I'm scheduled to have my post c/s follow-up with the OB who did the surgery... I'm anxious about it, because I don't know how I'm going to feel when I see him. He is a really compassionate man, from what I can tell (I only had him for one pre-natal visit, which was the surgical consul at 36 weeks-- I had a previa, so the c/s was scheduled). He actually cut short his long weekend with family to come in on his day off to do the c/s, since the initial time he had available for me the week before didn't work because of my dad having a surgery. Plus, even the fact that he took me on so late in the pregnancy (we had a consult with another OB before him, but we didn't feel connected to her at all)...
But even with all his compassion, I'm feeling like I have to go in there and put on a happy face, and pretend that everything is fine with me... That I don't dare break down into tears or anything like that. I don't want him to think I'm a basket case or anything... And why wouldn't he think that, since he knew how anxious I was about having the c/s in the first place-- to the point that I cancelled the c/s once I had gotten to the hospital... Yep, DH and I arrived for it, and then I decided I just couldn't go through with it-- I needed some more time to process and prepare for it; my anxiety was through the roof... Everyone was really kind and understanding (at least to my face) and the OB (at this point, they reached him by cell phone because he was still on his way, driving home from his weekend away) suggested I meet him the following day to further discuss the c/s. In the end, I had my c/s that night, after I realized that if I wanted this OB and my favorite midwife (she was there for all the time I was going back and forth about whether to do through with the c/s or not) I had to do it that day. In the end, I didn't need any anti-anxiety meds, I went through it, me and my baby were healthy. Not one complication. Thank goodness.
But, I felt like a trapped, caged animal... Have for quite awhile. For so many weeks leading up to the c/s, I was terrified of being cut open while awake... Everything about the c/s had me scared out of my mind. And during the c/s, I thought I was going to die on the table, or that my baby wasn't going to make it. I was a wreck, unfortunately for too much of the third trimester to the point that I am kicking myself for not being able to pull myself together to deal with things-- because, really, so many people I knew said to me that a c/s was 'nothing'... How could they cope, and I couldn't? I'm embarassed I wasn't strong and courageous... that my fears and anxieties took hold. I've experienced past traumas around hospitals in the past, which I won't get into here, and I know some of that factors into it all.
I feel so vulnerable. So inadequate.
I did really well in the hospital for the 3 days post-c/s-- the relief and euphoria from coming to the end of it, with my beautiful baby girl. I saw the OB each morning I was in there. He would have seen that side of me.
But now, in the weeks since the c/s, I've been processing things and it hasn't been easy sometimes. For example, I realize that I don't remember the first nursing session with DD, which was 1 hour after the c/s, when I was in Recovery. DH took pictures, but that time is completely not in my memory bank. Not sure how that happened, because I had a spinal. Not medazalan (sp?), or ativan. And then, I went to the dentist recently and almost had a panic attack, laying back in the chair for my cleaning and check up-- being reclined, seeing the lights overhead... ugh.
I've had people (family, my family physician) tell me that I shouldn't get pregnant again, because this pregnancy/birth was complicated and I had developed the anxiety and depression over things. (Although my family doc, in saying it, was trying to lighten the situation and discussion we were having... but it still hurts). So, even if my fertility allows for me to conceive again, there are those who think it's a bad idea. That makes me sad, that I'm being judged. I guess I'm worried the OB is going to think that, and tell me that this should be my last child. That makes me even more sad-- because I don't feel like I'm 'done'.
I'm not sure why I'm writing all of this... I'm ever so grateful I have my baby girl in my arms, safe and sound. I just feel so battered from what's happened. I know things could have been so much worse. It's just been so different from when DS was born-- at home, with midwives. But, it does feel therapeutic to put it out here. Time is helping, so that things don't feel as acute... I just hope that when I see the OB, it doesn't reactivate too much of the painful stuff around this.
Anbody out there who can relate to being thrust back into the trauma in some way or another by their environment/people seen/situations?
I'm so sorry you're living this, mama. You have a right to these feelings you are feeling. Of course things could've been worse. Things could always be worse. A bus could've crashed through the walls of the hospital while you were there. But that doesn't mean that what you lived through wasn't very very difficult. You are still healing, and will likely need to heal emotionally long after your body has healed itself. Be gentle with you.
I can really related to feeling it all flood back with certain stimuli. We lived a few blocks from the hospital where DS was born. I avoid it when I take him on walks. I can't stand to even look at it. I cried when we drove by it for the first few months after he was born.
I can see why you are anxious about seeing this person. It sounds like he was compassionate with you before, or at least that was your perception. So I say just try to be yourself. If you are having difficult feelings it is okay to say that. Do you have any resources in your area that could help you process the layers of feeling you're sorting through with this experience? I'm wondering about support groups, or even a therapist.
Hugs to you, mama.
"The Mothers are the brave ones." - Call the Midwife
Partaria, thanks for your kind words. It means a lot to me. I think you are right, this is something that is going to take a while to heal from. I have some days where the thoughts and feelings really get me down... Other days, it's not too bad-- there are times when I don't even think about this stuff; usually because I am distracted. Wow, I, too, have had a hard time with going near the area where the hospital is located-- thankfully, I haven't had to go right next to it. I can't imagine living a few blocks away from it, like you do... That sounds like it was/is so hard for you.
As for my appointment with the OB, it was today. It went okay. I tried not to think about it too much on my way there, and when I saw him I did feel my emotions well up but they were 'containable'. My emotions didn't have to do with much other than feeling a deep gratitude for him. He is such a compassionate man, I know this in my heart... and besides, I know I'm not the only one he has seen who has had a hard time with how a pregnancy or birth has been experienced. I'm slowly moving past the embarassment of not handling some things well, and starting to find a speck of self-forgiveness. It was hard today, because it did bring back some difficult times into my awareness, which I hadn't thought about for a couple of weeks. Lighter, more joyous, delighting in things... I don't know, maybe one day I can run my hand across my c\s scar and sense that I truly have come to peace with the c\s.