The last few weeks have been the hardest and happiest of my life. I’ve been warned, “get ready to fall in love,” and I have to say, I’ve never been more in love with my husband than watching him change diapers at 3am, or helping me move my legs out of bed because of my separated hips, or watching him dance with our son in his arms. True grace is how my family and husband have supported my son and me this week. I love our little family so much. Welcome, little James Brenton DePriester.
Today on my YouTube channel I’m sharing my birth story alongside my mom, Jane, who was also my doula. Going into labor, I was scared and anxious on one side, but then over confident and naive on the other. I kept swinging between these two pendulums, because honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect. In movies it’s always a race to the finish, with lots of huffing and puffing, and in reality, women don’t always want to share their story. It’s the most vulnerable, intense, painful experience I’ve ever been through. At a certain point, you have to let go of any semblance of privacy or modesty and let your body just be a vessel. There’s no huffing and puffing (you’re supposed to hold onto your breath as you push), and there’s no practice for it. You can walk in with a plan, like I did, and have everything turn upside-down.
With pregnancy and motherhood, there is a lot of pressure to have an ideal experience. You’re supposed to be glowing with internal joy, display serenity in the face of challenge, and bouncing back with your post-baby body within a few weeks. Your baby should latch easily, and you should be exclusively breastfeeding him. You should be tired, but not worn down. These are such incredibly overwhelming and unfair expectations to put on someone, or to put on yourself. Hopefully, by sharing my birth story, I can show that labor and birth is not always what we expect, but even with a rough experience you can have find yourself on the other side of it laughing.
James was born 9.6lbs, 20.5 inches on July 25th. He came into the world with a full head of hair, eyes open, and voice squawking. He has dimples and his father’s eyes. He’s a little over 3 weeks now, and I’m still figuring out his rhythms. I can’t wait for him to start smiling, and there’s a queue forming in my family for who gets to read bedtime stories to him. I love him so much, and am so excited to get to share my happiness with you.