August 25, 2016
Written by Rachel Schrader
This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post Canada.
Labour hit me hard. The hospital was a blur. All I can remember is the intense labour pain and the nurses rushing in and out of my room, making split-second decisions that would determine whether or not I delivered a healthy baby.
Inside me, the baby I had longed for was also struggling. A severe drop in my baby’s heart rate left the doctors with only one choice – an emergency C-section. Before I knew it, I was being whisked down the hall to the operating room. Despite the chaos and pain, I’ll never forget the look of panic on one nurse’s face.
When the ordeal was over, I was the proud mother of a beautiful, healthy, baby girl who just happened to have the umbilical cord wrapped around her whole body at birth. Despite my overwhelming sense of relief and joy, my body was still reeling from her dramatic entry.
For whatever reason, shock or surgery itself, my entire body was shivering and shaking. I couldn’t calm down. Warm blankets, my husband’s loving touch, or even deep breathing didn’t help. I was beyond frustrated. At the very moment I was to begin the job of being a capable, strong mother, I had lost control of my own body.
But then something incredible happened. The nurses handed my new baby girl over to me for the first time, and in that moment, it was like someone had flicked a switch. Eliana was placed on me, her skin right next to mine, and it felt like everything in the world went instantly still — including my once-shaking body.