Last post I talked about the heartbreak I felt after the birth of my firstborn. Since it ended in a C-Section, I was determined to have my unmedicated, all-natural birth the second time around.
I obsessively researched the best exercises to do during pregnancy, religiously took my prenatals and iron pills, monitored and controlled my gestational diabetes like a boss, and- when I was getting close and past my estimated due date- looked into the most effective methods to naturally induce my labor. I took a HypnoBirthing class (the Mongan Method), and listened to the guided meditations 3 times a day, read the “textbook” three times, wrote notes and highlighted the crap out of it, and practiced my J-breathing every time I sat on the toilet, and my surge breathing every time I was walking, or whenever I started consciously thinking of my breath. I even did yoga every week, and included Spinning Babies near the end of my pregnancy.
I felt like I was very upbeat and positive about birth. I was absolutely sure that THIS time everything would be perfect. My baby was smaller than my first, I had gone on 20 minute walks with my toddler almost every single day, and I was better equipped and prepared to crush anything labor threw at me.
However, during my HypnoBirthing class, my instructor did a fear release script with the class. I just shattered. I had to get up and leave when she finished because I was crying so hard. She had talked about opening a book filled with all my fears, bad experiences, and horror stories I had heard. We had to turn the pages and observe all the images in the pages. Then she told us to let them fade to black… then gray… then white, and to just have blank pages in the book as we let go of all our fears. But I couldn’t. My fear, my bad horror story and experience that I was so terrified of was my son’s birth. How could I let that fade away?? It was supposed to be the most beautiful and cherished moment of my life, but here I was, supposed to be eliminating it from my mind. I am sure that is not how the script was supposed to be taken, but that is how my mind took it. My soul craved for that memory, and rejected the idea that I should forget about it and let it pass from my mind.
I sobbed with my husband, and he comforted me, but I still felt horrible. I felt awful that I was so resentful of my child’s birth, and I hated the fact that it was plaguing me, and getting in the way of my perfect birth. The next day, I texted my mother, who is a hypnotherapist. I asked her for help releasing my fears, and told her what had happened. She sent me some YouTube videos to watch. The one that changed my life was this video.
It did not tell me to eliminate all my bad memories, but instead to turn them over to a higher power (I imagined handing them over to Christ), and watching as they wove the memory into a memory of love. It made me realize that I had to physically hand my fears over to the Lord, and accept that everything was in his hands. I had done the best I could then, and I was doing the absolute best I could now. If it was the Lord’s will that I deliver vaginally, then it darn well would happen. But if nature and God’s will was that I needed help to bring my beautiful babies into this world, then I had to stop focusing on what I couldn’t have (the “perfect” vaginal birth), and I had to focus on what I did have. I was born in a wonderful era where C-Sections are safer than they have ever been. I had a fantastic doctor who cared about me, and would do everything he could to make sure my baby was safe, and that my desires were honored. I had a loving husband who kept ensuring me the way I birthed didn’t affect my quality of mothering, and that he loved me and would continue to love me whether I had a VBAC, C-Section, or whatever. We had had many tear-filled conversations where he expressed his frustration about what he deemed unrealistic standards for a pain-free, easy birth. He was sad that I wasso brokenhearted about my first labor. He had told me he did not care, and all he cared about was that I was safe, and our baby was safe, and that I was able to recover well. This beautiful visualization helped me come to terms with a repeat C-Section. I realized that however the dice rolled, I would be a good mother either way.
To come to better terms with a repeat C-Section, I had lengthy discussions with my OB. We discussed what would happen if I went into spontaneous labor, what would need to happen for me to get induced, and what things would look like if I had to get a C-Section. I really appreciated that he would sit down and ask me before he left any appointment, “Any more questions?” One particular meeting, we talked for an entire hour- just me and him- which settled many residual fears.
This post is long enough, so it has been about how I came to terms with C-Sections, but I still felt like they were a necessary evil. I still felt like they were sterile, gruesome procedures that “removed” my babies instead of *birthing* them.
Next post I’ll tell you how I began to see them as beautiful methods of birthing; magnificent tools used to turn potential tragedies into triumphant beginnings of life.
Until next time
** What helped you recover from your traumatic labor and delivery experience? Do you have any questions for me? Feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ** Don’t forget to subscribe! **