Photo credit: Calgary-based Justine Milton Photography
Do you have a favourite baby stage? Right now, five months is my favourite stage. At this time, babies are interactive, giggly, generally more content with life, portable and still take quite a few naps. If you were to ask me how many kids I want right this very instant, I’d say 20 billion five month olds. They have me wrapped around their tiny little fingers.
Considering Amelie and I didn’t have the easiest start (you can read more about my c-section birth story here): she’s definitely captured my heart more than I ever imagined. I still have tough days questioning my birth story: could it have been more pleasant if those caring for me had made different decisions. But I’ve had to intentionally fight that doubt. When I ask that question, I get caught in a vicious, vicious cycle. In the end, I arrive at the same conclusion:
She is here now. She is here. Now, what will be her impact on this earth?
Her impact will be greater than her arrival.
I need to look at her life by starting with the answer, not the question itself: how has she, and how will she, impact this earth?
Today, her impact is relentless smiles. Fits of giggles. The wildest hair. Toes with a monkey-like ability to grab hold of anything including her sister’s hair. The sweetest coo and gurgle you ever did hear and the feistiest kick of joy you ever did see. A grin that could melt a heart of stone and exuberant zeal for anyone who gives her a tickle.
How could I not be over the moon?
Five months later, I still grieve. I’ve had to stop following birthing articles and posts for a time. But my grieving is slowly coming to a place of acceptance. I have to take a step back from judging others when I feel that their choices could end in an “avoidable” c-section. My heart has to be in check whenever the talk of birth arises. But I’m learning to see with eyes of grace on both myself and others with each conversation and with each heart check.
“Becoming a mother leaves all of us with scars. Some of them are emotional, some of them are physical. C-section mamas often have both. And yet their scars are powerful reminders of the strength and bravery they possessed when bringing their children into the world. These scars were the door their children passed through as they left one world for the next.” – Cord Mama
Five months later, I don’t fear giving birth. I’m not sure if we’ll have another baby, but if we don’t, its not because I’m afraid. I can’t believe how much time can heal. And love is an even greater healer than time.
Five months later, I already want to turn back the clock. My sweet Amelie is growing up too quickly. Rolling, teething, jabbering, grabbing, giggling. (Just stop it already – stop aging – I need a five month old forever!)
Yes. I wish we had an easier start, but I would’t want to change what we have now. I am her mother. And she, my sweet Amelie.
Tips for those grieving a birth experience:
- Take a break from reading birthing articles
- Find a support group
- Share you hurt with someone who will talk you out of the regret/lies cycle
- Snuggle your baby
Additional resources for C-Section Mamas: