Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The night I went into labor I kind of freaked out. I put Cordelia down in her bed, knowing that I'd be off for labor and delivery before she awoke. I walked down the hall from her room and tried to hold back the tears and raw emotion. There were several layers to my freak out.--- I had never been away from her over night. I knew that one very beautiful period of my life was coming to an end, and while I was so excited for our new baby I mourned the end of that chapter. Finally, I worried that I had made a huge mistake.

You see with Cordelia's birth I had something of a close call. I suffered from uterine atony and as a result I lost a lot of blood. When Eric and I started the conversation about baby number two we talked and talked  to the doctor about the risks and he was confident that all would be well, that I wasn't likely to have a repeat. He assured us that if I did go down that road again they would have the necessary aid on hand. So we made the decision to have a second child. For the following months I comforted myself with the doctor's words and I read studies and statistics; I was confident. However, that night all of the comfort was gone. I was terrified that I would leave two girls without a mother. I worried that I was saying my last goodbye to Cordelia, that I wouldn't get to say a first hello to Elise.I walked down the hall as the tears streamed down my face; my husband and mother tried to comfort me. I was not brave. I was terrified.


Thankfully I am not writing this post from the other side. All turned out well. I had no complications with the delivery of Elise and that terror has already started to fade into the fog of my memory.

Recently my mother handed me a stack of her old magazines. The top magazine had a picture of Jamie Lee Curtis and some caption about the bravest thing she had ever done (happened to be running a 5k....I suspect that she has greater moments of bravery). My mother commented on it, trying to think about a time when she had been brave. She mentioned that she thought the most courageous thing I'd done was choosing to have a second child after my close call with Cordelia. I thought about that and thought some more. I disagree. Sure, it took a bit of courage to get pregnant, but at that far out from labor and delivery the fear seemed hazy and distant and didn't require real bravery. When it came time there was no bravery, just a few moments of fear and then acceptance.

I suppose some people can highlight moments of real bravery like running into a burning building, but I don't have those kind of moments. Truthfully I don't think I am particularly brave, but I am strong. I can push through the fear and see the other side, but not without a little terror first.

What about you? What is your most courageous moment?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. You definitely made me cry! A lot of times we have no idea what people go through and I am glad it turned out okay. xoxo

Kate said...

I, too, had to have a blood transfusion after both children. The second time I was expecting it, although I was told it was unlikely (sometimes you just know, you know?) Throughout my pregnancy, I met with my incredible midwife (I knew, despite my previous circumstances, that I would remain an all natural birth momma. It was the only thing that kept me calm!) and we went over what had happened before, the risks, complications, and what I could do to prepare. This was a different midwife than before, so she really didn't think I would be in the same position, but I asked that she be prepared anyway. Sure enough I was right, but all worked out. ... Eventually, lol. I don't think I can do it again, so we're happy with a boy and a girl. Not sure that's courage either, though. Maybe my courageous moment is yet to come.

I' glad your last good bye as a momma-to-one wasn't your last. Being pregnant with my daughter thrilled me and saddened me, too. I was SO happy to know she was coming, but was afraid to say goodbye to having only one babe. That's not well worded, but you know what I mean.

Victoria said...

Grabbing three complete strangers; a mom and dad and their baby putting them into my car and rushing them to the ER. The baby had stopped breathing and they were standing on the sidewalk Immobilized by complete shock.

Susan Struck said...

Well, you made me cry... again. I am so very grateful for those two beautiful little girls and most especially grateful to still have you here to mother them.

AKM said...

I think it was probably when I was the last person with my grandmother and I had to go out and tell everyone that she was leaving us. There were some other stressful family things going on at the same time, and my mother said that through all of it, she was so proud of my strength and sense of calm, which I very often do not have. (I can be a rock in a crisis, but day-to-day little things can bog me down and make me freak out. Funny how that works.)

On my way Home... said...

Again you struck a cord with your words. As #3 is due to arrive shortly, the thought of complications during surgery or just something happening has been going through my mind. It is causing me to treasure my two a lot right now. To rock a bit longer, say yes a bit more. Deep down I don't think anything is going to happen, but it will be different. I am thankful that you are still here and you get to enjoy those two precious girls!

Robin said...

You are such an amazing person, and mother! Love this picture of you three beautiful girls.

Miss you and wish I could see you again soon.

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