.. and I still can't get over the fact that my natural birth and plans to breastfeed through toddlerhood were so casually ripped away from me. Needlessly. It makes me sick to think about it.
I'll have weeks in a row where I feel good and I feel like I'm making progress of some sort, and then out of nowhere I'll have days like this. Well, not totally out of nowhere. I attended a babywearing meeting yesterday and while it was nice to meet new people and get out of the house with DD, I still felt absolutely ashamed that I'm the only one not breastfeeding and angry about my unnecessary section. And now today I feel like sh*t. I want to be friends with mothers, I want to be able to hang out and chat while my daughter plays with other children, but if I'm going to be a wreck for the next week I just can't do it. Which makes me feel even more isolated. Ugh. Why can't I just be normal? Why can't I just be thankful that I have a healthy baby?
I'm angry at the midwife I used. She came highly recommended as the best person to see for a natural birth in a hospital. No way no how were we going to be able to come up with the money for a homebirth, even if insurance reimbursed part of it we just didn't have money to pay up front, period, so I thought this would be fine. It wasn't. My membranes were stripped without my permission at my almost-41-week appointment, midwife was there for an hour or two of my labor and then turned my care over to a doctor. My water had broken before contractions even started, I stayed home for a few hours but we went to the hospital early on because I didn't think I'd be able to handle being in the car if things got more intense. Once we got there I was hooked up to monitors and told that I'd have to be monitored the whole time. No walking and no hot tub, because my water had broken already. I was in the labor zone and didn't think to argue. I threw up every time I tried to eat or drink anything. Nurses threatened me with an IV if I couldn't keep some water down, somehow I managed to keep drinking. I got up to "go to the bathroom" every half hour or so even if I didn't have to go, just so I could stand up and move a little bit. DH didn't want a doula so we didn't have one with us, it kills me now that a good doula might have salvaged this whole experience for me.
24 hours in they started pitocin, I eventually agreed to it because I just wanted to have my baby and get the H*LL out of there. Turns out DD was asynclitic, but they didn't find out until after they cut me open, so the pitocin was useless and the worst agony I had ever experienced. I begged them to turn it off, I felt like I was being ripped apart and couldn't keep on top of the induced contractions. Doctor said "Sorry sweetie, we have to make sure your contractions aren't sufficient before we can do the surgery." I asked if there was anything they could do for the crushing pain, then. Nope, sorry. They kept trying to put a monitor on my cervix, I couldn't stay still because of the pain. I didn't feel like a woman in labor anymore, I felt like a lab animal. I would take a hundred hours of natural labor before I ever let anyone within 10 feet of me with pitocin again. Baby's heartbeat was perfect the whole time I was in labor, of course. I had no worries about her. I think that's part of what makes me so mad. Doctors didn't SAVE MY BABY'S LIFE, they RUINED mine. I was still reeling from the pit-induced contractions when they wheeled me into the OR. The anesthesiologist told me to stay still, he was trying to stick a needle in my spine, clearly he had no idea what my body was doing. He couldn't even imagine. I wanted to scream and run out of there but it's like my body wasn't mine anymore.
My daughter was cut out of me about 27 hours after my labor started. 9 lbs, 10 3/4 oz. Red hair. Nurses mentioned something to DH about how she wouldn't have been able to be born vaginally because of her size, complete nonsense if you ask me, I'm not THAT small. I should have told them to put her on my chest, to let her try to nurse, but it didn't even occur to me. They held her up so I could see her and then whisked her away, it was two hours before I would see her again. I never did get her to latch on, even with help from the hospital LC. I was just so dazed and stunned at what had just happened, that the perfect natural birth that obviously should have followed an easy, uncomplicated pregnancy had turned into a major surgery. The hospital stay was a nightmare. They encouraged parents to keep newborns in the room with them, but I didn't want her there. She would wail endlessly for me, but would calm down for anyone else. I knew I was supposed to love her, but she just absolutely terrified me.
Adding insult to injury, my husband went out and bought formula the night we came home from the hospital and made a bottle of formula for our screaming daughter. The beginning of the end... I tried to pump for a few weeks but never got more than an ounce or so at a time, eventually I opted to eat or sleep instead of pump and gave up the ghost on a nursing relationship with my daughter. At times I even question whether she's mine.. of course, rationally I KNOW she's mine, but if I couldn't give birth to her, couldn't breastfeed her, well, what kind of woman am I?
I tried so hard to be well-informed about pregnancy and birth. I turned up my nose at formula-feeders, marveling at how anyone could be so stupid when all the information says BREAST IS BEST. All it did was backfire on me, leaving me heartbroken when everything went south.
Even the first few months with DD were awful. She had reflux, cried and threw up all the time. Nothing made her happy. Seriously, nothing. I tried AP solutions for everything and nothing worked. I didn't have a babymoon, I had a babymare. I cried almost every day and wished as hard as I could that I could go back in time and be child-free. It sucked big-time that I could love this little person SO MUCH, but all she did in return was make me miserable. DH has several friends whose wives are expecting now, all first-timers. I don't want to see them, I don't want them to be happy, I'm not offering advice or commiserating because they have NO idea what I went through. I know it's not healthy, but I can't help how I feel. It's been almost 14 months. I feel old and tired and defeated and MAD. So mad. I honestly don't think I'll ever get over it if I don't have another chance to do things differently, but that's very questionable.. DH doesn't want to have another, especially not with me feeling the way I do, and I'm not even sure if I want one but I don't think I'll ever be able to handle other peoples' pregnancies, births, babies if I don't.
I need to get up, go for a walk and calm down or something. Felt good to get that out, but I'm drained now.