C-sections and all that they entail.


So I'm quickly approaching the time in which this little Baby Girl will leave my body and start living and breathing on her own.

She will do so via c-section.

Here's why:

Just a year and a half ago her sister was born via emergency c-section. And, given my location in a smaller hospital on the Baja, given the length of time since my last c-section and given several other components, a planned/elective c-section is the best decision... for me and my family.

It's taken nearly 40 weeks to digest this.

Here's the thing: I never, ever, EVER wanted a planned birth over a "traditional" birth. If I were being completely honest - which I try to do on this blog - it's always bothered me.

Why does it bother me?

Truth? I don't want to chose my child's birthday. I don't want to interfere with nature.

(I know it works for so many others, but for me, it just doesn't feel organic and like a Kylee-thing to do.) 

I like the spontaneity of natural birth. I like that it happens when it's supposed to happen. As someone who prefers control, I like that birth is one of the few life-changing moments that I cannot control. I realize and respect that relinquishing control is a necessary part of life... and I like it.

And I know I'm not alone. I've read countless stories of women who have wrongfully blamed themselves for emergency c-sections or for some reason or another, felt judged or as if they were less of a Mom after having one. And, thankfully - I've read countless birth stories of women who have felt comfortable and even empowered by their elective c-sections. (Bravo, ladies.)

--

Right now we do have a date in which Sweet Baby Girl 2011 will be born into this world, but I am secretly hoping and praying that she decides to come sooner and in fact chooses her own birthday. The beauty part is that my doctor supports my choices and if the day that we've chosen arrives and I'm not comfortable - it won't happen.

After giving birth to Lila and not having the vaginal birth that I had planned for - I was heartbroken.

I can't lie, I felt like I failed. I felt like I was sort of hesitantly let in the back door after failing my initiation into the mommy-club that I had so terribly wanted to join . I experienced an avalanche of emotion primarily consisting of guilt, frustration, anger and disappointment. I felt as if I was wearing a name tag that said, "My name is Kylee... and I had... an EMERGENCY c-section."

(See? I'd throw in the "EMERGENCY" part so that everyone would know that I tried (oh, how I tried) to have that baby naturally. As if I'd get more points that way.)

When I'd retell Lila's birth story, in the beginning I would put a strong emphasis on the fact that I had pushed and that I had tried for as long as I did. (As if this would somehow ring up extra points on my "Good mom" scoreboard.)

But, a while after Lila's birth, and I certainly mean a WHILE, I came to terms with how she entered this world.

I'd love to say that her birth story was one that I was thrilled with. But it wasn't. There will always be a slight sting. A reminder that I didn't do what I had set out to do. (And I have a sneaking suspicion this is more common than not in many women's first-birthing experiences.)

Now, with Baby Girl 2011 - I'm preparing myself. I'm telling myself that there is no room for my expectations or for my ego in this process. The prevailing importance is that she is born healthy and that we are safe.

In light of that, I've started reading about pregnancy more - you know, a refresher on breastfeeding, sleep training, labor, etc.

The other night I read about c-sections in, "What to Expect when you're Expecting". (I have a love/hate with this book.)

I had previously ignored this part of the book. You know, since I wasn't going to have a c-section.

The first line was this:




"You won't be able to participate actively at a cesarean delivery the way you would at a vaginal one."

[Insert swift kick to the stomach. And heart.]

Then, I went on to read more and found that there is literally a total of ONE full page (front and back) about, "Cesarean Section: Surgical Delivery."

Disappointing. Frustrating. Annoying.

--

Here's my truth:

The measure of a mother is not how a child comes into this world... instead, it is by how she mothers that child.

--

I have no words to accurately describe how I feel right now about welcoming my second child into the world. I know this: I know my heart has room to love someone else. At this moment, it hasn't reached maximum capacity. I'm ready to meet this baby.

And, I know that a c-section is merely a means by which she'll travel into this world. No more, no less.

Oh, sweet baby. I can't wait to meet you.

--

Questions:
1.) Your birth experience(s)... tell me, were they what you expected, wanted, imagined? Why or why not?
2.) Your thoughts on c-sections?

Have you checked out Lisa Ling's website for women? http://www.secretsocietyofwomen.com/

Photobucket
--

26 comments:

  1. Kylee, I love the honesty and emotion you've shared with us on this topic. I can't imagine the feelings you've gone through. My birthing experience was somehow what I expected yet I still was not prepared for just how hard and painful and wonderful the delivery really was. I actually think c-sections are more difficult because they can be more scary and the recovery time is longer and more difficult. So I actually have extra respect and compassion for moms who have gone through a c-section.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It makes me sad that you felt disappointed with yourself after Lila's birth. There is nothing easy about vaginal OR cesarean births.

    Jocelyn's birth, though vaginal, was nothing that I expected either. I was ->this<- close to a c-section also, after hours of pushing. Her heart rate was plummeting with every contraction and it got scary for awhile. She wasn't breathing when she was born, but the NICU team worked fast, and she was fine (until her second encounter with the NICU, which is another story all-together).

    I am with you that I would never have elected to have a c-section, especially with my 1st. But had it been needed, I wouldn't have batted an eye.

    LILA needed that. And THAT is what makes you a great mom. You, for all intents and purposes, probably could have refused. But you didn't, because you'd already become an amazing mother before your daughter was even born. You'd already made sacrifices, lovingly, for her. YOU wouldn't have done it any other way.

    Baby Girl #2 (can't wait to know her name!) needs that cesarean too. Your logical mind knows why, so your heart accepts it. And that's fine.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You were welcomed into the mommy club with cheers and love! (not throught the back door)
    With my first, I wanted to try it o-natural... but after being in active labor for more than 8 hours I begged for an epideral. For me that was disappointing, but after it happend I was able to enjoy the birthing process so much more.
    Many women have so many different expectations for what their labor should be like, but in all realty we don't have any control at all!

    Maybe think of it this way... we all have to go through the process of birth, wether it be c-section, vaginal, epideral or no epideral. But all that really matters is that in the end WE become mothers!

    And might I add... What a fine mother you are ;)

    Good luck sweety! Know you and baby girl 2011 are in our prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. HUGS! Don't beat yourself up about how she came into the world. You are right, the most important thing is that you DID bring her into this world and are a GREAT Mommy to her. You show her love. That's all that matters. I'm sure when she's older, she'll never hate you for delivering her via-C section. She'll love you for giving her life.

    I know how you feel though and it's very sad that we (women) are somehow programmed to feel this way. With S, I was laboring for over 20 hours, pushed for 4 hours and was so swollen is was ridiculous. Her head was stuck in my pelvic area. I felt like I was dying (no epidural)...like someone set my body on fire. Seriously. But, when they came in and said "Plan B", I FREAKED OUT! I thought they were going to do a C-section. I was mortified. I did all that work for 'nothing', I thought? It's shameful to me that I even thought that because it wasn't for 'nothing'. It was for my precious baby girl. Who cares how they get her out....just get her out in a healthy manner so she can live. Right? They ended up using a vacuum extraction which was horrid. Horrid. ...sometimes I even feel guilty about that. Like I couldn't do it myself. Like it was my fault she had a huge head and was stuck on my pelvic bone. Us women are silly. Just plain silly.

    We should focus on being proud of carrying those healthy babies, growing them in our body and bringing them into this world; raising them to be good people....not focusing so much on natural vs c-section.

    I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear her name. AND that book is wrong....you will be able to participate in her birth. You will be there. You will see your husband's face the moment she enters the world, you will hear her little cry, you will feel the rush of emotions, you will see her beautiful little face, you will experience love at first sight again....that, my friend, is actively participating. Plain and simple.

    Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Kylee….HUG to you.

    What an honest post. Thank you for sharing.

    I too am sorry you had to feel that disappointment with how the birthing process went with Lila, but as you were saying in the end it is how you mother that child and knowing you and seeing precious Lila ANYONE can see what an amazing mother you are to Lila and will be to Baby 2011.

    How Lila was delivered and whether little Nutella comes earlier or not, that is absolutely no reflection on you as a mother. The human body is a miraculous but unpredictable thing and I believe that no matter what, bringing a life into this world is all part of a bigger plan that is 100% beyond your control. Which is amazing in and of itself.

    HUGS to you my friend. You are a wonderful mother.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i hate that women (and not just you) feel like less of a mother because they didn't do it the "right" way. it breaks my heart, it does.

    Lila had the birth that was right for HER. she's here with us, safe and sound. it's understandable and normal that you'd be sad about your experience– but you can also be happy thrilled and overjoyed with what you did get– at the very same time.

    whether nutella gets to choose her birthday or not it will be HER story, just for her, her own way. i guarantee it. special things will happen that day, on HER day, that you'll remember always.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This post rings a bell for me. I had 2 c-sections. Henry was breech and almost 9 pounds. I had NO CHOICE. The doctor wouldn't even entertain the thought of vaginal delivery. So I picked his B-day. NYE! Did I feel like I missed out on something? yes.

    So when it was time to have Keira I was going to do a VBAC, but something happened. I started bleeding every time I had braxton hicks contractions. I spent days in Labor & Delivery being monitored for the bleeding. Finally I just knew it was SAFER to deliver her via c-section. I could've hemmoraged and died and it wasn't worth it. A dead mommy is not better than a vaginal birth.

    Do I have regrets now, 18 months later? Nope!! I think my c-sections were a breeze and recovery was NOT worse than vaginal. I was up and walking around within hours and the pain was minimal. I was 100% fine in a week.

    Now I'm glad I won't have problems later in life b/c I damaged myself trying to deliver 2 huge babies. My mother's uterus is literally dropping out of her body because she delivered 3 huge babies. She pees when she sneezes. Her Kegal muscles are destroyed.She might need surgery.

    There ARE downsides to vaginal delivery and in the end none of this matters. A healthy baby is all that matters (and a mother who is alive to take care of that baby).

    One of my #1 pet peeves are SMUG mothers who are SMUG about their epidural free, bath-tub, home births. Get over yourselves!!!! No one gave you a congressional metal for doing it!! You got a baby just like the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, friend. I love you. I have zero advice about birthing and mothering, but I do know one thing: You always, always do the very best thing for your family. And this is no exception.

    Judgers will always be judgey, whether you do everything exactly "by the book" or not -- they'd find something to nitpick. Enough. You, Craig, Lila, Baby Girl -- it's all happening exactly the way it's supposed to. You are THE PERFECT Mama for those two little girls. Perfect. Smug Smuglies who talk about the "right" way to do things should be backhanded.

    HUG.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I feel like I want to join in because I love and support and admire you, but not being a mother, I have not much to offer in this area.

    Best of luck - you are so amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amiga, I don't know if we ever talked about this before, but know that if God ever decides to send me another baby, I already know, it will be a c-section.

    I was in labor for 12 hours with my -9 pounds vaginal delivery- baby, the epidural kicked in when they were stitching me back. It was the most scary, painful, wonderful, "oh God don't let me die" feeling I ever felt, and there is NO WAY I would put my body or my heart through it again. (I still have nightmares)

    I couldn't hold my baby properly, or rock him, or give him a bath until he was THREE weeks old. Why? Because my "area" got so destroyed that I couldn't get up or close my legs for exactly 24 days.

    If the option was given to me between a natural birth or giving Nico his first bath, I wouldn't had hesitated my choice for a second. I have no regrets on how he came to this world because it was just the way it was supposed to be. Just as Lila was born the way she was supposed to.

    People always think natural births are easy, and have a fast recovery. I can tell you, that DOESN'T apply to every woman. I get angry everytime somebody says "oh, it is so easy when you deliver a baby in the natural way. Pain dissapears when you see your baby, and a couple of hours later, you are walking".

    Here is my truth: my PAIN didn't go away when I saw Nico, it stayed with me for about 3 months, and left "souvenirs" for LIFE if you know what I mean. I couldn't walk for the next 3 weeks of my life, and I actually had to crawl to the shower IN TEARS every single day. Not to mention the nightmare that it was to go to the bathroom.

    So, I don't believe a c-section is harder than a vaginal birth or viceversa. The truth is BOTH are equally scary, painful and miraculous. You are a warrior, just like I am, and each and every woman that has had a baby. We speak our own language, because only US know what a delivery means.

    I don't think you are messing with nature by choosing a date for the c-section, because I think, somehow, nature and God set that date on your destiny and your baby girl's destiny. She is going to be born exactly the day she decided to, she is just sending you the message through the calendar and not through contractions.

    I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. YOU are a FANTASTIC mom. I'm sorry that you feel disappointed about your C-section, and now I see how might feel that way. But honestly, before I read your post, it didn't even cross my mind that it would cause those feelings. A birth is a birth! You still become a mom that day, and your baby still arrives... HEALTHY. That's the MOST important thing - that she is here are YOU are still here to be her mom.

    Because of certain medical... stuff..., if we are lucky enough to have a baby, I have already decided that he or she will be delivered via C-section. Maybe after it happens, I'll feel like I missed out on something, but then again, I believe it's the best, and safest, route for me. Regardless, I'll still become a mom that day.

    You're awesome. :) Can't wait to meet Baby Girl 2011! What day did you choose? Or are you not disclosing?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, duh.. Jan 30, right? 19 DAYS? Whoa.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Excellent blog post! Excellent.

    Because I was pregnant with twins we had the choice of vaginal or c-section. One of the twins was breech and the doctor said he wasn't sure if she'd turn around in time for an easy vaginal birth. And also simply because I was having twins the docs recommended c-section, regardless of the positioning of the babies. My husband was misinformed about c-sections, to be honest, and I was too because I didn't really champion for either option. We "heard" that the recovery time for a c-section was really long, and we knew that I'd have to be in the action sooner rather than later since we'd have two babies. With my husband's urging, we chose to go ahead with a vaginal birth.

    The babies needed to come out because I was having complications so I was induced. 30 hours of induction, lots of drugs. The babies weren't coming out. I pushed and pushed for hours. And the doctor said that I needed to have a c-section. I was honestly initially really pissed because I felt as though I had wasted all of that energy for nothing - I could have just scheduled a c-section from the get-go. But I got over it and I knew that for whatever reason, the girls were meant to arrive when they arrived.

    After the c-section I recovered QUICK! I think I wanted to prove to people that I could recover quick, or something? I was on my feet fast and I was back to normal in no time.

    However, I will say, that it was easier for me, because I had twins, to say that I had a c-section and people never even questioned it either way. It's expected, maybe? I understand your feelings on it though. Completely. If I were to have had a c-section for a singleton I think I would have the same exact thoughts as you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I had the same experience with my 2 girls, 15 months apart. I did not even get a chance to push with Madi because I would not even dialate. Turned out to be a good thing though because Madi was so big 9lbs 7oz with a 14 1/2 " head , that and the fact that although I am a big girl I have a very short torso. My doctor said she could have killed me or at the very least done major damage because I would not have been able to get her out myself. All that helped me come to terms with the fact I still had not "experience an actual vaginal birth" as I so despritely wanted. However when I went in to confirm my pregnanacy with Haley and the very first appointment he said "Want to know what day your having her on?" my heart sank, insurance would not allow a v-back. I had to have another C-section, I still have a emptiness and a desire to experience natural birth. I always said I would not die happy if I didnt have a child and although I am truly blessed with 2 happy healthy girls there will always be a missing piece.

    ReplyDelete
  17. First off I have a really hard time with people who judge others on their parenting decisions, be it how you give birth to whether or not you breast feed. Bottom line, it's your decision. My mom didn't like the fact that I was induced with all three of my kids. I induced with the first two because my doc was part of a large practice and I *only* wanted him. I was also 39/40 weeks with both. With my third pregnancy, my hubby was supposed to get underway and I was already dilated 4cm. and I knew it was going to be any day. We induced so I wouldn't have her by myself. My reasons are my reasons and I really didn't care what my mom or anyone else thought.
    You are not any less of a mother because you needed a C-section (or choose one) just like a woman who adopts isn't. Birthing a child does not a mother make!
    Good luck! I am anxious to see pics and find out her name!! I'm sure she'll be gorgeous just like her big sis and mom :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/01/11/age-aquarius-actually-age-capricorn-thanks-rotation-earth/

    Well, it turns out that even nature isn't certain of nature, Sister. Lila and Clo now appear to be you, you are dad, bryan is my mom, my mom is Matthew, your mom is ME, I am Mickey (circus) and David & Max are Lila and Clo. So see - now its BETTER TO PLAN.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "The measure of a mother is not how a child comes into this world... instead, it is by how she mothers that child."

    Nothing else needs to be said.

    You, my friend, are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Replace the word "Lila" with "Logan" and "Baby Girl 2011" with "Brayden" and this could be my exact story. I had an emergency c-section with Logan after about 16 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing because he was stuck and his heart rate was dropping drastically with every contraction. I was literally sobbing on my way to having my c-section, not because I was scared, but because I was so incredibly disappointed in having to have this surgery. I, too, felt like I had failed. I chose to have a repeat c-section with Brayden, but I was praying that he would choose to come earlier on his own (he didn't). The experience was completely different the second time around, though. The first time was an emergency, and people were in a hurry. It was 1:30 in the morning, I was exhausted and scared, and I honestly don't remember much (which I deeply regret). However, with Brayden I made sure to pay attention to all of those details that I missed the first time around because of the chaos and fear that surrounded me. Strangely, I felt more terrified the second time because even up until the moment he was born, I was second-guessing my decision and hoping that I had made the right one. In the end, everything was perfect, and I'm sure it will be the same way for you. I now have two perfect little boys that I wouldn't trade for the world. Maybe someday my two perfect boys can meet your two perfect girls and live happily ever after :) Best of luck to you! I can't wait to hear the details and find our her name!

    ReplyDelete
  21. i of course have little to say on the subject other than i am your friend and i feel sad when you are sad or disappointed.

    i want to believe that all of this worked together for the good and i know you feel the same.

    i CANNOT BELIEVE we are in the teens of days before Baby Girl 2011 comes. can't wait to hear her name!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Neither of my kids came according to any kind of plan. I think that is part of what prepares you for your life as a parent. But I wouldn't change either experience for the world.

    While you don't want to "interfere with nature" think about this: one day, you get to tell her that of all the days that she could have been born, you picked that day for her because that was the one day that you felt was special enough for it to be HER day.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Everyone - please forgive this generic response.

    I just have to tell you - THANK YOU for taking the time to respond. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    (I need to modify the blog to include the ability to comment after each of you.)

    Your stories... hearing your support... it's all just incredible.

    Thank you again for being phenomenal.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Kylee, you're amazing. I'm blown away by your honesty.

    Your feelings are totally valid. I'm sorry that you're feeling them, but I think you have every right to be upset over an experience that you wanted to have and didn't. That's just normal.

    But you are certainly (read: DEFINITELY) not less of a Mom because of the experience you had. No way.

    I think the Mommy world is lucky to have you. As are Lila and Baby 2011.

    Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kylee, first thing is first, you are an awesome mother (not that you are questioning that, just saying it anyway)! Natural, c-section, induction, epidural/no epidural, whatever, these are not things that make you a great mother.

    I have never had a c-section but I was induced with both children (4 days before Evan's due date & 12 hours before Abbey's). With Evan I was nervous and only wanted my doctor so I opted for the induction. With Abbey I thank God all the time I was because she got stuck (she was rather large) and if she would have been in there another day it would have been bad news. I would have loved to not be induced (I really tried with Abbey) but there is a reason for everything, have faith that you know in your heart what is best. Just enjoy that little girl! We can't wait to hear the happy news! XO

    ReplyDelete
  26. I labored (back labor to top it off) for 26 hours with an epidural that only took to the area just above my lady parts and an anesthesiologist who was a total DICK and didn't listen to me or believe me. My nurses begged for another Anes to get in and re-do my line, but this ass was the only one not in surgery or scheduled for a surgery.

    When my cervix started to swell and DD's heart rate started plummeting on contractions, I was declared emergent and sent flying down the halls to the OR. I told my Dr that the ANEST. wouldn't listen to me and I WAS NOT NUMB--she lost her SHIT on the guy and I got a spinal put in immediately. DD was delivered safely and soundly--but the spinal even wore off before they were done putting me back together--I was passed out and not aware, but I was told I started trying to pull out of the restraints and such. My Dr. told me that they threw everything at me but the kitchen sink and that I scared the hell out of her. It took me 5 hours to come out of it--and she never left my side. (and I am on file at St. Lukes Hospital to never have that SOB EVER touch me EVER again.

    If I were to have another,I would do another planned C-section in a HEARTBEAT. The safe arrival of a healthy child is all we ever ask for--and--for those of us who invite motherhood into our lives--it doesn't matter HOW you become a mother, it's the fact that you ARE a mother and you would do anything or go thru anything for that child.

    You are blessed, just enjoy the experience, whatever it may be and love those little girls with all your heart--that is all tha matters!

    ReplyDelete

written exclusively by twopretzels. | Contact kyleeATtwopretzels.com . Powered by Blogger.