My two pregnancies and deliveries have been the most humbling experiences in my life. Pregnancies are just a preparation to parenthood: you can do everything right, the kid will still decide how they’re going to live their life. My first was delivered vaginally against all odds. I was determined to have an unmedicated vaginal birth at all costs. I did hypnobirthing, practiced yoga until the very end, was followed by midwives… But she was breech, and it took two external versions attempts to flip her. Then, she was 2 weeks late and when labor finally started, my blood pressure sky-rocketed.
There is only so much you can control.
My second pregnancy was not nearly as complicated but was a bit of a surprise: I had enrolled into a yoga teacher training that I intended to complete, and we had planned to move the whole family (step kids included) across the country. And then COVID hit. I was 7 months pregnant, taking care of 3 kids full time in a new State, worried about what to do with my oldest baby when I would get into labor, and if my husband would be allowed in the delivery room… The day before Mother’s Day, I started bleeding. Partial placental abruption. I needed an emergency C-section. In complete shock, I begged them to induce me. There was no time. Georges was born 6 weeks early, 20 minutes later. My husband just made it back from dropping off Saskia, our toddler, at the neighbors with whom we had only chatted a few times.
All the work I did to avoid that C-section I dreaded so much actually did pay-off: Deep breathing helped for a successful and pain-free epidural and the continuous exercise allowed me back on my feet two days after the birth so I could go see my son at the NICU. Meditation and yoga have helped through the trauma and the guilt.
There is only so much you can control. Forgive yourself. You are the mother your children were destined to have.