Sunday, March 25, 2007

Postpartum Thoughts

I'm still trying to process my labor. I have a lot of questions "why" things went the way they did. Why was there SO MUCH more pain than "normal". Why did it take SO LONG to accomplish anything?

This labor was similar, although longer and more painful, to Blondie's. Does this mean that this is now how my body "does labor"? Did the c-section break me? My body used to be very good and efficient at birthing babies before the section.

There was a VBAC story posted recently on one of my midwifery email lists. It was really similar to mine. One of the midwives was responding about that persistently posterior cervix and speculating that the uterine scar was preventing the contraction from reaching beyond the scar into the cervix to thin it and pull it forward. It makes sense.... but also means that without manual help, it would likely be this way again, should I have another baby.

I do want more babies, but quite frankly, I would be absolutely petrified of going into labor again.

Would my labor have progressed if I had NOT called anyone on Monday morning? If I had waited longer? What if I had stayed in bed, where the contractions were so much more painful? Did that mean they were more effective? Looking back, I see that my cervix seemed to swell or thicken over the day instead of getting thinner. It never pulled anterior that I could tell until Baby Girl's head came through.

Should I have called FaeryLady much sooner to try and move the baby's head and get my cervix out of the way? Or would that have ended in a transport and c-section?

So many questions I will never have the answer to.

This postpartum period though has been idyllic. My postpartum doula is the most awesome help. She runs errands, helps with meals, makes sure my room is picked up, and handles kid stuff so I don't have to leave my bedroom. Time moves slower in here. Instead of sitting on the sofa in the family room, in the middle of the chaos, trying to direct the flow of the day, I'm sitting in my bedroom, holding my precious baby, getting to know the flow of her days, and just basking in her tiny body, soft skin, delicious smell, and big blue eyes.

I've only had one epidsode of weepiness and that was when I was contemplating if I am now "broken" and whether or not I could ever want to give birth again. Me. The person who loved giving birth, who enjoyed labor. Now it scares me. And that hurts me at my core. It doesn't scare me for other women, because I do have faith in other women's bodies. But I've lost faith in mine.


Shells said...

I know so little about midwifery really but this is a profession which you are passionate about and a passionate advocate of. That being said, I can only look at it from the outside, perhaps the Lord needed you to experience the type of labor that some women will be going through in your care in the future.


Leigh said...

Oh love, you are not broken, nor is your body. Your baby chose her birth, like mine chose her C-birth (as much as I fought against it). And that incredibly powerful energy, as tough as it was, will be with her thorughout her her courage and guidance during the difficult times. She is a gentle warrior, and you her warrior mama, who birthed her with all every cell of your body and with all the energy from the universe. That is so huge.
That said, I honor your feelings and can relate to them somewhat. We are, at times, let down by our birth experiences. And as you know, with time their lessons are revealed. You deserve to sit with your multi-layered birth experience and process it for as long as you need to.
You are surrounded by love.


mm said...

Thank you for so honestly sharing these thoughts... it has taken me a few days to ruminate on them. I had a primary section with my first child. I was told outright that my uterus was "damaged" by the doctor... It took me so long to get over that. To realize that I am not "damaged". I too was petrified to labour again. Somehow that goes away... I did it again, twice! I'm sure that the next baby, should there be one... will break all the rules once again! :-)
Thanks for the heads up on the military head... yeouch! I thought the first hbac son with the fist at his ear was bad enough!
Hope your babymoon is still going swimmingly!

The Girl said...

I had a birth very similar to yours with my second and I have never had a c-section. My first birth was intense with back labor but short. It was in a hospital. My second birth was at home with a midwife who I did not feel comfortable with towards the end. But with #2 I had all sorts of expectations. It was such a hard pregnancy, birth and postpartum period, but I really learned so much from it. I learned that I need to speak up for myself and not please everyone. With #3 I went back to the hospital where for me and some anxiety issues I feel more comfortable. (crazy - I don't know why). But I had #3 in 1 hour and barely a push. My water broke and out came baby. (#2 was born in his bag of waters).
I am sure that this birth was yours for a reason and it may take some time to understand why but it will come to you. Your body is not broken. Learn from this experience and maybe it was for you and your baby. My #2 is very much a stand back until he's comfortable kid and that is exactly how is labor was. I forgot to say I had contractions every night for two weeks before he was born and as I began to enter transition labor stopped. So I know I was meant to have him at home or it would have been a section. But I think he just had to test the waters and then come when he was ready.
Take your time - it will all come together.

Tiffany said...

Congratulations on your VERY beautiful baby!
Your body is not broken or ruined. It labors how it needs to labor.
My first 3 babies were OP. My 4th was not but still a long labor. Did I metion that the shortest of all 4 of my births was 23 hours? Yeah. So our body will do what it does. Apparently your body workes great...casue your baby is SO gorgeous!!! And there is not a fresh wound on your tummy. :)