How do you write about the birth of your baby? It would be more interesting perhaps to hear what the other participants of the birth had to say. I wonder what Patrick was thinking as each contraction hit my uterus, low down, in a place that I'd never felt them before with Chloe or Eli. His hands so strong behind my neck, holding my shoulders, reminding me to stay down, stay low. I wonder what Carmel and Ali thought as they listened to me moaning low down into the water. Did they find themselves remembering their own labors, feeling the energy of each rush, rush into their memory? My midwife Sue, sitting so quietly, yet with every sound I made, knowing exactly where my body was and where it was headed to. I've always wished I could be an observer at my own labors and this time I was more present than ever before. In between each contraction I felt almost as though I wasn't in labor any more. I would be fully present feeling the water all around, seeing the faces around me, preparing for the next contraction.
It amazes me how each labor, like each baby, is entirely it's own creature, it's own unique experience. I have always been in search of the perfect labor, having read countless stories of relaxed beautiful arrivals into the world. I now have 3 stories, each as different as the children I now love. And I now realize that my stories are all very "me," they speak of who I was at each time, who I have grown to become. I stopped searching to have a labor that was someone else's story and just let my own happen. To be fully connected to Patrick during my labor, as connected as we have been since our first flirtations 15 (yes 15) years ago. That is my story this time. To forgive myself for not having the perfect calm birth as I pushed him out. (I was not calm or quiet, I was scared and desperate, even though I knew deep inside it would be ok.) Patrick once again, his head right next to mine, telling me to listen and focus and get that baby out. I remember hearing Ali tell me that I could reach down and feel his head and in my perfect birth story I would have reached down and felt his head and then given one last push and had him in my arms. In my real birth story, I was frightened and needed to get the baby out and touching a head that was causing me the most intense pain I've ever felt was not an option. And so my real birth story went until finally he was in my arms and the pain started to release. I was staring into what looked like Chloe's brother, little squished nose like she had, perfect body, solid and cute, red and purple all over. I wished I hadn't lost control but it is my story. I wanted to run away and then just as quickly wanted to lay there holding this baby in my arms forever, not letting time pass and transform him into the child he will become. Holding the warm and wet baby that has been living inside of you for the first time is the ending of the birth story and the beginning of a new story. The story of Lucas as he joins our family and forever makes us 5.
And so on September 9th, 2008 we said, "Happy Birthday" to Lucas Clancy Marcotti, 9lbs 3oz.