The Sunday to Forever: Musings
The Sunday to Forever table of contents:
Since I didn’t have the birth I’d imagined in my mind, I thought I would have a lot of processing to do afterwards. It hasn’t worked out like that, though. Already, the birth is fading in my memory and in importance, and I’m just fully immersed in the wonderfulness that is life with Dylan. Here are some of my final thoughts on everything, though:
Physical recovery: The physical recovery has been MUCH harder than I might have guessed. I didn’t know anything about c-section recovery going into this, and it’s been tough. Stuff hurts and strangely is also numb. My incision does weird things. I have a really hard time telling if my recovery effects are normal or problematic. I visited my doctor yesterday and she said that everything looks fine. It was nice to have that reassurance, though I still feel like shit.
Image recovery: It’s taking some time to get used to my new body. I had swollen feet and ankles for a few days, and that was really alarming. I’d look down and see alien feet. What’s happening with my belly is another story entirely. It’s so weirdly shaped now. I had 9 months to slowly get used to my pregnant belly. My post-pregnant belly happened in a day, and it really weirds me out. This is not my belly. I mean, it is, but it’s going to take me a bit to realize it.
Mental state: I have been amazingly happy since the birth. I said to Joshua one day, “It feels like my depression was just a big hole that didn’t have a Dylan in it.” I realize that this will fade as the newness of the whole situation fades (I wasn’t depressed for a little while after moving in at The Wallow, too.) But for now it’s very, very nice to be in my head.
Playback: If this were someone else’s birth story, and I was my prior-to-birth self, I know the parts of the story I would question. Given the high rate of c-sections in our country, asking why, at least on a statistical scale, is worthwhile. Criticizing an individual woman’s c-section is less noble, but it’s my story so I’m on safe ground. The narrative I tell myself involves the fibroids causing excessive labor pain and preventing Dylan from dropping. Another narrative that could be told is that I was progressing just fine, I was just being a wuss about the perfectly normal level of pain, and then I went to the hospital where I had an epidural that slowed down my progress and dropped Dylan’s heart rate leading to a c-section. I’m comfortable with the first narrative. My mother had fibroids with her last pregnancy which led to birth complications and a hysterectomy, so it’s not much of a stretch to think that the same thing caused serious results for me. Frankly, though, I’m okay with the other narrative, too. Whatever the cause for my pain, even if it was just a completely normal level of labor pain, I 100% wanted the pain relief of the epidural. That had to happen. If the c-section was the result of that, then that just has to be okay, too.
The birth I planned for: All the nurses and doctors at the hospital knew I was a homebirth transfer, and they kept kind of apologizing to me, saying they knew this was “Not what you planned.” I know what they meant by this. I meant to have a freebirth and given the large number of professionals and extraordinary amount of medical technology that went into it, I obviously did not have a freebirth. On the other hand, I kept wanting to correct people. This was not what I hoped for, but, in a lot of ways, it is exactly what I planned. Every time I get into my car, I hope I get to my destination smoothly. But, if my car breaks down, I plan to call a mechanic. If I get into an accident, I plan to go to the hospital if I need to. Likewise, I birthed at home, hoped it would all go smoothly, and prepared for ways to help it be smooth. But, going to the hospital if there was a problem was always part of the plans. I’m not upset that I went to the hospital. I’m grateful that the hospital, doctors, and technology were available to me when I wanted them.
Forward: For the last 5 years, I’ve thought a lot about pregnancy and birth. Getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and giving birth have been such looming goals. I’ve read so many pregnancy books, birthing blogs, obstetric papers, etc. Birthing in particular has seemed so important. Now that it’s over, though, it’s hard to hang on to that idea of it as important. It’s not an interest I’m going to keep up on. When my doctor said that birth was only one day, I appreciated her words but didn’t wholeheartedly agree. Now what she said has more meaning to me. The importance of the details of the birth are rapidly fading. Getting out all of these words this week to tell the story was a bit of a struggle, since it already feels so long ago and so unimportant. I’m anxious to get on to writing about other topics.
After so many years of trying to so hard to get through a pregnancy and birth, it’s a relief and a joy to have it in the past, and I look forward to the entire life with Dylan laid out before me.
The Sunday to Forever table of contents: