Making A Comeback - Thanks, TLC

It's official: I can never watch "A Baby Story" ever again. I don't know if I should be sad or relieved.

I caught an episode of the TLC show this afternoon and like many other women, was siphoned in against my own free will. The woman and man were a very average couple, the birth was completely uncomplicated. She was totally comfortable, medicated, and only concentrating on one thing: holding her baby in her arms. And loving on him for the first time. And looking him in the eyes and welcoming him into the world.

The birth went as planned without a single hiccup. The new mom and dad were both crying with the kind of joy only a new baby can bring. They were a perfect little family.

And there I was- bawling on the sofa. WTF?! My baby was sleeping very quietly (a rarity these days) in his swing, and I was crying my eyes out at the television.

Why, you ask?

Because THAT was supposed to be MY son's birth. How dare this other perfect woman be afforded the perfect birth when I couldn't have the same. The nerve of some people...

Just kidding, folks. Really.

I was crying because the show reminded me about the kind of work involved in having a baby and the kind of joy you feel when you hold that slimy, screaming tiny human on your chest, exhausted and tearfully thrilled. I didn't have that. I had the work - and the work and the work and the work. Until a few moments before JJ was born, I did have a glimpse of the perfect birth. I did have my plan in order and I was doing what I was put on the planet to do - bring life to our JJ. When we learned we had a problem and needed the C-Section, I knew we were in for an unanticipated challenge.

I can't say that I took it with the courage of a thousand soldiers. I can't even say I took it with any courage at all. I suddenly shifted from ecstatic about our baby's arrival to terrified for his life. Not exactly what I had pictured for the big D-Day. Or the several days after that.

So there is this woman on my television, talking about how her birth experience was so wonderful that she might have ten more kids. I suddenly became jealous and quickly turned the TV off. I was acting ridiculous. I still am.

No. I have not "let it go." Not yet. When you work for something your WHOLE life, and it's suddenly snatched away and balled up and thrown on the floor, it can be a little stressful even months later.

I often look at him and think to myself about how lucky the three of us are. I often tell him that I'm going to do better for him now, because I couldn't be there for him when he was born, when he needed me the most. I tell him that I'm going to make up for those 14 precious first hours that he and I lost. And of course, I tell him that we're all in this together, no matter what. He just looks at me and grins, every time, as if he's saying "Oh Mom, stop being so silly!"

No I haven't let it go. I've tried - it's like a persistent boomerang. It keeps coming back to hang over my head like a dark cloud dropping daggers. I'm reminded every day how if this was 100 years ago, JJ and I would have both died. I'm reminded of how thankful my mom-in-law was that many years ago, someone had the courage to perform the first C-section and how thankful she was for the skill of my doctor. I'm reminded of the impact on my husband and family. I'm reminded of a horrible birth, when I should be reminded of a wonderful one - the one I had carefully planned... the one shown on my tv today.

1 comment:

Evelyn Louise said...

From my blog today:
"To my sister-in-law, Kristen - you are a wonderful mother. Your son adores you. Your son is perfect. Your delivery was not. Please don't let it define your motherhood. Motherhood is so much more than that. THAT is what I wanted to say. It just took me a week and this blog to find the words I wanted to say."

I know we've emailed about it. I just wanted to get this statement on your blog that helped nudge my blog today.


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