Tuesday, 16 August 2011
I remember when I was pregnant, I would pray often that I wouldn't need a c-section and that I'd get to have a vaginal birth. I was terrified of the idea of a c-section and yet I knew it was a 50/50 shot at either one. Well, recently, my sister, who is a pediatric/labor and delivery nurse, said she had a patient who needed a c-section and was very angry about it. She really wanted to go through a completely natural vaginal birth, but her baby was breech, so they had to do the c-section. She was so angry, after it was over, she didn't even want to hold her baby. My sister thought that was crazy and that it was nothing to get that upset over. I agree with her...
I would have been disappointed If I needed to have a c-section, but I came super close and I can say one thing. I would rather have a c-section than a dead baby. My "birth experience" isn't as important as the health of my child. I remember going in at 32 weeks and telling the doctor to check me because I thought something was wrong. I was 2 cm dilated. I remember being bed bound for that week and crying of boredom and wondering how long that would last. I remember at 33 weeks being hooked up to monitors and being told that my baby's heartbeat was dipping. They said the safest thing would be to deliver the baby now. I remember thinking, boy, I'm glad I came in today. Otherwise, what could have happened! I got the vaginal birth I wanted, but I was so close to not. Even though she came 6 weeks early, she needed to be out of me to get better and she did just that. I didn't get the "birth experience" I thought I would, but she was healthier in the long run. For that, I'm eternally grateful!
I feel like sometimes the birth experience itself can be put on a pedestal, when it shouldn't. I think it's great to plan and research and go for what you think you want. I just know from experience, that if the plans need to change, that's that. Actually, I didn't have a plan. I just said, whatever I needed to do (pain meds) or whatever the doctors needed to do, was going to happen. Most likely, I would plan the whole thing out and it wouldn't go the way I wanted anyway, so why do it? That happens to be the way my sister thinks now, too. I would have loved to have had a water birth and been walking around and on a birthing ball, but I had to have an internal fetal monitor to make sure her heart rate didn't dip really low. I was stuck in bed and wondering if she was going to be okay, being that early. So, I agree with my sister's stance on this. It's really just about delivering a healthy baby, not want we really want and desire.
I think the same thing goes for pregnancy experience. After a while, after my daughter was born, I wondered what it would have been like to carry to full term. I wanted to know what all the swollen feet and big belly was all about. I feel like I missed out on 6 more weeks of the amazing feeling of carrying a baby inside me. Obviously, that's not as important as her health, though.
I think pregnancy is an awesome thing, and I would love to go through it again. Even if that means I'm puking my guts out just as much as I was the first time. I think there's nothing quite as amazing as feeling the baby inside, kicking and all that. All the other stuff doesn't matter (even though at the time, I did think it was a big deal ). Being on bed rest isn't a picnic either... and I think I would go a little crazy If I had to do it the whole time (like some people I know had too), but I still think it would be worth it. It's not about having the greatest experience, it's about the end result. A happy, healthy baby!
Was your birth experience what you had envisioned? Were there complications that prevented you from having your "dream birth"?