The Birth of a Mama – My Story
Five years ago, on January 24th, 2013, I gave birth to a fragile newborn at 3:45 in the morning. She weighed little under six pounds of greasy, swollen tinyness.
The plan was to last through 4 centimeters without medication. I'd heard somewhere that an epidural before 4 cm could increase the chance of a c-section ... I don't actually know if that's true, but that's what I was going with.
But it turns out that after 17 hours of painful contractions I only dilated to 3. I needed a nap. So I got an epidural and surprise! 10 minutes later I was at a fully open 10 centimeters and ready for business.
Turned out my body was too tense from the pain and it wasn't able to dilate. Knowing what I know now, I needed to soften and let the pain go through me instead of what I was doing, trying to scape it. I didn't know though, and nobody told me. I didn't have a doula and the nurses at the hospital weren't really ever there. My experience at Cedars Hospital was positive. Everything went smoothly and the space was clean. But thinking back to it, I don't think anyone ever really saw me there. They just saw a body about to give birth. One of so many.
So 19 hours into labor and I was ready to push. But my mama was sleeping back at my house and not answering her phone and I knew she'd hate to miss it. So I called a nearby friend who bless-her-soul got up and out of her house to drive to mine and wake my parents up. This all must have taken about 30 minutes, I don't know, but I said I'd wait and my body supported me in waiting. Once they arrived I asked my dad to stay in the room with us. Weird move, not planned, but it felt right then. No regrets. Then I pushed for maybe 20 minutes and she was out.
We called her Amelie. Yes, like in the movie.
She didn’t cry one tear as they put her on my bare chest. Five fingers and five toes, all covered in a funny greasy goo. I wanted to know what to next. I asked if I should try to feed her and the nurse suggested I gave her some time. She looked calm and didn’t seem to need anything, so I relaxed and sank in the beauty of the moment.
She was here ... Without knowing what it really meant I’d wanted to be a mother since I remember and now I was. Finally the chance to start exploring that journey. Life would never be the same again.