Recently a friend of mine delivered a handsome, healthy baby boy. His delivery was rough, my friend wanted a completely natural and drug free birth. My friend is a very petite girl and her husband is a tall big man. The baby was estimated at 8lbs at 36 weeks. She ended up with a csection. When she told me, it was simple with a sad smiley face. I empathized so much with her. I knew exactly the emotions and anger she was encountering.
Most expecting parents have a pretty good plan of how they would like their births to go. We all come up with some sort of plan. With Eyan I wanted All.The.Drugs and was hoping I would go to term and go into labor naturally to avoid an induction. I did not want a csection or episiotomy.
Obviously my entire birth plan went out the window when complications of eclampsia arose. To say that Eyan’s delivery was traumatic would be an understatement. I ended with an induction, episiotomy and an emergency c-section which still upsets the heck out of me. I have birth trauma with that little boy. I remember feeling angry at my body for failing me. I remember questioning if I “could” have really gotten him out. The disappointment, guilt and lack of worth as a mother were not exactly a great way to kick off this parenting business.
Can you believe that one little plan caused me to feel worthless? I had built up that day for so long and when it didn’t go remotely close to plan, my self-esteem, and confidence went out the window. I lost control (and giving up control is not something I deal well with). Even as I beat the odds with nursing a NICU baby and even as I snuggled that newborn I had longed for, that worthlessness was still lingering.
I was not strong enough to do what my body should have done and I failed. I.Never.Fail. I am a planner, I am a control freak and failing does not happen. That was a hard pill to swallow. I wanted to delivery my baby. I wanted to remember his first cry. I wanted to be the first to hold him. A lot of damn “I’s” there.
The entire pregnancy, it was about me and my plans and my baby. Of course I was concerned for the baby and knew that if things went wrong, the doctors could do whatever they needed to do to get him out safely, but in reality I did not think anything like that would happen.
Overtime I realized a lot of things:
1. Eyan came into this world in true Eyan fashion; bold, dangerous and surprising us all. His birth was not how I had planned, but it was exactly how it was supposed to be.
2. I will never be in control again when it comes to parenting. I sure can pretend and try, but life happens and control is something I have to learn to let go of.
3. I DID deliver that baby. If it was not for my body being his safe haven for 9 months, he would not be here. I may not have pushed him out, but my body went through just as much pain, love and effort to get him here as any other woman. My body did NOT fail, I did NOT fail and I have a healthy 3 year old boy to prove that.
4. There is no reason to compare my birth experience with anyone. Whether you deliver your baby vaginally or via csection is insignificant. When that baby is there, people do not care how he got here. They care that mom and baby are healthy and safe.
5. “Could” I have gotten Eyan out?? Who cares! I look back now, two c-sections out and am thankful for modern medicine. I am thankful that I get to contemplate the “would have’s and could have’s.” 50 years ago, Eyan and I would have probably died during childbirth. Women still die during childbirth and I almost did. So who cares, we lived, we survived and there was finally a “WE!”
6. I have a baby. I should respect that statement with my history. I have a baby. I am blessed. Who the hell cares how he got into the world, at least he is here and he is mine. So many long for that, and focusing my energy on my own insignificant insecurities is just stupid. I needed to appreciate my blessing.
7. 3 years and 2 babies out I would not trade my csections for vaginal births. Yeah the recovery isn’t as fast, yeah I have a huge (bad ass) scar, and yeah it was major surgery. However, labor sucks. No seriously, it sucks and I got to go through labor with Eyan without the pain meds actually functioning. I do not need that pain to make me feel like a good mother. I AM A GREAT MOM!
Birth plans are just our hopes of what will happen, based on what is average for the masses typically. In reality, things rarely go as planned and most times, in the aftermath, we realize that things happened just the way they were supposed to. We will soon find that nothing with children will usually follows a plan. That is what makes life interesting, that is what makes LIFE.