Unexpected joy.

by

My pregnancy, birth, and post-birth experiences were not what I wanted. I pictured a blissful giant bump and myself, skipping lightly through fields. I imagined an all natural vaginal birth. And I certainly anticipated carrying on breastfeeding for longer than I did.

But for all my hopes and wishes, here I am with two gorgeous babies who’ve just turned 11 months – and everything is good.

I was signed off sick from work at 19 weeks (and let’s be honest, prior to 19 weeks I was working half days or calling in sick due to the extreme vomit fest). This was the best thing that could have happened. I was given months and months of unbridled napping, eating, and resting. All my energy went towards growing my babies, and I do credit the months of rest and weight gain for going full term with two very healthy and singleton sized babies.

My birth? A planned c section, since both babies were breech. It was the best experience of my life. Our surgical and midwifery team (and the other 7000 people there) did everything possible to make us feel welcome, calm, and in control. I laughed so much during the birth. And afterwards I was able to focus on our babies while they did their business behind the curtain. Staff were there just to hold the second baby close to me while TMD held the first. My c section likely prevented me worse injury from my SPD as well.

And the breastfeeding? I loved it fiercely, but you know what? I like formula feeding. Go ahead – shoot me. I was physically unable to breastfeed (though remain hopeful that all the nursing in the first few weeks will help my nerves regenerate and I may be able to breastfeed any following babies!) and SO UPSET about switching to bottles. On reflection, I am grateful.

Bottle feeding allowed TMD to feed her children just as much as I did. Bottle feeding allowed us more rest. Bottle feeding has grown my children strong and healthy, and I no longer feel torn up inside about not breastfeeding.

Nothing turned out how I wanted it to, but now that I look back, I am happy everything happened the way it did. It has got me to this point: two little babies smiling at me, cramming wraps and apples in their mouths, playing peek-a-boo with each other almost constantly.

There are few things in life we can definitely control – particularly in regards to possible pregnancy or birth complications. But we can control our reactions to these things, and I choose gratitude. Again and again, I choose to be thankful for every step that led me to a peaceful place where I have forgiven my body for not letting me breastfeed, for breaking down under the strain of a multiple pregnancy.

How can I not?

I am blessed.

I sit here, carefully watching my children out of the corner of my eye. One on each side of a giant toy, swinging from side to side to peek at each other and boom with laughter. One running from the other who is giving gleeful chase. My lounge is cluttered with toys, my heart is crowded with love.

This is how it was supposed to happen. I was supposed to be this happy, and I am. I will not stop giving thanks for this life, for these children, for the possibility of more perfect moments that I did not plan or expect.

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7 Responses to “Unexpected joy.”

  1. Christine LaRocque Says:

    Oh my goodness! So lovely to read first thing on a Monday morning. I’m truly, truly happy for you. This is what it’s all about.

  2. Karen Says:

    I’m really thrilled for you. That’s a huge thing when your expectations don’t march up with reality. The same thing happened to me (for different reasons) but the result was the same. My little guy was formula fed. It’s hard to believe we have so much trouble forgiving our bodies for not working the way they “should” when it’s so beyond our control. Good for you for getting there!

  3. Nat Says:

    I love Karen’s reply. Very true. I have a physical problem with my breast which meant that I couldn’t breast feed. To say it was a decision gives me more choice in the matter than I really had. The Boy needed to be bottle fed. In the end it turned out well, like you said, there are many many advantages to bottle feeding. And The Man got increased snuggle time when The Boy was a babe. (He’s 9.) We’re hard on these old bods of ours…

    great post. Thanks for this.

  4. Jenni Williams Says:

    I think having twins gave you mommy super powers. You have the kind of clarity that it takes some of us 3 or 4 tries to find.
    Gorgeous post.

  5. Natasha Says:

    Thank you for this. I do struggle with feelings of guilt and sometimes hatred about my body. I constantly beat myself up for the fact I went into labour early, and that my placenta detatched after the birth of Sophie-Rose meaning that I had to have an emergency cesarean, missing the birth of my daughter Grace (as I had to have a general anaesthetic).

    But you are so, so right that in the long run, the thing to feel is NOT guilt or hatred, but thanks for being here, being healthy, being loved and loving, and most of all, thankful for three beautiful, healthy and HAPPY babies. I am so blessed, and it would be good to be even more grateful for all that I have been given, and all that I achieve.

    How can I regret my birth when it brought about the beautiful babies that I have now? It was far from ideal at the time, but the overall result is that I now have two healthy 7 month old baby girls, which is so much to be thankful and happy for.

    Thank you for opening up my eyes a little. x

  6. Megs Says:

    Most excellent blog. Warm fuzzies :o) I feel like I have learned a lot about parenting through you and a couple other blogs, before I even become one!

  7. Katie B. Says:

    This just made me so happy to read. So happy, in fact, that I had to reflect my happiness to you.

    You are a fabulous mama!

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