The two nurses who checked behind her agreed. Gathered closely together, the three of them clucked aloud: "Ear? Fingers? Toes?"
They called in my doctor, who checked with his hand, then with an ultrasound machine, before saying: "Baby's turned since your last ultrasound, and the presenting part is a foot. You'll need a c-section, and right away."
I'd never in my life had surgery of any kind, before, aside from the extraction of my wisdom teeth. I could write a separate post about my c-section experience, and perhaps I will. But I understand that--in this country, at least--30% of babies enter the world via c-section. What has seemed so uncommon, to me, is not uncommon, in general.
Still, I want to acknowledge: I've just experienced, in a very personal way, things I'd never seen or smelled off the farm. Also that I have a whole new respect for women who sign up for one c-section, let alone more than one.
Tonight will be my fourth spent in a delivery bed in which I didn't deliver. I've been discharged, but--except for when he's breastfeeding (every two hours)--Baby Chip needs to lie under a blue lamp. Tonight will be Jim's fourth on a sofa just to the left of the delivery bed; he looked up, just now, and said: "I feel like Snoopy on the roof of a doghouse." (Better to be on the roof of a doghouse, I say, than in the doghouse.)
We're beyond ready to go home and enjoy the family we've made in a hurry. Four pregnancies (one miscarriage) in just over four years, and we've pushed ourselves in other ways, too. I've written much of it out, but not all of it; some things just can't be blogged. Hemingway wrote, in A Farewell to Arms: "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places." But often, I think, we shouldn't blame the world; we break ourselves. Owning our decisions becomes the important thing.
I stood in front of a bathroom mirror, this morning, and studied my bloody, deeply bruised, crooked, dripping, sagging, stapled-back-together body, and--for the second time in my life--I had this conscious thought: my body and my soul look the same. It's a relief, actually, to reach that place: to know that anyone (in this case, my beloved) who sees me will see me as I actually am.
My husband looked at me with tears in his eyes, the other day, and said: "Thank you for the boy. I didn't know how very much I wanted him until now."
To which I replied: "It's ok. I knew."
And I would do it--all of it--again and again...in just the same way.