Tara in Soho, New York City

BABY JACQUI BORN 7 LB, 5 OZ

 

I loved being pregnant. For the most part, it was fairly uneventful. I enjoyed all the attention with very few of the side effects -- a constant need to urinate and swollen ankles.

 

Childbirth was another story. I was in labor for 15 hours, and the pitocin I'd been given to speed things along wasn't working. My daughter's head was turned to the side and she was having trouble getting through. Finally my contractions had slowed down so considerably that we just had to get the baby out. I never thought for a second that I would have a c-section. My doctor had responsibly mentioned this was always a possibility, but he didn't imagine it would be the case with me. I was such a low-maintenance patient, we figured the delivery would go the same way. After all, I'm young and healthy and have no history of health complications.

 

I knew it was the right thing to do, but I was really upset. I felt so cheated. I wanted the experience of finally pushing my baby out and holding her. Instead I was on a cold operating table. I could only see her for about 30 seconds before the nurse whisked her away. My husband, Ari, had to rush out with the baby and I was left alone on a table being sewn up. To make matters worse, I had some complications and lost a great deal of blood. I had to wait five hours before I could see the baby I had carried for nine months.

 

While I was thrilled to finally have my beautiful Jacqui, I was still angry. My recovery was long and I couldn't just jump in and immediately take care of her. Ari had to bring her to me. He was changing diapers and carrying her. I wanted to be doing that. I wanted so badly to be focusing on my baby and instead I had to worry about getting myself healthy.

 

I guess things don't always go as planned, especially where children are concerned. So far, Jacqui does nothing as scheduled. That's all part of the excitement. Her birth may not have been what I would have scripted for myself, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The baby that I now enjoy is so hugely important that the c-section has become a mere detail of our past. Seeing her smile, listening to her babble, or feeling the weight of her body when she falls asleep in my arms, is much bigger than any pain I may have gone through at her birth. The joy I experience through her is overwhelming. I feel so fortunate. It doesn't matter how Jacqui got here. She's here and I feel privileged to have brought her into the world.