Happy Birthing Day!

Nick-Baby 1991Twenty-two years ago today, I gave birth to my son.  I woke up early this morning thinking about that day; remembering that, after 49 hours of labour, I was finally going to sleep around 7:00 am in the morning.  Exhausted from three nights without sleep and two days of excruciating pain, I just wanted to sleep.

I remember lying there in bed, raw and sore, with my son bundled up in a blanket between my husband and I.  He was so aware; his eyes were open wide; beautiful almond-shaped eyes set in an oval face with dark hair.  He was the most beautiful little being I had ever seen.

I remember lying there wondering who he was; marvelling at the fact that he had been growing inside me for nearly 10 months and yet, I had no idea how he would look.  I remember the point in my labour where the midwives told me that I HAD to push between contractions because the baby was under stress.  I remember standing on the end of my bed, supported by my husband, trying to push between contractions despite my exhaustion because the baby HAD to come out.  I remember thinking, “Oh my God, after all of this and the baby could die”.  I also remember thinking, “It is in the hands of the Grandmothers now.  There is nothing more that I can do that I am not already doing.”

Nick-Baby 2 - 1991And so, I pushed; exhausted, worn out and spent.  And, for the first of many times as a mother, I surrendered.  In those moments, I acknowledged the terrifying truth that as much as I loved the baby I was giving birth to, there are some things in life that are beyond our control.  And finally, the baby was born; a beautiful baby boy with almond-shaped eyes.   A child was born; a child I would love more than life itself; a child with his own destiny and dreams; a life for which I would be responsible but over which I would never have total control.  Twenty-two years ago today, my son was born, and I became a mother.

About kp

I am a woman and a mother, a sister and a wife. I have called myself a socialist and a feminist, an environmentalist and an activist, a pagan and an atheist. But, at this stage in my life, none of these labels feel right. I am searching; trying to find an inner calm; trying to make peace with life's disappointments; trying to answer the big questions in my own small life.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Parenting & Family, Relationships, Stages of Life, Writing, Writing for your life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Happy Birthing Day!

  1. Deliberately Delicious says:

    Lovely story, Kim! And your central observation that we must as parents surrender a certain amount of control is so true! Our children arrive as their own little beings and the sooner we understand that, the happier we’ll all be.

  2. Wow… what a moment of surrender. It’s funny, we talk about birthdays, but I’ve never thought of how a birthday of a child must be for the mother. In a way, it’s a rebirth for her too, no? I love that you remember it with such clarity. I’ve always wished my own mother had such power of recall.

    • kp says:

      Hi Alarna…I am sure the experience varies for women, but I had a home birth with two wonderful mid wives so the experience was quite vivid and protracted. My mother-in-law, who had six children, and was present when my daughter was born, said that she was put to sleep for most of her children. She had never seen the umbilical cord cut before; nor seen a placenta before. For me, it was an empowering and humbling experience. Kim

  3. Some days it feels like a lifetime ago that I gave birth to my babies but your words brought me back to the emotions and experience as if it was yesterday, thank you and happy birthday to your son and welcome to motherhood day!

    • kp says:

      My sister and I were both present for each other births because we lived close together and our kids were born only 5 weeks apart. So, we often wish each other “happy birthing day” and joke about how it should be the mother who is celebrated on their children’s birthdays! Kim

  4. Time goes so fast too, you wonder just where those years have gone? … Congratulations to your Son. I remember well those moments when I said hello to my own Son… I remember thinking I couldnt believe he was ours and perfect in every detail… and so much like his father.. Birth is a true miracle …

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