I’ve had a couple of moms tell me recently about how they delivered their child in like an hour and a half from start to finish and never had time for an epidural. I’ve heard of moms who almost delivered in the car or the hospital hallway. It’s made me think about how delivering a baby can simultaneously be the most traumatizing and joyful experience of our lives. I think this is just the beginning of the conflicting feelings that often accompany motherhood, and for some of us, this even began with pregnancy.
I remember walking into my scheduled c-section with the twins just an absolute mess. I had just lost my sister unexpectedly, and I remember mumbling to myself over and over, “She’s supposed to be here. She’s supposed to be here. I’m not supposed to do this alone.” I was so distraught, I could barely walk; I was actually holding on to Yev because I was worried I might collapse. And for those of you who know me well, I’m pretty tough. I’m not super dramatic at all, but I had spent the last two weeks trying to not have a panic attack almost every minute of every day. I was very concerned about going into an early labor, and it took all of my strength and patience to keep my body calm.
So when the day arrived, it was like I couldn’t hold it together anymore. I had done my job. I had carried my babies full-term, and it was my turn to think about myself for just a second.
This didn’t last long because soon enough I had two hungry newborns on my hands, and I didn’t really get another opportunity to check in with myself until the girls were six months old. This is when I was actually able to grieve the loss of my sister.
Because of this experience, I look back on the birth of my twins as such a wonderful and horrible time. It was one of the hardest and most exciting times of my life. The more moms I talk to, the more I find this to be true: vomiting during delivery, emergency c-sections, dangerously quick deliveries, lopsided epidurals. We endure absolutely ridiculous physical and emotional hardship, but somehow we make it through. AND THEN WE DO IT AGAIN, so our child has a sibling.
After pregnancy and delivery, I felt equipped to handle almost anything that came my way, but there is definitely an ebb and flow to this feeling. I had conquered so many fears, and my babies helped put life into perspective. My priorities completely rearranged themselves, and I became a better version of myself.
How did your baby’s birth change you?