Spin Cycle – Birth


Second BloomingThe theme this week is something I’m rather familiar with, since I have birthed two kidlets. But the term signifies so much more than “Oh, I had a baby.” Most mothers who have had vaginal childbirths can commiserate on the whole procedure… from the bearing down, to the breathing, and the eventually escape of the inmate, so to speak; and the immense relief once it has vacated the premises. But that’s not to say that women who had C-sections know any less about birth. From what I have been told – by friends and my mother (whose two pregnancies both ended in C-Sections; more on this in a second) – the recovery from that operation is entirely different. But I can only tell you what it was like for me.

When I hit about week 34 or 35 with Elliot, my mother and I reached the point where she had nothing else to offer me in terms of advice. I was freaking about the eventual labor and the PAIN, but she recalls how I was not only bordering on almost two weeks late, but she was put under entirely when I was scheduled to be removed. I was breech and had to be; I suppose in 1979 the doctors put women completely under. She reminisces on how awful she felt when she came to; the nurse asked if she wanted to see me and she actually said NO! My mother didn’t see me until the next day… and I was born at 12:31 PM. I feel a little sad that she never got to experience with me and my sister what I did with the boys.

One of the things I claimed I never wanted to happen during my births was the thing where the doctor pulls the baby out and flings it up onto the mom’s chest, all covered in bodily goo and wet and wrinkly. I saw enough TLC baby shows to know that was… undesirable. And yet, after two exhausting hours of pushing with Elliot, my doctor let Ash pull him free, then he promptly delivered him not me. And of course, I was overjoyed and overrun with emotion and so freaking happy.

So to me, when I really think and analyze the word “birth”, I see so much more. I see images of my kids entering the world, and the quiet hours after when it was just me and this new tiny creature in a hospital room. And the tumultuous first few weeks that nothing – not books or friends – could ever prepare you for. But soon after, the little milestones, and their first steps, drinking from a sippy, eating solid food, saying my name. It’s all so worth it, of course. And though I am willing to give into the fact that all births – no matter how different – are magical and beautiful, I cannot help but feel sad for people who say they never want kids. Because there’s so much more to it than just the birth.

8 thoughts on “Spin Cycle – Birth

  1. It’s funny how vividly some of the whole labor process sticks in your head, but also how little of it sticks in your head once you see that little person. Makes the pain worth it in the end.

  2. Don’t feel sad for me Claire. I was with you until you put that little sentence in there, as if to guilt trip women who “can’t handle the joy!” (think Jack Nicholson when you say that out loud) There are so many other things out there that give me that level of joy, and several that give me that level of joy after a painful process, if the pain somehow makes the joy more joyful..*shrug* I love hearing and reading about you being a mom, but it makes me want to be cautious about reading your blog when you make people who don’t want kids sound somehow less than you because they are choosing to do other things with their life that they find equally awesome as you find having a family. That was an awkward sentence but I think you get what I mean.

    I may never have a baby, but that doesn’t mean I won’t experience joy at that level. So don’t be sad for me, I’ll be okay without pushing joy out of my vagina. :-)

    • No no, I totally didn’t mean it that way; I guess what I mean is that I wish everyone could see and feel the desire to be a mother, if that makes sense. I don’t think people cannot reach a level of joy without it, just that there is nothing else quite like it either.

      • And I certainly didn’t mean to make anyone feel like their choices are somehow less important; I just think our ultimate “thing” is to procreate, as simplistic as that sounds.

      • It’s okay, I just felt like it was one more jab from the MUST HAVE BABIES! society that we seem to live in right now. It’s tiring.I know you probably didn’t mean it that way, it’s just how it sounded.

  3. This made me remember my three kids’ births. Amazing process, really. Sometimes I’m shocked that I did it multiple times. It was worth it, though.

  4. Beautifully written! And yes, my birth experiences were not anything like I planned– with my first I made it through 4 hours of pushing (pain meds free even) only to have to end up having a c-section in the end. My 2nd was a scheduled c-, as was my third but he came 8 weeks early. But yes, even when it isn’t what you think it will be it is all still so magical.

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