Giving Birth and Managing Expectancies Essay
Giving Birth – My truth about managing expectancies.
Nothing could have prepared me for giving birth. Not the 12 books I read about pregnancy, birth and newborns or the hundred conversations I had with my mother, sister and girl friends.
I had this idealistic idea of natural birth, of feeling contractions and just like in the movies, going to the hospital. I had pictured being welcomed by a warm team of nurses that would take me to the birthing room. There I would put on the birthing playlist I took hours to prepare.
I was told contractions were extremely painful and could last for an average of 15 hours for the first child. I was also warned that sometimes (just sometimes), an episiotomy was required to help the baby out.
I was not scared of the length of the contractions or the pain, society had told me that women had been giving birth since the dawn of time and that we were built for it.
What bothered me was rather the idea of being seen naked by a group of people I did not know, the medical staff assisting the birth of my sweet little baby boy.
I had dreamed about this moment. After a few hours of painful contraction, I would give in and request an epidural. After that, it would all be easier. I would let my body do the work and after a while, a few strong pushes would allow my baby to be born into this world.
I would gaze at my precious infant, love in my eyes, and forget all about the pain and the challenges I had experienced throughout the pregnancy and the delivery.
But nothing went according to plan. Apparently, it usually doesn’t.
At week 36, I was told that the baby was breach (head up). An appointment was made at the hospital to attempt a manipulation (version) that would allow the baby to turn and reach a normal birthing position (head down).
Again, nothing went as planned. At the hospital, an ultrasound revealed that my precious baby had the umbilical cord around his neck. attempting a “version” was too risky and could lead to an emergency C-section.
If I know better now, with hormones at their peak, I remember feeling like this was the end of the world, that it was all my fault.
That day, a C-section was scheduled. How odd was this. knowing your baby birth date before he is actually born.
Then it all went fast. On the scheduled day, i arrived at the hospital feeling a little disconnected from what was about to happen. I did not experience a single contraction. Instead, I was taken to an O.R. where i was administered an anesthetic. Though i was completely awake and aware, not feeling my entire body from the chest down was very disturbing.
A field was set to hide my lower body and my husband came in.
15 minutes later, my baby boy was born. A beautiful 3.320 kg boy. He was put on my breast for barely 3 minutes before being taken away for tests by a nurse. Of course, my husband followed him everywhere.
I stayed another 45 minute alone with the surgeon who sewed me back up. I remember feeling like a failure. Like less than a woman because my body had not allowed me to give birth the ancestral way. I remember finally crying like the baby i just had given birth to and being told it was hormones. Then when the anesthesia wore off, I remember the incredible pain of 15 staples. It lasted for days.
My boy is 2 today and this all seem so far. He is a healthy playful little boy and the way he was born really doesn’t matter anymore.
All in all, nothing ever goes according to plan but what really matters is the life you build after the birth.