As this point, I have not written down Susanna’s birth story for anyone. Not even for her, yet. I’m not sure how much of it I want to be recorded via written words versus told in the oral tradition. There is, however, one moment I’d like to share now for others to read.
It is a moment that changed everything, including my perception on what was happening.
You see, at the 34 mark of unmedicated labor, I made the decision to have a C-section. My body was not responding in ways that I had planned, envisioned, and hoped and prayed for. There were no guarantees that my body would dilate fully, and that I would have our daughter via a normal vaginal birth.
So I made the decision to stop the process, to end the pitocin, to call it a day (or several days at this point). It broke my heart, and I felt like a failure. I felt as if I had not done what I had set out to do, that I had disappointed my husband, and I was letting our daughter down.
I texted two friends I trusted: my sister-in-law Pamela and a racing buddy, Anne-Marie. Pamela asked me if I wanted her to call her Mom and have her talk with me, as she (my mother-in-law) was good in situations like that. I told her no, but thank you. I knew my mother-in-law’s unconditional love of me, but I didn’t want to talk to family.
As I sent that text, another one came through almost immediately, from Anne-Marie. She told me, “think of it as transition to meeting your baby girl, not a DNF.”
You see, I had told Anne-Marie that I felt like 2012 was the year of DNFs. My wonderful husband DNF’d at Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 in June. It was a “completion” race of sorts, as he had been training for it when he was hit by a car in 2010.
Anne-Marie, too, DNF’d at a major race in 2012- Ironman Arizona. She planned for that race way back in 2011 when she was able to enter by registering at a McDonald’s while she was en route to a business meeting in another state.
For the entire set of 2012 (and before), all three of us had prepped and trained for this “big” race, our A-race of 2012. I was emotionally spent, in a hospital gown, with an IV that I had learned to make friends, not having eaten in over 36 hours, and in the midst of my “worst picture” situation.
At the same time I was on the receiving end of a text that helped me to accept my reality. A friend who understood it exactly, though she was not a mom. She understood the amount of physical, mental, and emotional effort that had gone into life at that moment. She knew what it was like to have to make a decision to not continue, and to choose a different path.
She said the right words at the right time, and I am forever grateful.
In that moment I began to accept what was happening, and that I wasn’t a failure. I began to understand that life was just what it was, and my option of continuing down the normal vaginal birth path would not be best. Just as it would not have been best for Anne-Marie to complete the run portion of IMAZ. Just as Scott returned to Start/Finish after attempting 3 miles of the run at BSLT.
It was humbling and rejuvenating at the same time. I understood that my journey was going to to be different than I had planned, but there was hope. There was Susanna Hope at the finish line.
I do not know what would have happened to me mentally had Anne-Marie not sent that text. I handle things well, but we all need a friend, family member, or unknown person to us sometimes to just be there.
Anne-Marie’s words were perfect and beautiful. They refocused me on the goal: our daughter’s safe and healthy birth. They took me out of my ego and selfish points and for that I’m forever grateful.
Note- while I’d normally ask a few questions for the sake of discussion at the end of this, I don’t feel it’s best. You are, however, more than welcome to comment respectfully as you choose.
Thank you for reading.