The birth of our second son was pretty much an opposite experience to the birth of our first son. It was fast, natural, and smooth. Again, like my first birthing experience, it released a tremendous rumbling of creativity.
During my first pregnancy, I followed the standard steps in taking prenatal classes, assuming that this instruction would give us the tools to get through the perfect birth confidently. It didn’t work that way, which left me feeling rather insecure and worried about a repeat scenario. My doctor recommended we hire Sallie, a labour doula. Sallie explained that just because I had a cesarian the first time it didn’t have to be repeated. She gave me strategies to work through my anxiety and build confidence that surgery wasn’t inevitable.
Andrew chose to enter this world, like Matthew, on a significant calendar day. Friday, September 13. That morning, after my water broke and contractions grew. As I leaned into Sallie, I waddled, around the block in our neighbourhood. While squatting, like an oversized ballerina, working through the pain, I looked down to find a four-leaf clover! I promptly snipped it as a souvenir. This magical moment was magnified when squatting through another contraction I found another four-leaf clover! Hopeful energy was ignited as I crossed my fingers this would be a foreshadowing of a natural vaginal birth after a cesarian (VBAC).
We arrived at the hospital just before noon, meeting Sallie. I was measured and told that the baby was rather high, and it might take a bit to dilate 9-10 centimetres. Escorted to a hospital room and introduced to the lovely nursing staff, I listened to Sallie soothe my fears. She helped direct Mark who was feeling helpless as I transitioned into ‘mad’ moments of pain. In what seemed like a flash the pain increased 10-fold. It became extreme very quickly. Sallie immediately identified that Andrew was arriving fast and furious. Sure enough, the doctor walked into the room in his street clothes to catch Andrew at 13:13 naturally! I was released later that day. I was riding high with the mystical experience! Over the years, the number 13 and four-leaf clovers both hold tremendous importance for our family.
My gratitude for the natural birth and Sallie’s coaching ignited another intimate piece of writing. This time it took the form of a free verse poem. It a chance for me to attempt to capture the magical moment and tribute my doula, Sallie, who infused me with confidence and dispelled fears. Little did I know that this entry to playing with poetry would become one of my favourite hobbies which in turn would become my major focus during my retirement years.
Now years later, I can re-experience the out-of-this-world moment as I savour this free-verse. The power of the written word lasts forever. It’s worth stopping to capture those emotions and pen them into timeless memory treasures. Years later, these written gems become gifts from the past that we give ourselves.
Vulnerably I humbly share this personal piece …
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