Hi, Wonderful Ladies..
Ive stayed away from the April board even though Im due May 8th and hope baby decides to make an early arrival because last time I was sooooo sure baby was coming early, I was due on the 6th of the month and she ended up almost 3 weeks late and it was absolutely demoralizing to have EVERYONE in my DDC (another board) deliver their baby but me. But I do lurk over here once in awhile and know as those final weeks come it will be more and more.
Instead of retyping everything Ill just post what I did on the May Cesarean Mamas thread:
Hopefully this babe will join us HBAC... but unlike my first birth, I'm truly okay regardless of how baby comes as long as baby and I are healthy. I no longer look at the medical establishment as something that is trying to rob me of something.. or that is "bad"
Ive been to many births at this point as a doula, birth assistant and midwifery student for the last 9 years and Ive finally been able to stop romanticizing the moments of birth. They are but moments. Motherhood is a lifetime.
Ive seen Breech babies get stuck, living weeks on vents before going home to be with the Lord. Ive seen uterine rupture, massive infection from going too long PROMed. Ive seen a baby born blue from CHD, lungs filled with mec... and Ive seen almost 200 healthy beautiful bundles of joy born from vaginas, from "moonroofs".
Ill get the anatomy U/S at 20 to rule out heart defects.
I'll get a U/S at 37 weeks to look at the thickness of my scar.
Ill listen happily via doppler at appts and sometimes in between just because I love hearing my babe's heartbeat.
I know now that love, life and God are stronger then fear, absolutes, "golden" hours.
To get ready for this birth I spent almost 3 years processing my life and all of the things I had internalized or been taught about birth with professionals that for the most part were able to not pin their perceptions onto my dreams. Ive let go of a fairytale that having a baby through my vagina somehow made me a mother.. a woman. That doing it that way was somehow "the right way" or "the best way".
I also took the advice of absolutely everyone from therapist to OB to unlicensed midwife on the best things I could do to prepare my body and mind for an EMPOWERED birth after Cesarean. I've lost the bulk of the extra weight Ive been carrying around. I've drastically changed my diet. Ive worked hard on my marriage and my relationship with my daughter. I take the supplements my body needs that my diet doesnt provide. I walk atleast a mile most days, try and be very aware of my posture and Im really focusing on weight training to strengthen my hip abductors and lower back. Ive faithfully done chiropractic to get my pelvis in alignment and will continue through my pregnancy. I've also had great success with using Egoscue to get my body back in alignment. I've done mayan abdominal massage to loosen any adhesions and make sure my uterus is positioned healthfully, getting the best bloodflow and nourishment it can to be strong.
I've been doing the internal work from The Pink Kit for months and will continue it through my pregnancy.
But mostly, Im working on the meditation of "Surrender" and "grace". Surrendering all of my baggage, others baggage, control... and grace for myself and the people involved in this process that God has brought everyone in my path for a reason and that anyone can be a teacher.. anyone can be a friend. Even an OB with a scalpel.
I had so much regret about my section in the months.. year after. My midwife was an absolute shit who dropped care for me during an incredibly stressful time, 43 weeks pregnant.. it sucked. Went in for an NST that showed a nonreactive baby and frankly, I was just sick of fighting at that point. I had been fighting with my midwife for 2 weeks, getting barraged by my family with dead baby stories... I felt like my body was broken so I consented to the section. I recovered really well, baby did great, but we had nursing problems after. It seemed like one thing after another, we couldnt get a break.. baby sensed all my stress. I spiraled into horrible PPD.. it actually morphed into PPOCD by the time I got help at 16 months even though I was surrounded by a birth community who should have saw all my signs even though I was living in complete denial and trying to play pretend that I was handling everything. I went through all the motions.. I am lucky that I do feel I bonded to DD almost immediately, but I still wished for so long she could have come out the "right" way.. when she was colicy, or grumpy, or wouldnt breastfeed for 5 weeks.. I wondered why when I had done everything "right" it had to be so hard. I didnt harbor resentment, but I honestly felt persecuted by the universe. I knew it was time to talk to someone when I started having horrible panic attacks that isolated me and kept me at home.
My first thought when I found out I was pregnant with this baby is, has there been enough time where I was actually present for DD? Has it been enough time to make up for all those months of feeling underwater, disconnected? Is her cup full?
I am so thankful for my therapist who helped me climb out of the deepest darkest depression Ive ever faced, never once pushing drugs on me, which were a big deal breaker for me, all I had was nursing.. her number is on speed dial this time
Anyway, all of this is to say, I understand how a birth can totally rock everything you are and everything you thought you knew about yourself. I've been over post op reports, xrays of my pelvis, the final month of my pregnancy.. over and over and over.
I did alot of journaling to help dig my way out of the depression.. I remember clearly the day when the lightbulb finally flipped for me, when I finally had grace with myself.. I wrote this..
I'm so sad that so many women have been sold a fairytale of birth as panacea.
I am so sad that our chronically undermothered society has turned birth into the litmus test for "good enough".
How much pressure to pack a whole lifetime of motherhood into one event..
How tragic that the miracle is life, but so many focus on the hours of birth. The MIRACLE is LIFE. It's not the uncomfortable, squeezing, intense, often traumatic way that life emerges from its mother's womb.
What feels like eons ago, I wanted to be a midwife to help women get their fairy tale.. I wanted to be a midwife to heal women so that they didnt have to write these stories or so they could have vaginal births after their cesarean to heal these stories. I wanted to be a midwife because I felt (mostly male) OBs were robbing women of becoming mothers. I wanted to "protect" them.
It's as if a floodgate has opened now that I've realized that it's the fantasy, it's the measuring up.. it's the good enough.. it's the shame.. it's the perspective... that has robbed women of feeling like they became mothers the "right" way. It's those things that made me refuse a picture of my baby's first moments of life in the OR because " I dont want to memorialize this." .. I had failed. Who wants a picture of that?
NO! I didnt fail. I carried a life for 43 weeks, defying every doctor's prediction since I was 16 that I would even get pregnant. I loved every.single. moment of my pregnancy. Every move, every kick... I cared for her with everything I had and everything I was. I WAS/AM GOOD ENOUGH.
Now I want to be a midwife so that I can help bring healthy babies into the world and give them healthy mamas with healthy expectations of birth.. Women who know they have a whole life time to be even better then "good enough".. not just one single moment. I want to realign their expectations.. to lay hands on their scars both internal and external. I want to love them so that they can love themselves and know that it's a lifetime, not a race. There is no finish line, there are no medals.
There is only love.
That's what being a Mom is.
Being a Mom is getting in there and loving, loving, loving.. and the first step in becoming a Mom is loving ourselves.
I hope everyone has an amazing empowered birth. Whatever that looks like for you.