Tag Archives: Birth

What I Never Wanted

29 Jun

While I was pregnant with Logan and taking prenatal classes and reading all the books and magazines I of course thought about birthing options. I concluded that my preference would be as all natural as possible. I didn’t want any drugs or assistance. I conceded that there may come a time in my labour where I would no longer be able to handle the pain and may then choose to have some pain relief but didn’t go into it planning for it. I considered that I may need to be induced and I was ok with that if it needed to happen. One thing that never even crossed my mind was that I may need a c section. For some reason it did not feel like a possibility and so I put no thought or emotional preparation into such an outcome.

After having been in induced labour for 12+ hours the doctors statement that we should proceed with a c-section did not hit me as hard as it may have had I been in my right mind. I was tired and his decisive statement that we would be there for a week with me stuck at 4 cm if we did nothing essentially made my mind up for me. Alright let’s do it, I want my baby. It was scary, and the operating room was cold. I shivered perched on the edge of the operating table while the nurses prepped whatever it is they had to prep. Scott couldn’t come in until I was strapped down, I felt very alone and I couldn’t feel the lower half of my body so I constantly felt like I was about to tip off the edge. Am I sitting on my IV line? What happens if I fall? What if I fall on my belly will the baby be OK? Why aren’t the nurses putting me somewhere that won’t make me feel so scared? It probably felt a lot longer than it really was. The surgery itself wasn’t too bad. I was delirious from the long day and various chemicals meant to make me feel better. A couple of shots of nubain followed by an epidural which only worked on one side of my body. Then when the decision for surgery came the ineffective epidural line was removed, along with all that tape that was holding it on, OUCH! And I was given a spinal block. Once he was out and checked over they wrapped him up and held him on my chest for a minute so I could see him. My arms were still tied down so I wasn’t able to touch him yet. They handed him to Scott and ushered them both out the door while they closed up.

Once in my hospital room and awake the reality of the surgery hit me. Like a shot to the gut. I was in immense pain, I couldn’t sit up, it hurt to laugh I thought I would die when I sneezed. The hormones and the chemicals had me on the biggest emotional ride of my life. By the time I was deemed fit to leave the hospital I still slowly wobbled while I walked, hunched over and clutching a pillow to my middle. It felt like all the skin and such on the front of my body would fall off if I didn’t hold it tight to me, but any pressure anywhere near the incision sight was very painful. I couldn’t sleep on my stomach, and when I slept on my side I had to hold my now empty but not small tummy up with a pillow. It was awful, and I had this little person depending on me for survival.

Pregnant again, I was very excited for another baby. I fully intended to do everything I possibly could to avoid another c section. How would I manage a baby and a toddler after that? We can’t induce you, having had a c section previously it’s too risky. What? Dr. Bos informs me that unless I go into labour on my own another c section is the most likely outcome. I didn’t labour on my own the first time, but I wasn’t in a hurry then. If I will it, it will be. Right? I thought if I wanted it badly enough I could make it happen. I walked around, carried Logan everywhere perched on my belly. Ate the weird foods, and thought really hard about going into labour. Found lots of articles stating there is no reason women have to have a repeat c section and how doctors tend to push for a lot of medical intervention when it is not necessary. I pleaded with my doctor. I really, REALLY don’t want to go through that again. He gave me a week after my due date, that’s how long I had to get myself to labour before he would go in and take her himself.

All my willing and wishing did nothing for me and the night before the surgery I paced around the house crying knowing what lay ahead. I looked down at Logan sleeping and feared how useless I was going to be to him. I wouldn’t be able to lift him, to pick up and cuddle him when he was sad. He would need me and I would be weak and unable to help him. The morning of the surgery in the recovery area with Scott and Logan waiting for the doctor to arrive and every time I looked at Logan my eyes would fill with tears. How could I be so selfish? I wanted another baby and didn’t put enough thought into what that would mean for this little boy. I didn’t want him to see me cry, I wanted him to believe that everything would be ok. Again surgery went easily enough, much better this time than the first and it was over quickly. They undid the straps this time and I got to hold Bella, the love that seemed to be seeping from my pores because there wasn’t enough room in my body eased my fear and I trusted that we would all be alright. Immediately following this surgery I was sitting up and talking. Totally awake and excited to be with my new four person family. As the meds wore off it changed though. I was sore, and those feelings of self-doubt started to creep back in. When we got home the first few days were as I had feared. If Logan was sad or hurt I couldn’t lift him, he would beg me to pick him up, eyes full of tears and all I could do was slowly sit down on the floor beside him and cry with him. Holding him as tightly as I could.

Seven days after she was born I strapped them both into the double stroller and we walked all the way around the block. I had already broken the ‘no lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first six weeks’ rule. Those car seats force you to break the rule but by about the four day mark I was lifting Logan, being unable to do so was hurting me more than the physical pain. The healing was faster this time, and I pushed myself. I didn’t have the option of lying around waiting for the pain to end. Logan needed me to be up and moving around so I could care for him, so I did it.

Both times and in the months following them I resented my body for letting me down. For not being able to do what it was meant to. Why could I get pregnant and then not have my baby? Why didn’t it work right? I felt like a failure, like less of a mother and woman. I listened to other women tell their birth stories, talking about the pain and how they would never put themselves through that again. Joking that next time they would sign up for a c section because they thought it would be easier. You can pick the day and time, there’s no waiting for your labour to start or worrying you won’t have everything ready. Really? I was so mad at them for talking that way. Didn’t they know how lucky they were for being able to do what I couldn’t? My anger persisted for some time. I was very irritated anytime I heard someone complain about the pain of labour and delivery. It wasn’t fair to them of course, they went through legitimate pain and suffering to bring their babies into the world.

With time and constant reminders to myself that what mattered was that my babies were born safely I began to forgive myself. It began to occur to me that it was selfish of me to be so angry when my kids were healthy and nothing had gone wrong. What was important was that they were brought into the world, it didn’t matter how. I was doing them a disservice by being angry about the way they made it to my arms. I’m about 95% OK with it now. Every now and then it hurts a little and I wonder if we got pregnant again if my body might let me do it. Ultimately I know it would result in another c section, and now I think that’s OK. My love for my babies comes pouring out of me regardless of the journey that brings them to me. That’s more than I ever knew I wanted.

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