Sunday, March 9, 2008

Celebration of Roko's Arrival and Reflections on Childbirth

Roko is here! The long-awaited baby of my brother Mark and his long-awaited wife, Kelly, arrived on Friday night with nary a glitch. He's a perfect baby and Kelly is a childbirth pro. All weekend, the back of my mind dwelled on babies and labor and childbirth and the joy and pain of it all.

My stats:

5 children
4 childbirths
1 miscarriage
1 epidural
4 posterior presentations
1 almost eight pounder; 1 almost nine pounder; 1 almost ten pounder; 1 six pounder (ahhh!)

Notable moments:

~ The nurse who should win some sort of international award for her ability to check a cervix as comfortably and casually as you might reach down to touch my kneecap.

~ The night-shift nurse who brought me a sleeping pill, then sat down to chat for an hour and would have become my best friend if perhaps I hadn't been drugged and had had my glasses on and could ever have seen her face.

~ Watching Mark grow smaller and smaller on the ground as the helicopter rose to take Jesse and me to a bigger hospital.

~ The, again, faceless nurse who hummed "I Am a Child of God" softly next to me when I woke weeping after my D&C.

~ Pleading, "Can anyone help me?" in a particularly tense moment (Logan).

~ Getting a speculum during during a contraction.

~ Running into an old boyfriend on the street on the way to the hospital.

~ The moment of strained silence when Levi emerged blue and quiet.

~ That fabulous, indescribable moment when, in an instant, labor is over and instead I'm holding a warm, sweet baby.

They say women get pregnant twice only because they forget the pain of childbirth. For me anyway, not true. I had nightmarish flashbacks of the pain of my first childbirth for a few weeks thereafter. And every time I've gotten pregnant since, I have moments of panic when it hits me, "I know how this ends and it's not pretty!"

It's not that you forget--it's that in that sublime moment when the last horrendous push produces a beautiful rosebud of a baby it doesn't matter. Whatever pain of carrying and birthing that baby becomes utterly, cosmically inconsequential. I'm really not sure there's anything on heaven or earth better than laying your hands and eyes for the first time on your own perfect, beautiful baby. Welcome to the club, Mark and Kelly.

Angela and Roscoe.


  1. What a beautiful post. Once again I am jealous of your eloquence. My head was filled with similar thoughts (except about MY childbirths instead of yours) all weekend. Especially since I recently had two friends over who are about to have their firsts and we chatted for hours.

  2. I love talking about babies and birth. I wonder if I will as much when I'm out of this stage. And I also loved your descriptions. So fun to learn more about you with those snippets from some of the best/hardest points of your life!

  3. I'm so sorry it has taken nearly a week to read this. Thank you. You really have the loveliest way of capturing the most awesome of feelings and experiences. I love you!

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Angela (sorry I've taken so long to comment). I really like reflections on birth: my first childbirth was so recent, this all seems close to home (although I can't yet comprehend going through labor 4 times....).