September 1, 2009

I had a baby come out of my body.

Ok, call me crazy (common occurrence actually) but I feel like I need some serious therapy (long time coming). It's almost been a whole year since our sweet Rubes was welcomed into the world & I still tear up when I think about her birth. Not necessarily because it was a sweet moment (it was, of course) but more because it was totally traumatic. Basically, what actually happened was the total opposite of my "birth plan."

Without going into too much detail, here's the short of it: My water broke when I farted in my living room on a Friday night (wait, I said not too much detail, didn't I? Oops) and after doing everything humanly possible to start laboring on my own (my midwives & mom & sister & sweet husband were amazing & supportive), we finally gave in to the dreaded Pitocin- which definitely got me going- had the epidural- & then pushed unsuccessfully for 2+ hours. She was stuck- with her head facing the ceiling, not the ground like she was supposed to be positioned.

So on Sunday evening after what felt like an eternity of delirium, exhaustion, pain, uncontrollable shaking, itchiness (from the drugs) hunger (I hadn't eaten "solid" food since i was checked in to the hospital-sorry but broth & jello doesn't cut it) I reluctantly was rolled into the OR to retrieve my darling baby girl. At that point I had given up. There was nothing I could do. I was spent & numb & disappointed. This was what I didn't want to happen. The only thing that mattered then was getting her out safely. And hear me when i say that I am truly grateful that she is a wonderful, perfectly healthy little girl. But having a c-section was totally anticlimactic for me. I felt like I was in another world & a little incoherent. When she finally was out & I heard her tiny cry - I was so RELIEVED. When I thought about her birth, when I imagined what it might be like, I pictured myself being elated, crying with joy, looking at Zack in the eyes & having this euphoric moment between the 3 of us. This was not a disillusioned scene on TV, this was my experience. In reality, I was so sad to be laying there on that table with my body cut open, not able to move or hold her. I just wanted to hold her!!! (& yes, I am totally sobbing as I type this).....

I tried to explain it to Zack. I told him that it's kinda like being really really constipated for 9 months & then not having the satisfaction of finally pushing the "load" out. (Sorry, I had to revert to man speak. My baby is not a turd). 

Also, when you have a c-section, the level of oxytocin (that bonding agent) is lessened, which in turn, results in a decreased maternal instinct. I think I heard somewhere (maybe the documentary "The Business of Being Born") that when mammals in a zoo are put to sleep to have their babies via surgery, the chances of them actually mothering their baby declines. Not to say that I fully believe that or that I don't have those instincts, I certainly do, but after reading some other birth stories, I definitely wasn't instantly knocked over by this overwhelming feeling of love. That was hard to type. I'm just being honest.

All this to say, it was rough. It was brutal to experience. I was an emotional basket case for awhile there. And I'm still working out & wondering what the good Lord has for me within all of it. I did get that I am not in control of anything (duh) but that in the midst of all the unknown, to have faith that love always prevails. It always does. 

I love my daughter ferociously & she is most definitely the greatest joy in my life. It was just the coming out part that sucked. 

*insert very large sigh right here*

9 comments:

ske said...

so loved reading your honesty here, dear friend...

Cara said...

I wish I knew exactly what to say but I don't. I think giving birht forthe first time is traumatic regradless if it goes as planned. I like you expected to be so overcome with emotion when Addison was born. I thought I would cry and that Steve and I and our new baby would have moment meant to be on TV but I didn't shed one tear. My labor wasn't horrific at all but I was so overwhelmed I just didn't have any emotion in me. I loved her like crazy of course she was my daughter, my blood but it wasn't this instant, sticky, sweet, gushing maternal thing. I think your feelings are toatlly normal and I think that a lot more women go throught this than don't. I love you and miss you. One of my best friends here keeps up with your blog through mine and just e-mailed me today and said how bad she wants to meet you.

elizabeth said...

this is why i love you...thank you for being honest. i know nothing about giving birth, but i do know a little about disappointment. in all sincerity, i will be praying for you and this search for answers.

The Michelins said...

How hard it must have been for you to be that honest, but I'm so proud of you. Unfortunatly, our birth plans don't go the way we want them to. We wait for our babies for an endless 9 months, so we have all that time to dream of what it will be like. What a disappointment when it goes completely the opposite way. Regardless, she is here, she's beautiful and you are a fantastic mom. Us girls are emotional beings, but you will get through this. I love you!

Gina said...

Dearest Robin,

Thanks for writing this. I think by being honest and grieving what you didn't have you'll be a healthier, happier mom. You're showing your daughter that she doesn't have to sweep her feelings under the rug--instead, it's possible to name the sadness while recognizing the eventual joy. :)

My birth didn't go as planned either (damn you, pitocin!), and it was disappointing and I cried....but two years later, I'm remembering some details that I forgot at first....like how nurtured and supported I felt by my birth team as we made tough decisions together. It's gotten to the point that I'm really excited to give birth again. Didn't think I'd feel that way.

robin said...

thanks for all the feedback, y'all. I really really appreciate it. Having a baby was completely overwhelming & life changing. And writing this down was a little bit of therapy in itself. I am so thankful for her little life.

John and Nicole said...

Hey girl. I definitely didn't have an overwhelming love at first sight thing with Anna-Joy. I felt like I was baby-sitting for a long time and I still look at her sometimes and wonder "You're my daughter? weird." I love her, definitely, but I don't know what that whole maternal thing that everyone talks about it is. I think it's different for everyone. And even though I did have the birth I'd hoped for (although much much longer), I just felt so relieved to be DONE. That's all I felt. "Oh wow! It's over! I can go to sleep now!" haha. I love ya girl.

lesliesloan said...

As I was reading this, my daughter (who I didn't want to be pregnant with) just turned to me and spontaneously said "mommy, I love you!"

Robin, I love you!
I am so glad that you are processing this and not just glossing over it. Besides getting married, it is one of the biggest moments in our lives and we have so many thoughts about how we think it ought to go.
I love you!

godzillabun said...

Well, I'm a little late on this post, I just discovered your blog and I wanted to say that I can soooooo totally friggin relate. I had nearly the exact experience you had and I felt the same things and the same mixture of happiness and pukey sadness at the memory on my son's recent first birthday. Props for being honest. I've tried to be on my blog too, because it's important us ladies be honest with each other so we don't feel like a-holes when we aren't perfect!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails