Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My C-Section Truths

by an anonymous  Guest Blogger

For a long time I didn't think that I could get pregnant. We adopted a son a few years ago and were more than content with him. But I miraculously became pregnant in 2013 and quickly decided that I wanted a natural birth. I chose a doula who was also a midwife, so I knew that I was in good hands.

Having a C-section was not on my radar. I never read that chapter in What to Expect, and I ignored any information about it because (in my mind), I thought those were either elective or emergency—and to my prideful mind, those weren’t options for me!

But after 48 hours of natural labor, my baby became stuck, and I ultimately had a C-section. It was harder than I imagined. The entire experience and the few months that followed were the hardest of my entire life. My son’s birthday is next month, and I can’t help but think (almost daily) about that time. Recently, I read this article, and it took a hold of me and hasn’t let go:

My thoughts after reading that sweet blog post:

Yes, that OR is a scary place, especially when my heart monitor chirped in my ear and scared me each time there was a missed beat. And even though I know my next home is heaven, I didn't want to leave my boys and family. 

Yes, the preppers talked about other things (the beach). My doctor asked 2-3 times where my family was, which is exactly what my inner voice was screaming. I can remember when he quietly said that he was moving my bladder, and I was so grossed out and so thankful I couldn't feel it.  My husband and doula came in very late-he had already begun.  It seemed like just a couple of minutes (and maybe it was) that my son was out, my husband was gone with him, and so began the sewing up.

I still regret, am disappointed, and am frustrated that I didn't get to see my son when he first entered this world. I still feel that I was robbed of seeing that precious boy exit my body, his home, to enter the cold, bright OR room, so foreign to what he was used to.  I still fight bitterness that I didn't get to hold him immediately and that he was robbed of the peace and warmth that should have come from being next to his mama, and hearing her now-faint heartbeat.

I still can't/don't want to look at photos of other women and their newborns resting on their chests just after birth. I still feel fight bitterness when I see happy couples with their wrapped up newborn while in the hospital. I don't have any pictures of those.  I still fight the disappointment that I only heard my son’s cry from far away to know that he was alive, rather than seeing him and holding him. I just remember just gazing into my doula’s eyes, finding/fighting for peace and strength to get through the next heartbeat.

I somehow feel that the author's use of "brave" when describing a C-section mom is somehow too strong. We mothers did what we had to do to—it’s as simple as that. When I look back on those first few weeks being home, I am still in awe that I made it...especially those first few nights. Getting up (which is incredibly hard to do when you're semi-afraid that your insides might pop out) to feed a crying baby/change his diaper every hour and a half to two hours was just plain hard. Not to mention constantly wondering/doubting if I was doing the right thing. And to think about how now I don't feel rested unless I have 7 hours of sleep!

I will say that I totally agree that a C-section leaves physical AND emotional scars. Though I believe I had an excellent surgeon and had little/no complications and don't have problems with my physical scar like many other women (and feel VERY blessed), it's so true that it's emotional, too. Don't get me wrong—yes, the end result is what really matters: healthy baby, healthy mama. But there's much more that most people—especially those who haven't been in the same situation—can't imagine.

BUT....and here's a BIG but:

Though I sometimes struggle with my disappointment and grief, I DO realize how blessed I am that I experienced the greatest miracle of humanity (other than Jesus)--being pregnant and giving birth. I can remember the pangs of loneliness when seeing pregnant women bask in that special beauty that only comes from having another life growing inside of you. I remember watching mothers breastfeeding their babies and being saddened, thinking I’d never get to have that awesome experience. I remembering being on the adoption waiting list: full of hope and excitement, all the while being anxious about the unknown. I'm fully aware of those thousands of infertile women and/or those waiting who are waiting on an adoption waiting list who would LOVE to have a baby in ANY manner and who would switch places with me in a heartbeat. I don’t believe that they would spend much—if any—time regretting what might or should have been. In the end, they would be incredibly grateful for that baby that they could call their own.
Having a C-section was not on my radar. I never read that chapter in What to Expect

Yes, things didn't go "my" way regarding the birth, but God allowed it to happen that way. And it's ok—really. I'm thankful for the opportunity, the privilege…no, the high HONOR that it is to be a mother.  (And I realize how blessed to be a mom in two different, special ways!) So, it's perhaps much easier for me to let go of those times of disappointment than others. But, like an old injury, it aches sometimes.

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