Making Peace With Your Birth Story
This is a very personal story of how I made peace with the guilt and disappointment of my labor and delivery that did not go according to my plans. It was featured on Blog and the Baby.
Like most women, I had this ideal labor and delivery in my head. It was so beautiful. I would sway on an exercise ball, sit in a bathing tub and breathe through all of my contractions. But like most women that never happened. I was apart of the one in three women who gave birth through a c-section.
I felt shame, angry, disappointment, hurt, betrayal, and resentment. I wondered what I could have done to avoid a c-section. Maybe it was genetic. My mom had an emergency c-section with two of her three children. I was convinced something was wrong with me. My body had betrayed me.
After taking some time to talk to my doctor, my mom, and my God I finally made peace with it. I wanted to share 3 things that helped me make peace with my birth story.
Read My Birth Story
Don’t Blame Yourself
Any mom and medical professional will tell you… you don’t have control over your pregnancy. There are so many components at play when it comes to labor and delivery. You are so physically and emotionally open to externally influences. I’ll give you an example from my labor day. I was 5 cm diluted and laboring just fine without medication as planned. I had my nurses to come in one after the other to attach monitors. One flipped me from one side to the other like a pancake. Then another stood at the foot of my bed with hands on hips and said with a sista girl attitude “What are you doing for your pain management?” In my mind I thought I was doing well. My contractions weren’t unbearable so I was breathing through them. But that question disarmed me. I began to ask for an epidural at that point. Apparently, I was doing something wrong. (that’s sarcasm if you didn’t catch it)
Looking back I understand why the nurse behaved that way. Although I still don’t agree nor did I appreciate her bedside manner. She was concerned about my son’s decreasing heart rate. And assumed my moving in response to the contractions was causing his distress.
Grieve If You Need To
I went through the 5 stages of grief after my c-section. I really can’t explain it. Although I had a healthy baby and recovery something still died inside of me. Maybe it was a little bit of my faith in God and myself. If you’re anything like me you prayed everyday about your birth plan. I explicitly prayed that my labor would not end in a c-section. And when it did I felt shut out from God. And people are so quick to tell you how you should feel. But I needed the freedom to express my disappointment with both God and myself. After I did that I was able to forgive both myself and God. It set the ground work for a deeper relationship. Just because you don’t get what you want or what you think you need doesn’t mean God isn’t with you.
Time Heals All Wounds
Time was the biggest factor in my recovery both physically and emotionally. My c-section scar is more than just physical. You go through so many emotions in postpartum recovery. Your hormones are out of whack and you’re sleep deprived. Oh yeah and there’s a new little person that you’re getting to know. There’s little or no time to fully internalize your thoughts. I put in just as much time researching my postpartum recovery as I did my pregnancy. That takes time in itself. This also gave me the time to formulate questions for my doctor. Don’t put a time frame on your emotional recovery. Take all the time you need.