A cesarian, or c-section, is usually not the first thought people have when they imagine an intimate, romantic birth. I have to admit, it didn’t seem like a possibility to me. In fact, I wasn’t prepared for that. I was insecure. My husband’s previous children were born at home, something I’m unable to consider in my situation. It’s easy for us mothers to feel less than in so many ways.
Our pregnancy was riddled with constant appointments, ultrasounds, bedrest and weekly shots he gave me. I was on medications to calm preterm labor. It was very restrictive but worth it to carry to term. We were all in shock that I actually made it to my surgery date!
I arrived at the hospital with my husband at 5:30am and waited anxiously for my paperwork to be prepared. To claim I was worried is an understatement
Shortly after we followed the nurse to the back of the hospital and up the elevator to a triage room for me to be stabbed with an IV 4 times. One of those 4 times medicine was even injected into my arm, not my vein. As my arm bulged in pain I felt my anxiety intensify. Luckily the shift changed and the anesthesiologist was able to get my vein. Whew.
My husband was given what they call a bunny suit to get ready for surgery. I was taken back ahead of him and told to sit on the edge of the bed. I was told to hold the pillow and lean against the nurse while I get my spinal tap. I was full of fear at this point but I tried to relax.
The room was SO BRIGHT and sterile. The lights above looked like huge saucers waiting to take me away. A team of women peered down at me. The anesthesiologist patted me and assured me everything was going great.
I lost all feeling in my legs and panicked. I hadn’t felt that before. My first birth was an emergency at 34 weeks after I had already had an epidural so I was drugged and puking the entire time; unable to focus on my body.
My husband was brought into the room as I was feeling small moans and cries floating out of my mouth in a panic. I couldn’t control the shaking. I could feel them washing my body but they assured me I wouldn’t feel pain. I wanted to change my mind. There was not an opportunity for me to experience birth in a different way based on my genetics and my body’s struggle with pregnancy.
My husband held my face close to his, with tears in his eyes. He told me to be there with him, to focus on him. He told me it was ok, that he was with me. I stared into his eyes and I felt like we were one person. I knew we were one person. I melted into him as the moans continued to seep from my lips. Tears involuntarily poured from our eyes as he held me. It seemed to take hours and minutes and yet time wasn’t even real anymore. The only thing that was real was our oneness.
My doctor said there was one last layer before the baby. I looked at the reflection and cried. I looked back at my husband and felt only his hands. They pulled her out, pulled her out of both of us. Our hearts exploded. We both were uncontrollably crying when we heard her cry, saw her tiny white body. Thats the soul who begged to be born for nearly 6 years. That’s the baby he got a vasectomy reversal for, the baby we planned to the day. The miracle baby that seemed for so many years an impossibility based on endless setbacks with my health.
They handed her to him. I was in shock. The anesthesiologist gave me something in my IV to help calm me. My shaking started to slow. I looked at her tiny face in my husband’s hands. We were all one, all three of us.
In recovery my husband was so grateful I was ok. He was focused on me. I was able to hold my daughter and breastfeed her, something I hadn’t been able to do upon completion of my first birth. I felt whole again.
We had a new understanding, a new experience. He told me we were one, that he felt what I felt. That he was so scared. That he had never experienced anything so intimate, intense, or beautiful in his entire life. I hadn’t either.