We hear this constantly while pregnant: “Your Body was made to do this!” And of course these people are right. Our bodies (for some) were ‘built’ to produce and deliver children. And when we fall pregnant, everyone who comes into our presence reassures us not to worry about the delivery as most soon-to-be-mothers often do.
But what if you were told you were at risk? What if you knew the numbers, the potential outcomes, and were worried about how the delivery would unfold?
I was one of those mothers. With my first child, the pregnancy went well, though the delivery became complicated. Sparing detail, when she arrived my placenta was retained. It was a conversation (that several nurses and two doctors had while hovering over my exhausted body) I hadn’t heard before that moment.
After a natural, non-medicated delivery, I was rushed into the ER. My Doula, who was conveniently my Sister, shown a face of fear I had never seen. Through the trauma and life experiences we had faced independently and collectively in our early lives, I had never seen her so scared than in those fleeting moments.
After a very long and grueling recovery both physically and mentally, my specialists warned me that subsequent pregnancies could lead to identical complications. There was a 30% chance. Suddenly I became a new statistic.
I fell pregnant with my second child a year after my first was born. I knew there was a risk. Though hopeful that medications, birthing positions and delivering the child in a hospital could assist, I had then experienced an anxiety during pregnancy I had not with my first.
While connecting with mothers who experience complications during their pregnancies and deliveries, I realize there’s a common thread that we all face. Though all complications differ in severity, we all experience fear. It’s a fear that’s unlike any other. It’s one where, though we’re informed of the statistics and know what the outcomes may look like, we are able to tap into our bodies and our hearts and do our very best to make educated decisions on what we can do to better our lives. Both our own and our child’s.
When we are faced with the harsh realities that our specialists throw upon us, we sometimes want to deny the numbers. Other times we sink into a depressive state accepting our fate and taking as many precautions as possible.
But no matter what we’ve been told, every single delivery and every single child will be different. Though we face the scares and the downfalls compared to ‘healthy’ deliveries and/or babies, we are granted a new strength that others may not experience; at least when it comes to the unplanned humps in our early parenting journey.
Do not fear the statistic. Do not focus on what could happen. I know this is easier said than done; however, you deserve the power that this experience is allowing you to grasp. It’s a power that no one is able to take away. It’s a power that only you can tap into, embrace and apply into your new life as Mother.
You are not the statistic. You are a Warrior. And you, as many other parents out there experience, are facing something so unique that only you truly understand. But, there is that power that comes out of it. Find it. Embrace it. Release it when it’s needed.
Because whether this experience is perceived as traumatic or not, it’s an experience that will undoubtedly change you.
You are deserving of its positive power and are capable of discovering it. All you must do is lean into it.
And perceive it as the good it truly is.
Words by Julian Jamie
Photographed by Samantha Heather