I will be honest. I was a little freaked out about him still being attached via umbilical cord, and of being stitched at the same time. Of the blood and guts and gore. But honestly? Truly?
It was incredible. This time, I knew not to top off my epidural so much that I didn't feel contractions or the need to push. This time, I knew what I wanted, I trusted my body and went with the rest. I knew my purpose in all of this process and left it to trust.
I was still scared, though, so when they asked me if I wanted him to be cleaned off on my chest, I wasn't sure what to say. I looked at Jena, our doula, in a bit of a panic and am so thankful that she smiled and said Yes, she does.
The moment that he came out and I saw his beautiful face, which immediately broke into a cry, I started crying. I knew that I was smiling, but there was just such a huge rush of relief that the tears came fast and hard. It was so overwhelming, and I think that added to my panic of not knowing what to say when Ney asked me if I wanted him on me.
As soon as he was on my chest, Ney started getting him cleaned up and I started talking to him. He calmed almost immediately to the sound of my voice, and I kept trying to reassure him that everything was ok, that he was with his Mama and we were just going to snuggle for a second.
This boy, I tell you. Oh this boy has my heart. I thought it was going to be impossible to love another child with quite as much passion as I love my Bear, Owen. A few years ago when we were just starting to talk about having a second, I talked to my bff Tiffany and she said it's like your body grows a second heart; one for your first child, and one for your second.
Until now, I didn't really know what that meant. It's completely true.
I truly think that having this beautiful experience was what I needed to come full circle on our previous birth trauma. This birth happened as it should; I was in control as much as I could be, trusted in our team and the process, and let everything happen as it should. I advocated for myself, my baby and my body, and challenged the answers that I didn't agree with.
It make my heart sing to know what I accomplished, on my own terms, and to recognize that I deserve to feel proud.
In this moment, I felt that I had a space to breathe, that my heart was full, and that my mind was overjoyed at what our family had become.
I am so thankful to have finally had this experience and know it is a memory that will stay in my heart forever.