When I was born, my parents were stumped.
Because for the duration of my mother’s pregnancy they never once expected her to give birth to a girl. It didn’t occur to them, even as an off-hand possibility– it was, apparently, as unlikely to them as giving birth to a kitten. They didn’t have a girl’s name, they panicked.
I’ve been mocking them ever since I heard the story. So it was a huge shock to me that I had to have a C-section.
Because despite my 9-month-long pouring over pregnancy books and magazines and websites, I did not for a second consider it a possibility.
For one, I had childbearing hips. Someone told me that in college, and I’d carried the knowledge around with me as medical fact, like my blood type.
Second of all, I had my birth all planned out. It involved mellow music and my breaking the most adorable of sweats.
It is entirely possible that I was a moron.
On July 3rd, still three weeks from my due date, I realized that I was no longer feeling my baby move. The hospital visit revealed that the amniotic fluid was low, although no one seemed to know where it had gone.I was induced, but didn’t progress. I had to have a C-section. The nurse reassured me that the incision would be low and that I could wear a bikini afterwards. This was indeed good news since I hadn’t worn a bikini in years.
Close to midnight, I was prepped for surgery and my beautiful daughter was born in the early hours of July 4th.
It took me a while to fully understand what having a C-section meant for me. I don’t remember the pain specifically, but I remember laughing maniacally when the nurse suggested that I get up and walk to the bathroom to pee. ”Yeah, that’s not happening,” I thought, as though she’d asked me to levitate over the Manhattan skyline. I also wondered, albeit briefly, if I could pay someone to pee for me. Surely anything was possible. I just had to think outside the box.
Having a morphine drip helped. Knowing that it was morphine, the stuff from war movies, did not.
Years later, I would have discussions about my C-section. Whether it was to blame for my inability to nurse my baby, whether the induction was medically necessary and whether the surgery could have been avoided.
And although all those questions are valid, I know that the C-section gave me my daughter. My beautiful daughter who has fireworks on her birthday every year.
And I’m so grateful.
Childbirth is such an incredible moment, and I’d love to know if your baby’s birth was different from what you’d expected? By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs October 17 to November 13, 2011. A random winner will be announced by November 15, 2011.