Mar 11, 2020

My Fear Of Labor

There is so much joy around my vaginal birth. It was strong. It was empowering. It made me feel whole. No pun intended.

On the opposite side, there is so much fear and trauma around my c-section delivery. There is trauma that I still have yet to get past and sort through.

I hope that in writing this post and doing research on c-section deliveries, I can make sense of what I am feeling, and heal.

When I was pregnant, both times I felt hopeful. I was excited, and trusted that everything would work out.

During my pregnancy with Aida, we learned she was breech. It was an instant planned c-section. I wasn't offered a choice, and to be honest I'm glad I wasn't because when she was born we learned she was 10 pounds. Somehow, through all the ultrasounds both the tech and the doctor missed this. With no gestational diabetes, when the doctor pulled out her chubby little leg he said, "Wow! This is a big baby! Look at this leg!"

I had endured a long hyperemesis gravidarum pregnancy, and held tight to the idea of birthing my baby and feeling this wave of wonderfulness wash over me. I wanted, no I needed, that overwhelming rush of hormones and peace I felt during my vaginal delivery. My mind and body needed to feel powerful again after feeling so weak and beaten down from pregnancy.

It never came.

There was no natural oxytocin, endorphines, adrenaline, or burst of prolactin because these "mothering / love" hormones peak when labor starts on its own.

My body was not in labor, and yet there was a baby coming out of me.

My mind knew what was happening, but my body didn't have a clue.

I was happy she was here. I was grateful she was healthy. I loved her the moment I saw her, but I felt numb because of all the drugs they gave me.

The drugs meant to keep my body from feeling pain, also kept my mind from feeling.

Instead I was left more fragile then I was when I was pregnant. I was ashamed that I didn't birth her myself, and ashamed that after my surgery I could't walk, shower, or even pee by myself.

I know plenty of women who have had wonderful experiences during their c-sections. So, please don't read this and assume that your birth will be anything like mine, but on the off chance you have felt any of this after your c-section, I want you to know you aren't alone. I stand with you.

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