Persephone: Parent

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My Birth Story

on November 5, 2013

I probably have mentioned some of the ins and outs of my labour, I’m not sure quite how much, but there are a few things that I’m sure I haven’t put down in words.

Surprisingly there’s some facts surrounding my birth story that I actually spoke about to a real person about before putting it down electronically.

And I don’t mean all the gory details. Nope, I mean my crazy head and my son’s existence.

My induction of labour was started in the middle of the night; I had some drugs to send me to sleep though as I knew there would potentially be a long labour ahead of me.

Inductions are a false labour, they have no slow, natural build up of contractions. Either because of the drugs or because of the speed, it’s considered more painful. I happen to think that if you need an induction before your body’s ready, then it’s going to hurt more and, quite possibly, fail.

After my waters were artificially ruptured at about 7am, I spent 6 hours connected to an IV and sucking gas and air as if my life depended on it. I’ve certainly previously mentioned how crazy the gas and air made me (I was convinced hubby was having an affair with newly met midwife!) But some of the crazy was all me.

During one crazy moment, as the midwife left the room to talk to someone about my labour, I started yelling at hubby that there was something wrong and she’d gone to tell someone that out of my earshot. Of course, in retrospect and drug free, she wouldn’t have the left the room at all if things were bad!

And then, as I was having my epidural and the word cesearean was first mentioned by medical staff. Even at that point I knew it wasn’t an emergency. The doctor was concerned about E’s trace disappearing a few times, which all correlated with when I’d sat up or laid flat. E was never, ever in distress. But that didn’t matter.

All that mattered at that point and for a while (until quite recently actually) was that, as far I was concerned both when high and sober, was that Elvis wasn’t supposed to exist.

This wasn’t a simple drug induced fear or thought. It continued after then. It was born from 3 years of failing and artificially starting the pregnancy. All the time during my pregnancy, I never thought making Elvis or carrying him was that truly against nature. I never thought I’d done wrong.

I had fears during pregnancy. I guess as any mum-to-be does, but mine were linked to all my struggling, the unfairness and pain of my three years trying to get a baby. I would never try and say mine were worse than a normal mum-to-be, just that they were different. And, yes, I consider natural conceptions normal, natural births normal and E’s conception and birth not normal.

Every pregnancy announcement during my pregnancy still hurt because I didn’t have my baby yet. Maybe I wouldn’t get my baby.

But I was in false labour, not progressing with a baby who still didn’t want to come out, and that was when the thought that plagued me popped into my mind: Elvis was not supposed to exist.

So I begged hubby to choose E, to do anything to make sure our son was born, that I didn’t matter, that maybe my life had to be taken for his. I started repeating he’s not supposed to exist. Over and over. Until we all agreed on cesearean and then I stopped.

Until the night after when a midwife found me crying hysterically on the post natal ward. I was trying to feed E. It wasn’t working. And it wasn’t working because he wasn’t supposed to exist. And as I cried to that midwife I wanted to tell her the truth. But I couldn’t.

A parent’s supposed to love her child not question their existence.

So I didn’t tell her. I didn’t tell my health visitor. I didn’t tell anyone as I struggled to ignore that thought. I didn’t tell anyone as I placed too huge an emphasis on other things (breastfeeding, bedsharing) trying to believe that I was supposed to be a mum. I watched as other mums conceived, gave birth, breastfeed without issue, not need to bedshare and not fear their child wasn’t supposed to be.

Who was I supposed to tell? Just as no one in my life could relate to my fertility issues, no one could relate to this new problem. I couldn’t even find anywhere online where people felt the same.

And so I remained silent.

~ P

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