Thursday, February 19, 2009

"I Just Wanted To Say...

...I'm sorry."

Our relationship is only in passing and it is in more than just passing that I think of you. I can see the hurt in your eyes when you look at me. I know it is not personal, but I know that perhaps thinking about what I would say brings you pain.

I only heard it once. I was, as my husband calls it, 'skim-listening'. I was pregnant with Aoife and I didn't want to be overwhelmed with fear. Joshua and I were so careful to only hear positive birth stories so that we were thinking with absolute positivity when we went into labor. I heard part of your story though and it frightens me still. I can understand why you waited until nearly five months' pregnant to tell everyone you are now expecting bundle of joy #2. I can understand that you are shocked that God would bless you with another pregnancy and I can understand why you really do not want to talk about it.

I know we are not friends, but I saw you again yesterday and I know you saw me... just before you quickly ducked out the door. You already know what I'm going to say: it doesn't have to be this way. It doesn't. I did not feel like I had a voice to talk about natural childbirth before I had a babe because at the time it was all theory. I had a very large hunch that it would all work out according to plan, but what rebuttal was I to offer when you say, "what do you know?"... so I stayed silent. I had my babe naturally, non-violently, without intervention and peacefully at home. Now it almost seems worse. It almost would have had better had I spoken out of naivete and not known the possible outcomes. But now as a mother, my experience is lumped with all the others who have had natural, normal, spontaneous labor as being "lucky".

I want to tell you about my experience, how beautiful it was, how anxiously I waited for my daughter who came 28 days after we expected her, how nervous I was when 24 hours of laboring had passed and I still was not holding my child, how without the books I had read and the research I had poured over I would have been a bumbling nervous wreck of panic... just like most first-time moms get sometimes.

I was in a grocery store last week and a woman was making eyes at Aoife and she started conversation and basically said my daughter was huge and I told her that having been born at 10 lbs., she wasn't really going to ever be a small baby. She of course replied the natural societal response, "oh, Cesarean?" and I gave her this deadpan-I-get-this-a lot look and replied without batting an eye, "no - home birth". She was not shy about the way her mouth gaped open or how she stared unflinchingly at me as if to get me to tell her I was joking. She made a comment about how I was some super woman and I must be made of something more than flesh and blood. But, I'm not.

I feel as if I need to write a post and remind my friends and inform people who didn't know me pre-baby to tell them what an astounding hypochondriac I was. I had a ridiculously low pain tolerance and I survived high school by eating Skittles. I wasn't always so weird. I didn't plan to be some Mother Earth loving, tree-hugging, fair-trade health food toting, green guru. I just made some small changes that apparently made a huge difference in my life.

I'm not that different from you. I love my daughter like you love yours. I know you want the best for your family and you want health for your unborn child. You want them to respect you and trust you and you want to be able to pour all the love in your heart into their young life.

Amanda, my heart hurts for the situation you are in... I would love to talk with you about your upcoming delivery. Please call me.

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