Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trusting (and not trusting) myself

I'm not sure where the time has gone. It's been over three months since I last posted. There's been a significant change in our household. We have added a new little soul to our home. Lilah Grace came fast and furious on June 20th, 2010. Through the pregnancy and her birth I discovered much about myself. From the moment I knew I was pregnant I worried about her birth, about what was the 'right' thing to do.

Her older sister was a complicated delivery that ended with a healthy (big) baby via c-section. I had difficulty deciding whether to simply schedule a repeat c-section or to try for the natural birth I never had with her sister Sadie. Again, we had a midwife as our practitioner. She was amazing. However, at times my perception was that there was some pressure to have a natural birth and I found myself feeling ashamed for even considering a c-section. And then at times I felt like I was being selfish for contemplating a natural birth, because I wondered if I was then putting myself and my unborn child at increased risk. In my heart I actually began to forget what I wanted. I was lost in my thoughts, in my worries, about what the midwife thought was best, what my husband thought was best, what my parents thought was best. I lost my own sense of me, and what I wanted. I even got to the point that I hoped someone, anyone, would just tell me what I should do. I gave up my power to everyone. In the end, my Lilah and my body new what was best.

During the evening of June 19th, with Sadie in bed and while having a glass of wine (yes, I admit it, I had a glass of wine), I felt a slight pop, that's the best way I can describe it, a pop. In a matter of time I realized that my water had broken, and the cramping began. Again however, I doubted myself. I think I had convinced myself that I was not going to go into labour on my own. I thought my experience with this baby would be similar to the one with Sadie. I again had neglected to be in the moment, to trust the process, to trust that things would unfold as they should. The cramping began, but still I did not trust what my body was telling me. I thought there was no way this was the real thing as the contractions were happening too quickly. They started at five minutes apart and quickly moved to four minutes. I was told I should be at the hospital by five minutes apart due to the possibility (though rare) that there be complications due to the previous c-section. It took both my husband and friend (who had come by to watch Sadie if needed) to tell me it was time to call the midwife. She was out at a dinner party, and her pager was not working. By the time she did arrive (dressed to the nines), I was well on my way. We arrived at the hospital with little time to spare. My midwife, student, back-up midwife and husband were all flying about as the pain increased. As the contractions intensified I had nothing to do but to trust my body. Even if I had wanted pain management there was no time. There was no time. It was then that I was truly in moment to moment awareness. I withdrew into myself. My eyes shut, hearing all that was going on around me. I put my trust in all those around me, and in myself. I knew I could do it. The sensation, although it was pain, was not scary. I knew there was an end to it. I knew I had to go through it. I, by nature, am a quiet person. I am reserved. I don't like standing out. The process of birthing Lilah brought me to a point to realize that didn't have to be me. I trusted myself, I trusted the experience. It was amazing. At the end, I got my beautiful soul, Lilah Grace. And the day, the moment, it was as perfect, as perfect as it should be.

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