Monday, November 5, 2012

my pregnancy with ember: under the porch.

So, during my labor with Ember, I remember that I only wanted Neil when the contractions picked up. I didn't want to be touched. I didn't want to be talked to. I just wanted Neil. I wanted everyone else to fade away.

Neil had talked to me many times before the birth, asking me to reconsider how many people would be there. I had these visions, these stories in my head. These women birthing, with all these other women around them. Women they loved and trusted. Women holding their hands, and massaging them and talking to them. Support and love.
But I am not that girl. I do need that support and love. I just don't need it right next to me.

Thinking back on Ember's Birth.

I knew that about myself, which is why I planned to birth in a separate room, away from everyone. What I didn't realize is that I needed even more space than that. At some moments even the slightest whisper would draw me out of my zone and it felt like my skin was crawling. The extra lights, the movements, it was hard not get distracted and annoyed by it. I sooo wanted to be that woman. Birthing with all the other women right there. I am not that woman.
Neil knew this.
I'm not sure how I'll handle it all next time, and I wouldn't change anything about Ember's birth, that's too easy now that it's over. I like the beauty of having done it now though and being able to say, ok, now we know.

Thinking back on Ember's Birth.

If I had been in a hospital, I think I would have wanted every single person imaginable with me. I so get why people do invite others to be with them and how important that is to them. I am not secretive about the fact that hospitals and doctors and nurses even, make me very anxious and nervous. Had I birthed Ember in a hospital, yes, I would have wanted everyone I loved with me, just to make me feel safe and secure. Just that extra familiarity in a foriegn place.
But being at home was different. I needed privacy. I craved it. No one was in that room except Neil, Sarah and her assistant Laura. They really, truly stayed as transparent as possible too. I felt like a cat, hiding under the front porch to have her babies. Let me do this, leave me alone, let me do this.

I often wished before that day to have the birth you see in photos sometimes, or in birth art. Women all around me, smiles, compassion, hand holding, massages, whispers of support.

I am not that woman.
And that is ok. I'm glad to know it now too, and even more glad to embrace it.
Let me do this, leave me alone.
I felt guilty for awhile after about this. Like I should have tried harder to accept everyone else there and maybe have more people in the room. Maybe I should have cared more about their feelings, what they wished for, what they wanted. Which sucked. Guilt sucks. Don't do it.
I know I would hear later about other women and the births of their babies. How so and so got to be there and how great that was and all I could think was, "great, I'm just the brat who doesn't want anyone around."
But, I was the one giving birth. Me. Not anyone else. Me. My needs before their needs. That's hard for me to address.. it feels selfish. I'm constantly telling everyone to care for themself and their needs and all of that stuff.... why won't I allow it for myself?
Neil knew, and he tried to get me to accept it and realize it beforehand. I didn't want to. It's ok. He ended up taking charge of it all anyways, which I don't like that he had to do, now, but he did.

I remember a few months ago, when discussing birth with a family member. I told her, you need to do what you feel is best, you need to have whoever you need with you, and you don't ever need to feel guilty about that, because this IS NOT ABOUT THEM. It's about you and your needs. This is one day, where if anyone tries to make you feel bad for anything, screw 'em. You have whoever you want in that room, and do what you need to do. Even if you change your mind, even if you kick everyone out, even if you're making phone calls asking for everyone you know to come at the last minute. See to your needs. Don't think twice.
I remember then, after her son was born, feeling a bit sad and bothered about the fact that certain people were not asked or really allowed to be there, in the room during the birth. I remember thinking "how could she do that??" It took me a couple weeks, before I realized, that it didn't matter. It wasn't about what I thought was best, or who I thought should be there. It was about what she wanted, in that very moment. That's all. She deserved exactly what I deserved. And that was for it not to be about anyone else or their ego.

Thinking back on Ember's Birth.

And so, I type this out without dissapoinment in myself, but acceptance of myself.
I am not that woman birthing in the middle of the all the other women.
I am the cat under the porch.
And that is SO ok.

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