I'm so sorry you were unable to have the birth you wanted. I'm sorry you were made to feel so violated emotionally and physically. I have to be honest, when I read that you felt robbed of the one thing that makes you a woman. I understand where you're coming from-breast feeding was something I desparately wanted to do, but I was unable, it hurt me to the very core of my being. There are so very many things that make you a woman and even more things that make you a mom. You created 2 beautiful kids. Your body nourished them, kept them alive, allowed them to thrive. They felt your intense love for them before they even felt your lips on their forehead. Twice you have shared with them the ability to "know they're in there" before anyone else could feel or see them move. Is there any more special time in pregnancy than that first time you feel a kick??
Had you wanted more than 2 kids before you ended up with this second c-section? If you did, I encourage you to try to make that dream come true. Even if you end up having another c-section, the outcome is so very much less traumatic when you are able to plan it out first, when you can shop for a doctor who support your goals for the perfect birth, even if in inperfect surroundings. Kim (OTF) has posted on this thread her birth plan for her upcoming c-section. I worked with my doctor to have a wonderful birth experience, I have NO regrets whatsoever (well, I regret that the spinal never took!) Your caregiver has the ability to make or break the experience. My OB encouraged me to see it as giving birth, in the weeks leading up to my surgery she and I spent literally hours figuring out what we could do and what we couldn't do, how to make the OR feel like a safe and welcoming environment--so we had music that I chose, dh wore the cologne he wore on our first date--the scent just makes me feel like someone is hugging me--I had a pillow under my head that we sprinkled some lavender essential oil on--my arms were not tied down--my OB gave me a complete step by step comentary--once the initial cut was made, my drape was completely lowered, allowing me to see everything (the pillow was GREAT for this) My dh had the camera in the OR and started snapping pics the second my doctor said, here's her head, she's coming right now (if you click on Molly's site, you will see pics where only her head is out) The nurses checked her very quickly under the warmer (like 10 seconds) and then did the rest of the checks with her on my chest, she wasn't cleaned up and weighed until they were closing me. There are SO MANY things that can be done to make for an emotionally succesful c-section.
At the end of the day, it's important to think about the truth--no man will ever feel the first kick, no man will ever have that pregnancy connection where you just sit there concentrating on that wee being inside you and most importantly--no man will every sport a c-section scar. Necessary or not, that scar helped bring your children into the world, I believe it was Kim (OTF) who said she wears her scar as a badge of honor, that statement helped me come to terms with any regrets I had about Molly's entry into the world.
Please take care, and PLEASE keep talking about it.