She's here, it doesn't matter how
As you sit there with her in your arms replaying the countless, beautiful natural births you sat and viewed during what became a borderline obsessive pregnancy pastime – take a look down. As your mind wonders why and your heart aches for something that wasn’t meant to be, lose yourself in those eyes. As the guilt ascends and the thought that ‘failing’ to birth her must just be the start of failing full stop, fall deeper into those sparkling blues, for they are looking at you with love – you’re her mama, and boy, does she love you.
It just wasn’t meant to be. No one can explain why, but your body is built differently.
You lost her first hours, that’s what you’re struggling with and you’ll always hold that inside. The doctors rushing in, those reassuring faces turning to worry. More people. The comforting sound of her heartbeat being ripped away. The form that's flashed in front of you to sign. His face - a reassuring smile foiled by the sheer fear in his eyes. The sound of your own voice desperately asking the ceiling "is it too late?" as you feel your body being wheeled away to the percussion of rushed footsteps. All the faces staring down at you as 10.9.8 turns into darkness. This will all stay with you. But, I promise you, you will think about it less and less as time goes by. There are so many moments to come that will fill your heart with pride.
You were strong, you were brave, you were committed. You did NOTHING wrong.
A warning, when friends catch up be prepared for your heart to sink. Conversations of ‘we’re women, we’re amazing, we pushed babies out of us’ will chime, they mean no harm in this. As you sit there silently wondering if 18 hours of labour allows you to be counted as amazing too, don’t let it get you down. Be strong. Don’t envy what has been and gone. Smile. She’s here, it doesn’t matter how.
If you’re still frightened that this experience (or lack of) will affect your bond, you only have to look into another set of eyes for answers. They are the same shade of blue, although slightly less shiny with marks of experience either side. Those eyes are home - your mama. Did having you by c-section mean she failed? Absolutely not. Her scar, the one you were so inquisitive about as a girl, the one you thought was a smile - now boldly sits on your own skin. As time goes on it will fade and so will these consuming feelings.
Seven years later, as you sit watching two beautiful, smiling, healthy daughters dance around a playroom created with love – you’ll realise it’s the now that matters and the future that fills your thoughts. The feeling of failure drifts further into insignificance year to year.
Today, those beautiful blue eyes of hers sparkle with joy, making your heart too consumed with love to be concerned with how she arrived.
Let it go.