Sunday, June 19, 2011


On June 20, 2010 I became a mother for the fourth time. With fear, joy, love and relief we welcomed William Ellery John into our family on that day, Father's Day. I will never forget how I felt and I might not ever be able to express it quite right... perhaps that's the largest reason for my blog land silence. Or perhaps it's because shortly after William's birth my marriage suffered so severely from my husband's mistakes that even now I'm not sure we've fully recovered.

I've always wanted my blog to be a place where I shared my life, a place where I could look back with my family and say, "this is where we were..." However, in large part my blog has just been this happy, perfect place that totally disregards the whole truth. There is no yelling here, no messy house, no despised in-laws, no talk of my dead Mom, no talk of how my children drive me completely batshit at some point each and every day, and there most certainly is not a drop of marital strife mentioned here. Not a drop of insecurity or fear either.

The day of William's birth I felt a fear like none I had ever experienced in my life... in hindsight, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to listen to the same music that I did while laboring with Walter. I believe it might have been the intense pain in my back that started my visceral reaction. This birth felt too much like Walter's. I started to cry out "I'm so fucking scared. Oh my god, I'm so fucking scared!" I don't think a mother of a child without birth injuries can understand this. Certainly they can empathize and certainly I appreciate it immensely when they do, however they could not possibly know the full gravity of the situation. I am a mother of four children, each birth challenged me in ways I never thought possible. I have had one fucking horrible cesarean (Arden) after pushing for 5 hours to no avail. I've had one homebirth (Walter) where by trusting Nancy Wainer Cohen to attend as a midwife I was left with a brain injured child. *but shit, at least "you had your VBAC!" she said* (It could have happened in the hospital too and been worse, I know.) His body was posterior and his head transverse. I smashed the shit out of his poor little head on my pelvis by pushing him out. He also had a shoulder dystocia. I wish to infinity and back for a do-over. I would thankfully lie down and have 100 cesareans if it meant Walter could have been safe.

After years of consideration I went on to have another homebirth (Claire) who got her shoulder stuck too. It was beautifully resolved by my amazing friend and midwife who not only knew what to do, she was expecting the possibility of it.

And then there was William. William who was born at home a year ago... that little bugger not only got his shoulder stuck, he was huge and broke his arm and clavicle coming out. I will never forget feeling a weird snap (like when you break apart a chicken bone) in my vagina. "Call 911!" And I could go into every single detail that ensued but I won't. The important parts are...

-I got to hold that sweet little baby in the ambulance.

-Chris was able to ride with us.

-William nursed as happy as a clam the entire ride to the hospital.

-Our amazing friend, Chava was able to bring my other (scared) children to the hospital with us.

-The staff were all kind to us.

-We weren't there for more than 4 hours.

-We all slept in our beds that night.

-As similar as some parts of the boy's births were, the fear I carried from Walter's birth into William's was transformative for me.

I have often wondered why me?

I don't know what my message is to those out there possibly seeking answers for their impending births... it could (and probably has been said) by people that I should have done things differently. I chose to trust even when I was so fearful I felt like I couldn't go on. Truthfully, I didn't like any of my options. I chose what felt the most right for me and I urge everyone to do the same for themselves.

With all that said, this past year of my sweet little William has been wonderful, challenging, joyful, fulfilling, simply amazing in every way. I am filled with wistful longing for my sweet boy who grows oh so fast. Arden feels it too. Tonight as the littles were getting baths she was down in the basement getting fabric to make him a bib. I went down to join her and she stood there with tears threatening to spill as she said, "Mom, I can't believe Baby William is going to be one tomorrow." I hugged her and said, "I know honey, I feel the same way." And she suddenly cried a deep mournful cry, while choking out "He's growing too fast Mom!"

I know my dear girl, oh how I know what you feel is true.

"...but I tell you life is sweet in spite of the misery. There's so much more, be grateful..."