My first labor ended in a cesarean. It was several days of early labor, and about 12 hours of hard labor, and at the end of all of It I was cut open. I was exhausted, confused, and defeated. For a long time I thought something was inherently wrong with me. Like maybe my body just didn’t know how to birth a baby.
Every time I think of the moment they wheeled me out of the delivery room and into the operating room, my eyes well up, and my face turns pale.
However I don’t discount the fact I had the most beautiful, healthy baby in my arms (4 HOURS LATER!!) But it wasn’t about Berlyn, it was about me, and my inadequacy as a woman.
I remember a day later, after they removed the catheter, and I was free to walk and pee at my own will, I asked the doctor what had happened. She told me that I failed to progress, and they had to do a c-section. She was so nonchalant. Like the same tone she’d use to discuss what she had for lunch. And before she left the room she told me that my subsequent pregnancies would have to end in a c-section too.
No wonder why I felt inadequate.
This pregnancy I’m going to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). And that doctor that told me I would have to have c-sections, can suck it.
Plus, did you know, with enough repeat cesareans, your poop and innards could just randomly fall to the floor at any given moment?
On the floor.
Can you imagine?
At a dinner party? You meet someone new and say, “Hi, I’m Beckey.”
“Oh, that? That’s just my poo. Pay no attention. Ooops, I think my uterus just fell out of my vagina too. Please excuse me a minute.”
I don’t what that.
As I look back on my first birth, I was so gripped with fear that it paralyzed me. Emotionally and literally. I was unable to deal with the fear, so I acquiesced the medical practices (epidural, pitocin, fetal monitors, catheters, etc.) that I thought made birthing easier, turns out it’s only easier for the physician.
Currently I’m pouring over books about midwifery, medicine, natural births, and VBACs, I’ve hired a doula, and asked my OB more questions than a 4 year old, all to ensure that I do not wander into this new chapter of my life blindly.
I have 4 more months, and that’s good, because it gives me time to equip myself, to understand my body, and to look forward to the powerful and inspiring gift of giving birth.
Wish me luck.