I Was Foolish Then

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.

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I’ve already written my birth story, and though at the time I didn’t think too much about it, now I regret the way my experience went. I felt so powerless and unprepared. So when it came to considering a part of my birth experience that I could celebrate, I struggled to think of anything. 

The birth of my daughter was quick and without complications, but it was painful and scary, and I was completely unprepared for how it would be. I knew nothing about birth positions or pain management. I laid myself in the care of others and allowed them to take over. Things were done ‘to me’ with little consideration from me about my choices. I just went along with it all. As I said, at the time I was thrilled with the fact I had my child and didn’t think too much about how my birth experience had gone. It’s only afterwards that I started to see what a fool I had been. 

So when I considered what aspect of my birth experience I could celebrate, there was only one thing it could be: holding my child in my arms and gazing on that beautiful face for the first time. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think of it. It was the greatest, most life-changing, earth-shattering, important moment of my entire existence. 

Up until that moment I had been in a fog of medication and pain. All I could concentrate on was ending the agony of pushing her out. When she was out I felt sore, shocked and very emotional, and even when my daughter was put onto my chest I was initially more bothered about how much pain I was in and what was going to happen next. I just wanted to be left alone!

But then I stopped, and I took a look at my child. And for a moment time stood still. Here she was. And I loved her more than I could ever imagine. She was a part of me: the most precious thing I could ever have. She was covered in goo and screaming, and I was in pain and covered in sweat and blood. But none of it mattered. All that mattered now was her. And I vowed in my heart in that moment to strive to be the best person I could for her and love her intensely for the rest of my life. 

My birth experience was a result of my foolishness – in thinking I didn’t need to prepare for the most important event of my life. But I take solace in the fact that I now know better, and next time I will do better! When I look back I see a stupid, naive girl who didn’t care about my birth. Now I feel like an empowered, strong mother who can take anything life throws at me and will make sure that next time I’m prepared, informed and ready to take charge of my own birth. 

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)

21 Comments

Filed under Philosophy, Random

21 responses to “I Was Foolish Then

  1. KrissyFair

    That really is something to cherish! We always hear that we’ll have that chemical reaction of love in that first instant. Immediate bonding. I totally didn’t. My birth wasn’t traumatic or anything, but when they put him on my chest my first thought, I kid you not, was “So that’s what you look like. Weird.” I knew I loved him of course, but it was more like autopilot love for a few days. When I finally did get that ooh aah feeling though it was great, so I can imagine it would have been the best possible antidote to a whirlwind birth!

    • Ha ha. Yeh I was afraid I wouldn’t feel that immediate rush of love. I know many women don’t, and that it can take days or even weeks for that to kick in. I totally wasn’t expecting it to be so instant, and I feel very lucky.

      Thanks for sharing, and for reading my post. :)

  2. No, no, don’t think of yourself as foolish! Unfortunately, we live in a society where birth is not something to be cherished and embraced – it’s just an assembly line… something the doctor’s “fix” for you. You’re not a fool for being fed this (mis)information! I’m so happy for you that you are able to find the good in all of it though – that one shining moment when that precious little one looks at you and all the rest of the room fades away, no matter what the circumstances surrounding their arrival. Brings tears to my eyes….

    • It is just an assembly line, but still I should have prepared more than I did. I was in a sort of denial and didn’t want to know anything about it; just to get on with it. It was a stupid mistake to make, but now I know better.
      Yeh it still brings tears to my eyes too. :)

  3. Eep! Delete my previous comment – it was a copy/paste flub :)
    Here is my *real* comment:
    That is the one moment that we can all celebrate – regardless of how every baby enters this world and whether it was the birth we’d wished for or not, that moment of introduction is completely beautiful.
    ~Dionna @ Code Name: Mama

    • Deleted. :)
      It was beautiful for me, and I’m so grateful for that. I know not everyone experiences that initial joy at having their little one in their arms. I was terrified I would feel fear or burdened or any number of other emotions than the pure happiness I actually felt.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. You are certainly not alone for feeling this way. Many women just don’t know how childbirth will be and what/how they need to prepare. It is a symptom of a diseased and outdated view on childbirth that, thankfully!, is changing for the better. And you can’t blame or punish yourself for something you don’t know. Like you said, now you know more. You can heal, and like you are doing, focus on the amazing aspects of the experience. It has been a process for me (huge one!) but I can now say that I see the beauty in my experiences too. Thanks for sharing :-)

  5. Aw, that’s so sweet! I wouldn’t beat yourself up, either — it’s hard to prepare yourself for everything that could happen during a birth, even if you’re trying. In some ways, the first birth is the best preparation, to find out how it is for you. I’m glad you’re looking forward to how to plan for your next birth, though, and hope it goes better for you.

    What KrissyFair said makes me laugh, because I was the same way with my firstborn. I was like, “Huh, so that’s what you look like. You look a lot like my sister-in-law.” But I did bond later! :) I’m glad you had that magical moment — that’s really beautiful.

  6. You know, even if you did all the preparations and such, you’d still not know it all or be fully prepared! There’s nothing in life more unpredictable than birth. I’ve taken comfort in the fact that it all comes down to active participation (so, being the one making decisions so you feel things weren’t done “to you”) and support (as in feeling safe, heard, acknowledged and important). We do our best with what we have and know at the time…hindsight is always 20/20, but it’s also a silly thing because it”s unrealistic as we only have NOW. I feel like I am not making any sense! But I hope you get the idea :-) Thanks for sharing!

    • I do get the idea, but really I should have prepared more than I did. I just didn’t want to know back then. I was in denial about the whole thing. That’s what’s so foolish. I can’t really relate to that mindset any more knowing all I know now.

      I agree that active participation and support are the most important things we can assure for ourselves, and next time I’ll make sure this is what I get, regardless of how it goes.

      Thanks for reading. :)

  7. Holding your child in your arms and gazing on that beautiful face for the first time is a beautiful moment to embrace and to focus on. And yes, everyone else is right, nothing can prepare you for birth, you can only do so much.

  8. Ah yes that joyful bonding moment – you made me remember what a wonderful part of birthing that was. I tell my 3yo daughter about that moment almost every week because it captures how my life shifted focus in that one instant and the most amazing love I have for her. And I loved reading your journey and acknowledgment that you were not prepared previously but now feel like ‘an empowered, strong mother who can take anything life throws at me’ Yeah that’s Mama power!

  9. Yes, the moment you first hold your baby. Brings tears to my eyes.

    And please don’t feel foolish. You can’t know everything ahead of time, though sometimes I could. Especially parenting. Wouldn’t it be nice to know how to handle everything beforehand instead of having to figure it out by trial and error?

  10. Like you, I loved that moment. For what it’s worth, I was pretty much the most prepared first time mom of all time. You name it, I had studied it. Still, things didn’t go as I’d planned. I think maybe all the prep just helps with feeling in control of the birth sometimes. Hope you find that control next time.

    • I think having control would make a big difference. Or even having some awareness of what is happening! Rather than laying there scared and unknowing and powerless.
      Thank you for commenting.

  11. How moving! I think I will be crying uncontrollably when I see my baby daughter for the first time next month!

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