I've just re-read Mushroom's birth story, which was my very first post on this blog and I honestly don't think I conveyed how traumatic that experience was for me.
Maybe because it's not until months later, that you start to realise what fully happened to you.
Like you were in this car crash and you just blocked it out because you survived and your baby survived and nothing else matters because you're both here and healthy... But the thing is, is that it does matter. It matters because you want to have another kid one day and that means you have to do this all over again, and perhaps that fear and anxiety will sit at the edge of your conciousness until then.
I'm going to talk about it here today. Because I'm ready to, and because I need to.
This is a LONG rambling post...
When you're going through all these things for the the first time, you're at a distinct disadvantage. You have no idea what to expect. You read, you go to classes, you listen to everyone's stories, but you don't really know. It's like parenthood, nothing can actually prepare you. It's pretty hard to prepare for something when you have no idea how your body will react. I had only been in hospital once in my 31 years before I had the Mushroom. I've had no broken bones, no major illnesses, I even had my wisdom teeth out in the chair with a local anaesthetic. I had never hurt myself before and the only time I had surgery was when I was very small and had to get grommets in my ears. I can't even remember that. So I literally had no frame of reference. I knew birth wouldn't be fabulous but honestly, how bad could it be? People went back again to have more so it can't possibly be that bad? Right?! Even sadder is that I can literally only remember one person telling me that she had amazing births with her two children and that she felt empowered and awesome afterwards.
I know a lot of people.
So there I am, the pain is all in my back, I am tired, I am scared, I am wondering why my body can't do the one thing that it was made to do? And why am I so fricking useless? Can I not do anything right?... See what happened there? The self blaming? This is what happens... women always do it. Somehow, despite it actually being no-one's fault, your mind decides that it's your fault. It's something you did or didn't do, somehow this could have been prevented. Honestly, it's bullshit but it's real.
The thing about emergency caesareans is that you're already exhausted. You've been in pre-labour for days, you've been in active labour.. you're tired, you're confused, you're upset and you're also scared. It's shithouse. Because of all these things, I feel like I have no voice. The thing that I remember most clearly is sobbing uncontrollably for hours. Just little gaspy sobs. Defeated crying. That and the unbelievable pain. And Juffin's white face.
I also feel terrible guilt because other women went through much worse. Much, much worse. Does this detract from my experience? No. Does this make what happened to me any less terrible? Of course not, it just means that I feel silly about sharing these feelings with other mothers.
I also feel guilt because I got pregnant, had a healthy baby, came out relatively unscathed. Many women don't get to experience pregnancy, birth, motherhood.
I am grateful for so many things. I breastfed, without issue, for two years. I recovered well and didn't have to revisit hospital for caesarean complications. My baby was healthy, and happy. I didn't suffer from post natal depression. Really, I was lucky.
But you still feel like a failure. I can't shake it and I think I'll feel like that forever, regardless of how many people tell me otherwise.
I'm trying not to worry about April. I have decided on a VBAC but I know that anything can happen. On Monday last week I went to a VBAC info session at the hospital but up until then I had not thought about it in any detail. I have not googled. I briefly looked over the pamplet given to me at my first midwife appointment but I think I've put up a bit of a wall. I wish I could get over it but I am terrified about re-living that experience.
At the end of the day, I'm realistic about my chances. I will do whatever's best for my baby and for me. There's no sense in anyone getting hurt because I have to have my baby the way you're supposed to. I will not be stubborn, but I will be strong. And I will be okay with whatever decision we make. I know at the end I will have a baby, and that will make it all worth it.
I'd love to hear your empowering, positive birth experiences so please feel free to message me or if you don't mind sharing, post away.