The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, September 26, 2008


A Woman Becomes a Mother -- AGAIN

I straightened the throw pillow on the couch and fluffed it, a task I had performed countless times that night.  I looked at the clock. 9:45 pm.  Less than twelve hours before surgery.  I shivered.  I went to the kitchen to make myself some tea.


I tried not to think that in less than twelve hours I would be lying on an operating table while doctors sliced my gut open.  I tried not to remember the overly bright lights, or the way they spread your arms out and strapped them as if for an execution.  I shook my head and added too much sugar to my tea.


Tomorrow, I was having a baby, my second child, my second surgery.  The images of my first emergency C-Section kept playing through my mind and all the fear and anxiety I felt on that operating table came flooding back.  I couldn’t sleep.  I abandoned my cup of too sweet tea and went through my hospital checklist again.  Not that I needed to.  I could recite the list in labor.  But I needed to keep busy.


I had so wanted a vaginal birth this time.  When I got pregnant with my first daughter, my husband and I dreamed up the perfect natural birth.  No pain meds for me. Oh, no!  I was going to feel the first contractions right around my due date, maybe a few days before.  I would wake my husband, since it would be in the middle of the night.  He would jump up, wide awake and together we would time the contractions.  At the last minute, we would grab our bags and head for the hospital.  Once there, things would progress naturally and in a few hours, the doctor would place our new baby on my belly for us to cry over while I delivered the placenta.  Tears of joy would fill my eyes as I experience this incredible rite of Motherhood.


But my dream was not to be.  At least, not this time.  My body, for some reason, did not kick in to action as I thought it would.  Ten days after my due date and still my body showed no signs of labor.  Every extra day felt like an extra week.  I was tired, angry and upset.  Finally, my doctor decided to induce.  I was relieved.  I felt sure that once I got some help, my labor would progress on its own.  Instead, I labored for twenty-one hours, had an epidural, had more psilocin, and then lay there as my baby’s heart rate plummeted.  I was rushed into the operating room where, blinded by bright overhead lights, I became a mother.  I saw my daughter briefly before she was whisked away.  For months I felt like a failure.  I had failed in the very act that defined us as mothers.  Eventually I learnt to enjoy my baby.  But next time, I promised myself, I would push my baby out!

 Yet here I was, two and a half years later, sitting at my kitchen table, unable to sleep, on the eve of yet another invasive birth experience.  Anguished tears streamed down my face and I brushed them angrily away.  My doctor says that my narrow pelvis is not wide enough for my second little girl to come through.  Desperately, I sought a second opinion only to have that same prognosis repeated to me.  Again, my hopes of a vaginal birth were dashed, callously taken from me, my body refusing to perform the task it was meant to.  I felt my husband’s hand on my shoulder and I tried to allow his strength to calm me.


I went to bed, waking up every hour to pee or to simply stare at the ceiling.  Finally, at 4:30 a.m., I got up and stepped into the shower, letting the powerful jets of water pound out every thought, every feeling.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:55 a.m., two hours and five minutes before my surgery.  Even now, I still can’t think of it as a birth.  Once we got settled in a room, all the preparation for the operation was actually a pleasant diversion.  At 7:30 a.m., ridden with trepidation, I took the long walk to the operating room, clutching desperately at my husband’s arm.  I entered the room and smiled tightly.  The lights were as bright as I remembered.  I looked at the operating table and thought how much it looked like the execution table in “Dead Man Walking.” My heart rate accelerated.  Taking gulping breaths, I sat and arched my back dutifully for my spinal.  As the paralysis crept up my body, I panicked.


“I can’t breath!” I gasped fearfully.  “I can’t breathe!”

 “Yes you can,” the anesthesiologist said confidently.  “It’s OK.  Relax, it’s OK.”


And for some unknown reason, I believed him.  I concentrated on my breathing and relaxed a little.  My husband came in and I smiled reassuringly, although it felt more like a grimace.  The operation began and I tried not to picture what was happening behind the blue curtain.  Then, just when I thought I was going to throw up, my doctor called,


“OK guys, are you ready?”

 And, almost in slow motion, the anesthesiologist dropped the curtain and we watched in awe as our daughter was taken from my body.  It was incredible, amazingly incredible.  In that moment, I attained perspective.  As I gazed at the red, slimy body of my second daughter, dripping with my amniotic fluid, I experienced, for the first time, the exalted feeling of having created!


By Inga Wahle

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made me cry! thanks for sharing...Laura-Lynne
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