Recently, I went to a baby shower for a friend and instead of playing games we made a blessing jar for the Mom-To-Be.
First, we asked her what three fears she had regarding motherhood. All of the fears she mentioned were rational, but the one that struck me the most was the safety of her child during delivery. This impacted me the most because it reminded me of my pregnancy. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office on my due date learning that there had been NO progress toward delivery and I was exhausted and uncomfortable. While attempting to hold back tears, I asked the doctor to tell me her plan to help along the arrival of my little baby. My maternity leave was about to begin rather soon and did not want to waste one moment of it without my baby.
All was going well in the beginning of the inducing process until just before we were scheduled to leave, the baby’s heart rate dropped. Our nurse ensured us everything was fine, but we needed to staying for four hours of evaluation. After eating lunch with my husband at my bedside, the anticipation to leave the hospital was building. No more than an hour or two passed and after a second type of induction, our baby’s heart rate dropped again. This time the nurse spoke with our doctor and it was determined that we needed to stay there until the baby was born.
Once settled into Labor and Delivery the Resident came to my room to explain the risks of childbirth and what would happen in a case of an emergency. Of course I was listening to every detail she told me just in case, right? Nope, I assumed all would go well, signed the papers, went back to watching some TV (Justin Bieber’s Roast on Comedy Central) and settled in for the night. As the hours passed there was still no progression. Now we had moved on to a third type of induction, which finally trigured some contractions. I would be asked by several nurses to move into different positions and go for a walk in order to let gravity assist. After a lengthy stroll with my husband, I had to lay down and rest. Shortly there after, the Resident came in again and told me what we discussed earlier may be happening, an emergency. I remember looking over at my husband and him just waking up (it was 2am) as several nurses rushed in and quickly wheeled me into the Operating Room (OR). My baby’s heart rate had dropped and they were unable to get it back up.
I’ve never prayed so ferocious about anything before. Once in the OR I was hooked up to a monitor once again and was so relieved to see that the baby’s heart rate had returned to normal. After a discussion with my doctor the decision was made to move forward with a c-section. She told me that I would most likely end up in the OR again if we were to continue with induction methods. So without hesitation I agreed and before we knew it our little baby boy was born!
Within the first week of returning home after the birth of my son I was scrolling through my emails and started to read one of the many Mommy Blogs I had signed up for over the course of the last 9 months. As you know, one article leads to another and then another. Before I knew it I was reading an article that stated “if you had a c-section you didn’t give birth to your child.” This statement caught me off guard to say the least! Here I am, a new mom and my emotions are all over the place, and now I’m being told that I didn’t “really” give birth to my child. With tear filled eyes I looked at my husband and told him about the posting. Immediately he took my phone away, cleared the page, and explained in his words the narrow-mindedeness of the writer. I knew he was right, but to this day, over a year later, I can still feel the sting of those words.
Some c-sections are planned while others are not. Some moms choose to have an epidural and others choose a natural birth. Whatever you choose or end up having to choose is what is best for you and your baby. Even as recently as the other week I had a friend give me a hug and say I was doing a good job – even though my son was being CRAZY and constantly in time out. I needed to hear those words at that moment and so might the mom in the store with the crying kids. There are enough emotions and guilt around being a mom that we need to keep working as a community to support each other in person and on-line. Welcome them into this chaos of change with encouragement, grace and understanding.