The very first picture I have of Big E is rather gross. Since C was an emergency c-section (really emergency) we didn’t get the chance to take photos of her immediate birth, but with Big E we were slightly more prepared. We had hoped not to end up with another c-section, but it happened, and while we were disappointed, we were also relieved to meet him as soon as possible. They asked me if I wanted to watch the operation and I declined, but I did ask Tim to take some pictures so I could see what happened when I was ready to. This evening I found those pictures. The first photo of my sweet boy, he isn’t even completely out of my body yet. Multiple hands are crowding around as they are pulling him from the incision they made to remove him. His body is white and covered in splotches of blood. There is a hand propping up his head and another grabbing him by the shoulders. There’s a dark shadow over his face, but I can see that his eyes were closed and his mouth was open as if already crying.
The next photo has him placed on my legs, umbilical cord in full sight, my stomach gaping open. The cord looks to be wrapped around his ankle and the doctor appears to be guiding it around, while another set of hands gently holds him in place.
A few pictures later, and the doctor is holding him up to the camera. He looks slimy and his face is contorted in a scream, but in all honesty he looks perfect.
Childbirth is an incredibly messy, vulnerable, and somewhat terrifying experience, but with the most incredible and overwhelming results.
Growing up I always wanted to be a mom, but only in a way that I thought I should want to be a mom, as if that would be fulfilling some sort of checklist of things I should do as an adult. I had no idea the deep love that would be awoken the first time my own child was put into my arms. And as we have welcomed each child into our home, my capacity to love has only grown larger.
And Big E got the benefit of a mother no longer scared of motherhood. Nearly two years of experience had prepared me for him and nearly seven years have further taught me there is no greater journey than motherhood.
So happy birthday, dear sweet Big E! May you always be so kind and compassionate and may your generous heart be a blessing to all you meet. I love you. Your daddy loves you. And your heavenly Father above loves you as well. You are important. You are special. You are loved.