crying for her mother and not getting answers for over two hours. He had no idea what had happened, nor did I – or maybe I did but was too groggy to remember. I must add that my sister was in labor at the same time. We delivered Kadie and Tevy 6 hours apart from each other.
The point of my story is to never get to hung up on what you are expecting from this life. I refused to be heartbroken that I never naturally delivered a baby, or that I had to use every drug imaginable after expecting to go drug free, or that I could hardly breast feed because of the trauma. I had to do what was best for the babies and me. The whole situation was nothing like I expected and was very different from what I had anticipated, but I can tell you that I was very grateful for all of the amazing doctors and midwives who helped me bring my two babies in to the world safely.
I wouldn’t say easily, but I will say safely.
I am so grateful that both of my babies entered this world healthy and happy and that I had knowledgeable people by my side who knew what to do when things went sideways. I can tell you that whenever I see Karson’s surgeon who delivered him at hockey (he has a boy on Karson’s Rep hockey team) I think to myself: if it weren’t for this man, my boy likely wouldn’t be here playing hockey.
These were some of the biggest moments of my life and they taught me to trust, be open-minded about what was right, be strong and love these little beings that I am allowed to care for every single day. Things could have turned out much differently and knowing that makes me the most in-tune and supportive mom I can be.
One of the things that “scares” me concerning motherhood, and it’s very interesting to see that repeated in my female friends is to have to “give up control”. Not that we HAVE any, it’s just that we perceive we do. But being a mother can push you towards letting go of that perception. A friend of mine recently had her first baby and before she did we chatted about when will the baby come etc. She, too, mentioned that it’s a very obvious thing you have no control over whatsoever, at least when you have a natural birth. And that it makes her feel a little wobbly inside, because she is used to taking control.
And you pointed at what’s behind that: it’s a trust issue. That is very obvious to me concerning my “need” to control. And while I’m not a mother, there interestingly is another comprehensive situation in my life currently from which I try to learn to trust every day. To lean not on one’s own doings is an unfamiliar feeling, but despite that I like it.
This was the hardest part of having children for me. Letting go. You can’t eat or sleep or work or do anything when you want. Everything now revolves around the child first. That was extremely hard for me to understand but I had to learn it quickly or be miserable. I went form having a very strict routine to having none at all. Running a business at the same time was quite difficult at first. All well worth it of course!
I love that the child birth experience opened your mind to so many other things. You’re right .. being in-tune is key. It’s great for parents to be proactive but they must also be reactive and flexible!
Amber! So good, for so many reasons. Thank you SO much for posting this! SO much here for me.
Mostly, for me this morning, at the personal level, I am connecting with the concept of not getting hung up on my expectations. Some of the parts of my blogging community are happening quickly, suddenly, and I have to keep my mind open to the process not being the way I had expected. To a friend a few nights ago, I likened my vision to my child. It is EXCELLENT for me to read your words here. I have so many expectations and wants for this process, so many ideals, and yet if I follow how it wants to “birth” itself, it will be so much easier.
AND, professionally, I absolutely advocate for the hybridization of childbirth that has, well, been birthed by mothers like you, practitioners like me, and most important the amazing relationship between doctors and midwives. Those women had to forge a path through the most difficult of landscapes – their own inner “ego”. This is an amazing example to me that I hadn’t thought of in this way. They would have arrived on scene with pockets and minds and hearts overflowing with information and purpose, and yet in order to serve, they would have to tread gently. Acceptance took so many years. It was achieved through the good relationships they created, the connection to the giant vision for women and children that they held in their minds, and the hands-on dedication to provide all of themselves in a seemingly small window of time.
So much “concept” gets pressed into a single “present” moment. Yes, I do have to trust that I am supported, and that my own inner knowing will guide the way. I will know what to do next because I have surrounded myself with amazing women.
I have always been one open to solutions and ideas – that goes for the medical system as well. I have always leaned towards a more natural way so being forced to go the other way in the most important time of my life taught me to trust. I was also able to see the two sides meet and work together which has always been my wish. It was only very recently that a midwife could be in the delivery room at the hospital. Usually the doctors take over when an emergency arises. I was able to see the two work together. My midwife and my surgeon both helped get Karson out in to this world. It was beautiful to see. My main midwife was Jane Blackmore who has delivered a lot of babies being brought up in a polygamous BC community. She was the rebellious first wife of this Mormon community’s longtime leader who had the guts to stand up for herself and her children and leave the colony. Jane, a mother of seven, left Bountiful, bought her own house in Cranbrook and has a midwifery business that is thriving. She was the first woman in Bountiful to receive a post secondary education. I was honored to have such a strong and kind woman take care of me and my babies. I figured if she was powerful enough to escape her colony and do right by her children she would definitely have my children’s best interest at heart. I couldn’t have had a better woman at my side at such an important time.