Well, SHE is here! Gianna Maria was born on July 18, 2007 at 1:30 AM.
My peaceful, natural birth center birth turned into an ambulance ride to a hospital in the state's capital after 18 hours of labor and more than five hours of pushing. The C-section that followed was something that we chose after all options were used up. Lesson one in motherhood, I suppose- plans often just do not pan out.
Am I sad that, instead of photos of Gianna being peacefully birthed in the birthing tubs, we have a few photos of me immediately post-op? Even sadder that the hands that guided her into our world weren't mine or her fathers, but of two eager surgical residents? Definitely. I have a five inch long angry purple grimace slashed across my lower abdomen that will fade to white in time, but never go away. I still hear the sounds of the retractors cranking my body open, and smell the surgical smells, and feel my body being thumped about while they crammed my organs back in after Gianna was born. I still feel guilty that the "What if" thoughts keep going through my mind- even if my little girl decided to tilt her head to the side at the last minute, preventing her from exiting the way we had hoped. Guiltier that we have a healthy, beautiful, clever little girl who grows by leaps and bounds, and I still have this sadness. I should be grateful, right?
Another C-section mama very aptly told me that an unplanned C-section and a healthy baby are sort of like finding out you've won the lottery while watching your house burn to the ground. Well put. I love my girl, and am happy she's safe and here, but frankly, people were touching my guts. While I look forward to a glorious VBAC with my next child someday, I still feel invaded and bruised. We made the choice we had to make- the tough one. Motherhood lesson- the tough, crappy decision that sucks sometimes is the best one to make. It's still okay to be sad about the crap part of it. It doesn't take away any of the joy or beauty or thankfulness for the new life.
A provincial turn of events- two weeks after Gianna was born, her dad found this, which helped me tremendously. I have never really been big into the saints, but this was a comfort. A bit scary, as in "How the heck does life have these sorts of coincidences?" but still a comfort.
Gianna is now six weeks old- she's about ten lbs, 23 inches long, and has such cute chubby cheeks! Breastmilk is pure magic. She smiles and is starting to make noises when she sees us. Pooping requires lots of grunting and drama, which never fails to bring her dad to hysterical laughter.
We're completely in love.