So as many of you know I got my HBAC like I had dreamed since the day I had my c-section with my first daughter and last night I was reflecting on how different I am now as a person, in the way I think and the way I react to other people and their birth stories.
With Elenore I was happy that she was healthy (obviously) but there was just something that lingered in my soul after her birth that just sat there and festered. The only way I can explain it is that I felt cheated of the bonding time with her, of her firsts: her first time being fed, the first person to hold her, the first person to kiss her etc. etc. I missed out on all of those. Because of my c-section i was out of it after her birth and didn’t even feel the desire to hold her for a good hour or so. I remember laying there, barely able to hold my eyes open watching my mother, my mother in law and my husband hold, cuddle and bottle feed her and I felt a mixture of anger, resentment and sorrow, but couldn’t seem to open my mouth or eyes long enough to tell them that I wanted her. It wasn’t for a long while that I finally held her and was able to do all of above and it just lingered in my soul that I didn’t get that with her.
Plus, as time went on I felt that I wasn’t really given a chance to give birth to her in the way I wanted. I was so angry and started seeking out like minded moms. I found them and through them found the information, support and understanding that I had needed since the moment I was sent off to my c-section. I knew I needed to heal and a step in that direction was to give birth to my next child on my own terms and to have the experience I was cheated.
After a miscarriage and finally having a little baby stick I started the process of finding a VBAC friendly provider. That was way harder than it should had been but I found Kelly and knew I was going to have my healing birth.
Fast forward to 6 weeks postpartum of the most healing, amazing, and empowering birth of River and I feel… whole. Its the only way I can describe it. From the moment I felt River exit my body the way God meant babies to be born I felt complete.
Suddenly I am no longer angry. I am no longer resentful of my friends who just go in and give birth in hospitals with no issues and come out like it was nothing. Or friends who get induced and the cascade of interventions don’t lead them to c-sections. Or friends who DO get a c-section and wonder why I’m so upset over mine.
I’m free of all that and I’m also empowered to change the outcomes of birth for women so that they can feel what I did.
I can now talk to people about birth and not feel resentment. I feel empathy for the women who didn’t get what they wanted. I don’t just say to them “well your baby was healthy so you should be happy” to the women who are mourning their dream birth or feel anger towards the women who think I’m silly for the way I believe a birth should happen. I just know that if they ever need a shoulder to cry on, or a sympathetic ear that I’m there for them.
This whole thing has lead me to knowing that when my girls are in school I will be becoming a birth professional of some kind. Whatever form that takes: doula, midwife etc. I will do my best to make sure that each and every woman’s birth goes the way she dreamed and if it doesn’t she knows she doesn’t have to cover up the feelings of anger. I’m there with her.
Until then I’ll continue to try and inform my friends and family on what evidence based birth is and continue to support and be a ear to talk to for all of them; no matter what their birth outcome was and how they feel about it post birth.