Wednesday, March 4, 2015

but let me tell you how I really feel

Dear Annabelle, I love you and I'm so glad you're my baby. If you ever read this I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I love you now that you're here but I in no way loved getting you here. In fact, I'd be perfectly happy to not repeat the process for twelve two more years.

I have something I need to say. Ladies on the internet had me thinking the day I had my baby would be the best day ever. I feel like outside of mothers whose babies have gone to the NICU, I've never heard anyone say they didn't like the day their baby was born.

Below are three actual statements I've read on the world wide internet regarding birth days:

* "I pulled my child to my chest and suddenly I forgot all about the pain. It was all worth it."
* "I looked into my baby's eyes and saw the grace of God shining through."
* "As soon as I saw him I knew I wanted to have ten more babies. "

The day I had my baby was the most scarring (literally and figuratively) day of  my life.

The epidural part wasn't awful. It made me throw up but I had been throwing up for months so that was nothing new. The only difference this time was I had an audience. And I was wearing a hospital gown that didn't cover me properly. The procedure they did to try turning Annabelle from her breech position wasn't comfortable at all but it was a picnic in the park compared to what was coming. They were trying to move something on the inside of me from the outside which by definition is very awkward.

I remember the brief moment when Christopher announced she was a girl but I didn't immediately feel overly excited even though I wanted a girl so badly. I was too busy staring at her for what seemed like an eternity trying to figure out why she looked like my childhood friend. Had I married him and not Christopher? I was so confused. 

My immediate next thoughts were along the lines of "I AM IN SO MUCH PAIN. I CAN FEEL YOU DOING THE SURGERY. THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE. Does she have hair? SOMEONE GIVE ME SOME MEDICINE. Does the baby have 10 toes? WHY AREN'T YOU GIVING ME MORE MEDICINE???!!! WHY AREN'T YOU MAKING IT STOP!" Half of me was trying so hard to move away from the pain but the other half kept thinking that if I moved I would mess up what they were doing. I was numb so I couldn't move anyway but that didn't occur to me. All I knew was I wanted to be anywhere else (preferably a place where I was fully dressed) and that I wanted the pain to stop. The room was spinning around and I was sobbing and SO SO cold. One of the anestesiologists put his face two inches from mine and, trying to make me feel better, said "I'm sure those are tears of joy." Um. Do I look like I am full of joy? 

Eventually they wheeled me back to the room. I kept crying and shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. I saw Christopher holding the baby in the corner. Somehow, I don't know how, she ended up on my chest. I'm pretty sure I didn't ask to hold her. I don't even remember if I kissed her or not. I just remember thinking was she was tiny, warm and soft. I kept saying, "I don't want another baby. I don't want another baby for a very long time. Probably never." When the nurse came in and karate chopped my stomach in the name of checking for clots I wanted to punch her out of the room but I didn't have the strength.

Even in my worst moments I knew there was something I had to do. She NEEDED a bow so people wouldn't think she was a boy. The part of my brain that controls my obsession with bows was alive and kicking. (Quick story about the first bow Sesame ever wore. I didn't find it at a classy boutique or on etsy. I found it at the end of my driveway. I don't normally take possession of things I find on the road but I considered it a sign. I washed it a few times and put it in the hospital bag. The first thing my baby wore that wasn't a hospital hat was essentially a piece of trash.)

I would give all my money and Lindor truffles to have tiny Annabelle back.
No one tells you the epidural might not work. No one tells you that you might feel cutting and stitching. I expected immediate pain if I delivered her naturally, but not from a section. This is the 21st century. I thought modern medicine reached a point where feeling pain during surgery was a thing of the past. Don't get the idea that I think I had the worst delivery in the history of deliveries. People have it worse and I'm not trying to one-up anyone. I'm so thankful Annabelle was perfectly healthy and came home with us three days later. All I'm saying is if you didn't like the day you're baby was born, you're not alone. Let's all go to Dunkin Donuts together and talk about how much we roll our eyes when ladies talk about birth being "fun" and "easy". 

For those of you who haven't had a baby yet, I'm not trying to scare you. Is it too late for that? You probably aren't too excited about the idea after reading this. In fact, this might be some of the most effective birth control you'll ever have. When it's all said and done there is a light at the end of the very rocky labor tunnel. 
But don't get too excited. You're baby won't be nearly as cute as mine.


Jen said...

I love that you're honest, there is no reason to sugar coat anything. :)

Bailey Kay said...

You just succeeded in making me want kids approximately never.

Karen said...

I think it's better when people are honest. When I had Nora, I was so exhausted by the end that when Paul told me she was a girl, I asked him if he was sure she wasn't a boy lol. In comparison, Annika's birth was easier than Nora's, like "they" say every baby and every body is different during the labour process (I don't know who "they" are but it's what the internet says - and spell check is telling me labour is wrong because us Canadians spell things weirdly lol).

Also - I love her bow.

Miss to Mrs said...

I'm so proud of you for publishing this. Alyon's birth day was one of the saddest and scariest days of my life. I do not look back on that day full of joy at all. In fact it was traumatic and I'm having to work through it in order to have more babies. There was no sunshine, roses and unicorns that I was just sure would be part of the day.

But, she made it here safe and happy and I've had hundreds of happy days with her since. When I get down about the actual birth day I try to focus on that.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Honestly is always the best. And you're right - she is pretty stinking cute! :)

Laura Darling said...

So glad that you posted this.

Barbara said...

That may just be the best painful story of of its kind. Well done, and good for you for writing it. I hope it did you good. Great ending!!!

Marcella{The Life After "Trust Me"} said...

and Yes.
Both of my epidurals failed and I felt everything.
And I wanted to punch the dr for arguing with me saying that I couldn't feel everything.
But I did go on to have a second baby....