Thanks treelove and allWell, after posting my message and writing some notes, it was definitely the early a.m. (3:00'ish). I went to bed and when I saw my husband, woke him up and started talking. My daughter was asleep next to me. I told him about coming online and finally being able to particpate in this great forum for ME, and women like me, and the tears just started coming. He has been awesome, and for him, he was so relieved and grateful that we were alive (when we went into surgery it was the scariest thing for him -- remember we had camped out already for 3 days and his energy pretty much matched mine -- and then it up leveled to the general anesthesia, which meant he got kicked out of the room) that it erased everything else for him (expectations of the perfect birth, etc.). But for me, on the other side of it, living/dying was never the issue for either my dd or me, so all I could stew on was how I felt as if I had LOST something (but what?). So I cried deeply about it, and he held me, and then I felt Maya's sleepy hands on my back, carressing me. She was still asleep but was carressing me. It was beautiful. This is really important for me to share because, for a lot of different reasons that don't directly include any of this, our marriage has been stressful this past year.
BUT, as you said treelove, it's not really about the baby, though I don't ever want to take for granted how lucky I am to still have her. I know that. But that's not complete. I used to say (Ms Brave Front), "Oh, I had to go unconscious to get conscious," and that was totally true, but I was also hiding and justifiying the rest of the experience. I am sick of being apologetic for how my birth went, for admitting that maybe we could have made different choices (like not have a hospital birth -- how many times have I heard that one -- but we had just moved to HI two months before and I just wasn't that savvy or confident), and yeah, hey you can have a VBAC next time round! I realized last night I was too scaredd to wish or admit that (esp since I'd really like an HBAC - home birth) in case it doesn't happen. Truth is, I do NOT want to go through a c-section again, even if the drugs work this time and I stay conscious. I don't want any of that, it was totally traumatic for me and I am still dealing with it. There, I said it.
So I've been all self-righteous lately about not wanting more kids and I can see on everyone's face it's because they think my birth experience was so bad so then try to reassure me which pisses me off even more and then makes me find even more reasons not to want to have kids when really, it is in great part to the fact that my birth experience WAS bad. So, I am going to practice saying, "You know, you're right. My birth experience was deeply traumatic and I'm still dealing with it. I am really grateful to have Maya but I lost four months of my life [in recovery] where I have almost no memory, including first seeing Maya. I don't think I could go through that again. And I would really appreicate it if you would not assume that it could have been different, because I'm already spending all of my energy in that place, and you don't really know. VBAC or not, if you can't guarantee the outcome one way or another, then you don't have a say, so thanks for sharing." OK, something like that.
I have been reading the forums here and in other places, and I am going to say my truth: I want to have another birth experience, and I want to have a HBAC, and if I end up with a c-section again, while I'll make it through and still have a great time with my child as I am with Maya right now, it will still be a huge disappointment for me. I can lie and say it's ok, but it's really not, even though I know I'll get through and I'll have more tools and resources to deal with it than the last time. I do *get* that I had a paticular experience for a reason. I also acknowledge that I may have to have a c-section again if I decide to have another child. I also acknowledge a c-section may have saved my life, though in my case, I think put it more at risk (I've seen my hospital records) and so was Maya. But, gosh, it would mean a lot to me to have a beautiful birth at home with my husband and daughter (and midwife) attending. Girls, here's what I do know -- speaking our truth is so important, it's like breathing. It's not about getting what we want, it's about saying what we want, and not holding back. If I don't get the HBAC or the VBAC, it will definitely be less than ideal, but I'll know I honored and acknowledged my deepest wish. At that point, I'll turn it over. But not until I own it. Make sense?
Blessings to all of you for being there and helping me shift A LOT in less than 24 hours. I think my soul was ready for this. Love you all,