Let me rewind a bit. I actually became a parent four and a half years ago with the birth of our son, Christian. The invitation from his birth mother to be present for his birth was incredibly humbling. She was absolutely heroic, and I fell in love with Christian (even more, since I had loved him without knowing him for years) the moment I laid eyes on him. I had no problem telling biological parents that I felt EXACTLY the same as they did about their children.
Twelve months later, and I am pregnant. A miracle, to be sure. I feel I am doing everything right to plan for a beautiful home birth. And I am secretly pleased that I DO feel the same love for this baby as I do for Christian.
But then something happens. An emergency c-section. I barely get a glimpse of Ivan before he is whisked away to the NICU. I spend nearly three weeks trekking to and from the hospital, pumping precious breastmilk to keep my little guy fed. Exhausting. Frustrating. Disappointing, like I failed somehow. And defeated. I had pictured our meeting so serene, so gentle, and instead he was literally cut out of me under flourescent lights. Our mojo was off, so to speak. I didn't know this little person the way I wanted to, and when we brought him home I felt I had to work doubly hard to make a connection. Not that I didn't love him. I did. I do. Like a Mama Lion. And I was so PROUD of how he came through when the doctors doubted. But what stands out the most is that I had to find a whole new way to connect with him. (Five weeks later, when he finally breastfed, this connection was brilliant.)
So back to the fireworks - baby #3. When I went into labor with Leo, I never felt alone. It was me and the baby, working this thing together. I'd squeeze a little, he'd push a little. My body relaxed around him, and I worked on finding different positions to coax him into the world (nevermind that lying on my side was both our favorite position). And I WORKED. This work reminded me I was transitioning from pregnancy to motherhood. It reminded me my body had grown this baby, my body would birth this baby, and my body would be strong enough to care for him after birth as well.
I think every mother needs this kind of positive reinforcement. And THAT is why I have become a Birth Boot Camp instructor. Birth Boot Camp is a ten-week course that gives you the EDUCATION you need to have an amazing birth. I went into none (read: zero) of my births just wingin' it. I read, I practiced, I worked over and over with my husband as to what our great birth experience would look like.
And it when it all came together - amazing. Out of the park, touch 'em all, y'all. So I may be new to birth, and only the second Birth Boot Camp instructor in the greater Austin area - but I know good when I see it. For me, third time's the charm, and I hope it's even sooner for you.