Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Birth Story.




This is a post that I debated over and over about not writing. It's something that is very close to my heart, and something that I rarely share. It's the story of giving birth to my baby girl. This isn't a normal happy, lovey, birth story. My story is one that for a while shamed me, I kept it hidden for a long, long time. I had this expectation of how it was all suppose to go down and how I was suppose to feel and when it all happened it just wasn't that way.

My water broke in the early morning, and we excitedly hurried over to the hospital. I remember the feeling of that moment of knowing that I was finally going to get to see her, touch her, and hold her. I had so much love built up for her already, I couldn't imagine seeing her face for the first time. The pain hadn't kicked in yet so the first few hours were pure joy. We got settled into our room, and called our families.It wasn't long before the excitement turned to nervousness. I had a mortifying moment where I needed to use the bathroom and had to use it with the bathroom door open AND a nurse watching.

The pain started and within a few minutes it became unbearable. I got the epidural, and as family started to show up it soon became a waiting game.The hours passed and I wasn't dilating past 4cm. All during my pregnancy all of the doctors said she was a huge baby. They were worried that maybe she was too big for me to deliver. After seventeen hours of labor ( plus a little over 24 hours of no food or drink) and no change in my cervix my doctor said it was time for a c-section. We went from waiting around all day to everyone snapping into action. Within moments I was in the operating room, and Hubby was changing into white hospital clothes.

While in the operating room they said they were going to inject me to numb my belly, then they would start to prick my skin to see if they were ready to operate. Hubby was going to be called in when they started. The first didn't work and I felt it...they injected me a second time, and again...it didn't work....they injected me a third time...it didn't work. My anesthesiologist said they might have to put me under ( which would mean Hubby couldn't be in the room) when my wonderful doctor said she was going to try a fourth time. It must have worked because I heard her say " ok...bring dad in,"

The anesthesiologist put a breathing tube on me to help my lungs out and between having the epidural for seventeen hours, and four injections of whatever they use to numb you with a c-section my lungs were numb and although fully functioning I felt like I was suffocating. I remember Hubby standing by me, and then he said " there she is ". She didn't cry. She was a perfectly healthy baby, but she didn't cry...she just didn't want to. He walked her over to me and I got a glimpse of this tiny, tiny little person. Before I could even comprehend anything she and Hubby were out of the room.

I then vomited on myself and went in and out of consciousness while they were stitching me up. I was taken to a room to recover and by then I was no longer sleepy, I was...empty, just waiting. They had told me I would be taken to her in two hours so I just laid and stared at the clock. The first ten or fifteen minutes went by and then the numbness went away. The pain hit and for some reason made me cold to my bones. So there I was in what looked like a basement shivering with two blankets on me and crying to a nurse to please make the pain stop. I remember feeling my stomach and remarking about how strange it was to not feel her moving in me. When time was up I was taken to my room and it wasn't long that Hubby came in with her.

He placed her in my arms and she was so tiny. He said that the doctors told him the reason I didn't dilate wasn't because of her size...it turns out my hips aren't big enough ( go friggen figure). I remember everyone saying just wait till you see her, just wait you're going to fall in love, you will never imagine how much you will feel. She looked just like Hubbs. There was no trace of me in her at all. She was just this tiny little person that they put in my arms. I just didn't feel anything. I wasn't resentful, or hateful by any means but I didn't have that crazy overly motherly bond that this baby is mine and I love her. It was almost like they had just picked a baby and given her to me. I could barely even talk to her, I felt so strange.

I didn't tell anyone, I was too ashamed. What kind of mother doesn't feel a bond with the baby that she prayed months for to get? The first night she stayed in the nursery and while my husband quickly fell asleep I cried into my pillow. The next morning they brought her in to breastfeed and the nurse was grabbing my breast and placing it and tugging it towards munchkin's mouth. She took, but it was just so strange. Hubby was in love, I could tell. He was beaming, he didn't want anyone to hold her. I was sitting back watching. I remember having to feed her late at night while Hubby was asleep and holding her to me and thinking is this my baby? Why doesn't she look like me? Why don't I feel anything? What's wrong with me? It was all too much, I was recovering from the only surgery I've ever had, they were saying that she had a small issue with jaundice, and there I was torturing myself that I was already a horrible mother,  I broke down. I cried to Hubby when we were alone and being the perfect person he is, he assured me that everything was ok. He told me that it would come, and it was just a lot to get use to on top of being in and out of pain meds and drugs. He had total confidence in me.

The day we left the hospital and brought her home was the first day that I noticed it clicked. We had just walked in the door and she was acting like she was hungry so I brought her to mine and Hubby's room and laid on the bed and fed her. There was something about being in my own bed in our own home that made me realize that she was mine. Family were in and out of the house for the next few days and it was again..a lot to deal with. However as the days went on I started to get stronger and stronger feelings towards her. I knew her cries, I knew her smell, I knew her little face.  I knew her. I think it was about a week after we left the hospital that I finally developed that strong iron like mothering bond. She was mine, and there was no doubt that I loved her. I would take a bullet for her, I would give her my last breath.

I love my baby girl more than life itself and I dare anyone to accuse me otherwise. For me, it just took some time. I didn't like to tell this story because I feared that people would think I wasn't a good mother or that I didn't love her. I was afraid that they might think something was wrong with me, or her. Then I started to realize that maybe I'm not the only one. Maybe there are other women out there who are going through this, or have felt this way. We need to be honest. Sometimes you don't feel that bond immediately and THAT IS OK. There is nothing wrong with you, there is nothing wrong with your baby and you are going to be an amazing mom, hell you already are. You just went through a life altering event and were drugged all day, give yourself some slack, let your hormones balance and then you will feel the love that all those other women talk about times a million. You will feel it more because you will know what it's like to not have it.

 I urge women to read this and don't expect your pregnancy to be like the movies, give yourself some slack and it will come. I promise you. Just have faith in yourself and know that as you heal and start to experience this wonderful new life she will be right there with you and before you know it you won't be able to spend one second not thinking of her. She will consume your heart and you will be so happy. I promise.


5 comments:

  1. What a thoughtful and wonderful post! Thank you so much for being vulnerable and willing to share your story. I feel blessed by you for bearing witness. You are absolutely right about not being the only one with these issues. My own were different issues, but the fact remains that NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THIS STUFF and yet somehow we (women!) hold ourselves up to each other and judge each other and ourselves so harshly for what appears to be flawed... I remember the lactation nurse coming in, grabbing my breast (painfully!) and flicking my nipple over and over (again, PAINFULLY!) to make it "stand up like a raisin on a cookie". Nobody told me breastfeeding had the potential to feel like my precious baby girl was grinding down on me with HOT PLIERS. So GOOD FOR YOU for sharing your story honey, and I'm so grateful that you did, and I hope you catch some freedom and an extra measure of blessing from it. I'd like to pick a fight with whoever decided what "normal" was supposed to look like anyway! We have GOT to STOP this madness of idealizing what this hard stuff is supposed to be like so that when the hard stuff happens the even harder way, there's acceptance and support and love and community there with NO SHAME. NO SHAME FOR YOU! NONE. Hugs sweet friend!

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    1. no, THANK YOU. I needed to hear your post this morning.

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  2. What a fantastic post and thank you so much for sharing. As Nicole says, these are the kinds of things that everyone needs to know. I've actually heard a lot of stories now and I think that women are starting to share this more and it makes me quite happy. A book I really like that tries to help moms-to-be deal with and prepare for the fact that birth might not go as expected is "Birthing from Within" by Pam England. I've had two births and the first was a very long 24+ hours, I had pain meds and the epidural though I had originally not wanted anything. But alls well that ends well. {{hug}}

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    1. WOW bless your heart, and thank you so much for the encouragement. I'm like you...women NEED to talk about it!

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