Editor’s Note: If you missed out on all the information about Cumberland’s Empire Day celebrations, you can catch it all HERE. Now, here’s Deepa with a moving birth story for all the mamas out there. Enjoy.
Sometimes you do things right and sometimes you live with regret for the rest of your life. We all have regrets, but hopefully with age we learn to appreciate the trajectory of our choices.
The one thing I did right way back when was that I wrote down the story of the first 100 births I attended. I wrote them down as soon as possible after a birth because it was such a plush and creative time. There is something about watching a baby being born that splays the heart chakra wide open. I made a birth journal and often found myself writing even after a long night of no sleep.
Up until this month I have not needed to consult my birth journal for stories. The stories over the last months were on the surface, making them easy to write about. Recently, I found myself looking over that old birth journal and was amazed at how much I had forgotten.
It is somewhat surreal to read birth stories from a time when I was unmarried and childless. The last of the 200 some babies I helped to deliver was when I was about 20 weeks pregnant with my eldest daughter. She is now four and a half years old, so it’s been a while since I’ve been “in the saddle.”
I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to stay at home with my children during their early years. It is a time that I will always be grateful for. I know I will long for it when we are all older. My girls and I have the most fun on the days when there are no programs and we just let time unfold on itself like dough in one of those old time steel bowl mixers… soft, slow and good to all the senses.
Initially, being a full-time mom was more out of necessity for our family than a choice. We had such a young family (a five-month-old and a two-year-old) when we immigrated from Scotland to Canada at the end of 2007. My husband had to complete a series of exams for work and I was a new mom of two.
Still jet-lagged, my husband started working a stressful full-time job in a new country. I dealt with breastfeeding one child and the terrible twos with the other. We moved four times in the first 10 months of my youngest daughter’s life. We had to buy cars and a house and did not know a soul. Our families were thousands of miles away. We moved to the Comox Valley just one month after our arrival to Gabriola Island. Did I mention that the place we stayed at there had mice?!
That was a crazy time and I am glad its over. I regret not being able to be fully conscious at those precious times of my children’s lives. However, from it all came a strong bond between my husband and I, and we discovered this gorgeous Valley. Life now exists on cruise control. There are not so many speed bumps, stop and go traffic or fast lane freeway driving.
I think if I had to manage working as a midwife on top of everything else back then, we would have gone over the edge. I plan on practicing midwifery again and will probably start around the time my youngest gets to kindergarten. I look forward to this, but have no regrets for taking the time off for my family.
Having said that, I do miss working as a midwife. We all know that motherhood is not always gelato and sometimes it simply tastes like that regretful last sip of coffee… bitter, cold, and gritty. Regardless of whether you work full-time, part-time, or not at all. I am truly in awe of all moms who have their hearts in the right place. I learn from you guys all the time!
Since this is the month that celebrates Mother’s Day, I chose the following birth story from my past. I took it verbatim from my journal. This one is for the mamas.
This was a failed attempt of vaginal birth after Cesarean Section. She was young, somewhere between late teens to early twenties. She had a strange skin discoloration above her lip that looked like Hitler’s moustache. What an ironic thing for a young black mother of two to have.
Her one-year-old daughter was just about the cutest kid I have ever seen… eyes as big as chocolate brownies. She didn’t get to come into the operating room.
So there we were amidst all the fluorescence… the patient, her mother, her grandmother and soon to arrive was the next generation.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the grandmother. She probably was no longer as sharp as she once used to be, but I am guessing she is more loving now than she ever had been. Her chapped, pink palmed, old hands gently held her terrified granddaughter’s young face. This display of affection is a visual that will stay with me. It is how I would want to mother someone.
It was another girl… Hope.