Posted on August 12, 2012
When Jonah came into this world I could not speak. When my husband sat beside me and as he stroked my hair and told me he loved me with tears in his eyes, I still could not speak. It wasn’t a reaction to any medication or because I had nothing to say but for some reason, at the time of my c-section as it all took place, I was completely numb and my words disappeared.
For a writer and a girl with a mouth like a pistol this was a very unexpected reaction. Now I’m not a follower of any religion or faith in particular, I might describe myself as a spiritual person if you catch me on the right day and I have either a beer or doobie in my hand (Haha?) but I swear, upon reflecting on my experience on the operating table I can only think one thing. God took my words away so that for once in my life I couldn’t speak before I experienced. A gift of silence bestowed upon me so I could witness a defining moment of my life without getting in my own way, something which has been a lifelong repeated mistake.
I stared into my husband’s eyes as the procedure began because for the first time in my life I think I was legitimately terrified of dying. I was aware of my body but I couldn’t move it, I wanted to breathe but it felt like there was an invisible something or someone crouching on my chest. So I stared at my husband’s beautiful eyes, as waves of nausea passed over me, thinking “If I die, he’ll be the last thing I see, the last thing, the only thing.” And, several times I thought, “I’m at peace.” Sure, it sounds melodramatic and maybe it is over the top to read as it hasn’t most likely happened to you, but I’m telling you from the second I walked into the operating room, I was the main character in my own personal horror flick. I’ve never felt fear or terror on that level before.
I never had time to consider a c-section because my entire pregnancy I told myself that wasn’t my route. Not my fate. Even as my labour induction began its decent and I knew in my heart it was going to fail I was telling myself I would have a natural labour, that this situation would turn itself around. But, as the hour grew late and then later still, and it was forty-eight hours since my water had broken, decisions had to be made and I decisively chose a caesarean. I was too far in to quit and fearful of a long labour made all the more painful from the induction and a voice in my heart told me this was best for baby. If my baby didn’t want to come out on his own then mommy would go in and get him, regardless of peril or pain. My first unselfish choice as a new mother. So Hubby and I said okay and to go ahead, and I was calm as I awaited my trip to the OR. It wasn’t until I was cold and laid out on the metal table getting my spinal that I thought, “Wait, I can’t do this.” but by then, by design I think, something had taken my voice.
Then he was here. In our world and it felt like he always should have been. I saw his face and I thought, “Hey, I know you.” I saw Hubby’s face and I thought “Thank you.” But to the best of my recollection all of this went unsaid. As they wheeled me out of the OR after I don’t know how much time (time doesn’t exist in the operating room) I finally expressed to J to give a message to my Father who stood feet from the door waiting for our return. “Tell my Dad, it is my lot in life to be surrounded by wonderful men.” In my head I couldn’t shake the faces of my granddad, my father, my brother, my husband and now Jonah. All my life I’ve had my mother as my best friend, but it became clear to me during Jonah’s arrival that it was the men in my life whom I revered. And now, I had made one. Another boy to grow up and follow in a line of great men.
Since August 4th 2012 at 2:47pm I’ve had many defining moments. More fodder for a blog than a person could shake a stick at, but of course things have changed. Writing, my first love has now been put on the shelf like one of your favourite books. There to be seen and remembered but rarely picked up. However, there will be things that need to be written and my experience having Jonah is one of them. It wasn`t a life changing moment like they all say. For me it was a life-making moment. My life stopped and started again as my son took his first breath. Everything that mattered before faded, the small things all but disappeared and what were left were the original elements that mattered.
Family, for now and forever.
And, for the record. I make the most beautiful babies.