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?