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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Preparing for Birth Again After a Traumatic First Go-Around

I would call Calvin's birth traumatic for me.
I know there are far more traumatic birth stories out there in the world, I realize that, but I still think I would call Calvin's birth traumatic for me.

Neither of us were in distress, but things sure didn't go as planned.

  • Calvin was born via c-section after 2-3 hours of pushing (my nurse said it was 3 but I thought it had only been 2).
  • I never even gave any thought at all to having a c-section. I never ever expected it to happen to me.
  • All of my family was at the hospital waiting on his birth.
  • We got to spend one hour with Calvin before he was going to the NICU. So we decided to let our family who had been waiting like 4 hours to come and see him so I literally only got to hold him on the way from the operating room to our hospital room before he was passed around to everyone else.
  • Calvin spent 48 hours in the NICU.
  • Once we got him back to our room, we tried nursing for the first time and he absolutely would not latch at all. That had been a big fear of mine.
  • I was stuck in the hospital for five weeks before Calvin was born. I never got to nest. I never got to just sit in his room and gaze at all his things.
  • I "attended" our baby shower through Skype. So I never got to open all the presents or wash all the baby clothes and have that one essential new motherhood experience.

And I believe that all these things combined made the birth of my first precious little boy a traumatic experience for me.

I didn't feel connected to him. I didn't feel this instantaneous overwhelming love for him. I didn't even give him his first kiss until his second day of life outside the belly! (that totally breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes whenever I say that)

Even though I saw him on ultrasound twice per week and heard his heartbeat twice each day for those last five weeks in the hospital, I just didn't feel the connection right off the bat.

We're going to try for a VBAC this time, as long as things are looking okay. And I understand complications can change things in the end. I think I'll be okay if we end up with another c-section after a couple hours of pushing. But at least I'll have given it a try. And if baby is looking giant and it just doesn't seem plausible to even try, I guess I'll have to enjoy the fact that we'll have baby's birthday already planned and I can at least take a little bit of comfort in knowing we won't have to go through labor again. I want it to be its own special experience, no matter how it turns out. I don't want to fear having flashbacks to Calvin's birth.

I've gained a lot of acceptance to either way things turn out, especially since discussing the possibility for VBAC with my doctor. But the one thing that really bugs me and worries me about it all is that Justin and I want lots of babies. And lots of c-sections is not recommended. It's not the recovery or the label or the fact that I have never had a baby "the right way," it's the fear that we aren't going to have as many babies as we always planned because of the way they come into the world. That's the part that really gets to me.

I love you guys and am so happy you're on this journey with me. I hope this post meant something to you.

Alaina & Tiny Baby #2

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