Oh sweet son of mine,
We've shared a lot of tears this past year haven't we?
From the moment we first met, there was pain and sadness between us. Both of us loud, neither of us quite ready to meet, it felt like everything was wrong except that we were sharing oxygen. There was loss as the hopeful moments-of-meeting passed into present reality and completely failed to meet my expectations. Or even half of them. Or even one of them. [Okay maybe one and it is a big and important one that I won't forget because not all mama's have this honor: you were breathing and your heart was beating.]
I had dreamed of this moment for years.
As I served many mamas bring their little loves into the world, as I documented with my camera a multitude of births, as I witnessed so many babies being placed on mama's chest for that magical-meeting-moment... the victorious conquer of birth, I envisioned my own magical-moment of meeting a biological baby. I dreamed of the day I would be the conquerer and I would have a bare baby be delivered from my body and placed onto my bare chest, concluding with a sigh of relief. Sweet tears. Victory.
Our meeting wasn't magical. I did not feel victorious. I felt pain.
Our meeting was sad. And I hate that. I hate that when I think about your birth, it is blank. I hate that it was traumatic. I hate that I cry when looking at the pictures from our days of fighting to bring you into this world. I hate that there are a lot of moments I missed.
I hate that I hate it and that I am not wholly healed and don't look upon the losses with joy; that I am not invincible or perfect. I hate that people don't understand, so much so that I can barely trust anyone to talk about it with, for fear of them crushing my tender heart with their insensitive responses and misunderstanding and avoidance of joining me in the sad parts of life. I hate that people don't get it. It's lonely.
It all was so out of my control. I hate that it was out of my control. I hate that I can't go back in time and change it.
It's ironic and unfair, you know? How I served laboring women for years and was completely confident that if they listened to their body and did All The Right Things, it would go well and right and beautifully. Sure, birth is unpredictable and I "knew" that but I also believed it was relatively controllable. But.. sometimes birth and our bodies are uncontrollable in the most ridiculous ways.
As I continue to process and grieve, to mull it over with my counselor and your dad, I find myself trying to change it. Because if I can change it, then I will feel in control. If I could have done something different in those days of laboring and delivering, if I could have been in control, then I would feel better about blaming myself. Maybe I wouldn't feel so guilty about how sad I am. None of it really makes sense when I say it out loud.
Why is there a lack of permission to feel the real feelings? Why are we so quick to brush over people's pain and assume they aren't "clinging to Jesus" if they are being honest in their grief and admit that they aren't entirely happy about a situation/circumstance/whatever?
I still catch myself trying to change it in my head.
But I can't go back in time to change it. I did everything possible. My body betrayed me, ripping me of my choice and thieving me of my moment of meeting you. There is no one to blame and when I acknowledge that, I am reminded that sometimes life just sucks because we are on earth.
In your promptly journal it asks about the moments we met. It's still empty because I'm still trying to find a way to write it coated in sugar, but I am finally getting to a space where I may be able to accept...that there is no sugar to coat this story with. This story is simply sad and unfortunate. To say it isn't is to discredit how hard we fought and sacrificed together, how much we went through to meet you...what love.
It makes me sad that our meeting was so entirely different than when I met your brother, but I need you to know that I love you no less. I need you to know that I fought harder than I knew I could, physically, and that everything was out of my control. I need you to know that our midwife said she's never seen anyone fight so hard, and every time she has told that to me, she tears up and then I tear up and then we are all crying all over again. I need you to know that, though we've shared a lot of tears together since our first meeting, I love you endlessly. You are precious.
I know He was there with us. I know He was there, and He is here, grieving with me when the waves hit. But sometimes I ask Him why He didn't intervene more, make the meeting moments magical. Suffering is offensive isn't it? Being honest in the ugly parts of life, revealing that there are broken pieces that aren't resolved or covered in gratitude...it often offends people and makes people uncomfortable and respond with more hurt. We are sort of a hot mess, Baby Boy, but we are together.
I'm still processing, Love. I'm still healing. I'm still trying to find wholeness despite the brokenness, but sometimes I think we just grow around sorrow. You know? That sorrow sort of permanently moves into us, becomes a part of who we are, changes us. And that's okay. Because we are still here, earth-side.
I love you, dear one. I'm grateful for you, as I've always been, knowing it is a high privilege to be your mama and to watch you grow.
We've shared a lot of tears, but I love you entirely.
This post is for mamas who need a reminder that their traumatic birth experience is not the only one, they are not alone. This post is not for you to ask questions about our birth, as I am only sharing what I'm able to at this time. This post is not for you to assume you know what happened, but rather join me in giving ourselves permission to grieve losses, whatever they may be. This post is for you, for the traumatized, sorrow-filled, and frustrated person recognizing that loss happens. But it is also for me..as I grieve and continue to pursue healing. Thank you in advance.
Im working on my first book to be published. Inside you will find our entire birth story and the things I'm learning as I grieve the losses involved (as well as a few other giant and life changing losses that have happened in the last 5 years). To stay up to date with my book launch, subscribe for all the updates + bonuses.