A good birth experience. What does this mean?? To some women it is when a healthy, live baby is placed in their arms, with no regard to how it got there. Just the healthy baby. Isn't that enough to ask for?? Isn't that what we say?? "I don't care.... I just want my baby to be healthy." But to some mothers a good birth experience is something very different. It is a life altering experience. A strength and 'knowing' that transcends thought and bubbles up from a place long hidden until this moment. There becomes a depth to the contractions, surges that beckon to your innermost womanhood. Calling to that courage held deep in your soul. Your body responds to the call with a call of its own. The swaying of hips like the ocean tides and the deep guttural moaning which gives voice to the change taking place inside your soul. The change from a child to a woman. And, more often, the change from a wounded woman to one healed. There is pain, but there is also wondrous beauty. This is the birth I wanted. Still want. But I also want that healthy, live child.
I have spent almost 9 months grieving over loosing Asher, but I have spent no time grieving over my birth. I wanted a birth filled with joy. Instead a sonographer told me she needed to make an official record of my dead baby inside me. Instead a smiling Dr. shoved his non-dominant hand into my vagina. Twice. Once to check my cervix, and once to place the cervidil under it. After saying "Ow! Ow! Ow!" I looked up and he was smiling, telling me I was alright. I want to punch that man. Instead of laboring with my husband and my wonderful midwives in my warm home in a warm tub, I was at the hospital. Grabbing hold of the sink in a cold hard bathroom. With my lost-in-grief parents and in-laws. I didn't birth my child squatting or standing up, I was on my back, again. And two men who I had not met before that night lifted my dead baby up onto my chest and then one taught the other how to properly stitch up my vaginal tears. I wanted to scream "Don't touch me!" but I was too lost in my grief to stand up for myself. I can't believe a Dr. used the birth of my baby for a teaching moment. I can't believe how unfeeling they were during such a horrible moment. How can you possibly lift a dead baby out of a mother and not shed a tear. Not need a moment to compose yourself and ask to be excused.
To this day my throat closes up and I start to sweat when I have to go to Ball Hospital. The thought of going back there to birth this child sends chills up my spine and puts me in bad mood for days. I feel sick over it. I will not NOT go in the event of an emergency but it will seriously crush a part of me should I or the baby need to be there.
Part of me wants to have this baby alone. I want to birth so fast that there won't be time for anyone to get here. I want to hunker down in my own secret area and emerge triumphant with a glistening, newborn. I know that is probably not going to happen. And another part of me wants certain people there to share in the moment. I need to know that I can carry to term and birth a healthy, live child. I need to know this.
To some it probably seems shocking, even selfish, to want more than a crying infant in my arms. However I need to know. Labor pains dig down and build a new place for themselves inside your being, your core. They store themselves up, giving you the strength to move through the worst times in life. They say, "If you can handle us, you can handle the world."