Tuesday, August 08, 2006

just my imagination

A year ago today Nate suggested that I purchase a home pregnancy test. I did. And then I purchased five more. Many months, many pregnancy books, many boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese later...there was Claire. I've been thinking about the baby that I imagined compared to the baby that I now know.
The Claire of my imagination was bald and sort of strange looking (it was hard to picture a combination of Nate and me. Would she have tattoos? Would she have my eyes?) The real Claire has tons of hair and is stunning. The imaginary Claire loved car rides. Mine hates the car. Breastfeeding the imaginary Claire would be difficult. The real Claire has nursed with ease since day one. The imaginary Claire would be born after natural labor attended by my wonderful midwife and amazingly supportive husband. The real Claire was born after a long labor and eventual c-section. I was so sure of my ability to give birth that I didn't even read the c-section sections of the pregnancy books that I studied.
I've decided that today I'm going to give up feeling guilty for the birth and be thankful for the girl. It probably seems bizarre to non-mamas that women would feel regrets about a birth that didn't go according to plan. But we do. There is so much build up surrounding childbirth. A few weeks after Claire was born I cried when I realized that any other children we had would likely be born caesarian. I loved laboring for my child that much. I loved it, but it was just one day. And I'm done feeling like I failed because she was cut out instead of pushed out.
Childbirth wasn’t the miraculous, spiritual experience that I imagined. Even without pushing her all the way out, it hurt. A lot. Also they give you stool softeners afterward. And vicodin. Thank God for vicodin. And when it was over, there was this alert little person (my eyes. no tattoos) who was somehow beautiful and mine.

5 comments:

bean and sprout's rep. said...

aren't the real ones a million times better than the imaginary ones? all (3) of my imaginary babies had colic and also loved ridding in the car. neither of those things was ever reality.

don't write off a VBAC! you could totally do that. specially with the right midwife (just not at salem hospital). when the time comes though, you'll be ready for whatever birth is in store and it will be beautiful and spiritual because in the end, you have your bit of perfection.

angela Milstead said...

You got me thinking about some things I still need to work through myself... Perhaps my obgyn said it best, "I wish I could write the birth plan for you. It would be everything you wanted. But, when it comes right down to it, the only person writing the birth plan is the baby. All I can do is help that baby be as healthy as possible."

Auntie Val said...

Oh, gosh! She and Kyleigh could be twins in this picture. Definatly a family resemblance. What a cutie patootie! Love the smile. Aiden said "Pretty!" when he saw this picture! (Ky drooled but I think that's a compliment!)
Love you guys.

mostly kari said...

Ang, thanks for the quote from your
obgyn...I love that.

Cece said...

Oh my gosh! I love this picture. She has got to be one of the cutest babies I've ever laid eyes on. I say one only to be fair to my other friends with kids:) I love you.