Penelope’s Birth Story

THERE IS SO MUCH WE AREN’T TOLD ABOUT CHILDBIRTH. For example, that it’s the most painful experience you will ever endure, and that it might leave you traumatized. We all have different experiences of course, but all I know is that for me, this was very true. Childbirth is beautiful, but just know that the actual physical process is very, very not beautiful.

I had a long and difficult labor and delivery leaving me a little traumatized from the whole experience. I remember trying to hold it together as I was wheeled with my baby in my arms through the hospital hall, down the elevator and out the sliding doors, to where my husband awaited with our car to help load his scarred wife and their most precious gift. Our baby. I tried my hardest to smile back at the people starring at me with sweet congratulation smiles. But as soon as we were loaded and the car doors closed, the tears started flowing uncontrollably and I was filled with so much emotion. The combination of hormones, exhaustion and joy was off the charts.

I was relieved to be leaving the hospital, for at that moment I felt so traumatized from what had just happened (BIRTH) that I was so happy to finally be going home and leave that horrible place. Not because the place was horrible, but because it represented the experience. We gave birth at Kaiser Permanente, which is actually the only Baby-Friendly hospital in San Diego. We were very happy and impressed with their care. While at the same time, I was left shocked that my nurses weren’t coming home with me. Who was going to take care of my wounded self? Who was going to help me get up and use the bathroom? My ice pack, where was my ice pack? Did they send it home with the rest of my bag of goodies? I felt so vulnerable and emotional. No one told me I was going to feel this way. We drove off, just the three of us. Our brand new family, nice and packed into our Subaru wagon, headed home for the first time. Safe and sound, our baby rode in her car seat. And riding front and center of my throat, my bag of emotions.

I’ve had friends get hit with the baby blues after childbirth and have shared how hard it was. I was lucky and very thankful though that I didn’t get the baby blues, but oh boy, yes I was still very emotional that first week! I was a pool of tears. I would look at my baby and at my husband and I would ball up with happiness and I would say, “I love you, I love you so very much.” over and over again. I couldn’t help it. It was so true and I felt it then more than ever. The love that comes from seeing your husband with your child is immense. The symbol of our love, the purest type of love and joy, was our baby. She was such a gift. Sob sob.

Writing for me is therapeutic. As soon as I could, I wrote down with pen and paper my baby’s birth story so I wouldn’t forget all the details and events that occurred. Because oh man, it was eventful to say the least! It has taken me a little over TWO months to type it up on my blog, but here it is. It’s long, so take your time!



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