8/12/14

Honest Moments: My Birth Story

It didn't go as planned....

**If you don't like birth stories, skip to the end for some encouragement.**

On Wednesday, May 14 2008, I left school at noon because I had an appointment at 4:00 that afternoon. Jason got off work early so he met me there and was in the room when the nurse practitioner came in and basically said that I had Preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in my urine) and I was going to go to the hospital. The doctor came in minutes later. We were stunned. My due date was two and half weeks away, I wasn't dilated, and I wasn't having any contractions!? But, nonetheless, we had to go. They were going to induce me because I was in too much danger, health-wise.

So they gave us an hour. We hadn't even packed our bags yet! We were at the hospital and checked in by about 6:30 that evening. We called everyone. They all thought we were joking. My mom came by to say hi. Jason stayed with me that night.

On Thursday, May 15, at about 8:00am they broke my water and started the labor. The contractions started right away. They were tolerable for about an hour. Then a little harder and then a little harder. By about 11:30 that morning I had reached my limit. I called for the epidural (even though I had only dilated 3 cm). After that, I felt much better. I slept for an hour and had a few more visitors. By about 2:30 the doctor checked me again...I hadn't
dilated and his head was facing the wrong direction. She spent a half hour trying to maneuver him into position. She couldn't do it. By 3:00 she was talking about doing a C-section. His heart rate was dropping and my contractions were not regular at all.

The room was suddenly a rush and busy! Jason ran out to tell everyone that I was going to go to surgery. I remember my mom coming in and kissing me. That's when I began to cry. I was really nervous by then. The nurses had me sign a bunch of papers. They rushed around my room in an orderly but quick fashion. Soon, I was being wheeled down the hallway into the OR. While they were getting me ready, I was really nervous because Jason had to wait outside for a few minutes. One of the doctors asked me how I was doing and I told him that I was really nervous. He then let Jason come in (since he was a resident and could be trusted not to touch anything) earlier than they normally let dads come into the OR. Jason held my hand the whole time. I remember the pressure when the doctors took him out. I remember the joy of "its a boy!" when they called it out! We did not know what we were having - so it was a complete shock. I had had dreams of a girl, so it was a surprise to hear "boy."

Jason and I both cried. We wept that it was finally over. I wept because I had done it. I had carried him, and here he was: Jack Allen Frazer - Born at exactly 4:oopm, on May 15th, and weighed 6lbs and 7 oz.


The next day the weight of the C-section hit me like a ton of bricks. It was not what I had planned at all.

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I never thought I would have a C-section. I had no preconceived notions that I would do it medicine-free. I knew my pain tolerance was low. I knew I would probably need an epidural. But a c-section was humiliating in my mind. In my mind I was unable to deliver him, and needed someone else to do it for me. It also meant that I might be limited to the amount of children I would have. I was not prepared for the pain, both emotionally and physically. I couldn't hold my baby without pain. I couldn't carry him without pain. It wasn’t how I thought things would be. Nursing did not go well either. It took almost two months for him to learn to latch on. At four months my milk dried up. All of that combined caused my heart to echo: Failure. I wept a lot about that c-section, even months and years down the road.

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Maybe you are a new first-time mom who ended up with a c-section. Maybe your baby is ten years old and you still see that word c-section as a synonym for failure.  Maybe you are scared you will have a c-section.

Here is what I am NOT going to say:
(If you know a friend who had a c-section don't say these things either)

1. At least you and the baby are healthy. Of course you are glad your baby is healthy. Being unhappy with things going unplanned does not mean you are not grateful. I know you are grateful for a healthy baby.

2. It must have been so easy to just lay there while they pulled him/her out. No. It was not. Feelings of sadness mixed with joy is a hard thing. The pressure from the pushing and the ache from the needles are hard things. Not easy at all.

3. It is so common. It is not common for me. This is my first c-section. I do not know how or what to expect. It is not common for me.

4. The doctors just want convenience. No, they do not. My doctor let me labor for a long time with no progress. She sat on my bed for 30 minutes (I'm sure I was not her only patient that day either) trying to turn him. They want the best care for you. They want the safest way. By the way, my husband's a doctor- do not assume all doctors just want the "easy way out." They don't. {FIY - they get paid pretty much the same either way.}

5. You can try for a VBAC next time! Sorry, but right after my c-section I did not think this. I was still mourning my scar and processing things. Give me time. I may feel that later - but not right away.  Cry your tears and learn to grieve.

Can I be honest with you?
I do not weep anymore.

It hurts. It hurts physically. It hurts emotionally. The word failure stares back at you in the mirror. Let me offer you a few words of encouragement from someone who has walked the path through the valley and has come out on the other side.

1. Give Yourself Time. Give yourself weeks, months, and even years to process. You are mourning. It is ok to grieve. It is ok to feel a sense of loss. Let the grieving happen.

2. Give Yourself A Chance. Maybe try a VBAC. I did. I tried to labor again with my second son. I was not induced. My water broke on its own. I went into labor on my own. I ended up with what is considered medically as a "failed V-BAC." Yet it was the perfect avenue that brought me peace. After I realized that my body was not made to deliver the "natural" way - I was given such a peace about my first c-section. It brought me relief and joy.

3. Be sad. You can be sad when you see friends deliver with no complications. You can feel sorrow when reflecting back. The key is not to wallow in self-pity. Feel sad, but turn around and be grateful as well. Do not let sadness breed discontentment.

4. Destroy Discontentment. When you are feeling discontent day after day, it can lead to distrust. Distrust in God and His perfect plan. Distrust in your circumstances that He has ordained. Distrust in yourself. When feelings of discontentment surface, kill them. Remind yourself of Truth: God is good - through it all - God is good and He is able.

5. Run to God. Pour out your heart to Him. Tell Him of your sadness, disappointment, and feelings of being a failure. He is there. Waiting to remind you of so much Truth. Read His Word, especially the Psalms.

 
 
I have enjoyed sharing my honest moments with you.  Feel free to share your own birth story - even if it didn't go as planned.