THE BIRTH OF AUTUMN (THE COLES NOTES VERSION)
My husband surprised me this week with photos from my first birth, with Autumn, that he had been holding out on all this time. He had been keeping them from me thinking that they would upset me. They didn’t, probably because I was so happy to have anything at all from that experience. They’re a bit blurry and dark, but I’m still grateful for them because they are all I have.
I have written about my birth with Autumn before, but it is time for a re-vamp and it's something that I've been meaning to do for awhile. Not today though, I'm not ready. I have some debriefing I still need to do and then I can sit down and get the whole wonderful story out. In the meantime though, these are the photos taken during the labour, and a short "coles notes" version of her birth.
THE BIRTH OF AUTUMN
This was my first birth (ever, as in, giving birth, and being witness to). I was excited and confident that I would cope well. I had little preparation beforehand but I didn’t think I needed it. It was a long labour and it’s intensity took me off guard. My insistence on having a drug-free birth went out the window after hours of the most incredible pain that I had ever felt. I did not cope well. Then I felt like I gave up when I had the epidural, but also felt incredible relief at the same time. I pushed my baby girl out in 1 hour and 10 minutes, and it was (at the time) the hardest, yet most empowering, thing I had ever done.
Of course, the worst happened after birth that greatly overshadowed the labour and delivery itself, but I had so many learnings from my birth with Autumn. Birth is unpredictable and I may not have had a different labour and delivery outcome, but I could have been better prepared. If I could have my “do over” I would have done some form of prenatal childbirth education, I would have made sure I had a birth bestie by my side to get me through those really tough moments (whether emotional or physical), and I would have made sure the journey was documented somehow.