And for once I was SuperMom

Monday, February 20, 2012

Your Birth Story Here

A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I was nervous about giving birth again as I answered, ‘yes,’ my voice started to crack and I my eyes started to tear. I started to talk about how I would have to be insane to not be nervous about birth again.
Some of you know this and some of you don’t but Emma’s birth was long, very long. After 38 hours of labor my doctor offered my Pitocin and I asked for a c-section. Two hours later my daughter was born. My doctor later told me that the cord was wrapped her around and her head was cranked back, Emma was not descending nor would she have. She called the c-section a ‘miracle.’

So, yes, I am nervous. I didn’t get to have an all natural birth. I did get to have a healthy baby. It was long and it was hard and it scares me to think of doing it again. But by the end of the day, or the night, I had a healthy baby and that is the point.

Before I actually went into labor I thought that c-sections were only for women that weren’t educated and didn’t know their options and allowed doctors to make all the decisions for them. Then I was in labor with no interventions for 38 hours. Let’s just say that my mind changed.
Before I went into labor I had hitched my wagon to the all natural birth and labor train. I still think that there are good principles there and that some interventions are poorly timed and in some cases can cause more harm than good. I do not think that, ‘98% of all labors,’ should go naturally, as I have heard people say. One in three women in Kenya still die in childbirth….I read that on a billboard in Nairobi, who knows if it’s true. The point is that childbirth was dangerous and still can be.
Before I went into labor I used to think that no women should be denied the right to an all natural birth. I would try to influence friends to read books and learn their options. Then I realized that some women don’t care. They just want that kid out and healthy. To a certain extent I think that’s okay. There’s a part of me that wishes they would care. There’s another part of me that’s louder and says it’s none of my business.

So I am nervous. I do care and I would like to push this baby out naturally. There’s also a part of me that wouldn’t mind just being cut open and having that baby taken out of me. Without going into a long over explanatory medical drama, there were a few moments where I thought that my midwives here weren’t going to allow me to try for a VBAC and I realized how tore up I got thinking I was losing the chance to ever have a vaginal birth. This very well may be my last pregnancy and this very well may be my last chance at a vaginal birth. We sorted it out and they have given me the go ahead to try. I have had moments of sadness when I hear women talk about their birth, but I feel like we made the best decision for me and my daughter.

In the end if you have had amazing birth experiences…be thankful.
If you have had to have c-sections…be thankful.
If you have healthy children…be thankful.


Anonymous said...

Not sure how if this translates to "1 in 3" but it does translate to "much worse".

ThaiHoa Burroughs said...

I had a rough labor and was so scared that I wouldn't have my baby girl, and then we went into emergency c-section. After that I went through some depression always thinking something was wrong with me that I couldn't have her naturally. Now I am grateful because if I didn't get that c-section she might not have survived. For my second child I was recommended a c-section but it was my choice, and I discovered that after my first struggle I would rather be safe than sorry so I opted for a second c-section and I am okay with that. I am no longer envious of people who can have theirs naturally.

Erica Barnett said...

Thanks for this post. I agree, people’s birth stories and opinions can leave a certain ‘pang’ and certainly did with my first. I was all set to have a natural birth, but was begging for that epidural at only 3 cm. Ha! It was the fear. I was a mess and the epidural helped calm me down, but even though it all ended in a vaginal birth I still felt somewhat cheated, like I hadn’t gotten to experience what God intended, and one never knows if they are going to get that second chance. I grieved the birth, instead of accepting it (and those post-partum hormones didn’t help any!) But, you know, what God intended NEVER was because as I recall, the first woman kind of messed that all up. “I will increase your labor pains.” It just points us back to the fact we need a Savior.

Six years after that first birth experience, and a second birth with an epidural, I did have my natural birth and wrote out my story for all to read, and felt at peace. But, it was my friend’s birth story, only a month later--one she blogged to her third child, her THIRD, PLANNED c-section, that had me blubbering. It was so beautiful because she had the right focus--what comes AFTER the birth. It was such a simple blog about when she met her baby for the first time, her first impressions, her honest sorrow that she didn’t get to hold him right away. (She told him that, how sad it made her, how that was the hardest part, not the surgery or prep or anything.) She wrote about watching his dad hold him and I know that picture will be a treasured memory. Her story was about having her baby, while mine was about an accomplishment that really won’t matter 20 years down the road.

I totally support your decision to try for a V-BAC, and you know why? Because the decision is YOURS. Yours and Scott’s. : ) Can’t wait to hear your beautiful birth story no matter what!