The Day I Became a Mother by Debra Pascali Bonaro

posted in: Childbirth Stories | 1

What a beautiful gift, to both write about the day I became a mother and to feel and remember how incredible that day was. Birth is a day a woman will never forget. Becoming a mother is a journey that lasts a lifetime and transforms us in ways I could not have imagined. I was fascinated with birth and babies all my life. I dreamed for years of the day that I would become a mother, but no words can fully capture the feeling I felt of bringing my son Peter into the world.

It was a beautiful sunny August morning, early enough that the hot weather we had been having had not begun to rise in Montréal, Canada. My husband and I left our home as the sun was rising in a cab to go to the hospital; I forgot the champagne that had been chilling in the fridge to celebrate the birth of our son and our journey into parenthood. We turned around to go back and get it and I’m so glad we did as we were so happy to have it later to celebrate with at the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital and I began my navigation of the medical model that I had worked so hard during my pregnancy to negotiate. My physician was across town at another hospital and I knew without him I would be subject to all sorts of unnecessary procedures that would actually cause more harm then good. I was young and healthy so (naturally) I went to the toilet and locked myself in to await his arrival. My pregnancy had already awoken the birthing wisdom within me and I knew I needed to feel safe, to have privacy and not to be disturbed with requests and in that time demands to have all sorts of technology hooked to my baby and my body. I trusted nature and felt my deep connection to all the women in my family who had given birth in a healthy way before me. Thankfully before too long, Dr. Dion arrived along with his preceptor and soon I was ready to give birth. Read my full birth story in my book Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth Experience.

The challenges and the triumph of giving birth prepared me to discover amazing strength within me. I still remember the feelings of labor, the power of my son emerging into the world, sliding thru my body into my arms, instantly I became a fierce and protective mother. I cried and looked in his eyes, counted fingers and toes, stroked his soft and delicate skin, marveled at my beautiful son who would forever transform my life and me.

I was blessed to have not lost much sleep, and with my Debra smiling postpartumhormonal high, my joy, my bliss, the ecstasy of giving birth and holding my son in my arms I was wide-awake. After he breastfed, we had undisturbed skin-to-skin time, Then, It was time to celebrate! The champagne popped, my birth team gathered around me to celebrate. I had given birth my way! I had challenge the system to do it. My doctor had supported my wishes, respected my decisions and now gathered to honor and celebrate my passage from maidenhead to motherhood, my husband and my son.

Soon the nurse came and said it’s time to bring the baby to the nursery as was so commonly done and sadly, still is in some hospitals today. My first fierce mother reaction began. “No!!” I said. He will stay with me. I can tell she felt it was a foolish choice, but knew I was not going to change my mind. They could weigh him, bathe him and check him in my room, as I was not going to let my baby leave my sight.

I was getting really hungry, I hadn’t realized how much work labor was and I was ready for a feast. When the hospital tray arrived it did not look like anything I had envisioned for such a great celebration and transition. My husband quickly ran out to our favorite Greek restaurant and came back with shrimp, calamari and all my favorite foods. We had an amazing seafood feast. You can imagine what our room smelt like, but to me it was perfect. With my son Peter in my arms, we enjoy great food. I was young; I had just graduated university a few months earlier. On one hand we wondered how we would do it, I was the first of all my friends to become a parent. Yet, looking at my son in my arms, I had no worries, nothing else mattered. If I could give birth to him, I could care for him. I am glad nature has a plan to give us the hormones and strength we need, for all I lacked in knowledge of how to be a parent, I made up for in endless love and determination.

Becoming a mother is one of my greatest joys whose life lessons continue to offer me countless blessings! Happy Mother’s Day!

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