Birth/Rebirth: AFTER

After

 

After becoming impatient at the GYN, so I went out and listened at her door

After I overheard her speak of a diagnosis, and thinking, “Wow. Glad that isn’t me!”

After finding out that it was me

After being told words like hermaphrodite and transsexual

After being told I might be male; and wondering if I was male. And gay.

After being told my chromosomes were female, but I could choose

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Birth/Rebirth: The Emotional Anatomy of a C-Section

DSC02265My sister-in-law has a wonderful story about the birth of her first child. “I feel complete,” she told me. “My body has now done everything it’s supposed to do.” Every time I’ve heard her tell it, she’s been giddy. She speaks of the wonder of a woman’s body, the physical instincts that take over during labor, the miracle of actually pushing a child into the world.

Three children later, I am still jealous.

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Birth/Rebirth: How I Chose to be a Surrogate

Guest post by Jen Holt

Jen lives in Utah with her husband and 4 children

(note: with Gestational Surrogacy, the egg of the mother is donated by the IP’s, or an egg donor. Traditional surrogacy uses the surrogate mother’s egg. However, traditional surrogacy is exceptionally uncommon as a result of advancements in fertility treatment, plus, it is considered unduly problematic and controversial because of genetic attachment to the surrogate. For any kind of surrogacy, IVF is used to retrieved the egg, create an embryo, and also to prepare and transfer to the surrogate’s womb, i.e. both the egg donor and surrogate need to participate in the IVF process in gestational surrogacy, and both women are usually required to be on the same cycle, which means both women take birth control pills in order to prepare for IVF.)

Twelve years ago my aunt was struggling with infertility. It was heartbreaking for me to see her suffer a loss with an ectopic pregnancy then having many failed IVF attempts after that. I offered to donate my eggs or carry for her because I felt so strongly that she was a mother. That was the plan until she ended up getting pregnant on her fifth IVF attempt. She now has healthy quadruplets. Still, I began to dream of helping another family.

Photo of Jen Holt's belly by Erin Gadd, Pink Daffodil Photography

Photo of Jen Holt’s belly by Erin Gadd, Pink Daffodil Photography

I already had a son from a previous relationship when I started to date my husband. I met him at the time my aunt was going through her infertility treatments. On our second date I mentioned I would be a gestational surrogate one day. We hadnʼt even talked about our future at that point. I sometimes wonder why he asked me out again. But he did. After we married and I had three non-complicated pregnancies, our family felt complete. I no longer had the desire to have another baby of my own but the feeling of “pregnancy hunger” never went away. I knew that my ability to get pregnant and having easy pregnancies was not for me— it was for another family or families. I started to tell everyone I wanted to carry for someone else, but I had a powerful urge to move forward was when my baby girl turned a year old in 2010.

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Birth/Rebirth: Birth and Rebirth through Divorce

Guest Post By Erin

From what I remember, (it has been almost 8 years since I pushed another life out of my body) birth is painful, messy, exhausting, and frightening. I can understand why Nicodemus might have been a little incredulous when he was questioning the need to be reborn, i.e. “You want me to do what???” However, there are times in life when a rebirth is absolutely necessary. Not because we weren’t right when we started, but because we have strayed from the person we were meant to be when we began.

Over the course of our marriage, my husband had taught me that I wasn’t enough. I couldn’t do much to please him, no matter how I tried. I logically knew that all the things wrong with our relationship weren’t my fault in total, but in order to maintain peace, I did the apologizing, I accommodated to his needs and wants, I did my best to change my verErin Guest Posty essence in order to please him through fourteen years of marriage. I was committed to my covenants and would have given up more if I could to protect my children from the spectre of divorce.

In September of 2012, my husband told me he couldn’t “do this” anymore and walked out the door leaving behind a well prepared letter of how visitation and child support and division of property and debts would proceed. I was dumbfounded, to say the least. A week before we had been making detailed lists of all the things we should plan to buy for birthdays and Christmases to prepare for a family goal of section hiking the Appalachian Trail over the next 7 years. His leaving came out of nowhere. Thankfully, the Spirit whispered, “Let him go, he knows what he is leaving and he is still making this choice. You will be okay.”

This wasn’t the rebirth, this was the conception what would be the birth of my new life.

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Birth/Rebirth: Welcome baby, you are home.

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One of the first times someone asked me to recount my daughter’s birth, I started to speak, and then without meaning to, I started to weep. It was difficult to remember something that was so tender to live.

The contractions started on a Thursday afternoon, when the only thing I wanted was to take a nap. I lay in my bed with my eyes closed. One surge came, and then another, every ten minutes. Each lasted approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds. I could feel them grow. They became easier to manage if I stood or walked. At their end, I would climb back into my bed. I called my husband, Spencer, after about two hours of this. He was at work. I asked him to come home soon–though not necessarily immediately–and to please pick up grapes on the way. However, the next contraction was so forceful that it made me throw up. I called him back and said, “Actually I need you to come home right now.”

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Birth/Rebirth: A Precipitous Birth Story

henry

Henry Lee Raynes Matthews, 3/30/2013, 8 lbs 12 oz

I am an unapologetic lover of birth stories. I love hearing them and I love sharing my own. I have four children and I have written many times about the aspects of three of those births. My last child was born nine months ago and I have yet to write anything about it. In fact, I am not sure I ever would have unless Spunky asked me to tell the story for this series. Birth stories can be painful; they can trigger traumatic memories, insecurity about our bodies, and sadness over the loss of a child or not having children. These are all valid feelings and I want to apologize if my story causes these emotions for any of you.

It has taken me months to sort through my feelings about my last birth. It was a difficult pregnancy. I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies and had controlled it through diet, exercise and medication. It was discovered, in the last pregnancy that I would ever have, that the diagnosis had been wrong and that I am actually a Type 1 diabetic who, hopefully, only exhibits symptoms in pregnancy. It was a hard diagnosis to receive, my mother is a Type 1 diabetic and her disease had a profound impact on my childhood. If I had been properly diagnosed in previous pregnancies I would have known that each successive pregnancy increased my risk of remaining a Type 1 diabetic, a reality that probably would have affected my decision to have more children. 

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