photo by Surely Sweet Photography

Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It shouldn't be about business.

I'm sitting here watching the Business of Being Born for the first time.  I've put it off, knowing that it would only confirm this nagging voice telling me that with the next birth, I do not want another c-section.  I've finally sat down to watch it, and I was right.  Less than 5 minutes into it, it just confirmed I want a midwife to deliver my next baby.  And here I am writing this.  Which I've also been putting off. 

Riley was born via c-section, after a scheduled induction.  I was 38 weeks, 4 days pregnant.  I had been dilated at a 2 for a couple of weeks, and having horrible back labor.  I went in for an appointment at 38 weeks, and the doctor suggested scheduling the induction.  I was so done at that point, that I agreed.  I was uncomfortable. 

"I" being the key word.  But in all honesty, I was fine with it.  I was still hoping to hold off on the epidural as long as possible.  I only wanted it as a last resort, for when I couldn't take the pain any longer. 

I went in early on the scheduled day.  The IV with the pitocin drip was started at about 7:00 am.  By 1:00 (or so, I don't remember exactly), I was dilated to "barely 4 cm".  The doctor had broken my water a few hours earlier (which was extremely painful without any pain meds), but things weren't progressing as they liked. 

I asked for an epidural then, after they upped the pitocin, trying to speed things along.  Well, labor stalled after that.  I couldn't feel the contactions, thanks to the drugs.  I watched them on a moniter.  Around 5:45 pm, I was still at a 4, so the doctor recommended a c-section.  He cited "failure to progress" as the reason.  He also told me Riley's head was getting stuck in my pelvic bone. 

Riley was born at 6:15 pm in an operating room.  The cord was wrapped around his neck, so it was a couple of minutes (that felt like an eternity) before we heard his cry.  Once we did, it was the best sound in the world!  I cried silent tears of joy.  I still hold dear that moment when I heard him for the first time, and then a few minutes later when I saw him.  As soon as they closed me up and took me back to my room, Riley was there waiting for me.  I nursed him within minutes of returning to the room.  He stayed in my room the entire stay at the hospital.  I wanted him close so I could nurse on demand.  And, I didn't want to be away from him.

Riley, just minutes old in the OR.
He weighed in at 8 lb 2 oz!
When I was pregnant with Elijah, I was unsure of what to do.  I liked the idea of a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), but I was scared something would go wrong.  I was scared of going through the labor process, and still needing a c-section.  I spoke to my ob/gyn about what to do (a different one, since we thought we were going to move at the time).  She told me because of the circumstances of my delivery with Riley, that she would only do a scheduled c-section. 

I ended up changing back to the ob that delivered Riley when we realized we would not be moving.  I spoke with him about what to do.  He told me it was my decision.  Great.  Now *I* had to be the one to decide.  Secretly, I was hoping he would just tell me so I wouldn't have to think about it.  I wanted a VBAC, but I was scared.

The fear won. 

We scheduled a c-section for 11/11/09.  Eight days before his due date.  I kinda liked that day, it would be easy to remember.  And it happens to be Veteran's Day. 

It was very different than the first birth.  Very calm.  A lot of waiting, not feeling at all like we were about to change our family forever.  Eli was born at 8:03 am.  Less than 2 hours after arriving at the hospital.  His cry came almost immediately after he was out, and it was a very surreal moment.  I was able to breastfeed him as soon as I returned to my room.  But I was so out of it from the drugs that I ended up sleeping most of the morning.  Eli was in the nursery most of that time.  Which is not something I wanted, but I was so out of it, I couldn't really complain.  That was the only time he was away from me, since we also "roomed in". 

Elijah, seconds old in the OR.
He weighed in at 8 lb 10 oz!

I can't go back and change anything about my 2 birth experiences.  I don't feel guilty about them, either.  I don't feel cheated.  It is what it is.  I was (and am) happy I had a healthy baby in my arms after each birth.  Not all moms are so blessed.  I won't be ashamed to tell the anyone about how my children came into this world.

I'm not any less of a mom because I've had 2 c-sections.  Nor do I love my babies any less.

At the time, I really didn't know any different than what has become the "norm" for births in America.  I didn't know anyone who had a midwife instead of an OB.  I didn't know anyone in real life who had a successful VBAC.  Online, of course I read success stories.  But those didn't feel real since they were just people behind a computer screen. 

But now I do.  The cloth diaper community has opened my eyes to a whole new world of birth!  Now I know there are midwives in this area that will do VBA2C's.  I know people who have given birth in birth centers.  And at home.  And even at home unassisted, without a midwife. 

Before the accident happened, we had discussed trying for #3 in the summer of 2011.  Well, things didn't exactly work out they way we planned.  Techically, I could get pregnant now if we wanted.  I have been told my pelvic bone is all healed up, and there are no more surgeries anticipated.  But we have been through so much in the last 10 months, both physically and emotionally, that we have decided to wait.  My body is still healing.  6 surgeries in an 8 month span is hard on any body.  I'm still trying to figure out my new "normal".  We are trying to heal and move on after a life changing event. 

I don't know when we will have another baby.  But I know our family is not complete just yet.  For now, we will enjoy life!  God has His own plans.  We may not know what He has in store for us, but I know He will continue to bless us more than we deserve!

When we feel the time is right to have another baby, I want to see a midwife. I want to give birth in a birth center. I'm not quite sure of a home birth, especially after 2 c-sections. I would feel more comfortable not in my own home. Especially if we move to the country soon.

I want to experience spontaneous labor. The anticipation of adding another child to our family.

I won't let fear win again.

I want to experience birth the way it was meant to be.

1 comment: