February 11, 2011


          I could never have imagined being a passive “observer” of my daughter’s birth, rather than an active participant. But, due to amniotic fluid issues and the fact she was breech, my OBGYNs planned an early C-section delivery. They did not even want me going in to labor because of the complications that could arise. So much for all the breathing exercises we had practiced in childbirth class.
          We scheduled the surgery for 39 weeks. I even got to select the day and time. Not exactly how you picture the delivery of your child. But there was something nice about knowing when it would happen. I had picked the noon option. Which meant we had to arrive at the hospital around 10. I’d be hungry, no doubt, but I could take a last leisurely shower, and do my hair and make-up.
          The day after the surgery had been booked, however, I went in for a routine check-up at 37 weeks and the staff discovered a couple of potential complications. First, I presented with all the classic signs of preeclampsia. Then an ultrasound revealed my amniotic fluid level had reached a critically low threshold. Our baby would need to be delivered that day.
          I was taken to the hospital next door, calmly calling my husband as I was being pushed in the wheelchair. “Hi honey! How are you doing? You feel like meeting our baby girl today?” My husband said all the blood drained from his face initially, but by the time he arrived at the hospital he was collected. I was full of excited, nervous energy.
          We were ready. My bag was packed and in the car, as was the baby’s. The car seat bases had been installed in both our vehicles. Our house was set up and ready to go. We had all the “stuff.” That day was as good as any to have a baby. And we were as eager as could be to meet her.
          The C-section delivery went smoothly.The room was freezing, the lights glaring. 
 It was strange to be strapped down. My husband said my body was rocking back and forth violently, as if I were riding a roller coaster. I was unaware of it. I had my eyes closed and was just waiting to hear her. I remember the doctor saying, “Yep, it’s going to be butt first.” And then those first cries. What a beautiful sound!
          At forty years old, I was finally a mom. A dream I had all but given up on had been fulfilled. Attempting to put my feelings into words would fall woefully short. Even as a writer, I don’t have the words. If you are a mom, you know. No single moment defines you more, or puts your life into clearer perspective.
          Whenever you look at your life it is in two phases, the time before you became a mom and the time after. If you can even remember what life was like before you had your child(ren). It changed my life in ways I hadn’t even imagined and certainly had not prepared for. Then, the whole world shifted.

Another writing meme from The Red Dress Club. The assignment for this week's prompt was to write a piece that begins with the line, "I could never have imagined" and ends with the line, "Then the whole world shifted." 600-word limit.
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