Peace and Labor

By Shelly Webb

The Law of Relativity states: Your situation is not fundamentally good or bad until you compare it with something else.  This law is evident all around us on a daily basis.  For me there was a specific time when I was very disappointed with an event, and I became depressed about it before applying the Law of Relativity.  When I was newly married, my husband and I were excited for the arrival of our first child.  My husband wanted me to have a home birth because his mom had given birth to his youngest sibling that way, and she raved about the experience.  I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea, but I agreed to have a doula come with us to the hospital, and we prepared to have the birth as naturally as possible

When the day came for me to have the baby, it was late October, and I was three days overdue.  We went to the hospital in the middle of the night, and I ended up getting so cold I was shaking and shivering.  When we walked in, the first thing they did was take my blood pressure, and it was high.  It had never been high before, but I wasn’t surprised since I was shivering and freezing.  They decided to do more tests, and eventually the doctor came in and made a gesture with his hand across his abdomen and said, “C-section.”  He said my liver enzymes were up, and I had a dangerous condition that I could die from if I didn’t have the baby soon.  I was overdue and already in labor, so I asked him if he could induce me.  He said, “No, that could take all day.”  It happened to be a Friday, too, so I assumed he didn’t want to be delivering a baby that night.  I felt perfectly healthy, and it was hard for me to believe what they were telling me, but I went along with what he said, as I didn’t really have any other choice.  I threw up as they were doing the surgery, and it was a horrible experience.  My doctor also sewed my stomach up crookedly, and the recovery was miserable.  I thought I would never be normal again.  

I got very depressed after the birth, and I’m sure hormones had something to do with that, too.  I had the exact opposite of what I wanted in my birth and recovery experience.  There were so many emotions running wild, but it wasn’t until I focused on what was good and beautiful about my experience that I could feel peace.  I came home with a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  She has been one of the biggest joys of my life, and I knew even then that she would be.  I fell in love with her the moment I saw her on the ultrasound, months before she was born.  Do some people go to the hospital, have uneventful natural births, and go home to an easy recovery with a sweet healthy baby?  Yes, of course they do.  But there are also the people who have a horrible, painful birth experience and after it all, go home with not only a broken body, but empty arms, because their sweet little baby didn’t make it.  There’s always something better, and there is always something worse.  Focusing on the good in my situation has helped me stay positive and grateful in all circumstances.

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Shelly Webb
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