Persephone: Parent

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My Body Did Not Fail…

on November 23, 2014

You wouldn’t believe how much I want to say that and believe it. I guess I thought I’d gotten over my birthing failures but being surprisingly pregnant a second time, discussing and thinking about a second birth, obviously it’s brought it all back to me.

For a recap (and because the VBAC midwife confirmed what happened), I was induced at T+12 with artificial rupture of my membranes at about 7am ish. Somewhere around mid-morning or lunch, I was put on the induction drip due to nothing happening. Within 4 hours, I had still not progressed any further from 7am and the decision was made for C-section. Due to the induction, I was under constant fetal monitoring, which is restrictive in itself, but Elvis was a pickle and his heartbeat could only be picked up when I was lying on my side. I couldn’t even swap sides!

Meanwhile, the gas and air made me incredibly high. I have never taken any sort of drug before. Other than medically given anaesthetic for operations, paracetamol and alcohol! The first time I took co-codamol for a migraine, I passed out for two days! So, I think gas and air made me loopy. I can remember the room spinning. I can remember hubby and midwife maniacally laughing at me, spinning in a 60s type of vibe. It was all a bit psychedelic and flower-powery for me. I became convinced at some point that hubby was having an affair with the midwife we met that morning and he was never alone with. I don’t remember opening my eyes at all. I only realised that I was missing time when a song came on my ipod that I know off by heart and realised it was missing lines. The music from my ipod all got a dance-remix with heartbeats. I was not on this planet!

I’m sure that labour is very rarely described as a pleasurable experience, but I also never thought it would be so restrictive. I never really thought that a woman can remain in complete control of her body during labour, but I had absolutely no control. It was not what I expected. And until that moment where they removed the induction drip for my C, I hated it all. I have no issue with having the C.

I guess that when I consider myself a failure, it isn’t because I had a C. It isn’t because I failed to conceive naturally. It isn’t because I failed to give birth naturally. (Sure, they all play into a certain neuroses of mine). It’s because I failed to go into labour. I failed to progress in labour.

A logical part of me says that at least I only failed an artificial, drug induced labour, but what about going into labour? There’s no logical way out of that one and it’s that thought that preoccupies my mind. What if I can’t go into labour? What if I can’t naturally labour? I know someone who aimed for a VBAC and pretty much fully laboured but still had a C. At the moment, I feel like I’d be fine with that scenario. As I said I have no issue with my C, just my failure to labour! And there can be no argument of Elvis being fully cooked when I was T+12 — his conception was medical and known precisely to the day if not hour-ish.

I’m jealous of people who have experienced labour. I guess I’m jealous of mums who have given birth naturally. Maybe if I’d had stronger pain relief sooner or Elvis hadn’t been such a pickle, they would have let me labour for longer. But then I would have been more tired, I guess. Maybe if I had agreed to pethidine over gas and air, I would have been comfortable on my side and not as crazy, paranoid. But I was trying to be all righteous and not put those sort of drugs into my unborn baby. Instead, I became so paranoid I convinced myself that Elvis wasn’t supposed to exist and needed a C-section to make sure he lived. Would things have been different if I had not been paranoid?

Every scenario has pros and cons.

I have more questions to run past my MW and the VBAC team, but currently my plan is to aim for VBAC. I’m due on January 15th. I had stated 100% that I will not have an induction ever again. (Couple my hatred of the first and how a second involves a balloon in my vagina, no way!). But, I’ve since learned that we have mobile monitoring at the hospital that can even be used in a birthing pool. I’ve also actually read up on the Foley induction and I think it actually sounds nicer than the hormone route I had the first time around! Now, I have to consider induction at T+12 or straight to C-section at T+12. And then, sometimes, labour scares me and I consider booking a C-section now. I do feel calmer about my C-section scare though and the fear of rupturing, although I do worry that a second C-section could be longer and worse than my first due to the scar. I consider VBAC safer than C-section. Especially if there is ever a third.

Is it so wrong, or weird that I have such hope that I can go into labour? That’s why I keep trying to convince myself that I’m not a failure, that my body didn’t fail me. There’s no reason I can’t labour this time, right? My body can work normally, right? It conceived Robin all on it’s own.

I went into my first labour never believing I would have one baby, let alone two. I’d never given up, but I had doubted it ever happening, which was clearly on my mind during the induction. If I can get my mind into the view of this one started naturally then perhaps I won’t have that preoccupation hindering me.

~ P

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