Tuesday, July 26, 2016

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge: Week 29

There she was...this beautiful, tiny, screaming spawn of Satan.


She had colic. She cried for nine months straight, which if I might say so, ripped my heart right out of my chest. After some grand failures in my life, namely my treacherous divorce, the one thing I had left to succeed at was motherhood. And I knew I'd be good at it. I have God on my side. I will not make the mistakes my parents made. I will correct them, in fact. My children will know love, emotional support, companionship, and they will see their parents work as a team through "better or worse", with "angels as witnesses". My children would be worth more than jewels and bring my all the joy my black heart needed. They would tie me and my husband together, give us meaning, and allow us to always be friends. While having kids has done those things, it also has brought me quite a surprise myriad of emotions: pain, anxiety, heartache, and yes failure. And my oldest is only 2!!!

I did not foresee a lot of these problems. What is colic, you ask? What is reflux, you ask?
They are a death sentence for a mother's pain tolerance.
My PPD was bad. I did not anticipate this. My joyous miracle of life was overshadowed by a darkness I couldn't control. It was stealing from me this remarkable moment. It was...weird. I mean, there is no other way to describe it. Other than...of course...me learning that this was only the start of God's test for me. He knows how to break me, in the "breaking a horse" sense. Being a good mother is on the TIPPY TOP of my priority list, and He was going to allow me MANY bumps in the road.

Here's the thing: the birth of my children is undoubtedly the answer to my week 29 prompt of the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge. Favorite memory. But I particularly love the birth of my oldest, my daughter, because it was in that moment that I truly became, and fulfilled my divine calling by being, a mother.

My water broke about 8pm.
Contractions progressed to every four minutes on the dot within the hour.
I had been at the hospital all night and was only dilated to a three. 
This was my most exciting moment. Adrenaline courses through me--as well as pain, pain, pain. I sobbed when they brought in the epidural needle. I am terrified of needles. I was shaking so badly...and I am not easily shaken by fear. Alas, the pain ebbed....for the next few hours, anyway. I was stuck at 9cm. Going nowhere. My contractions were slowing. They gave me pitocin, but...nada.

My doctor gave me two options as I approached my 24 hour mark: You have 3 hours left. You can start pushing, or you will have to have a C-section.
He left to let me and my husband discuss it. Once again, I started crying. I am terrified of surgical procedures, blood, cutting, complications. My birth plan was "No C-Section unless I am dying!" My doctor returned.

I said, "I want to push."

I pushed for an agonizing 3 hours. This confused many people since I was not progressing beforehand--nonetheless, the pushing forced my body to a 10. After an hour, my baby wouldn't drop. I didn't know the gender at this point, as I wanted it to be a surprise. So we called it Baby. I pushed another half hour. Baby was posterior. My doctor could feel the head! He turned the baby and I continued pushing. Pushing, pushing, eye bulging pushing! It hurt so bad I literally thought, "I am going to go blind. My eyes are going to explode."

Eventually, my doctor recommended I use foreceps to assist. I declined. I pushed and pushed. The baby started to descend. The last half hour I was overcome with adrenaline. My epidural had long worn off for the most part, but I was self-anesthetized. As soon as the baby's head came out, my doctor grabbed hold and helped pull. I tore, a fourth degree tear. (That's the worst tear--google it so I don't have to go Rated R)

But there it--SHE--was!! I had a daughter! 
Oh my world changed.
My doctor later said if I hadn't been so strong I never would've been able to push her out. Thank you, situps!!!
I didn't have that feeling some moms do, the instant that blue, slimy, squealing baby is placed on their chest. It was this blooming sensation of LOOOOVE. It was this realization that my task was only just beginning. My journey had begun. My divine calling accepted. A child! MY child. My earthly child, a spirit from God that was gifted to me, now my responsibility. Everything changed. And I am forever grateful.