We are home and getting settled a bit as a family of four.
Having two under three years old isn’t crazy chaos all the time, but it is definitely crazy chaos sometimes. We are rolling with it though, and Jude is being super sweet to little sister.
I have so much to say, and I am dying to write the birth story, but everything happened really fast once we got to the hospital, so I’ll need my doula’s timeline and photos to write a proper one. I’ll say that it made me feel high and powerful and vindicated and confident and all of the things I thought it would. As it turns out, I’m not broken after all. My body works and it works best without intervention. Last Friday was an amazing day.
But I am finding myself sad in a different way about my cesarean lately. The postpartum hormones don’t help, I’m sure. But before, I was sad for some lost early moments with my son, but mostly just sad for myself if I’m being completely honest here. I had such a pervading feeling of failure and inadequacy that is completely erased now. But after Friday’s moments of holding my baby just as she came from me and pulling her from that water myself to lock eyes with her for the first time, I am suddenly reminded of that missing moment in my life with my firstborn.
And then I worry that he will grow up to know how powerful his sister’s birth was for me and how disappointing his was in ways. And it doesn’t mean that I am disappointed with him in any way, of course. I would hate it if he grew up to think that. And I’m sure I am overanalyzing all of this since he is a boy after all, and he doesn’t want to know his mom even has a vagina, much less how I feel about babies coming out of it. And in this haze of postpartum hormones, I know I am a little sad to see him feeling “left out” or not special anymore, even for a moment. And that is spilling over into my memories of my kids’ births now, too.
But what I am realizing is that it took a certain path for me to get to that place I was at last Friday afternoon. The feelings of joy and elation and amazement are there for every mother, I know. But my particular joy only came from the path I walked to get there. I had to walk that road to bring me to that moment. And I will never be grateful for how it all began for me, but I am so grateful for the path it took me down. For the experience it gave me and the lessons I learned. It shaped the type of mother I became, and that person is still growing and would not have begun this path without what happened in October of 2009. And that moment, crushing though it was at the time, made me a mother. And as amazing and transforming as last Friday was for me, that is a claim Norah can never make. My first birth made me a mama and that is a joy all its own.