Ella was born 9 weeks ago and while I had a rough birth experience, none of it seemed to matter because I was so in awe of my little girl. I was in a state of complete euphoria. However, while by no means have my feelings for my daughter changed (being a mommy is the best thing in the world!), over the past couple of weeks feelings have surfaced surrounding Ella’s birth. I feel disappointed to say the least, and during my most “down” times, I feel completely traumatized by the experience. This is my first attempt at thoroughly explaining Ella’s birth so forgive me if it’s broken up over time, or jumps from thought to thought. I’m hoping with time it will flow… if not here then in my memory.
Having worked in the labour and delivery unit of the province's only women's hospital, I had a deep appreciation for the power of the human body, although I had also experienced how the medical world can undoubtedly influence the course of a child’s birth… for better or for worse. Some of us (being the nurses and physicians) encouraged and supported women in their quest to birth naturally, while others were total interventionists. I remember one co-worker stating, “I can help any woman get through it without drugs.” I loved the simplicity of her statement and I idolized and looked up to her as a nurse who would really support and encourage a natural birth plan. On the other hand, a nurse who became a good friend of mine believed in IV’s, epidurals, c-sections following previous c-sections and often raised an eyebrow at written birth plans. I watched some amazing births, some medicalized, some not… it totally depended on what mattered to the woman. What I did realize (as I was pregnant during part of my time there before I changed jobs), was that I knew the different outcomes and I wanted a natural birth. Women who laboured without drugs and gave birth vaginally just seemed so much better off in the end (or rather the beginning J). I wanted this for myself and my baby, but in the back of my mind I always had a feeling it wouldn’t go that way… maybe I sabotaged myself, but I didn’t have any trouble picturing the upcoming experience. The only trouble was, I always pictured myself in the OR being cut open rather than the nice vaginal delivery I was hoping for.
There are two pieces to my birth story that I cling to… things that make me feel better about the experience. I went into labour spontaneously at 41 weeks and 3 days (an induction was planned for the following day!) and my water broke on it’s own.
That was sad to even write down. I only feel ok about two pieces of my beautiful daughter’s birth. Hmmm… thoughts aren’t flowing anymore, I’ll pick up later.