Sunday, July 26, 2009

Birth

No pictures folks, just thoughts. I need to get it out so here it is. We watched Kai's first year video the other day and in the beginning of it, is me, enduring a contraction at about the 9cm dilation mark. I'm so glad we have it on video and this got me thinking a lot about him coming into the world (my baby is going to be 3 in a week!!!).

Also, since being at Caden's birth, a lot of feelings have resurfaced for me regarding Kai's birth. I never, ever imagined having a C-section. I packed enough for 1 day in the hospital. I am a very determined/stubborn person and felt that I could handle any challenge (and kind of welcome it in a way). If I set my mind to do something, I do it. I'm strong physically and have done a lot of challenging things (adventure races, mountain climbing, half marathons...). I'm strong mentally in that if I say I'm going to do something, I make myself do it. I like to have control over everything in my life. I know I'm not really the one in control but sometimes I like to think so:)

I made it to 10cm dilated just sucking back on gas and moaning and groaning. I `got' to push for 1.5 hours. I remember saying to the nurse that there was no way I could get that baby out and she said I had to visualize. So I visualized and pushed like never before and I swear they were about to say `There's the head!', but they never did. I endured an internal manual rotation. I got an epidural. I pushed with an epidural for another half an hour. In the end, Kai's 95%ile head and his bad positioning (posterior and coming out ear first I believe) meant that it was unlikely that I could deliver him naturally. At that point, I was thinking that they could do whatever they wanted to me to get that baby out. I had no idea what a C-section was about. I thought they would cut my entire belly from top to bottom and I didn't care. I was done. Done. Done. Little did I know that it's actually a very small incision but boy, it's deep and there is a lot of recovery to be done.

The recovery from labour, pushing and a C-section is insanely exhausting. There was no way I could imagine trying again. Maybe I should've, I don't know. How was I to know how big Koen would be? He was a few ounces smaller and his head was also not in the 95 percentile, so maybe I would've gotten him out. I had to recover from a C-section with a very bad cold/flu, maybe even bronchitis. Our entire family was sick. Again, tough recovery. Anyone who has had a C-section knows that coughing is not an easy feat. I also know though, that the recovery from a natural birth can be just as long and difficult.


I just need to feel content with my decision to have a planned C-section. I need to feel content with Kai's birth and not feel like a failure. I know in my head that I am so blessed to have 2 healthy baby boys and why should I complain that I had a C-section? I guess sometimes I just feel like everyone (I know its really not everyone) has had a natural birth and somehow I sucked and couldn't do it. I know this isn't the case, it's just how I feel sometimes.


I actually feel really fortunate that I experienced as much of labour as I could. I do understand when people talk about contractions, dilating, pushing etc. I hope to just feel content about it and satisfied with my decision to have a planned C-section. I know this feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty will arise if we have a third because now you can have a VBA2C. I'm pretty sure I would have a C-section again, but, is that just because I'm afraid of failure? It's so crazy how this is something I think about so much but it comes up so often! Talking to mom's at the park it always comes up and I feel like a wimp when I say I had a C-section. No offense to those that have had a C-section, there's nothing wimpy about it.

Anyway, just needed to vent. You never know what's going to get thrown your way in life. I need to be easier on myself and pray for contenment. I am really happy in my life, I just feel like I failed a part of it. I think it really has to do with how I always strive to do so well at things...maybe it's classic oldest child syndrome:) Okay, I'm done.

PS Koen went to be by 9pm the last two nights. This is sooooo awesome.
PPS It was way too muggy today.

9 comments:

  1. my second birth was "horrable". i had panic attacks was feeling out of sorts....
    but the one thing i regret the most is that when i was asked what midwife i wanted to have at my side. i first thought "m", but then changed my mind, because well, i don't know really.....
    the midwife who was supposed to deliver my baby, who should have been supportive, was the worst i could have asked for ever. we didn't come along AT ALL and it's been really hard to focus on the birth, not the horrable midwife....

    i gave natural birth twice, but the 2nd one was far away from being good! i still feel VERY guilty for making the wrong decision and for not having a positive memory on the birth of my daughter. it's something i have to deal with for one year now, but with the more "good memories" i'm making with her it's getting easier to let the delivery go.

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  2. dude, dude, dude. I KNOW you need to vent, and I am glad you have somewhere to do it. But you did not fail, you did not fail, you DID NOT FAIL. Births are beautiful. Remember the fact that choice is paramount here, and you made a thoughtful choice regarding how to give birth to Koen. You really did. Go back and read your posts! You mulled over the options, discussed it with your doctor, researched online--you didn't just go with convention or the easiest choice or what someone told you to do. You thought long and hard, and decided it was better to have a planned c-section than to get to 10 and push and push and wind up sectioned again. Remember? You just couldn't go there.
    That kind of thoughtful decision making is a sign of strength. You are strong and you know your body, and you know your mind. A woman who makes decisions like that is no failure. You are a good mom, you make good choices, and you made the best decision you could make for Koen's birth at that time in your life. I don't ever want you to feel that you have failed, because you are wonderful. And trust me, other moms don't think you have failed. Our culture is very accustomed to the idea of c-sections as another way to give birth.
    I felt for years that I hadn't somehow been initiated into real womanhood because I didn't go into labour with Ayden. It's crap. You grow a baby, nurture it, make the best choice you can regarding its birth, you love it and make the best choices you can to nurture, feed, and care for it, and THAT is what makes you a woman. Not vaginal births, nor contractions, nor any other line we draw in the sand to measure ourselves by.
    Your births were beautiful. Your kids are gorgeous. It is enough.
    I know it is hard, from experience. I still agonize over Ayden's birth and if I made the right choices. In fact, there are elements or Riley's birth that I agonize over too. It is such a vulnerable, impressionable, emotionally wide open time in our lives, it is hard not to go back and pick it apart, I think. But that open vulnerability is what makes us able to bond to our babies, so it is beautiful and wonderful and God's design.
    You made a good choice, with Koen. A thoughtful one. If you have another, you will make another thoughtful choice, and it will be good, no matter what you choose.
    xo

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  3. i can definitely appreciate what you're saying in this post. And I know you know that c-section is not the easy way out, or anything like that, but i have great respect for people who have recovered from c-sections. i can't imagine how hard that is, not to mention being sick on top of it all! Anyway, i think you shared very valid and real feelings about having c-sections. thanks for sharing it!
    ps. YAY koen!!!
    pps. I hear ya. i don't do muggy well (even though I have a/c, i still really dislike muggy weather.)

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  4. C- sections aren't wimpy - you guys, for the most part, have a WAY harder recovery!!! and i used some nice drugs to get me to 10cm so way to go on sucking on the almost useless gas :)

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  5. "...Kai's 95 % head..."? ReallY? Poor guy - I never realized he was missing 5% of his head!
    Weezer - you did the best job in birthing him! I'm sure nobody else would have been able to do it differently.

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  6. joanne6:54 AM

    Louise,

    I had 2 c-sections as well and my babies have turned out into lovely young ladies like yourself. What is most important esp as you watch them grow is that they are healthy and happy. Life could be a whole lot different if they would have suffered during a difficult vaginal delivery. How they came out/were born does not seem particularly important now.
    Enjoy your blessings.

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  7. Louise, it's ok (good!) to grieve a birth experience that wasn't what you had hoped and planned. But that doesn't mean beating yourself up and feeling like a failure! You worked HARD to birth Kai, and you worked hard at your decision making with regard to Koen's birth. At each of those moments you made the very best and loving decisions for your babies and yourself.

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  8. That's such a tough one. Always those questions of "what if". I had 2 natural deliveries and one planned c-section. The first two were large babies with big heads and I have a small pelvis. I had (and still have) issues from those deliveries. With the the third pregnancy I met with an obstetrician and discussed my options and decided to go for a planned c-section. The ironic thing is that she was the smallest baby by over a pound and had a tiny head. I have sometimes wondered if I should have "sucked it up" and had her naturally but her birth experience was by far the easiest recovery and the easiest transition as far as planning. I think sometimes no matter what happens we wonder how things would have gone the other way. When it really comes down to it, the deliveries are long in the past and our beautiful children are here and healthy. I hope that you don't feel bad.

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  9. I think the most key factor was what Joanne mentioned. Considering your experience with Kai, it was likely that you could have a dangerous struggle to deliver Koen. Like Ashley said, considering her history, c-section was recommended for the health of both her and the baby. You just never know, and I think you made a great decision. Women and babies used to die from "stuck" babies (still do in some cultures), and in this day and age, that's usually avoidable. Have you talked to Pam about her birth experiences?

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