As most of you know, my pregnancy with Wesley ended in an emergency cesarean section due to pre-eclampsia. My kidneys had more or less stopped working, so despite feeling fine, I was told that it was time for things to get a move on. (Delivery is the only cure for pre-eclampsia.)
I was very, very upset. I started bawling as soon as they told me it had to happen. They presented it to me like it was a choice, but it wasn’t, and I signed the consent form through tearful sobs.
I cried anytime anybody brought it up. I’m still not 100% sure why; I think it had to do with how I envisioned my birth going and how very different it ended up, as well as the fact that the midwife on call was someone I did not know well and her attitude rankled me. She was the person conducting my two-week postpartum appointment as well, and after asking “So, how do you feel about the c-section?” was baffled by my tears.
She then wrote a totally silly note in my chart that the midwife at my six-week postpartum appointment read out loud to me because she thought it was so weird. It said something to the effect of, “Patient is very touchy; best to not bring up the c-section.” The midwife who performed my 6-week checkup was like, “Um, I don’t know what she’s talking about. You seem fine. It’s clearly not how you wanted things to go, but I think you are handling it very well.”
Once I could talk about it without crying, I mostly just gave the stock answer of “at least we are both healthy, that is what matters.” Which… yes. But. I think that minimized a lot of the feelings I had regarding the whole procedure and what it will mean for me in the future.
I’m not sure why, but this subject keeps coming up for me lately and I wanted to get my thoughts out of my head as it helps me process the information.
I often feel like my entire reproductive future is ruined. Whether or not this is true, I think about it a lot and it bothers me. I’d love to have a waterbirth, or a homebirth (or both!) and I’m frustrated that the most I can hope for is doing a “trial of labor” and it’ll have to be in a hospital so they can perform an emergency c-section if necessary.
I know I gave birth to a baby, but I didn’t give birth to a baby – he was removed from me, and I played basically no part in his delivery. I was strapped to a table and he was cut out of me. THAT IS WEIRD, YOU GUYS. I was just sort of presented with a freshly washed and swaddled baby. I didn’t get that moment of seeing my new baby for the first time, allowing him to try to nurse right away, seeing more than just a sliver of his face between the tightly swaddled hospital blanket and the pink-and-blue striped hat they put on the newborns.
And that bums me out! Since I had a c-section with no prior vaginal births, my rate of success for a VBAC is lower than it would be otherwise, so I have to live with the idea that I may never get to experience those things.
If, for some reason, I end up uninsured in the future, I don’t think we would be able to have any more kids. My prenatal care + c-section + hospital stay cost THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS before insurance. If we were uninsured, we would not have thirty thousand dollars to spend on delivery if I had to have another emergency c-section. We just wouldn’t. We could bring the costs down a LOT by having a homebirth with midwives, but hey! I can’t! Because I already had a c-section!
I get that it was medically necessary. I do. But I feel like all my options have been removed. I’m jealous of people that got the sort of birth they wanted. I’m sad that the size of my family will have been dictated by some stupid condition I came down with that nobody understands and that caused me to have major abdominal surgery to resolve it.