Thursday, August 6, 2015

i had a c section.

and i just need to talk about it for a second.

i always thought i'd be a champion baby maker/deliverer. i thought i'd have an awesome pregnancy and then i'd march into the hospital and deliver like a friggin amazon woman, and all the nurses would gossip about me: the crazy amazing birther. they'd give me a crown and ask to take a picture with me and my gorgeous baby.

you guys, that's not what happened.

in the delivery room-
i ate too much of the complimentary flavored blue ice...
birth story time:
my doctor scheduled me for an induction at 41 weeks. i labored naturally for about 8 hours (ouch) before the epidural man comes. 24 hours later i'm at a 9.5 and i'm just super excited about my sweet baby that is coming any minute. nurse comes in to take my temperature for the thousandth time. she frowns. i have a fever. the baby's heart rate is up. the doctors are concerned about the possibility of infection. they suggest a c section. i silently tell them with my telepathic powers that my having a c section is impossible, being an amazonian champion birthing queen and all. i politely ask them if we can safely delay the surgery for a little longer and see if i progress the tiny bit more that i need to get to a 10 so i can push ("i know i'd be an awesome pusher- i've been working on these abs for 28 years...") they reluctantly agree, and i make a pact with God that if i can please please please have this baby naturally, (and ideally push him out like the warrior queen that i imagine myself to be) i promise to be super nice to strangers and not swear as much when i drive. i'm confident. the doctor comes back. checks my downstairs region. she feels like i still haven't quite progressed to a 10. she hands me the consent forms for the surgery. i sob. i sign. the (incredible) surgery team takes me to an operating room, cuts me open, pulls my baby out, and takes him away to make sure he's okay. i sob some more.

that's what happened.

can i just say that there's nothing more unnerving than hearing a doctor say the word "scalpel" when you're laying down on a table in an OR and can't move your body?

i didn't expect to have a c section, but i especially didn't expect to feel like such a failure in the case that i did. i didn't expect to feel like i was less of a woman. less of a mother. like there's some sort of club i'm not invited to: "women who actually got to push their baby out," and my nose is pressed up against the window to one of their meetings, but i'm not allowed in, because i have a 4 inch scar running across my lower abdomen.

after i got out of surgery i didn't want to talk to anyone. i felt betrayed. and for some reason i really didn't want anyone to know what had happened. i guess i didn't want people thinking the same silly things i thought about myself. i certainly didn't want pity from anyone.

the one good thing that came from having surgery
was getting to see gid in scrubs. hottie.
people assume that you deliver vaginally (and i guess most women do). the first thing people would say when i saw them was "the first few weeks are so hard, at least you didn't have to have a c section, can you imagine?" (yes. i can.)

here's the thing. i've never had a vaginal birth, but i'm pretty sure whatever kind of delivery you have- it sucks. it's uncomfortable and painful. painless deliveries don't exist, and the stipulation that someone who has a c section goes through more trauma than someone who doesn't could be a little offensive to a mother who had a vaginal delivery (and perhaps has a scar just as long in a different area). people schedule c sections on purpose all the time- some women even prefer them. i know this.

i just still kinda feel like a failure.

it doesn't help that i know a million girls who are expecting this summer, and none of them have had to have surgery, as far as i know. every now and then, when i tell friends about teddy's birth, they'll sigh knowingly and calmly tell me that they experienced the same thing with their kids.

i don't know why it's so comforting. i don't know why knowing someone has felt the same crappy feelings you have feels so good.

so i have a favor, friends: if you had a c section, could you tell me? i know it's immature, and my need to hear about other people's experiences probably sounds catty or at best competitive. i just think hearing that i'm not the only one might help me not feel so isolated.

one more thing: i had a c section. but i have a perfect, healthy, beautiful little baby boy. and as much as i hate that i didn't make the nurses gossip about how good i was at pushing, i have no way of knowing what would have happened if i would have had a vaginal birth like i wanted.

my doctor was worried about the position teddy had gotten into with his heart rate up. she was worried he was sick with my fever and over exhausted from my laboring for so long. she wanted him as safe as possible.

the day after teddy came, my dad flew into town. when he heard about my situation, he thought for a moment, and then quietly said he would have done the same thing my doctor did. at first that irritated me; how dare he side with her--the one who sentenced me to be cut open! but then he told me about a similar patient who'd lost her baby and then passed away a few hours later due to unexpected complications. my point is, i'm lucky. i'm so so lucky.

i've probably lost most of you in this long post that is basically me feeling sorry for myself. thanks for sticking around for the end, friends. you're the best. xo

22 comments:

  1. I had an unexpected C Section with my first child, too. It was very disappointing, and not what I wanted, and I felt like I was less of a woman FOR YEARS! It was even worse when he wouldn't latch on, and I was also a failure at breastfeeding, too. I felt like I couldn't do anything right that was supposed to come "naturally". You went through 24 hours of labor, and were a week overdue, and I think both definitely earn major points in the womanhood category, so don't beat yourself up over it. It's hard to have things differently than we always planned and dreamed, especially when you have no control of the situation. The end of your post says it perfectly, though: your take-home prize was a happy, healthy, adorable baby boy, and you're a mom--regardless of how he got here! Mission accomplished!

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    1. I didn't realize you had a c section with your first, kala! so frustrating, I'm sorry you felt so sad about it for such a long time. I'm SUCKING at breastfeeding these days, (I'm thiiiis close to giving up trying because he never stays on for more than a minute or two at a time and then he's furious until I get him a bottle). thanks so much for commenting. xo

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    2. I had an awesome experience with my first...pushed for 15 minutes 3x and she was out...so imagine my surprise after 24 hours to find out my second wasn't coming out and after 24 hours of hard pushing I needed an emergency c-section...not only that, the medication wasn't working and I felt the cut!!! They had to put me to sleep and I didn't even get to see my little boy until an hour after he was born. No one prepares you for that...people expect you to just take your baby and get on with it. After my first I got up and walked around 10 minutes later...now I had a toddler, was in excruciating pain and was so frazzled from what had just happened I couldn't even think straight... I had my baby but I missed his birth...it's ok to vent and be mad about it

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    3. Thank you so much for commenting, terry. And thank you for letting me vent without feeling judged. xo

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  2. I think that this experience will just prep you for the future. (If you're anything like me) when you think you are going to be a champion mom and then you loose your patience or your sweet kid does something embarrassing in front of a lot of people... then you'll have already learned that you are a great mom and an amazing women and nothing less, regardless of unexpected plot twists. Love you to pieces! PS You had blue ice as an option!? Lucky! My only option that night was red... blue is always the best flavor! ;)

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    1. jacks, I just love you. thanks for commenting, and thanks for talking to me in person about it too. xoxoxoxo

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  3. I have had the same EXACT feelings! I don't remember if I told you, but I had a c-section. It sucked! Mostly, because I did not want it... very much feared it! My birth plans went out the window... and I felt like such a failure after the birth. I so wanted to be the one to push out my own baby. Your story has inspired me to possibly share mine. I haven't really talked to many people about mine because I have actually dealt with PTSD since my birth. (First time admitting this!) It has been hard... and even harder now that Kal is 18 months and the hubs really wants another child. I get so extremely emotional/anxious just thinking about going through the Labor process.... Anyway, you are truly inspiring! I have loved reading about your posts because It has made me realize that we are just human going through some tough things and its OK! We are AMAZON women! In our own way! I think we are pretty amazon woman like for signing those consent papers! Man, your description of that moment in your life is the same picture I remember in mine. I CRIED like I had never before! Ok, this is getting too long... Just want to let you know how amazing you are! Keep your posts up!

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    1. love you, krista- thanks for posting. <3 xoxo

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  4. You have such a great dad! I didn't have a c-section, but I think you are an amazing mom for still wanting to go natural after 24 hours of labor!
    -- Tiffany

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  5. My first baby was 2 1/2 weeks overdue when I finally went into the real, actual labor. (I had been having contractions off & on for 4 weeks). I was in labor (the hard stuff, with pitocin, which made me very sick & throw up during contractions) for about 10 hours before they realized something must be wrong and took me down to x-ray. They had tried breaking my water earlier, but only a little trickle came out. In x-ray they discovered my pelvis was too small & I would never be able to deliver naturally. Granted, this was 28 years ago, so many many things have changed in the medical world. By the time they discovered all of this, I was so miserable, from the pain and still throwing up, that I welcomed any form of relief I could be given. I had all 4 of my babies by C-section, because I vividly remembered that pain. One dr even tried to convince me to try natural birth again. No way! I bounced back quite easily from the c-sections, except for my 3rd one. I went home with a spinal headache, that lasted 3 days. I think they are worse than migraines, in many ways. And, I did suffer from Postpartum depression with the last two. I was also throwing-up sick for the entire 9 months with each pregnancy, and on bed rest for 2 months with #2 and 4-6 weeks with #'s 3 & 4. My point is....we go thru A LOT to get these precious babies here. However it is done doesn't make us any better or less of a mother or woman than any other. We are each unique and wonderful. You are a wonderful person. I am pretty positive you are a fabulous mommy. THAT is the focus. Not so much how they got here. :) I always, proudly stated that I had all 4 of mine c-section. I wore it like a crown. It is okay! Love you guys!!!

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    1. thanks so much for posting linette- we love you too! xo

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  6. I did! And yes, it feels lonely.
    At one point, they gave me a memory blocking drug so i don't remember my first baby's birth *at*all*. I also was induced, and my poor baby had the complications not me. With #2 I labored for a day before it also ended in a c-secction...and my third was planned for physically, but who can plan for something like that emotionally??? We can talk about that more another time. ;)
    It does feel super lonely. And lots of other feelings.
    Keep going - and keep sharing!

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    1. Jessica, I had no idea you went through that to get your sweet babies, I'm so sorry. I can't tell you how much it means to me that you told me. I thought I was nuts for being so emotionally frustrated about it, and hearing from friends makes me feel not so crazy. I love you so much for sharing. xoxo

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  7. Oh, Alyssa, I am inspired by your courage. Our birth stories are so personal, and become a deep part of our DNA for the rest of our lives, don't they? I have been inspired, and just generally fascinated, by stories that women tell: where were the difficult times, where were the joyful times. And although our stories are each unique, I think our hearts quiver the same when we realize, in the listening and sharing, just how much we were willing to sacrifice to bring that little spirit into the world. Like, EVERYTHING. And we realize that, and we realize just how strong we are, and how totally amazing this planet is to be filled with mothers everywhere. What a champion you are :) You go, you Amazon you! xoxo

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    1. Marin, I just love you! Thank you for writing me. Your little guy is so sweet. xoxo

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  8. 3 c/s. All 3 emergencies. All 3 born very sick. 2 - the surgery saved their lives.

    My 1st son- the team already thought he was dead. They didn't send in a NICU team. They followed "fetal demise" protocol. 3 days in ICU, then we took him home.

    My 2nd son - a hole in his lung. 15 days in ICU. We took him home.

    Surgery is nothing when faced with losing your child. Your baby being born alive always wins.

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    1. lauren, i LOVE what you wrote at the end. "your baby being born alive always wins". at the end of the day, that's all the matters. thanks for commenting! xo

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  9. I had an emergency section on my first, his heart skyrocketed at 8 cm and they did what was safest for us both. I hated myself for it. My second was breach so I had to have another section. What a let down. I hadn't a choice then for number 3 & 4, sections all the way cuz my stomach would no longer have any strength for labor at all. I've always felt like I've missed some monumentally important part of being a woman, four kids and no real births? But even though I've now a crippled abdominal and a humongous fat flab hanging over my poor opened 4 times scar, I have four amazing children who might have all died if they were born in the times before cesarean sections. I might have as well. I'll always feel like I missed something, but at least I didn't miss the most important parts!

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    1. thank you for commenting, sweet anonymous!

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  10. I just happened to stumbled across this post and I read it to my husband. We both had feeling of sadness for you... not because you had a c section but because you feel the way you do about yourself having a c-section.

    I'm pregnant now and will be scheduling my c-section for this baby in February. My first son was born via c-section in Dec 2012 & to be honest, I wanted one. But because it wasn't the norm to have a c-section with your first baby without it being an emergency, I had to go through the normal protocol of attempting to deliver my baby. I was induced at 37 weeks and after a day of zero progress, my doctor suggested the c-section and I was all for it. Unbeknown to us at the time, my 3 week early baby was over 10lbs. (Apparently I'm a super cooker.)

    I've since changed doctors for this baby and the question of a v-bac was brought up in the beginning until my doctor checked my pelvis and immediately said, “Your previous doctor was smart to suggest the c-section. Your baby would have gotten stuck and you both could have died. It doesn't happen often but it does happen.” It solidified my decision to just be one of those moms who would enjoy my experience of being a c-section mommy.

    I have friends & family who delivered their babies how they deemed appropriate for their bodies. Some without medicine, some at home, some at the hospital with meds and then some like us. And something leads me to believe that God put us on this earth, at this time because He knew we needed intervention to get His little spirits down here AND keep us here to raise them.

    I've been fortunate to never have had people belittle me for my desire for a c-section so I never felt the need to belittle myself. To me, it wasn't about my experience, it was about getting my children here in the safest way I could with the body I've been given.
    I'm so sorry you've not been able to feel that way. I pray you've begun to feel some comfort since writing this post.
    God knows you and knew what you and your baby needed.... I hope you find that peace in knowing such.

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    1. i love what you wrote dessa. i feel like everyone's experience is different than they imagine, and for whatever reason, i took mine really hard. i love what you wrote about being the kind of mom that enjoys the experience of being a c section mommy. i feel like all things considered, i have much much more to be grateful for than things to feel bad about. congratulations on your little baby coming!! xo

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