Today, I erased our April calendar and posted our empty May calendar on the fridge. The only thing I wrote, “Norah 3.” Oh man, where has the time gone? I sat and stared at my calendar, wondering how we had even arrived at this point. Was it really 3 years ago that I was SO desperate to go into labor? So curious about when my water would break and how Josh would react during our dash to the hospital. Would he drive fast or slow? Would I even tell him when I knew labor was imminent, or would I calmly shower and make sure everything was ready before I awoke the excitement?
None of those things happened. As April turned into May and our promised date crept closer and closer, nothing changed. My body seemed to be refusing to follow the course of nature. Water pooled into my feet and legs, more and more weight gain every week. They tested my blood pressure- surprised every time that I was perfectly fine. Finally, the week before my due date, the doctor looked at me and asked if I wanted to induce. She knew I was miserable, absolutely miserable. We induced the next day.
The course of the next 28 hours were sad. I felt great expectation that my body would respond to to medication and that labor would come. None of that happened. As contractions forced their way upon me, I did all the things they say you do in active labor- I cried, I vomited, I broke out in a cold sweat. The only problem, I wasn’t in active labor. The contractions weren’t productive. They decided I needed the epidural, to relax the internal muscles. I was dilated to a 2. I cried more, but agreed. 10 hours later, still nothing had changed. At 10:37pm, they rushed in my room, put oxygen on me and rolled me to my side. I knew the drill, I heard the fetal monitor alarms, I cried more. A short 26min later, my sweet Norah arrived into the world. It was 11:04pm- I was a Mommy and I didn’t know it.
Due to the prolonged time I had the epidural and the rate at which we were loosing Norah’s heart rate, the medical staff decided to put me under general anesthesia (tube down the throat, knocked out, no Daddy in sight.) I don’t remember waking up, I don’t remember my first time to hold her, I don’t remember anything.
I am thankful.
Not for the experience, not for the pain, but for my Norah. I would endure it all- the pregnancy, the c-section, the recovery- again and again, just for that moment of looking into her newborn eyes and knowing she is mine. She shows me the depth and the complexity of love day after day. She taught me a love I never knew existed.
For months, I mourned over “the experience.” I cried day after day, knowing that I would never have that natural birth story, forever bearing that jagged scar across my stomach. I felt insufficient and I felt mad. Mad at God, myself, and my doctors. So many things could have been done differently.
I don’t know when the healing came, it was a progression for me. One day, I looked in the mirror and saw the line on my stomach, once again screaming at me. Except, this time I felt proud of myself. Proud that I survived pregnancy, proud that I had survived an emergency c-section, proud that I was holding a beautiful baby in my arms and proud that I had turned my doubts in God’s faithfulness into thankfulness.
I still don’t like the scar, it reminds me that I am forever changed. But, every time I see it, I choose to focus on thankfulness.
I am thankful. SO very thankful that God gave me Norah… that she is healthy and funny and loving. I am thankful that I am changed.
My sweet girl turns this 3 this month and I think this Mommy will, once again, cry.