Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Forget regret ..."

" ... or life is yours to miss."

I made the mistake of watching The Business of Being Born the other night and instantly had regret & sadness for having 2 c-sections.  I realize there is nothing that can be done about it now, and that I have two healthy children, but I still can't help but mourn my birth experience.  I don't really feel like I "gave" birth, or that I actively participated in any way.  I was just a helpless witness to their births.  The process of their births was something that was done to me, not something that I did.  And that makes me really sad.

I realize that Brandt was breech and the safest way to deliver breech babies is via c-section.  But I can't help but wonder what would have happened if I waited a little longer to see if he would have flipped head down.  And if he still didn't, then by all means I would have had a c-section.

But I still struggle a lot with Lillian's birth.  I should have insisted on at least attempting a VBAC.  My doctor allows VBACs but the hospital that she's affiliated with doesn't have an OB on staff 24 hours a day, so in the off chance I would have needed and emergency c-section there wouldn't have been a doctor available.  Looking back I think that I should have changed doctors to deliver at a different hospital.  But there isn't anything I can do about it now, and there's a part of me that will always mourn the birth process I experienced.

An article was recently published by the Associated Press about the new guidelines for VBACs and repeat c-sections.  Research has shown that women can and should attempt VBACs, even VBA2Cs (vaginal birth after 2 c-sections).  So in the off chance I become pregnant again I hope to attempt a vaginal birth and be the one GIVING birth ... not just the one laying there on the operating table while my insides are cut open, a baby is removed & whisked away, and I laid helplessly in recovery for an hour before I can hold my baby.

This sadness is something that comes and goes, and I know I shouldn't be so hard on myself about my birth experiences, but I can't help but feel that I missed out somehow.  But I'm working on letting it go, because I shouldn't dwell on the negative - I should focus on my 2 beautiful children that fill my days with happiness, joy, and awe ... and a healthy dose of crazy.


Jill said...

I have given birth both ways. Let me just give you the upside of the c-section, it leaves your womanly "business" alone and you don't end up looking all funky down there. After 3 vaginal births, I look like like my vagina is sticking it's tongue out! Sorry to be so graphic. Also, with the vaginal birth, I shit all over the table as I was pushing- not something your hubby wants to see. I personally appreciated the pain only being in my abdominal region with the c-section. No sitz baths or stitches in the nether regions. Why do we feel the need to go through all pain and agony of pushing them out to feel like a real mom. Birthing has got to be traumatic for the babies, all the pressure squeezing them. At least yours were just pulled out and they were done! You got the joy and miracle of conceiving and carrying children. Some never do. Feel blessed!

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Colleen said...

Hmmmm, I have thought about this post A LOT since I first read it. I would love to say that you didn't miss out on anything, BUT I probably would have been disappointed if I didn't have the birthing experience I had! So, I completely understand how you would feel the way you do. BUT, I also went in saying I would do whatever I needed to keep my baby safe. There would be no tears if I had a c-section, and I would just do what the doctor said because what the hell do I know! I swear in my next life I am either GOING to med school or marrying a doctor :-)!

OMIDucky said...

Well as a 2 c-section survivor, I think I am as torn as you are about it ( I wasn't even awake for the second one!). But Jill has a point... everything looks the same down there, but I can't help but wonder (always) what it would have been like.

Karen said...

I didn't know you weren't awake for your 2nd c-section! Wow!! Why was that?

OMIDucky said...

When they did the spinal I could still feel them poking at me, so the decision was to put me under instead of another spinal... that sucked... they just put more probes on you after that to make sure you can still breathe. Everything turned out fine though - they believe that we just didn't wait long enough for the spinal to kick in.