‘-Mom how did you manage, how did you manage to be such a good mother?’
‘-I don’t know if I manage. I just try all my best, loving as much as I could.’
I remember this conversation with my mom in the same week Estelle was born.
I ask constantly to myself: am I doing my best? Is my love enough?
This questions come while I think of my mother that can not be part of what I’m going through right now, because I move so far from her. But so many times, holding my heart I still tell her: Thank you mom. Sorry mom. Today I understand you.
My first birth story
I knew exactly how the birth of my first baby was going to go. I’d read all the natural birth books and I’d decided it- the contractions that started in the morning, the pain-studded dash to the hospital, the joyful pulling up of my baby.. I played this through my head so often,I could almost see it playing like a film. No pain killers, no epidural.. no nothing. But nature had other ideas.
My only and greatest fear was to violent-sounding interventions I heard from so many other friends that had babies before me… So I didn’t want to, by any instance loose conscience or loose control. For this I ask my husband to be firm and remind me of what I really wanted for myself.
Started by being overdue almost for two weeks and just one day before the midwife appointment for induction, my waters broke right in the middle of the night. But my labor won’t start on its own, so I had to be induced. They say it’s to decrease the risk of infections to our uterus and our baby. So they inject me with oxytocin through an IV pump to start the contractions. These are synthetic hormones that my body should be producing naturally during an spontaneous labour.. and they introduced and internal wire, called ‘electrode’ to Estelle’s scalp, to monitor her heart rate. I stayed the all night like this and in the morning the decision was that I had to have a higher dose of oxytocin to accelerate the dilatation.
I felt like everything was being decided by someone other me.
Very little I knew about all this process.. and the contractions started to be very intense and uncontrollable. They were checking on me every 10 minutes and the possibility came to have some morphine to ease the pain, at this point was undeniable, I was ready to beg if necessary.. then my husband, reminding me that I didn’t want any special intervention and as natural as possible.. I almost had to shout at him.. this time I was determined that pain killers was not an option anymore was a real necessity.
They give me morphine as drip on my IV as well but they also gave me a device with some instructions to press if the pain was too much. The thought that I did, actually, have some power over the situation comforted me, and I even slept in between contractions. Little I knew that this device was just so I would have that feeling, there was no medication or anything else attached to this device (but it worked).
Having to be induced is a very strange experience, in that you go from feeling completely normal to being in very intensive labour within 30 minutes. There’s no slow build-up or gentle easing in – it’s kind of a truck going over you version labour. So at this point, what important was to have my dear, sweet husband by my side, reminding me to bread and to be calm.
I had some moments that I could still find myself through the pain, accepted and understand, but most of the time was completely uncontrollable
Within 4 hours with contractions mode of active labour I felt the pain becoming bigger then I was. By then I was already completely exhausted but now was time to PUSH.. this was definitely transition time. I remember saying to my husband -“I think the final contractions are happening, but I’m not ready yet.” In the same second the midwife from the hospital came in and start shouting ‘push!’ at me, the way you see them do is the movies- and I hated this, remember asking my midwife, on my birth plan appointments, to please be gentle with me and ‘please no screaming’, but she was no where to be found and at this point so none of my requests really matter anymore.
I couldn’t check the time and it’s very hard to remember how many times I had to really push, I know that the feeling of having my skin tering was like a real burn and I could feel all the progress of my baby coming down.
My husband was so supportive, reminding me all the time the right way to breath and keeping me focus without losing my mind, then after some almighty pushes, the slightly surreal moment happened. I looked down and there she was. My baby girl was given to me. I finally could meet her, hug her, love her.
So much respect I gain for mothers and specially for mine, after having my first born, Estelle..
Now every time I hold my girls tight I remember her, I can even smell her as if she’s doing the same to me.
When I try to tech some honorable principles to Estelle I remember her teaching me in how important is to have a family to have friends. She teaching me to accept, forgive and to ask forgiveness. She was and is my biggest example of strength and humbleness.
My best friend and everlasting shelter. She always managed to keep me away from people that were not worthy and always confronted me ( still does) when I thought I own the truth.
There was so many YES… and a lot of NOs. But now I see the time dedicated and sacrifices made always having the best interest in my happiness.
I do regret a lot of things that has been said and done, for hurting her so much in so many ways. I do regret the days I got her desperate, sad or angry. I do regret the million of times I didn’t listen to her.. at the end of the day she was always right.
When I look back in time the only thing I remember is the love she always had for me and is this love that even today, holds me back or takes me to every place I go.
So much I could still say about her and the example she passed on to me.. I learned with her mistakes and I move on with my own.
I wonder if I ever can be as good mother as she is.
This answer only my girls will be able to give me one day.. and I hope the answer will be yes.