A Letter to My Daughter: The Story of Your Birth
Dear Talia Hadassah,
A year ago today, your Daddy and I began the journey to welcome you into this world. In the days and weeks right after you were born, I wrote down every single thing I could remember about the three day experience – who I talked to, how I felt, and all the tiny details in between. It’s a REALLY long story, so I’ll save it for when you are older and just take this moment to touch on how your birth changed my life.
Your brother was born by cesarean just 20 months before you arrived. I knew, at the moment of his birth, that I wanted a different experience for my next baby. I spent my entire pregnancy with you working hard to make sure that you had the best chance for a quick and easy birth. And although it took several days to get to your actual birthing time, your birth was indeed quick and easy.
You were estimated to be born around May 9, but as always, you do things on your own terms and were happy to stay put a little longer. On the evening of Wednesday, May 11, my water broke. Your Daddy and I had done this before, so we didn’t panic or rush off to the hospital like you see in the movies. Instead, we simply called your Mema & Opa to tell them to come from Florida to be with your brother, and we went to sleep. Well, your Daddy slept, but I was just too excited! The next afternoon your grandparents arrived and Daddy and I went to visit an acupuncturist who put lots of tiny little needles into my legs, back, and even ears to try to help you come out. Don’t worry, it didn’t hurt at all! This worked for a little while, but in the end you decided that you were still more comfortable staying inside of me for a bit longer.
That night, we called our midwives at Intown Midwifery and spoke to Anjli. I was very happy that she was the midwife on call and I became even more relaxed than I already was. She offered to let us come to the hospital to encourage you to come out, but Daddy and I knew you weren’t quite ready yet and we decided to stay home and give you more time to get used to the idea.
The next morning, May 12th, we went to see Dr. Bootstaylor to make sure that you were doing okay still resting in my belly. Just as the spunky little girl you are, you gave the tech your opinion of the monitor I was wearing with a good swift kick! Since you didn’t want to cooperate, we decided to take a peak into your little world and see how you were doing. After you got a clean bill of health, we went over to the midwives’ office to see Anjli. She wanted to test to see if your amniotic sac had really broken and to help your Daddy and me decide how else we could encourage you to come out. We decided that night we would go to the hospital and get a little medicine to help us.
We arrived to Atlanta Medical Center around 9 PM. We had to wait a little while to see Anjli because she was busy helping another mommy welcome her baby. Anjli came, checked me, and declared that you would be making your appearance soon. It seems both you and I were finally ready to see each other face to face! Just before midnight, Daddy and I were taken to the room where we would finally meet you. Our nurse came and gave mommy some medicine to help encourage you to come quickly. Our doulas, Nichole and Christine, arrived shortly after the medicine was started and they helped me work through this incredible experience. Even faster than we had hoped, you were soon ready to be born! At 5:29 AM, on Saturday, May 14, 2011 you were made your official entrance into the world by VBAC! I held you right away, and I was able to breastfeed you soon, too (when you finally decided you were ready)! It was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
Not only am I thankful that you were born healthy, strong, and beautiful, but I’m also thankful for the lessons that I learned from the privilege of giving birth to you. Most importantly, your birth showed me that I can trust my body again. It’s very sad, but I wasn’t able to believe in my ability to give birth until you came along. What a beautiful gift you gave me! As your Mommy, I promise to help you grow up loving and trusting your innate abilities as a woman.
As we get ready to celebrate the end of your first year of life, I continue to be amazed by you every day. Your personality that I got to know so well in my womb has grown and blossomed into a sweet and spunky little girl. I love watching you learn new things, and I look forward to even more in the coming year.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl!
* Birth images by Kim Holderfield of Simple Pleasure Photography
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