Towards Joy

Hugo’s six month birthday was a day of mixed emotions for me.   6 months has passed since I delivered a baby while asleep while many people met and held Hugo before I even knew I had a son.  Of course I look at him and am thankful for how beautiful he is but it’s hard to reconcile his birth with the joy I should have felt.

A couple of months ago the sermon at church was about Joy.  The minister used the birth of his first child to describe his wife’s joy at the moment of meeting her daughter. It really struck a cord with me and helped me to acknowledge how much joy I had missed out on with the births of Eva and Hugo.

Although I am incredibly grateful for the good health and safe arrival of both of them I feel saddened that the joy was stripped from such a special moment in life.  I felt joy the first time I held both of them which sadly wasn’t the day that they were born.

I barely had faith to think that Eva would survive outside of me but I knew that I should celebrate her arrival. I remember being pleased to phone my mum to announce her arrival but I don’t think that there was any joy. All my dreams of birth were shattered.

From 11 weeks into my pregnancy with Hugo I knew there was a possibility of a caesarean delivery.  I prayed that this would not be the case and did all the research I could into peaceful caesarean options if I was faced with this outcome.  I was lucky to avoid surgery with Eva, it was something that I was very firm about at the time of her birth.

I knew that Hugo would be robust and be fighting fit but the sadness that I have about giving birth by emergency caesarean section may never go away.  Every bath for his first two months he screamed when he was removed from the water.  All I could imagine every time was his shock at being pulled by forceps from my womb into a cold harsh operating theatre without his mama to comfort him.

Andrew and I didn’t get to share the moment of finding out that we had a son.

It was the safest delivery option but the saddest for Hugo and I.  My scar makes me shudder not because it is ugly per say but because of what it represents.  Perhaps had I been awake or had it been an elective caesarean these feelings may not have been so strong.

Given that I’m obviously not very good at the pregnancy thing there will be no more babies growing inside me.  Thus I will never have the birth that I dreamed of.  I guess I will have to live vicariously through others who are blessed with a smoother run.

I’m working towards joy by seeing a psychologist for some counseling. My lovely Maternal and Child Health Nurse offered me this free service so how could I say no.  Of course this gives me the opportunity to work through the effects of Eva’s birth as well as Hugo’s.

Recently with the birth of the very amazing Charlotte I  am reminded how blessed we are to have a very strong willed daughter who despite the joy being missing from her birth is able to find the joy in little things everyday.

Although Hugo’s arrival six months ago wasn’t how I envisaged it he is a joy for me.  The moments where his face lights up when he sees me remind me of the joy that I am able to find in the everyday moments with him.

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