I really wanted to have a vaginal delivery and thought I had all the pieces in place to make that happen:
- I worked hard to only gain 20 lbs with my pregnancy. It seems that excessive weight gain can sometimes cause pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc- which can all contribute to a baby being born not on its terms. I really wanted my baby to be born on his on watch (which he did- TEN days late
- I did NOT want to be induced. I really wanted my body to deliver the baby when it was ready and knew that many inductions ended in a c section.
- We took a birthing class. It educated us on the stages of labor, tips, and medical jargon we needed to know.
- We developed a birthing plan. It listed our wants/wishes for me, us, and the baby so the nurses and doctors would know.
- We hired a wonderful doula. She had assisted with over 150 births. She helped me with breathing, positions, and advocating for me in the delivery room.
All of that being said, I felt like I had done everything I could to try to prevent a c section. But unfortunately, me being a control freak was not enough to will JB out of me on my terms.
Instead, I was at 9 cm- my mom and doula were high fiving and dancing around the delivery room when my baby’s heart rate dropped and stayed down for several minutes. The nurses were rolling me side to side to try to help with his positioning in hopes of getting his heart rate back up. It did not happen- so the decision was made to rush me to the OR for an emergency c section.
The C Section physical recovery process is tough (future post coming)… but I also struggled with the emotional side. I felt like my body had let me down. I am a woman- I am supposed to be able to birth a baby naturally, right? I had done everything possible to make this happen… but it didn’t. But how can I complain, I had a perfectly happy and healthy baby boy. Why worry about how he got here?? So what if it wasn’t what I would have chosen? Why didn’t the written birth plan materialize?
I felt very alone with my feelings… people would say “oh you had to have a c-section”. Like it was a dirty thing. I wanted to scream at them- I tried everything I could to not “have to have a c section”!! But it happened anyway.
It was a nasty way of thinking- but I realized that I had to grieve my ideal birth plan. Thankfully, I was able to share some of my feelings during a breast feeding support group. Several of the ladies were able to share my sentiments and made me feel less alone/crazy. One shared with me that I shouldn’t be worried about what others think and should feel the way I feel- not push those emotions down. For lack of better terms, I needed to “grieve” my birth plan.
Once I realized it was normal to feel that way, I felt a lot better. In the coming weeks, I still was upset with my body- but less and less each day. I think accepting the emotions helped me to process, break down and then put them away.
In hindsight, I know I tried to do everything I could to have my baby the way I wanted to. And now, it is easier to say that he is happy and healthy. I also understand why women schedule a c section now. I think we should all just support one another’s decisions. No one knows you better than you!