Monday, May 21, 2012

Remembering Burke’s Birth

I’ve had almost a year to think again and again about the day that forever changed my life. {You can read my initial reflections in Burke’s Birth Story here
And each time I revisit that day, I am more and more drawn to the task of analyzing how it could have been different.
How maybe…if the labor and delivery ward was not a swarming zoo of excited and anxious mama’s-to-be {I got the very last delivery room at 7:30 that morning}…
 if there weren’t sixteen billion scheduled c-sections that took my doctor’s priority {even though they told me that if I needed to be induced, I would not be a priority}…
if there was actually a doctor and a midwife on duty like they told me there always would be {there was just a doctor…and he was busy}…
if they had just taken two seconds to break my water when I first arrived very actively in labor and already 5 cm dilated {it only took 3 hours for me to go from 5 to 10 once they finally broke my water at 1 o’clock in the afternoon}…
Maybe, just maybe, I would have delivered my sweet boy naturally, without the need for my abdomen to be ripped apart.
And maybe, just maybe, my labor would have been cut in half.
And maybe, just maybe, my little warrior’s heart rate would not have been so distressed as a result of the shorter labor.
And maybe, just maybe, with less fighting and a more stable blood sugar level, my perfect boy would not have had his soft brand-new little heel pricked over, and over, and over again for four days straight.
And maybe, just maybe, I would never have had to experience the excruciating heartbreak of hearing my son’s sad screams with each prick to his heel, with each unnecessary drop of blood.
And maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have dreaded each feeding knowing that it meant more pain for my precious child.
And maybe, just maybe, we would have had a different nurse on duty the night he had three good blood sugar levels in a row—a nurse who actually followed directions. But instead we got the nurse that decided on her own that a fourth heel prick was necessary, just for insurance, against my wishes, and he tanked. So we started all over that fourth day…
But this isn’t the story that I remember whenever I hear that a new baby has been born. In these times {which occur more often than the others}, I inevitably get all choked up and shed new tears of joy. Joy for the new parents. And joy as I remember meeting my little man for the first time fifty weeks ago.
Because this remembrance doesn’t account for the details leading up to his arrival or even the traumatic ones shortly thereafter.
This remembrance is limited only to him. My perfect boy. My little lover. My firstborn. And the day that my family became three.
The joy of becoming a parent is indescribable and unfathomable. I wish it upon everyone who's willing, because nothing—nothing—will ever be quite like it. Nothing can ever prepare your heart to love as much as becoming a parent. And nothing can rival the inescapable miracle that is this: I wake up each day with even more love in my heart for my son than the day before.
And now, as we are about to say goodbye to infancy and open the chapter on toddlerhood, one look at my goofy, loveable, take-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of guy assures me that nothing else matters. Not the labor, the c-section, not even the painful heel pricks. None of that matters now. He’s as full-of-life as they come. He is not molded by the details of his entry into this world, but by the love that we show him. The examples we set. The things that we teach him. And the world that we give him. He’s got so much ahead of him. So many blessings. So much love. The whole world is his. And so far, he’s razzle dazzling us all each step of the way!

{Now give Ken Bruggeman some love by heading over to his website to check out the rest of Burke’s birth story as well as his other spectacular galleries!}

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