National Cesarean Awareness Month.
It seems like every month is the National month of something, but this one is particularly meaningful to me.
I've had 2 C-sections.
The first was much needed and sensitively done, and was all in all a wonderful birth experience and most likely saved my child who would have otherwise been stillborn. (Aedyn's story)
The second one still causes me to wake up crying in the middle of the night. It is still the subject of every fear and doubt. It still affects how I view myself as a woman and a mother. (How I was treated postpartum has a lot to do with that as well.)
I'll list all my posts about Jaron's birth and my failed VBAC at the end of this one.
For awhile I told myself that I was more upset about the postpartum treatment than the C-section itself. Maybe that's true, maybe not.
In any case I find myself envisioning different scenarios for our 3rd child that we are hoping for sometime in the next year. They range from an intentional unassisted home birth to birthing in the car on the way to hospital to going to the wrong hospital (that doesn't have a Labor & Delivery unit) to giving birth in the park next to the hospital. None of them have me actually giving birth in the hospital.
However, I'm sure none of them will happen; mainly because I don't want to deal with the "baby born in non-sterile environment" protocol and having to be separated until who knows when, not cool.
However, this time around I do plan on hiring a Doula. I couldn't with my first VBAC attempt because I didn't think I could afford it. We couldn't, we were barely making bills and $500 (+/-) was nowhere in our realm of doable. I had no idea that there were multiple doulas in my area and some of them are willing to work on the pricing. This time I'm making it a priority, we're in a better place financially and will be saving from this month on...and if it comes to it, I won't hesitate to ask.
I thought I was educated enough, I did have the head knowledge, but I was so distracted with everything going on I didn't have enough brain power to separate from the situation and remember what I knew. That's what I need someone to do for me, help me remember what I already know.
In between all my different birth scenarios I've also thought about not having anymore children. Jake and I have both wanted 4 (and then adopt another 2) for, well, forever. But I don't think I can handle another C-section. Physically, yes, I can do it. Emotionally? I don't know. I see how much this one has messed me up. How, for the past 17 months, I've worked through it and the accompanying emotions over and over and think I've dealt and moved on; only to have the memories and doubt and guilt and sense of failure well up over and over again.
I'm scared that if I do have another C-section I'll fall apart into a depression that is more than just the baby blues. I'm scared of what that will mean for my children if I'm an emotional wreck.
Fear. Doubt. Guilt. Frustration. Anger. Hurt. Sadness. Regret.
As you can see I obviously haven't dealt with it.
I've tried talking about it, not talking about it, rationalizing, praying, giving it up...I just can't shake it.
The only thing I can hope is that going ahead and having another baby will give me the chance to know that I'm doing absolutely everything I can to increase my chances of success. People tell me I have nothing to prove, but I do. At least to myself I have something to prove.
I love and appreciate all comments, however, please be sensitive. I know that the end goal is a "healthy baby", but it is also a "healthy mama" and that means both physically and emotionally. I haven't written this post as a pity party, but to let other moms like me know that this is ok. It's ok to still be not ok 17 months later. I'm not alone, they aren't alone. Please remember that and be supportive, Thanks!
Processing Jaron's Birth:
Original Birth Story
2 Months After
8 Months After
10 Months After
If you want to hear more about my 2 (not always) sleeping babies and the rest of the family you can follow us on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter!