I was lying on the couch yesterday and had the strangest sensation – a true déjà vu. A very old memory surfaced and almost brought tears to my eyes. It was a memory of the day Matthew was born. I was lying on a bed in the recovery room after my C-section. I couldn’t move due to the spinal block I’d received. I only wanted to hold my baby, but he was off limits in the nursery until I could move. I was focused and determined – and feeling frustrated. I had carried this kid for nine months only to be denied holding him after he came into the world. And he was all I wanted at that moment.
This was my only pregnancy that resulted in a spinal as opposed to an epidural. All three had resulted in C-sections. I am apparently blessed with breeder’s hips that refuse to actually allow anything through them. I went through 12 hours of labor on Pitocin with Christopher. After 12 hours, and me clinging to the side rails due to my back labor, I was dilated to a whopping 2 1/2 cm. For those that are unfamiliar with the goals of labor and delivery – you are shooting for a 10 cm before you try to push a baby’s head out. At 2 1/2cm, I might have been able to deliver an arm – definitely not a good starting point! At that point, the MD told me that the floor was having shift change and maybe we should consider going in to get him. Not wanting to inconvenience anyone, I agreed. With Tommy and Matt, it was recommended that I just follow suit and go with the surgery. It was OK – no surprises. I’ll have the baby on Tuesday at 7:30am.
The down side of C-sections is that medications are not optional. There is no natural childbirth, no Lamaze breathing, no “women have been doing this for centuries and I don’t need medication” moments. They are cutting into your abdomen. It is recommended that you don’t feel it. I felt strongly on this.
The other down side is that 25 years ago, there was no “skin to skin” or documented benefit of giving Mom her baby right away. We were both being given great care – just not in the same room. I remember just wanting him so badly. I kept focusing on my feet – and telling them to move. And slowly…they began to respond. I yelled to the nurse and she did move me a bit later (apparently moving your toes does not guarantee that you won’t drop your newborn on his head – I was focused on the wrong limbs apparently!)
Being reunited with Matt took away all my anxiety. I can remember feeling so excited. This I can remember with each of the boys – that moment when you look down and realize that…this tiny little person actually was a part of you. And that they will continue to be a part of you forever.
I’m not sure where that memory came from or why it hit me so hard. What is amazing about it is that just today, a friend asked me “hey…what song did we sing right before this one?” Before this one? Who knows? I wouldn’t keep this one straight if the words weren’t up there! Maybe this was just to remind me that those long term memories stick with us even when the short term seems to be waning. If I have to choose between keeping a hymnal straight and remembering holding my baby the first time…baby holding wins hands down!
I hope those memories continue to flood in. They remind me of how much has happened in my life and how many people I’ve been blessed to share it with. This empty nest that I’m living in is full of stories…and you know what that means…full of writing material! I hope you enjoy reading!