So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

This is probably one of my favorite photos ever.

Of course, it’s my sister.

But it’s so much more than that.

At that very moment, they’d unstrapped everything.

There were no alarms going off for finished fluids.
No heartbeat monitors, oxygen monitors.

The computer screen went black.

They started washing her down in a sponge bath.
Prepping her for her baby.

I think one of the scariest things about C-sections is the loss of control.

In your mind, you’ll control all of it.
Push when you’re ready.
Stop when you need to.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Push again.

But in a C-section, you hand all of that over.
To your doctor, of course.
But also to a staff, people you don’t even know and won’t ever meet.

You’ll leave your dim and cozy room for one lit up, brighter than the makeup aisles in Target.

It’s freezing here.
And noisy.
Your body is center stage.
But you can’t see a thing.

RELATED: Dear C-section Mama, You Are a Warrior

And while you’re laying there, terrified. . .
They’ll talk about their days.
They’ll play their own music.
As if you’re not even there.
This is just another day.
Another surgery quickly added on a schedule somewhere.

And while you lay there, with your arms stretched out beside you, they’ll tell your spouse where they can sit and how far they’re allowed to move.

It’s a procedure now and the rules are much stricter in here.

The nurse anesthetist checked her own Facebook on her phone while simultaneously watching your vitals. . . . all the while, rubbing her own very pregnant belly.

Often, they’ll allow someone else to hold your baby before you do.
Another major difference.

A surgery means checked vitals, length, weight, the first swaddle, and a quick diaper before you’ll get him.

But then, finally . . .

The pass-off to you.

Though you can’t hold him, as your arms are secured.

It’s this wonderful, amazing, yet tragic moment . . . all at once.

It’s less about you and more about a process.

It’s less a birth and more a procedure.

And I hate that.

RELATED: Having a C-section Wasn’t in My Plan

I really, really hate that, for those of us who’ve longed to birth babies since we were little kids.
And though I hated it when it happened to me 12 years ago . . . I hated that even more for her.
My sister.

This isn’t to bash C-sections or hospitals or physicians or staff.

They can be life-saving procedures.
Life-changing people just doing their jobs.
And I get it.

C-sections are welcome medical advances to so many . . . for so many.

The advantages, “they” say, are outstanding.
Those are the moms, the medical professionals, who quiet us. . .

Who tell us we’re lucky.
We’re alive.
And so are our babies.
To get over it.
That it doesn’t matter.

But this isn’t to those people.
This is to us.

Who instead feel so defeated in what should be a moment of triumph.

It’s all over her face.
Right here.
A small loss, but a very personal one.

A war, to us, all its own.

RELATED: To My Fellow C-section Mamas

You’re defeated by your own body.

By your doctor.
By the staff.
Everyone and everything.

You want a baby so badly.
That’s why you’re here, after all.
And they’ll get you one, they say.
Certainly.

But not without taking from you first, an experience.
The birthing experience.
And the only one that you’d ever had in mind.

You didn’t see it going this way.
And most don’t.

But you’re told in those last few minutes it’s the end of the road for what “you” can do here.

They know better than you do.
They’re well trained and they’ve all seen it all.

“Just be happy with a healthy baby.”
It feels as if they’re shouting in their quiet, yet over-assuring voices.

You don’t want to believe them.
But what can you do?!?!

Absolutely.

Nothing.

And that is, without a doubt, the worst part of it all.

So you lay back as you hand all of that control over to everyone else.

And it’s hard.
It is so very hard.

And painful.
Emotional.

And it takes a tough kind of momma to lay there and hand that kind of responsibility over. 

RELATED: To the Mom With the Traumatic Birth Experience

But, as promised, once he’s here it’s less about the process.
The procedures.
The music choices.

And it’s back to how it should be.
How it should have been all along.
It’s all about the baby.
And you.

The story ends so much happier, thankfully.
But there is still a story, in the struggle.

And I won’t be silenced by those, who can’t understand it.
It’s OK if you don’t feel this way, but we are allowed to.

Every part of me wants to reach back into this photo . . . in that dark moment . . .
and wipe her eyes.

I’ve been there, I whisper to myself, hoping her heart hears it.

But as I watch the tears fall down her cheeks onto her soiled bed, where she’d labored the entire day through . . . 

I know nothing in this world could change the way she’s feeling . . .
Though every part of me, deep down, knows that finally, thankfully, all really is OK.
It’s all going to be OK.

And now that he’s safely here, she knows that, too.

All C-section mommas do.

Cheers to those warriors, to those mommas who’ve done or will do the very same.

This photo, moments before she turned into a (first-time)
scared-to-death mom.

What a great one she will be.
So proud of you, baby sis.

Always.

This post originally appeared on Jordan Burch Photography

 

Jordan Burch

From dressing up girlfriends and snapping their pictures to documenting life’s most precious moments, Jordan Burch has turned her preteen hobby into a passionate pursuit of truth and beauty. In 2009, at the suggestion of her sister-in-law, Jordan decided to take the leap from amateur to professional photographer, and in the process, developed her unique gift for capturing the heart of her clients through her lens. While her photographic talent has taken her across the country to shoot destination weddings in amazing locales and ship christenings for the United States Navy, her most recognizable clients are brides-to-be, military wives, families, newborns and more all along the Gulf Coast. What makes Jordan’s work unique? As a wife and mother herself, Jordan understands all too well the common concerns of her clientele. Whether it’s a mom feeling a bit un-photogenic; a photo shoot-fearing dad; or children acting like … well, children, Jordan aims to make her clients feel at home. Her joy comes from showing their beauty through snapshots of moments where real life and love are on display. From weddings and family shoots to boudoirs, births and end of life shoots, Jordan and her camera share the most joyous, intimate and special times in her clients’ life. The photos serve as a storyteller, a forever memento of life’s journey. And, as for those concerns her clients come to their shoot with, she always has a few tricks up her sleeve.

I Love Having a Friend With a New Baby

In: Baby, Friendship, Motherhood
Woman snuggling newborn baby

To my sweet friend with a newborn, Thank you. This stage you’re in is the sweetest, most innocent, and challenging time. The exhaustion and love are overwhelming I know—I feel like I was just there yesterday with my own kids. Only, it wasn’t yesterday. Even though I can close my eyes and remember those precious moments with my own newborns, it feels so far in the past. I love the age my kids are now, but I’m telling you, there’s something magical about those first few weeks of life. When your baby scrunches their body into a ball when you...

Keep Reading

Trying To Conceive Almost Ruined Our Marriage

In: Baby, Marriage, Motherhood
Man and woman back to back on bed

“I know it’s not true, but I feel like you don’t love me anymore.” My husband’s words caused me to freeze in my tracks. I had been on my way out the door, but as soon as those words were uttered, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. The words hung in the air, and I held my breath, mind racing. What could I possibly say to that? I slowly turned around, silently waiting for my husband to continue. Which he did. “I feel like you don’t want to have sex with me anymore.” I cringed internally. Clearly, I wasn’t the...

Keep Reading

Donating Breastmilk Helped My Heart Heal

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with packaged breastmilk, color photo

Dear grieving mama, You know when you lose a baby everything changes, but your body moves forward like nothing happened. It carried that tiny baby long enough to trigger a complicated hormonal cocktail that causes your milk to come in so that little life can continue to grow outside you. But your baby is separated from you in a way nature never intended. There will be no baby snuggles. There won’t be a sleepy, smiley, milk-drunk face looking up at you. But your body doesn’t know that, so your breasts swell and keep swelling with milk that has nowhere to...

Keep Reading

Colic Can Make a Good Mom Feel Like a Failure

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding crying baby

“Let me try.” A stranger. A complete stranger. I allowed a stranger to hold you. It has been weeks, and you’re still crying every evening around the same time for the same amount of time. The doctor told me it’s just colic and that it’ll pass, but his nonchalant reaction is in utter opposition to how I feel, to how you obviously feel. Colic is devastating. And no matter how many times people tell you the baby is OK . . . when you watch your baby cry that much, you know they can’t be. I tried to take you...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Will Challenge Every Inch of You—but You Are Strong

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mom holding new baby

Dear momma, Although it may not feel like it now, you will become stronger each and every day. Your feelings of hopelessness and sadness will be a distant memory. I promise you will get better, and you will be happy again. It is OK that you don’t know anything, your baby will forgive you. Your feelings of guilt have no merit. You will question everything. Keep asking those questions but trust your gut too. It will lead you in the right direction.  You are doing enough. You are enough.  RELATED: Dear Mom, Your Best Is Enough Do not wish the...

Keep Reading

Going from One to Two Kids Was So Much Harder than I Expected

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Family of four

I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  And boy, DID. I. NOT. KNOW.  But, I really thought I did!  I really thought that waiting until our daughter was three before adding another child would make the transition easy. She will be more independent then, I reasoned. Also, fully potty-trained (HA!), enrolled in school, and interested in some things besides just Mommy. Plus, I’ve done this newborn thing before! How hard could it be? Bless that naive spirit. Because those optimistic expectations sure didn’t match my reality. I was firmly set on breastfeeding. So after our second baby came home, the nightly wakings...

Keep Reading

Just Wait Until You Realize Every Hard Moment Is Worth It

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman kissing baby

Every new parent has heard it before—all those “just wait until . . .” comments. Just wait until you have to wake up every two hours, then you’ll really know what it means to be tired.  Just wait until your baby cries like mad, then you’ll really know what patience is.  You just wait until you find out what it truly means to be busy, then you’ll laugh at what you used to think of as busy days.  But you know what I say? Yes, the newborn stage can be difficult, but oh, how those precious moments wipe the difficultness away.  See,...

Keep Reading

I Would Relive Every Moment of Sorrow Just To Hold You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, black-and-white photo

As I sat there rocking my child to sleep, I caught my mind wandering to the past. Not my recent past but my before . . . Before my son was born. Before my stressful pregnancy. Before my positive pregnancy test. Before . . . when I was praying every day for a miracle—six years back. Infertility is a messy journey that few (and many at the same time) are chosen to take. It’s lonely and heartbreaking and dark and will make you hate yourself at times. You feel helplessness and anger and despair. RELATED: This is Infertility Your relationships...

Keep Reading

When a Rainbow Baby Meets Mama

In: Baby, Loss, Motherhood
newborn baby on mother's chest

This week, one year ago, was one of the most difficult weeks of my life. Fast forward to exactly one year later, and here I am cuddling you, my sweet boy. I never truly understood what “rainbow baby” was all about, but I get it now. Sure, I knew what it meant and what it represented. I had read the articles and heard the stories. I had seen the meaningful images and understood the definition. But I never truly and deeply knew what happens when a rainbow baby meets their mama . . . until you. When a rainbow baby...

Keep Reading

How Do You Know it’s Really the Last Baby?

In: Baby, Motherhood
Selfie of pregnant woman standing next to child, color photo

I love being pregnant. I love everything about it. I am, however, one of the lucky ones who has been blessed with stress-free pregnancies. I get the typical morning sickness in the first trimester and the utter exhaustion in the third trimester, but other than that, it’s just pure enjoyment. I know not everyone has that experience, some have horrific pregnancies, but for me they have all been relatively easy. Trust me, I do know how fortunate I am. I’m currently pregnant with my fourth child. The little man is due this summer. From the very beginning when I first...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.

Mother Holding Baby

5 Secrets

for New Moms

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Encouragement for the newborn stage