Owen’s Birth

April 27, 2017

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Did you write out your birth story? How long did you wait to put your memories to paper? I just reread mine and it was honestly painful to read. It read more like a police report rather than a story, which I think is only natural when you share your story three weeks after giving birth. At that point things are still so fresh, you’re sleep deprived and you haven’t had time to process exactly what happened. You’re so focused on the details of the day that you’re unaware of the big picture and what it really meant to give birth. I remember at the time thinking that I needed to share these details, that these things weren’t talked about enough and that I had to warn future mothers and my future self of what real birth was all about. I was nervous that if I waited too long to share my experience that I would look at it with rose colored glasses and that certain things would get skipped over. Well, here I am a year and a half later giving my birth story a second chance, rose colored glasses or not.

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Owen made his way into the world eight days late, after fourteen hours of labor. Like all births, there was pain, but more than that there was an array of emotion that I didn’t necessarily anticipate. There were moments of fear, joy, sadness, anticipation, anger and trust. As Owen breathed his first breath I was unaware of exactly what his birth had meant and what it would mean to me today. I can recognize that the meaning of his birth will continue to evolve as time moves along, but in this moment I can say with confidence that Owen’s birth has been the defining moment of my life. The transition from strictly taking care of myself to being responsible for another human being seems like a cold way to put it, but at it’s root that’s the dramatic shift of parenthood if you ask me. That’s where everything changes and it changes in an instant.

Everyone that tells you that nothing can prepare you for the love you will feel, and this is one hundred and fifty percent true, but it’s also impossible to fully prepare yourself to put someone before you in what feels like the flip of a switch (regardless of how long your labor is). Owen’s birth was the birth of motherhood for me. We entered the world at the same second and it has honestly been even more beautiful than I ever imagined. My mother in law has always noted that Zack’s birthday is her motherhood birthday of sorts and I never understood that until I became a mother. Your first child shares this birthday with you in a way. That’s not to say that with each child you have that their birthdays somehow mean less to you, but becoming a mother happens in an instant and it just happens to be the instant your first baby is born.

That instant is something I’ll never forget. Despite the pain and the vast range of emotions experienced through labor, the moment I heard Owen cry and saw his sweet face it was all worth it. Every pregnancy pain and discomfort, every overwhelmingly emotional day, every feeling of self-consciousness as your body grows and changes – every challenge is worth it. And the same applies today. Pregnancy and labor are each their own experience that help you prepare for birth and motherhood. There are constant sacrifices and unknowns and struggles and moments of joy and that is motherhood. And that is birth. You can’t control it (no matter how hard you try).

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Photography by Amy Frances.

Suit by Raising Wild.

Leave a Comment

  • That pregnancy and labor are just preparation of sorts for the unending, but love-filled sacrifices of motherhood.. that’s well put. Thank you! My first born boy just turned one yesterday so this post is serving as reminder to honor the birth of me as a mother and all those beautiful, would-do-them-again-in-a-heartbeat sacrifices.

    • Awh, happy belated birthday to your son and happy one year of motherhood! So happy this could serve as a reminder. <3

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