there is no easy way "out"

7:47 AM

Gosh you guys I have been sweating over this for weeks now... But there's no getting around it. In exactly a month I will be having a c-section. Is it sad that I can't even say "meeting my son?" Because I feel like if I've learned anything during my pregnancy journey (both first time and this time around) it's that the fact that I'm having a scheduled c-section somehow means that I'm not actually bringing new life into this world. I don't belong in that club anymore. That club is strictly reserved for all the mothers who huff and puff on the delivery table for hours. No, it certainly will not be for me. You see I'll just be relaxing in the OR, perhaps doing some online shopping when someone will come and bring me a baby... That's how it works right?? You can even squeak by if it's an "emergency c-section," but if it's scheduled?? Oh boy you must really be some selfish robot brat.
In reality, I am terrified. More frightened than I ever was before my "completely natural" delivery with Birdie. I figured my body would know what to do and essentially it would go more or less the way my "What To Expect When Expecting" book made it sound like. Including the "not so serious contractions" lasting for about four hours, to actively laboring for about two to four hours, transition for another hour or so, push for twenty minutes to an hour and then ta-da!! Baby is here!! With minimal tearing of course (that is what's common after all, only like some freakish 3% of women end up with more than first degree tears)! I even did the hypnobirthing thing so I was totally "psssh I got this!" wonder woman when it came to laboring. Here's what actually happened:
I had prodromal labor for almost three weeks, actively labored for just under two hours, went through transition in fifteen minutes, pushed for six and then came the ta-da! And my body paid for it dearly. Since Birdie has become obsessed with Peppa Pig I've watched the "Whistling" episode about a million times and there is one line in particular that always sticks with me no matter how many times I've heard it that week: "Oh Daddy, I think I have the wrong sort of mouth." I can't help but think that "Oh Daddy I have the wrong sort of body."
I'm not sure what happened. Actually, nobody is sure what happened; not my midwife, not my physical therapist who I worked with for six months postpartum, not the pelvic surgeon who gave me the most painful injection on planet earth (granted it helped, somewhat) and not the OB I've been seeing with this pregnancy. All anyone knows, myself included, is that I somehow "injured my tailbone" during delivery. This un-diagnosis has of course provided me with little comfort, especially considering the fact that almost two years later sitting for longer than fifteen minutes still causes me pain. Sitting on the floor is right out and benches, wooden chairs and barstools are pretty much my idea of a torture device. Not a day goes by that I don't wince from the pain and am reminded that my body will never be the same.
You would think this would all work to make me feel better about the c-section, perhaps even look forward to it, but it doesn't - not one bit. First of all, I have a needle phobia and the thought of an IV and epidural send me into hour long anxiety spirals every night. Second, I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed that I can't just will my body to do it right this time and bring this boy into the world as naturally as possible. I feel like I'll just be on the sidelines while everyone else does the work of "birthing" him. Sometimes I even allow myself to go as far as to think that perhaps I should just risk it, maybe it won't be so bad this time?? And yet, everyone that has any sense in them (clearly I don't) reminds me that to put such stress on a part of my body that hasn't even healed yet is not only careless but dangerous.
There is one thing that convinces me that I'm doing the right thing and that is the memory of the person I was during my recovery. Just like any first time mum I dreamt of coming home with my firstborn for months. I dreamt of the way I would cradle her and the way I would rock her and cuddle with her. The way I would lovingly breastfeed her in the rocking chair for hours and all the adorable photos I would take of her in all the million of outfits I had been collecting for months. Instead, the day we came home I could barely walk and sitting was out of the question. The pain was monstrous and I was completely unprepared for it. I couldn't even get Birdie out of her co-sleeper  that was attached to our bed so every time I needed to nurse her I had to call for papa bear to come and lay her on my chest. At night I cried myself to sleep and during the day I blankly stared out in front of me feeling empty, scared and frustrated. This was not how it was supposed to be. I barely took any photos. I rarely got out of bed (it was next to impossible some days). I was just surviving. My only goals were to make sure that I attended to all of Birdie's needs, there was nothing outside of that.
I eventually became more mobile and figured out a way that I could sit by putting most of my weight on one of my thighs. I spent the next year trying to fix something that it turned out was unfixable and it of course took up a lot, too much, of my time and focus. Between health insurance and appointments it felt like I had a second part-time job. It was rough and I was miserable but the thing I hate most when I look back on that time is that I feel like I never got the chance to be the mother I dreamed of being to Birdie. And that's something I will never get back.
So whenever I judge myself or think about being judged for this decision I remember that if I put my health at risk for a few hours in an effort to be a "natural mother" I can, or probably will, rob my child of having a "present mother" for potentially years to come. And so really, in the end, I'm not even doing this for me, I am doing this for them. I am doing this because I want to be there fully and completely. I want to rock my little boy and be swallowed up by his newborn goodness. I want to be present and active with my girl and be able to give her the attention, love and time that she deserves as well. And yes, right now, for me, that means that I will birth this boy via c-section. And I think I'm finally making peace with that.

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31 notes

  1. Thank you for such an honest post! Although I'm not pregnant (yet), I have a ton of anxiety over the whole ordeal! I too have severe phobia of needles (they send me into seizures) and so I have melt downs every once and a while, thinking that there is no way that I can give birth. I go between the coping mechanism of saying, I'll just do it 100% natural or I'll just have them put me out and do a c-section. After seeing so many of my friends have babies, I've realized that there is way too much emphasis put on the "mechanics" of the birth and not enough on where the baby is coming home to. Is this baby going to having a loving mother and father, will it have a stable home life? There is no shame in what method of birth that you choose. Bravo for you and your sweet family for bringing another baby into the world!

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    1. Thank you so, so much for your kind words. It seems like you are totally on the right track! And as far as the needle phobia goes, my mum told me that I would get used to it and it turns out she was right. I guess it's just good old "conditioning" but when you end up having to be around needles on a weekly basis the fear subsides with every time. I just kept telling myself that I was doing it for the health and wellbeing of my baby and surprisingly that helped me feel strong and brave. Wishing you all the very best my dear! xo

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  2. I feel for you - I had planned to have a 'natural' birth, but some complications popped up that led to them inducing me - and with a pitocin birth you get painkillers, unless you are superhuman which I am most definitely not.

    I will give you this advice - I also have a huge fear of needles, and the epidural was the least scary thing about all of it. Getting the blood sticks for the labs was worse than the epidural, really; they give you a local, which burns for a second in a wide patch and doesn't feel like a needle at all, then it fades and then you don't feel the epidural go in at all. Then they talk you through the whole thing and there's a nurse holding you (and Papa Bear could, too - Jason can't handle seeing me with needles so he couldn't stay in the room for it) and then you feel a cold feeling in your back and no pain. yours will go even faster for a C-section. And it'll be faster than a vaginal birth - more time with your new baby. I know it's not much of a help, but it's something.

    What matters, in the end, is that mama, papa, and baby come home. You get that? You've got half of heaven right there.

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    1. Oh goodness Katie I SO needed to hear this! Thank you so much for sharing so much information, I feel like the more I have the calmer I feel about the whole thing. This was so helpful to me and your kind words have stuck in my mind. Blessings to you and your sweet family! xoxo

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  3. Hey, I wish you extra strength and nerves for this delivery. If he is out and you hold him and you are both well, then that is all that counts and you can hopefully forget about the rest real fast. And dont think you don't have a share in bringing him into the world: you carried him for all these months, taking care that he is well and growing. And you will do so much more for him in the years to come. So what do these 5 minutes count?

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    1. My dear! Thank you so much for this!! I will never forget your kindness and support! Means the world to me! xoxo

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  4. What a heartfelt and honest post! It's so refreshing to see something real and relatable in mommy blogging. I don't think you should feel any shame about this c-section because, as you said, it's the best thing for your little ones. It sounds like you're a great mom and birdie and her future little brother are very lucky to have you

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    1. Thank you so, so much!! This means the world to me! xo

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  5. I was terrified about needing a c/s with my 4th, but it went off perfectly and I'm grateful to have had the experience. It changed me in ways that my prior births and even my vbac that I had later didn't. I hope yours goes just as well. Good luck and congratulations.

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    1. Thank you so much for this perspective! I really, really appreciate it! Blessings to you and your fam! xo

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  6. Wishing you good juju, strength, and peace with this birth and your recovery after. C-sections don't make you any less of a woman or any less of a mother. It's tough but don't be convinced otherwise, you're doing great.

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  7. you stop right now, sweet girl. i had 4 c-sections with my boys. all planned. all necessary. and in return i had 4 healthy babies. please do not for one smidge of a second think you are selling out by taking advantage of modern medicine. and it's sooooo much sweeter knowing what you are in for rather than have an emergency c-section. obvis. xoxoxo

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    1. This was beautiful and I really needed to hear it. Thank you so, so much!! xoxo

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  8. Girlfriend, I had a planned c-section with Charlie and I feel you on so much of this. But remember, any way you have your baby doesn't change the fact that you're HAVING your baby. Natural, c-section, whatever...you are a mama and there are different hard parts and easy parts about each thing. Sure, you may not belong to the natural birthing club anymore, but you're part of the "I birthed my baby and made the best choice possible for my family" club- and it's a pretty good club to be in. And YES you can definitely say you'll be "meeting" your son...when they hold him up for you that first time, it will be just as magical, I promise you.

    Here's Charlie's birth story- I hope it helps you!

    http://sometimessweet.blogspot.com/2013/08/charlie-birth-story.html

    All my love, sweet friend!
    xo
    Dani

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing this with me sweetheart!!! Your calming words have definitely helped to put me at ease! And thank you for the birth story! I can't wait to read it! The more of them that I read the better I feel about the whole thing. And you're right about everything, just look at your gorgeous boy! He is PERFECT!! Love you my dear!! xoxo

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  9. I know I just commented on your Insta, but I just wanted to come here and leave you a couple of links to a couple of posts when I went through this very same kind of situation, in case you need some encouragement. Sorry to hear about your health issues, and wishing you all the peace of mind! Loves to you, friend!

    http://www.alongabbeyroad.com/2013/10/coming-to-grips-with-having-c-section.html

    http://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/pregnancy/how-i-let-go-of-my-fear-of-having-a-c-section.aspx

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    1. Thank you so much darling!! I cannot read enough about it! Oddly it helps calm my nerves so I so much appreciate this!! You are so sweet to share this! xoxoxo

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  10. I am so so sorry to hear about what a rough time you had after your first pregnancy. I cannot imagine the pain you were in and still feel and the sadness you feel looking back at that time. Have your c-section and don't worry about what anyone thinks or says! It's none of their business and you have one of the most legit reasons to do it ever! I am SO SICK of the mommies out there who talk and blog about the way they do things and how they're the right and only way... the judgements need to stop! Everyone has their own way and reasons. It almost makes me dread my own future pregnancy; the unsolicited advice, fear of judgement, overwhelming choices every direction I turn... women and girls can be so mean! But I can't imagine anyone who knows you thinking ill of your choice (and apparent best option.) You just GIVE BIRTH to that little boy (yes, you are a huge part of this!) and enjoy your new little family of four!

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    1. Awww!! Emily! Thank you SO MUCH for this!! You have no idea how much it helped to read your kind words, I have a feeling I will be going back to them again and again between now and my c-section. You are the sweetest! xoxoxo

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  11. That was such an honest post, thank you!
    I think you need to trust that the doctors know what's best and, like you said in your post, you want to be present for your little boy in the first weeks of his life, not dealing with docs appointments, taking pain killers and suffering. Caring for a newborn (and a toddler) is hard as it is, no need to add to it I think!
    I made a mistake of thinking that because I had an easy pregnancy I will have an easy birth. My plan was to have a pain relief free water birth, serene and gentle. When labour started and I was told I would be induced I cried and cried for hours. In the end I had an epidural and a forceps delivery after hours and hours of labour, lost a lot of blood and was a mess. I was so exhausted that I could barely hold my daughter in my arms to breastfeed her. I guess if I'm pregnant again I'll just go with the flow for the labour/delivery and I'll try not to have any set plans. The most important thing is your baby's and your wellbeing, so keep that in mind! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and cannot wait to see pictures of a new addition to your sweet family. Lots of love from the UK :)

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    1. Oh my gosh you poor thing!! I can't even imagine what you must have gone through. I want to send you a huge hug from across the pond! I think a lot of women mistakenly buy into this romanticized notion of labor when there really is nothing romantic about it - at least I found it to be quite frightening, exhausting and "medical" (if that makes any sense). And it's a serious thing, you're not getting a massage, you're getting a human taken out of your body! I hope you are feeling better since and enjoying your life as a mama! Blessings to you and your family!! xoxo

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  12. Hi, just commented on Instagram and forgot to reassure you about the needles. Sadly I had to have a spinal black after my natural delivery as I needed surgery to stop my PPH and put my nethers - ahem - back to vaguely working order! I also had one for my section. The section epidural was a breeze & I am terrified of needles. Honestly - they take their time, they keep you calm and you can't feel anything happening. I used lavender oil during my surgery and prep for theatre to keeps calm - I had found it a really great pain relief technique during my natural delivery and then I used lemon oil after my daughter was delivered to keep memories fresh and clean - it really helped. I wish you all the best and I really hope you man she to find calm & peace because a planned section can be such a beautiful experience if you let it! A diamond is a diamond whatever box it comes in! 😊😘

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    1. Awww!! Thank you so much for this! It has made me have a lot more peace about the whole thing. The more information I have on my hands the better I feel. So sorry to hear about your delivery, I cannot even imagine. I hope you are feeling better now and enjoying being a mama!! Blessings to you and your sweet family! xo

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  13. i think there's a bit of a grieving process with every birth. something is bound to be different than what we imagined or hoped for. i also think its brave of you to choose yourself and your family over meeting someone else's expectations of what makes us a "natural mother".

    plus, there are some amazing hospitals here in atlanta! i delivered at northside both times, and i am still so grateful for the care and attention lavished on me.

    i hope you find piece and rest as you head into this wonderful time as a mami of two!

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    1. I think you are completely right, I couldn't agree more. And yay for Northside! That is where I will be and I am so happy to be hearing all these good things about it! Thank you for your kind words, they mean the world to me! Blessings to you and your family! xoxo

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  14. It doesn't matter how you get that baby out of you, YOU grew him in your body so YOU brought him into the world. Nobody else. The birth is such a blip on the radar of the whole thing. Birthing options have gotten to the point where things are trendy these days. Personally, I don't think anything should be "in" or "out" when it comes to delivering a baby! Whenever I felt like I was overthinking it when I was pregnant, I would remind myself that if a mother from 100 years ago could see me or hear me, she'd think I was ridiculous! Haha! You're making the choice that your children and your family need you to make. It's the strong, brave thing to do. And it's gonna be wonderful!!!

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  15. P.S. I'm totally catching up on your blog right now. I think it's been like three months since I've even looked at a blog!

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    1. Awww!! You are the sweetest!! And THANK YOU for that email!! I will respond as soon as I can but please know that it has already helped SO MUCH!! Love you girl!! xoxo

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  16. I just wrote this whole comment and it disappeared! Basically, I had a similar experience. Fast and furious natural birth, and a deep loud pop as my daughter came shooting out of me. I couldn't sit for months, saw a chiropractor everyday for months, and three years later I still can't sit on hard surfaces, do proper sit ups or sit in the same spot for too long. It's way better than it was, but I doubt it will ever be normal. And reading your experience with needing a c-section makes me wonder what another pregnancy would bring for me. I live overseas now, and I'm not sure anyone would really "get" what happened. Did the doctors tell you you needed one because it could happen again? Sorry, I don't mean to pry, and of course I know they scheduled one for a good reason, just curious how that happened. So I know what to ask the next time around!! I wish you lots of luck, and the best of healing. Good luck mama!!

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  17. My sister in law follows your blog and sent this over telling me I had to read this post. Reading your post I was surprised at how similar our stories are, it was nuts! I have looked all over the internet and talked to doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists to name a few and none have really heard about a situation quite like mine. I felt like maybe I was the only one who went through this until I read your post.

    I just had my baby a week ago today by c-section as to not stir things up with my tailbone again. Even though I am in some pain from the incision it is NOTHING compared to the pain I felt with my tailbone. I too like you have been unable to get my pain to go away completely. It is SO much better than it was in the beginning but I still cringe every time I stand up after sitting for over 15 mins. I feel that I am about 70% better at this point and that is why the thought of risking going back to the beginning by doing a vaginal birth was so frightening.

    I just want to say that I can relate to the difficulty you are going through moving to a c-section. Everyone before the birth and everyone at the hospital asked, "so why a c-section this time since you had a vaginal birth the first time, is she breech?". It felt like every time I had to give details explaining why and share how long and how painful the tailbone pain was and still is for people to understand why I would choose a c-section.

    I don't know if I made the best decision since I will never know if having a vaginal birth would have messed my tailbone up again, done nothing or maybe even fixed it but I do think I made the right decision for me. The last week since the birth has been amazing to be able to sit and hold my daughter and to move around more easily (even after a c-section).

    I wish you a smooth delivery and healing and I am very excited for you. Thank you so much for sharing your story so honestly with the world. It was so helpful to read this a few days before having my baby.

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