Monday, February 21, 2011

You can't always get what you want

Let me preface this by saying that as I am typing I have a rambunctious toddler sitting in front of me watching Barney. Watching him never gets any less satisfying. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with emotion just at the sight of his smile, or the sound of his laughing or learning to say a new word.

But, there was a time when I didn't know him yet. A time when I couldn't see past his delivery. I thought about it constantly, assuring myself that I would be bad-ass. I wouldn't need pain meds or Pitocin or a C-section. I'd have the natural delivery of my dreams because I was tough enough. Because my mother delivered my 11-pound brother. Because I wanted what was best for my baby.

First photo with our little bruiser back on Oct. 31, 2009.
Sometimes wanting something isn't enough, unfortunately, and instead of the perfect delivery, literally right out of the gate I wasn't the mother I envisioned myself to be. Later, as I read more from the natural parenting movement that so often derides the C-section "epidemic," I have alternated from feeling guilty, embarrassed or ashamed to feeling defensive and pretty perturbed. While I don't always agree with everything crunchy, a natural childbirth was my ideal way to kick off parenting. What could be greener and better for all involved? But I failed.

Long, long story short (and one that's pretty hazy now, 16 months later) I went through labor pretty much every way possible before my son was finally delivered by C-section. I made it many hours drug free, then gave in and got a little IV relief. Hours later, I succumbed to the epidural. Hours after that, and I still couldn't deliver my baby. All told it was about 28 hours, my son was 9 pounds. We didn't set any kind of a record, he just simply was lodged at my pelvis and not coming out, regardless of how well I was or wasn't dealing with the pain. Immediately after, my thoughts were that if labor is always like this, one is plenty. Days later, I was asking the doctor if I would always have to have C-sections. Now over a year later, I am back to thinking I can someday have the natural delivery I wanted someday. There has been quite a roller coaster of emotions in between.

I'm left still believing that natural childbirth is ideal, but that I might not have had a healthy baby boy without C-sections. Sure, they are probably performed unnecessarily at times, but I believe that more babies and moms are surviving nowadays than ever before, and that can't be so bad. Next time, hoping there is one, I will be way more prepared to give it another go. It's going to take more than willpower to get through labor for me.

In the end, I am thankful for my C-section and confident I did the best I could given the circumstances. True, I didn't get what I wanted: That kid is more amazing than I could have even hoped for.
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Tammy said...


phildr said...

willpower isn't enough, I agree. A midwife, informed about you & the baby might help with support when needed and hte best info about safety.
No need for guilt or defensiveness. You did everything yuo could & a great healthy boy. nothing else could have had a better outcome.

jessw said...

Thanks so much! I do think if there's a next time I will definitely be looking into a doula or more in-depth childbirth classes!

Kelli said...

Jess W. YOU ARE A SUPERHERO. Don't let anyone tell you differently..not even yourself.

Your healthy son is a gift to us all. Thank you for getting him earthside safely....

Kelli Stapleton

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