The Day My Daughter Was Born Was NOT the Best Day of My Life

Rant 158

baby girlThe best day of my life. I don't know if I've had it yet. Sure, the day I got married was awesome. We're about to celebrate 13 years together. And the day my daughter was born, well ... it was memorable.

But the best day? Not by a long shot.

I know it's what you're supposed to say. But the problem with using cliches to describe motherhood is that it ends up making us all feel like we're failures when we can't live up to the platitudes.

So here it is. The unvarnished truth: the day my daughter was born kind of sucked.

Now, now, hear me out. I'm not saying that I'm unhappy that my daughter came into this world. This is not some screed about how I really didn't want my kid that will destroy her psyche and send her running for a therapist the moment she leaves my house.

I love my daughter with every inch of my being. I love her so much that every harrowing moment of the day she was born was completely worth it.

But that still doesn't make it the best.

Let's start from the beginning. My daughter is a stubborn German, just like her mama, and more than a week after her due date, she was content to stay in the womb. But with her heart rate dropping, my OB/GYN wasn't quite so content.

He wanted to induce labor.

The news was both welcome and terrifying. Induction meant this interminably awful pregnancy would finally be over and I could meet my child!

Induction also came with it myriad warnings about the increased risk of C-section and the problems with pitocin and on and on and on.

I went into that hospital scared out of my gourd. Sound like your mind on the best day of your life?


But I'm not done. After getting out of bed at the hiney crack of dawn (I'm still a teenager at heart and would much prefer sleeping 'til noon), I walked into a hospital, got dressed in a rather unflattering gown, and gritted my teeth as a nurse attempted to find a vein, first in one arm and then the other, before finally settling on my hand.

You're getting the picture now, aren't you? And I haven't even talked about the pain of pitocin-fueled contractions or the moment when I finally gave up on my insistence that "I'm going to do this without drugs." I haven't talked about the epidural that didn't take or the jerk anesthesiologist who never bothered to check my chart for allergies (thank goodness it was just to adhesives) or the pushing ... the God awful pushing that, yes, I could feel, because that epidural had completely worn off by then.

The day my daughter was born was the day I met the person for whom I fell completely head over heels, the person who can make my heart swell simply by slipping her hand in mine, the person for whom I'd throw myself in front of a bus, a bullet, a giant grizzly bear.

Just when I don't think I can love my daughter any more than I do, I look at her, sitting on the couch, her favorite teddy bear in her arms, and the blood rushes to my head, and my stomach drops out, and I fall deeper.

These days with her are wonderful and frustrating all at the same time, as I watch her grow into a smart, funny, opinionated little girl who will one day leave my husband and me for college, for adventure.

The day she was born? Not so much. That day was stressful. It was scary. It was painful.

If that's the best day of my life, what does that say about my life? That a painful, stressful, anxious day was the BEST I can do?

How ... sad. How limiting!

Frankly, I prefer the day she first smiled (and not from gas), the day she first called me Mommy, the day she gave me my first chubby hands 'round the neck hug ... and we have so many more days like that to come.

Be honest: do you think of the day your child was born as the best of your life?


Image by Jeanne Sager

baby first year


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Tracey Plummer

My daughter was two weeks late, so they induced and then sent me home the next morning because it didn't work. Until late that night when my now ex didn't want to take me to the hospital, because the Spurs were only in the third quarter. When we finally got to the hospital, they knocked me out until morning so they didn't have to wake the doctor. When I finally had her in my arms the next day, it was all good. That was the best day of my life, but the day before is in the history books of sucky days.

Jennifer Pletcher

I agree here. My daughter was born after a failed induction, 4 days of labor, another induction, a sadist of an anesthesiologist, and then finally a c-section 102 hours after my childbirth journey began. I loved my daughter from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I feel I have yet to have the "best day of my life" but there are some good ones in the running since my Molly Dolly was born.

Melis... Melissa1508

My first birthing experience was not bad at all, so that was a pretty darn good day.  My second, however, was nothing like I had planned.  I had a vaginal birth with my first and had planned a natural birth with my second.  At 35 weeks we found out that I had lost most of my amniotic fluid (Dr, said apparently it was a slow leak and I had just had an ultrasound 2 weeks before that showed no abnormality) so I was scheduled for a c-section the next morning.  I was TERRIFIED.  I spent the night in the hospital on a monitor, didn't sleep a wink all night, had the c-section, got to see my sweet baby for about 10 seconds before they took her to the NICU, where she spent the next 8 days, and I was in horrible pain.  I spent the entire 4 days in the hospital unable to hold my baby, so yeah...that day was definitely NOT the best day of my life.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I understand the sentiment... I loved LOVED getting to hold my daughter for the first time... it is pretty far up there in most awesome of days, but that can be said about all of my children. However, the day I walked into the surgery room to have my third child (by c-section) was the greatest day EVER. I had the worst pregnancy- I was SO miserable, and tired... I pretty much skip-waddled my giant self into that room with ease- and they took that horrible pregnancy away. Plus- I got a wonderful new baby! Best. Day. Ever. I still remember the feeling, knowing that I wasn't going to feel so terrible all the time- knowing that in place of it I got a brand new baby. Yes, again- best. day. ever. :-)

wamom223 wamom223

It was tied for the best day with bringing my son home after four of the longest weeks of my life.  After giving birth so early and worrying about his lungs the sound of my son screaming his head off right after he was born was overwhelming.  It was the most joy I have ever felt in a single moment ever.  To go from pushing him out and scared to relieved and over joyed in under a minute was amazing.  But that same day I had to accept my son would be in the NICU for I didn't know how long.  It is so unnatural to have to ask another woman if you can hold your child and to leave them in someone elses care.  The day we brought him home that over whelming joy was back.  Those two days were also filled with the most amazing moments between my man and I and the rest of my family.  Watching my family fill in for him when his couldn't be there made me so happy and proud.

nonmember avatar anonymous

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 22 months with no success. I pray one day I get to experience some of these amazing things you have described.

knitt... knittykitty99

This post is lame.  I've never felt anything like holding my daughter for the first time.  It's and emotion like no other and the start of a love I had never felt before.  That is what I think about and remember about the day - not the details of labor and birth.  THAT is why people say the birth of their first child is the best day of their lives.  If you don't get that then I'm sorry for you.

Beth McCormack Bernitt


I feel that it is the hardest things that bring us the best things and without that day  you would not have the rest. That is what make it the best

Simon... SimonzKedge

Would you force your favorite band or food to be someone else's choice as well? Then why would you tell someone what the "best day of their life" was? What if you have or will have more than one child? Get a grip kitty.

1-10 of 158 comments 12345 Last