Okay, so I know this picture is old, but I just can't take it down! Imagine the same kid, but walking, slim, and still gorgeous (and still covered in cookies)!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Few Thoughts On Birth

Just a few thoughts about the birth:

First, I've noticed that patients at work (I work at a physical therapy office) seem to forget whether I had a girl or a boy, but they always remember that I had him at home. It's so funny!

Second- that reminds me of the intake girl at Wake Med when we went to get the ultrasound for Jeremiah's hips (something that stupid first pediatrician wanted to do because he was breech - everything was fine, of course, and now I'm just waiting for my bill!). She asked if he'd ever been to Wake Med before, and I said no. So she asked where he was born. When I answered "at home" she nodded and typed on her keyboard for a few seconds, then stopped and turned to me and said "At home?!" I answered yes, and she nodded and turned back to her computer. Then she stopped and looked at me again and gasped, "Why?!" I just smiled and said that I wanted it that way. She nodded again, turned back to her computer, then turned to me again and asked, "Alone?" No, I answered, I had a midwife. She just couldn't believe it. One of her coworkers walked by, and she stopped them to say, "She had her baby at home!" It was fun because she was genuinely interested, and not like those people who seem to insult you with their questions (like when they ask "why" with that tone... You know the tone - the one that implies I acted recklessly with my baby's life or something).

Third - Another side note about our whole Wake Med adventure: the tech was asking questions before the ultrasound, and the conversation went something like this: "was he breech the whole time?" My answer: "I guess so" (how am I supposed to know?) So she said, "So he was born cesarean?" (Like it was a forgone conclusion). "No - not so much. It was all vaginal" I said. She just gave me this blank look, like she didn't know if I was joking or not. It was fun, walking into Wake Med with a baby that no one knew what to do with! :-)

Forth - I was filling out profiles for some homebirth sites online, and it occurred to me that it wasn't just a breech birth - it was also a water birth. And in some ways, that's more important than the breech part. For one, the breech birth was a circumstance that happened to me - the water birth was something that I set up in advance. It says a lot about my choices, and about me as a person. It speaks more to my character. This was the first week I really started to refer to it as a water birth that happened to be breech, instead of a breech birth that happened to be in the water. It's a small but important shift, I think.

Fifth - I can't wait to do it again, God willing! I wonder what it will be like to have "normal" contractions, and to push a baby out head-first. It'll be another water birth at home, of course (if all goes well with the pregnancy). The thing I keep picturing is bringing a healthy, breathing, newly born baby up to my chest and having her (it's always a girl in this fantasy) stare into my eyes. Maybe she cries, and maybe she doesn't. AJ's in the pool behind me, his arms embracing me as I embrace our new daughter. Maybe Jeremiah's asleep on the bed, or peering over from the edge of the pool. Maybe the new baby latches on right away and sucks, or maybe she takes her time. Either way, I hold onto that moment in my mind, that moment that I didn't have with Jeremiah. It took him so long to breath on his own, and then he was just so bruised and didn't latch on for a day or so. I'm definitely not complaining, and I am not disappointed in the least (I think about what it would've been like in the hospital - he would've spent the first twenty-four hours of his life in the NICU, without me at all!!). I'm so grateful for our midwife, because she made those first moments special, even if it wasn't what we were expecting. I was still able to hold him while they worked on him to get him to breath; AJ was still able to say it was a boy, and still able to cut the cord; and she asked our permission when she took him over to the table to work on him, which really made me feel like his mother, and not like just a co-patient or bystander. So please, don't think I was disappointed in the least by Jeremiah's first minutes - nothing could have been more perfect. All of that being said, however, I still wonder what it would be like to give birth to a baby that breathed on her own, one that I could hold and admire and cuddle and just let our love unfold like a perfect, unhurried dream. Hopefully we'll get a chance to find out someday!

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