Grieving the loss of a birth
I had it all mapped out in my head. Contractions would start! I would labor calmly at home until I was feeling pressure. Then, I would take the 90 second drive to the hospital and just push him out. It was going to be my second VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). That was the plan! That was what my birth was supposed to be like. After all, I am a doula and doulas have easy, natural births. I had this in the bag. At least that's what I thought.
I was just over 38 weeks pregnant when my water broke! It was about 10pm. I waited. I slept. I waited. I slept some more. Next thing I know, it's 9a.m and I am NOT in labor. At that point, my gut told me this wasn't going to be the labor that I had planned. At that point, I saw it best to head in to labor and delivery. Slowly I gathered my things, stopped at McDonalds for breakfast (Ya know, because they starve you in labor), and tried to get in a good head space.
We get to the hospital and go through all of the basics. Then.........we waited. I rocked on a ball, and waited some more. Contractions picked up, and I thought.....yes!!!! They got painful, but pain meant progress so I pushed through. Only to find that I was in fact NOT progressing much at all. At this point I caved. I took the drugs! Here, at this very momentt is where I feel I lost my birth. We discovered soon after getting the epidural that my son was OP (basically he was sunny side up). The nurses tried shifting me from side to side, the doctor tried to manually turn him, and I.....with my numb legs tried to get on my hands and knees (which did not work by the way). So here I lay realizing that I screwed up big time. First of all, what the hell was I thinking by not getting a doula? I'm a doula damnit! I should know better. Every woman can benefit from a doula. I swore I could doula myself though. WRONG! I needed a doula. Secondly, I took that epidural. Epidurals are great. Only issue is that, had I thought about the fact that I was in so much pain without having progress......I would have thought to check the babys position first. If I wasn't numb I could have done a little hip dip and turned him around. I just wasn't thinking!
Almost 36 hours later, it's inevitable! I knew it but I didn't want to hear it............C-Section! How did this happen? How could I let this happen? I had it all planned out and I did everything wrong! I cried as they prepped me. I was officially grieving the loss of my birth. It slipped right out of my hands. I remember the nurse saying "As long as the baby is healthy, that's all that matters." NO! That's not ALL that matters! Is it important? Absolutely. Is it a priority for us to be safe? For sure. Is it ALL THAT MATTERS though? Most certainly not. My birth mattered to me!
Fast forward 2 months, my baby boy is doing great. I'm doing great. I am still grieving this loss. It's a real thing! I often think about having another baby because I want a do over! I often rub my still numb belly and think back to that day. I get upset about it. I feel like I had total control but I lost it. I'm still trying to move forward, so I'm not blogging about this topic to tell you how I got through it. I'm blogging about this topic to let other moms know these feelings are real. It's ok let yourself grieve over the loss of your birth. You are not alone!