This is a very personal post and one I've debated sharing. But after hearing a friend talk about writing her birth story I felt the need to write mine. Then hearing April it is Caesarean Awareness Month why not. Perhaps it will help me heal. Writing always seems to do that for me. So more than anything this is for me. But if it helps someone else or helps someone become more aware too then that is great too .
Here is my story.
I burst into tears as I left the doctors office on March 10, 2011 upon hearing I would be induced. Kevin said what is the matter? I said I'm going to have a csection I just know it.
Let me back up. Once I knew I was expecting Jman I started thinking of his birth. From the beginning I wanted a natural birth. I wanted to try it and be able to succeed. It came from selfish reason at first I am extremely claustrophobic. Which for me isn't only small spaces but not being in control freaks me out. So an epidural sounded awful. Being unable to move in a bed for hours gives me anxiety thinking about it. So natural birth was my goal. As I talked to people and did research my selfish reasons for a natural birth was no longer my drive. Natural birth is the best and safest thing I could do for myself and most important my son. God designed a woman's body to naturally do the work. And if you wait for your baby's perfect timing then that's what usually happens. I read about and heard from professionals how interventions such as inductions can lead to this problem or that and ultimately the big C. Also I read how epidurals actually slow your progression down leading to more potential problems than if you let your body do what it is supposed to do naturally. I read the many statistics of how intervention after intervention usually leads to the C. And that was the last thing I wanted.
In the very early months I asked my doctor her views on natural birth and what she views on induction. Because if she was one that let you choose to be induced or worse schedule a C or if she encouraged inducing early I would be finding a new doctor. Thankfully she said she would only do those things if medically necessary and after a due date. She thought I was nuts for wanting to go natural but supportive of my wishes.
The weeks went by and we got closer and closer. My due date of March 5 came and went. That weekend I started to have contractions but nothing serious enough and was not active labor. I was excited thinking here we go but things completely stopped. No contractions and no dialating at all. The days felt like weeks. People asked stupid questions like "where is Jman?" Like I had some control and honestly made me angry. I was becoming more and more anxious as I waited. I went for my check up on March 10, five days past my so called due date, nervous hoping to hear some good news that there was some progression. But that's when I heard it, the dreadful words, "we're going to have to induce". My world suddenly came crushing down. What could I say? I was already late. I knew that most likely an induction would turn into a C. I could barely hold myself together. She scheduled it for March 15. Which was still 5 days away, making me almost 2 weeks past my due date. I couldn't really argue the facts. As soon as we got outside I burst into tears. Kevin asked what is wrong? And I said I'm going to end up with a C section. Kevin had been supportive of the natural birth idea although I think he was very nervous of the no drug idea. He tried to comfort me but it was no use. I was scared of induction because my goal was to go natural. I knew that pitocin and natural do not go well together. Pitocin makes you have contractions, strong contractions forcing your body to do something it's not ready to do. So to endure what it puts your body through it would be insane and almost impossible to do naturally. So dreams crushed!
Jman made no progress and on March 15 we got up super early and headed to the hospital. We got signed it, I got poked and prodded and that awful stuff started to run through my body. And that stuff sure knows how to make contractions. I was immediately having minute long contractions every other minute. And after about an hour of that I knew I wouldn't last all day naturally. So I gave in to my next dream crusher the epidural. Luckily for me they didn't give me so much that I was unable to move. After my water was broke I progressed quickly to a six. The nurses were excited saying I would have this baby by lunch. Hour after hour passed and I never changed. Doc came in somewhere around 5 and said nothing's changed for several hours. I'll give you one more hour and then were going to have to do something. She came in an hour later and said it. "We're going to have to do a csection." Who called it five days ago? Me! At this point in the day all I cared about was meeting my sweet little boy. I didn't really process what was just said until the next day. So I'm prepped and all that. There I was completely helpless as my child is cut from my body. And at 9:02pm Jman finally greets the world. He is taken to do his vitals and measurements. Kevin brings a baby wadded up in a blanket and I cant see his face. People are rushing around me, Im being sewn up and all I can say is I cant see his face, I cant see his face. Jman and Kevin are sent out and I never saw his face. An induction I didn't want and I never saw his face, an epidural I didn't want and I never saw his face, a dreadful C I didn't want and I never saw his face, 15 hours of labor and I never saw his face, 41 and half weeks later and I never saw his face.
I was sent to recovery Kevin comes back with the camera full of pictures of my son that I didn't get to see. And the tears began to flow. My mom came in going on about how long his fingers were and I never saw him. He didn't get to see the one who had longed most for his birth. Did he wonder wheres my momma? He wasn't kissed or snuggled immediately by his mom. I didn't meet my son until sometime early in the morning on March 16. And I am still NOT ok with this.
Sometime in the next day or so it hit me what had happened. How much of my birth story was not what I wanted none of it was what I wanted. None of it was what I dreamed or hoped for. None of it was what I had planned for. My body had failed me. I couldn't do what almost every other woman can do. And it hurt physically and emotionally. Of course a mixture of pain, sleep deprivation and a whole lot of hormones does not make you see clearly at all.
But here I am two years later and it still hurts. Yes physically I healed. But emotionally I haven't and not sure if I ever will. I had a good friend that helped me through the hardest part of dealing with it. She made me realize it was ok to hurt and grieve over the birth I didn't have. That as important it was to be thankful for a healthy baby that it was ok to hurt over my own loss of a birth I didn't have.
After Jman's birth my doctor explained what had happened. I know why I couldn't have him, why my body failed me. Essentially nothing would have changed the fact of having a C. Natural birth would not have changed my outcome. But it still hurts, it's hard to process that my body will not do what God has designed women's bodies to do. Why, I don't know, I may never know. Just as we may never know why people who want kids so bad can't have them, or why people lose children, or why there is any type of pain and suffering. I do know that in these moments and these times it draws us closer to Christ. He is there to carry us through the hard times. Where there is no understanding there He is to comfort.
Two years later I know this.
1. It's not any easier. I have an extremely difficult time hearing people say I'm being induced, I'm scheduling a Csection, I having my baby early. I want to say its not natural, it's not what's best. It's not safe. But I don't. Because I know that everyone pictures their birth in their own way. Every women has the right to do what they want for themselves. I do wish people would be educated though before making any decisions. C sections are not the safest route. They are extremely dangerous for you and your child. Thank God they exist, I'm sure in very early times many women and babies died because of not being able to give birth. They should only be used when medically necessary.
2. I am jealous of women who can give birth naturally. Of women who are induced and it goes so easy and smooth. I am not jealous of a woman who has a C though. And not completely understanding of someone who chooses this birth path without a good reason
3. I will be having another C for Cappie. I hate that sentence. If I could have a VBAC I would in a heart beat. I am so proud of all the women who can. I am so proud of how many women are becoming educated and choosing a VBAC. You are a hero in my eyes. Cappies birth will also not be what I dream of but at least I am prepared for it. I know it's coming.
4. I'm scared of having another C. With Jman it all happened so fast I couldn't process what actually was happening to me physically but this time I am fully aware. That is actually more scary than being rushed in the moment. Because now I sit and think of what can go wrong. That I will lay there awake as they cut me open and rip my child from me. I am fully aware of the procedure and I think about more than I should. It keeps me up at night. It reminds me daily that my body has failed me. I have to emotionally overcome that and be strong for my little boy. But it's hard.
5. I will see my baby's face. If they don't let me hold him or whatever I will see that baby's precious face and kiss him. I hate that Jman's first encounter was not with his mommy. That he didn't even get to see his mommy or be held by his mommy for several hours. That will not happen again!
6. I have a beautiful 2 year old boy and soon we will have another one. And ultimately I am thankful he is here and healthy and I pray that for my second one. That his birth will bring another happy, healthy boy. As for me and my pain Christ is there to pull me through.
There it is, my story. Another statistic.