Well, on the topic of my birth giving experience, anyway.
It’s no secret that giving the birth to Baby G did not go entirely to plan. As in pre-eclampsia necessitated an induction at 38 weeks, which became an emergency c-section, and the plan was for pretty much the opposite of that. Going into labor naturally, laboring at home for as long as possible and (most importantly) not being sliced open from hip to hip. Of course, these changes also effected the time immediately after his birth. We didn’t get the family bonding time. Hell, he was over an hour old before I even became conscious. So, things were not as planned.
At first I felt quite ripped off by this. Why after all the heartbreak and trouble getting him here was there more disappointment?!?! Mind you this was tempered with a whole, whole lot of “holy shit we finally have a baby and he’s perfect and yay!” But, still under the surface there was a disappointment over the way he came into the world and I felt very much like I’d failed. I felt like if only I could have held on for a few more days. I felt I was being a wimp, because the pre-e was only effecting me, the baby’s stats all seemed fine. I felt like I let the doctor jump the gun because I felt so crummy and I should have fought more for the natural experience. I felt like I had cheated Baby G of all the wonderful things I had planned for him.
I am an idiot. This is not new news, I know. But, let me finish anyway…
In all of my self doubting and pissing and moaning I forgot several things but one very important thing: my OB has been delivering babies for 20 years. He has seen things go crazy right and he has seen The Worst Possible Outcome. It is his job to make sure babies are born alive. He saw a very real threat to both of his patients and did what he felt was best to make sure neither of them died. Because pre-e does kill babies. Babies that seem quite fine on the ultrasound/NST, do suddenly lose their heartbeat when their mommies have pre-e. It is not a disease that just makes Mommy feel like shit for a few weeks.
Unfortunately, it took a devastating loss to a member of this community to remind me of this. My heart is still broken for Jen and her beautiful angel Evelyn. This post has been stewing for over two months, because every time I tried to write it I became so overcome with grief for her that I could stop crying to type. Even though we have never met, I think of her as a friend and my heart is truly broken for her. I hate that it took her experiencing The Worst Possible Outcome in order for me to find peace with my birth experience.
I no longer wish things had gone differently. I no longer care that he was born via c-section. I no longer mourn the loss of my idyllic little post birth nursing and snuggling fest before anyone else got to see him. I no longer think it’s a big deal that I don’t know when his cord was clamped. Why? Because right now, he’s asleep in my bed. I can go in there and kiss him and watch him breathe. Because any second now I might hear him yell Ma Ma Ma and know that he is actually calling for me to come get him. Because he’s here and he’s alive and he’s beautiful and that’s all that matters.