This will be a very difficult post for me to write. Because when I put it down in words, it’s real.
You may have noticed that Wednesday afternoon, I closed the comments on the last post. It wasn’t because there were offensive comments or any problem at all. It was because your comments were so thoughtful and encouraging…telling me that I could do it and that you had a great vbac and I will too. Every one of them became an unintentional stab in the heart.
Wednesday afternoon we found out that unless I go into spontaneous labor all on my own, I would be having a c-section Monday morning.
It was devastating.
My cervix is still very high, closed and hard. And it turns out I’m less effaced than was let on (to give me a positive sense of hope and take some of my anxiety away). But for someone who is approaching 41 weeks, this means that probably something is going on. Either the head is too big or in a bad position to put enough pressure on the cervix to open it up, a cord is holding the baby up or there is a ton of floaty fluids in there. In a non VBAC type birth, this is no big thing. Cervix doesn’t mean much. You just wait it out or get induced or whatever. However, with a VBAC your cervix has to be sort of ready to go before any sort of induction. And like many of you pointed out, induction with a VBAC is a touchy thing. And inducing a cervix like mine would be long. Like days long, making it dangerous.
And B and I got that news on Wednesday and B and I and the midwife cried together in her office.
We cried for the loss of something that I had hoped for since the day that G was born. And the thing we talked about and read about and learned all about for 9 months. We cried about the potential I had to deal with postpartum depression again after a disappointment like this. Because in all likely hood, a VBAC now just wasn’t in the cards for me.
And I’ve been mourning this loss now since yesterday and really struggling with coming to grips with never having a birth like my body was meant to. And never having that experience that was so important to me…to feel like my body isn’t broken and it can’t do what it’s meant to.
Now here’s where I talk to you about this. I’m talking to you who doesn’t understand this sort of mourning or pain. I’m talking to myself circa 2005 who would have been like, “I don’t get it, what’s the big deal?” Here’s the thing…You don’t have to understand. You don’t have to feel what I feel. But I ask you to respect it.
I don’t understand people who enjoy running a marathon. I don’t understand 80% of religion. I don’t understand golf. But I respect it. And try to respect that people have desires, goals and interests that are totally in conflict with mine. Including people who have many scheduled and elective c-sections. I know that there is a path that led us all to the choices that we make. I am not you. You are not me. But what I ask is that you understand that in my life, given my life experiences, and what I hold important to me, this was everything.
Many years ago I suffered from horrible back pain. I saw 230 doctors. No one could diagnose me. They wanted me to have surgery at 24 years old. After years of pain, I solved my problem without medication and learned about the mental side of pain. I have interstitial cystits. After years of pills, I solved my problem with baking soda. After not being able to diagnose G’s allergies for months, a naturopath told me through muscle testing that it was wheat, soy and dairy…it was. All of these things have put me on the path that I’m on.
I believe that our bodies and brains do so much more than we know. I believe that modern medicine can save lives and thank the universe that we have it. But I think we don’t know enough yet. And all I wanted was to have this baby the way nature intended it. I did not want it surgically cut out of me. I wanted to feel my body tell me when it’s time to push this baby out. I wanted the baby to get all of the magic vagina juice that it gets on the way out. I wanted the cord to stop pulsing on it’s own before we cut it. I wanted B to catch that baby and all of us cry with how amazing that all was and the miracle that we experienced. I tell you all of this so again, you don’t have to completely relate to how I feel but simply so you can respect it.
In the last 24 hours I’ve cried a lot. And I’m trying so hard to remember that at the end of this I will have a healthy baby and that really is what matters. But for those of you who know about postpartum depression, sometimes it’s not all that matters. If you can’t look at your baby and love your baby the way you should, the devastation wins. I am terrified to go through this again. So afraid that I will go into an operating room, come out and be handed a baby. And I’ll wonder why I’m babysitting after surgery. Because that’s what it feels like.
There is no guarantee that this will happen, but going down this path again makes it almost impossible to not compare it to G’s birth experience. And yes, there is even a chance that before Monday I could go into labor on my own. And I’ve been dealing with walking the line of continuing to “try” with interventions and deal with the stress and disappointment of that world versus accepting the cards I’ve been dealt and trying to make peace with it. It’s not easy.
I haven’t given up though. I’ve had more acupuncture, chiropractic and positive thinking than any white girl this side of the Atlantic. But honestly, my hope is low. I’m sort of walking through the motions now to feel like I did what I could and not have regrets.
I’m sad. I’m struggling. I’m defeated.
But I wanted to share this with all of you in hopes that we try to understand each other more. Our differences make us interesting and that’s how we learn. This post wasn’t so Jane in Oklahoma cancels her scheduled C section because she is so enlightened now. It’s so Jane stops judging Judy who wants a natural birth and Judy stops judging Jane.
I thought about keeping the comments closed on this post, but I think it’s important to discuss in a respectful way.
Thanks for going on this journey with me. I know it’s to teach me something. I just don’t know what that is yet.