This was posted by a friend on Facebook and it is a beautifully written letter to us C-section mamas.
I have wanted to write about my birth experiences for a while now, and this (and Michelle’s encouragement) gave me the motivation to do so.
When I had Miles I had a birthing plan; no drugs, all natural, I took hypno-birthing classes, I was determined to do it all on my own like the women squatting behind a tree back in the day. I mean women have been giving birth for centuries, why couldn’t I?
This was when I learned my motto, “You can plan all you want, and then life happens.”
Apparently, Miles did not get a copy of the birth plan (I had made several, I don’t know how that could have happened). Long story short he made his way out vaginally, but not without meconium, a lot of back labor, an epidural, 3 hours of pushing, and a near silent birth to allow for the docs to clear his nose and mouth without him aspirating.
But he was healthy, and I felt proud for what my body had accomplished. If we ever had another baby I would try again to be a natural as can be, but I would take with me the realizations that plans can change.
And did they ever.
At 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant, Ava was on her way. I was prepared this time with really no plan other than to go with the flow. If I needed the drugs, so be it.
At this point, C-section wasn’t even on the radar. My ideas of going with the flow were solely focused on allowing myself to be ok with getting an epidural.
And things were going well. I was that Mama birthing behind the tree! Things were going so well, that at 4pm the nurse even commented that “I don’t normally make predictions, but this baby will probably be here by 6pm tonight.”
And again, life happened.
My water broke, the baby came down pretty fast and, well, got stuck. Not matter how many times I pushed, or what positions I did it from it didn’t work. I got the drugs and thought that maybe if I could relax and have a break, things would change. She could move, or turn or whatever.
She didn’t. My midwife informed me that the baby’s heart rate was dipping more than she would like, and broached the subject of C-section. What it basically came down to was that she was pretty sure I was not going to birth vaginally, now the choice was if I was going to be awake for the surgery or not.
Lying on the table, arms strapped down, getting taken apart and put back together, I kept thinking of if I could have done things differently… could I have tried harder? I was beginning to think I was a huge failure, that my body had failed this baby. That I had failed this baby…
But then the doctor took her out, and over her bellowing cries exclaimed, “It’s a healthy GIRL!”
Immediately, I was aware of what was most important.
The way my babies came into the world was far less important than how they arrived. They may have come to me through drugs and surgery, but they came to me healthy. And I in turn was able to come to them as a healthy mom to take care of them.
For me it was my first taste of what parenthood was all about. I realized that my life as their mom was going to be filled with decisions I would have to make to determine their future. And those decisions, I knew, would be tough and not necessarily how “everyone says you should do it,” but they would be what I felt was the best decision I could make for my family.
So let’s start here with support, and not judgment. Share with us our birth experience in the comments.