We are one week out from Grayson’s scheduled c-section.
Everyone has been asking somewhere along the lines of,
how do you feel? are you ready? are you bummed you have to have a c-section?
I feel a lot of everything. Probably not, can you ever be ready? And that last one is a loaded question.
But here we are, down to the wire, and I’m spending this week doing a lot of snuggling my first born, the never-ending piles of laundry, meal prepping, cleaning, watching Call the Midwife, getting all teary-eyed when the babes come out, reading in short fragmented bursts before my thoughts interrupt the quiet, praying praying praying, working (from our new at home office scene!), and writing the vulnerable.
I think we need to be careful with mistaking vulnerability for insecurity.
Vulnerability is choosing to expose yourself to the possibility of being attacked, harmed, mistaken, misunderstood, ignored and other things that at their nature mean you need to have some thick skin–which I don’t always, but its gotten thicker, and the thinned out places are worth the risk.
The end result is always, always fruitful, ranging everywhere from a deeper sense of my own becoming, a new friendship, creating space for someone else’s (once silenced) voice or an invitation to people like you to live a brave life with me.
Vulnerability is courage-based. Insecurity is fear-based.
That vulnerable place for me this week is knowing I’m going to have a c-section and engaging in that conversation with folks. While last time I knew that I would likely have to, this time I know there won’t be the “trying”. Trying for what?
Trying for the standard of all-natural.
One of the fiercest loves in the book is that of a mother.
The same can be said for how cruel and opinionated, narrow-minded or just ignorant moms can also be. I’ve tried to tread a very honest line of sharing my experiences openly, being willing to answer questions to the best of my abilities, redirecting to better resources, admitting when I’ve made a mess of mama-life myself, and always wrapping around to
you do what is best for you and your littles and your home. And I’m doing the same.
No one can decide this stuff for you.
Except for this whole c-section business. My birth canal decided for me, genetics decided for me, and doctors decided for me so that both my baby and I could live.
Everyone imagines their birthing experience, some even before life begins in the womb. We can become fixated on how we want it to look, what we think we should be capable of. We can research the daylights out of what’s “best” for the tiny tyke emerging from our nether regions or abdomen and we can take weekend-long birthing classes to prepare, but life will always take its course and we are 1000% out of control.
Here’s my two sense on birth.
It is always sacred.
No matter the vessel, no matter the story, no matter the coming.
Birth gives way to a miracle that was written before we could even think it up.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
And I don’t know about you, but I love when women share the story of how their sweet babes came to be.
Everything from conception, to the treatments, the home studies and the flights to bring them home, the breathing techniques to the whirpool tubs, the nitty gritty details of sweat and blood, the epidural pinch and rest, and the seeing their child for the first time with a flooring-sense of wonder that was never known before.
So when people ask me if I’m bummed about having to have a c-section, sometimes I shrug my shoulders because fleshy pride makes me want to bring a baby out of my vagina and experience what women have experienced for thousands of years.
But, a huge loud but,
The good Lord designed every inch of me, even my birth canal that couldn’t fit a baby’s leg through it, and I will be forever grateful for the humans He also designed to save the lives of women like me and babies like mine who get to come out in a moment of His glory-telling too.
Where is the shame in that?
I just see more miracles.
Someone asked me when William was a week old, do you wish you knew how hard it was to actually have a baby?
Oh sweet friends, I actually had a baby. I still labored for 24 hours, I still felt the pains, I still moaned like a whale, I had major invasive surgery, and had my own recovery experience that hurt like a grown-up paper cut.
And this time, it will be the same, but with 24 hours less of contractions, which I’m not complaining about.
So where is the vulnerable place, really?
I think as I sit here staring at my husband humming some tunes working from home and watching my son watch George (the monkey) and feeling my womb babe roll around, it’s the knowing once again that every breath we take is so far beyond my control. Their story, Grayson’s story, my story, it’s one big beautiful mystery that I have the gift of watching unfold.
But loving that hard and that deep is like getting the wind knocked out of you if you think about it for too long. I don’t know how else to explain it.
Loving like that is vulnerability.
And for all you mamas out there– whether your scars are in tears down below or incisions on your belly, or in the waiting game of being matched and the unspoken tears of infertility, whether your body looks the same as it did before baby number one or has shifted and re-shaped and colored by stretches, you still have fierce mama status. Forever.