Get a group of moms together and, sooner or later, birth stories will come up. The stories are as unique as the mothers, so when I get a chance to talk to a scared first-time pregnant mom, I say, Your birth story will be your story. It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be beautiful. And the baby will be worth it.
I have four birth stories, but I don’t usually tell one of them because it can still make me weepy. Here is that story, given to you in short, non-emotional bursts so I won’t get the keyboard wet:
An impatient doctor going on vacation, a hugely pregnant young mom, the hottest days of summer, and the suggestion we induce the baby for the convenience of all involved. More impatience from the doctor – the baby needs to come during office hours, you know. More innocent trust from the young mom...
…Higher doses of inducing drugs. Water broken with a tool. Alone. Raging pain. Screams. Two doctors running. A nurse holding the baby in with a towel. A doctor arrives. The baby arrives.
…Hemorrhaging. A rough nurse’s aide. Sickness. A pale husband. Fainting. Rushing nurses. Heaven’s lights. Tears. Needles. The head nurse. Smelling salts. Bottomed-out blood pressure. More fainting…
…An intern, sitting, hand on chin, alone, watching the mother. She wakes. You need blood, he says, but I was thinking, there’s a slight risk of disease from a blood transfusion. Those odds are too high for a young mom, don’t you think? An agreement. Eight weeks of rest. Lying flat. Drinking water. Healing slowly. Remembering little.
But. A baby. Black hair. Fat cheeks. Red lips. Blue eyes. A pink bow. A girl to be best friends with our little boy. So. Worth. It.
And now, look at her, fourteen years later.
She is growing into exactly the young lady I dreamed her to be. I’m thankful to be her mother; grateful to be by her side.
She has given more life to me than she could ever take away, and for that, I would not change a thing about her birth story. It was hard, but it was beautiful. And she is definitely still worth it.
Childbirth is such an incredible moment, and I’d love to know your birth story. What went through your mind when you held your baby for the first time?
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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.