When I got pregnant, like most women I had hopes and dreams not just about my future child’s life, but also about the pregnancy itself and the early days after the pregnancy. I knew that I wanted to get cute maternity clothes and to look like a petite woman with a little bump tacked on in front. That didn’t happen, and I’ll admit that I knew it wouldn’t. I mean, starting off the pregnancy with an extra 10 pounds doesn’t exactly put you on the road to success, where success is a achieving the adorable, you hardly look pregnant, Hollywood pregnancy look. But really, that was the least of my dreams. I’ll admit that I realized at the moment I saw the two pink lines that I was one of THOSE women that other mothers laugh at.
Yes, I’ll admit it. I wanted a natural, drug-free childbirth (I know everyone is thinking I’m crazy already). I wanted my baby to latch on within minutes of being born and to never taste a drop of formula. I wanted these things, and none of it happened. My darling Azita was born thanks to a scheduled c-section, and her first drop of formula passed her lips at just 2 days of age.
I had good intentions, but the universe had different plans for me. It all started at my 20-week ultrasound. I discovered I was having a baby girl, and I discovered that her butt was planted firmly down in my pelvis. She twisted and turned a lot, even during the ultrasound, but she always ended up butt-down. Of course, most breech babies end up turning around, sometimes even right before the birth itself. But, I could have told you Azita would end up being a stubborn little girl before she was born. She just wouldn’t budge, and due to the position of her umbilical cord she couldn’t be turned without posing some serious risks to both her and me.
It turned out that I couldn’t have the birth of my dreams, and there was nothing I could to about it. See, I understand that a drug-free birth hurts, and that it hurts a lot, more than I can imagine. But, I looked forward to it. In my mind it would be the first bonding experience between me and my little one. I wanted to be fully present, and I didn’t want to be tied down to a table unable to hold my baby until an hour after she was born. And at the risk of sounding sappy, I just knew it would be a sort of mystical experience.
To make matters worse, since they had to do the c-section a few weeks earlier than her due date, Azita’s mouth was just too immature to latch on. So, I never got to nurse her as I had imagined either. Thanks to the best technology Medela has to offer, I did manage to feed her lots and lots of breast milk, but I missed out on yet another bonding experience that I really, really wanted.
My perfect birth didn’t happen the way I imagined it, but it was still perfect. I still ended up with a perfect baby, the love of my (and Roger’s) life. I know this, and I am grateful. But, I can’t help but feel pangs of regret and sadness over the loss of the experience I had hoped for. And sometimes when I’m gazing on Azita’s beautiful, sleeping face, I think maybe I should try to convince Roger that she needs a brother or sister. Maybe there’s still hope for me to have the childbirth of my dreams. I mean, I definitely have enough love to share, and Azita would be a great older sister.