Yesterday, they finally thought to ask how babies get out of their mommy's tummies. Aha! An easy one.
Except that when you explain the birth process to a three year old they totally think you are lying. Oliver just looked at me with smiling apprehension and said, "Nahh." Maggie said, "Oh, yeah, they turn into pee pee and come out your vagina,"
After a second attempt to convince them I wasn't kidding, I figured out that it was pointless and let them draw their own conclusions. Someday they will know the ugly truth about so many things.
Besides, that's not how they were born.
They were born under blinding lights, attended by masked men bearing scalpels. They were tugged from my body by gloved hands. The first people to hold them were nurses we will never know. They were whisked away to beeping incubators while I lay strapped down and prone and unconscious and the Mister stood pacing furiously outside an OR he had no access to. I didn't get to see them for ten hours. It left us all feeling powerless and incapable and totally blindsided.
"holding my kids" after their birth
Their birth was one of the most awful experiences I've ever had, and to this day I feel like weeping every time I think about it. When you tell people this, that you had a bad birth, they try to make you feel better by saying, "But you got two healthy, beautiful children." This is true. We did get two healthy and beautiful children. And for this I am more grateful than I can possibly ever express. It is a blessing and good grace that boggles the minds, and that, frankly, makes me a little nervous.
This is no way to first see the world
But the fact remains that their birth and all its attending medical intervention and bullying has left me with a bit of sadness and shame I am not quite sure how to shake.
It's been three-and-a-half years and the pure envy I feel for women who have those empowering, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar births is nearly unbearable.
And here's the thing: I know I would have been good at it. Under other circumstances, with a less complicated pregnancy, I would have gotten my wool-clad midwife to light some candles, sunk down in the birthing tub, and pushed those babies out like Ina May Gaskin herself. I would have worn braids. And planted the placentas under magnolia and olive trees.
Ok, maybe not the placenta part. But afterbirth fertilizer or not, it would have been, I think, a better beginning for all of us if it could have been a little closer to how God intended. Alas.
If you are a pro-vagina, groovy mom like me, you will probably have the same love/hate relationship with this movie that I do. I can't even watch the trailer without crying.