Our story actually begins the night before birth. Once we reached acceptance with surgery, it was surreal to plan for. I re-packed my bags for a 4 night stay, and as I did I still choked back tears as I planned for my daughter’s birth. Although we made peace with the c-section, I felt a small bit of remaining mourning and that my daughter couldn’t come to us how she wanted to. I kept thinking how scary it must be to be born via surgery. But what do I know? Squeezing through a vagina seems scary too.
And as I read G his last books before bed, I muffled through “goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere”. I cried a little as this would be our last moments as just the two of us. This was it. It would never be all about G anymore and he really had no idea how much life was about to change. I cried just a little bit as I said goodbye to those last moments, kissed him goodnight and prepared for battle.
Yes, at that moment, I did see it as battle. Maybe even war. Because honestly, we lost many battles along the way. When asked if I could at least have my hands untied during the surgery, or have the baby placed on my chest, or breastfeed while I was being sewn up…I was told no. After fighting for a VBAC, we were here now. And we lost those battles. But B had promised me that as we walked into surgery, he wouldn’t give up and still fight all the way up to the operation for what we wanted. And for that I was grateful.
5:30am I brushed my teeth and put on makeup. Oh I put on makeup alright. If they were telling me when I was giving birth, I was telling them that there would be makeup….and hair. It was dark and quiet outside. It felt ominous. We should have been high fiving that today was the day. Our daughter was arriving! But I was scared. It was major surgery. And major surgery that could go any way; emotionally or physically.
We didn’t really talk in the car on the way to the hospital. My eyes welled up a few times. This was it.
We get there and the nurse asks why we were there. Ummm to have a baby? Yeah but why so early, she says. BECAUSE YOU TOLD US TO. Like I actually wanted to be there at 630 am. The nurse is very nice but nice only gets you so far when you commit bloody murder on my veins as you jab me with your IV. Having a bad IV for a 4 night hospital stay is like worse than herpes on your face. It hurts all the time and if it’s in a bad spot, you can’t do anything with your hands.Which is totally like herpes on your face.
My doula arrives, thank GOD. A few words about my doula: She is one of those people that you swear is actually a fairy. Even her voice is calming. Her solution to almost every problem is to light a candle. And she was determined to do that in a hospital. And she did it. She was my strength through this. Because she represented the side of me that really wanted this to be a natural experience. And she mourned this with me more than anyone. And having that sort of understanding throughout this was everything. B is supportive, but this isn’t his world. And that’s ok. My doula saved me.
My midwife arrived. I asked her if she was surprised that I showed up. She said no, because I read your blog. Aaaaah…. It always freaks me out when people say that. I’m like, shit, how could I have offended this person? And I mentally scan through my last writings. I sort of expected my midwife to be on team hospital. But she wasn’t. She was on team baby and she wanted this to be a good experience as much as we did. And having her support was really important and such a relief.
Now we wait.
We waited in the little hospital pre-op room. My stomach was in knots. With my last c-section I didn’t have time to think about anything. We just went in and did it. I did think, thank god I’ll get some relief from these contractions. This time was different. I thought about that I was about to be awake while my abdomen was sliced open. I was SCARED.
The surgeon came back and my doula was ON HER. My doula was like, listen sister, I wasn’t in any meetings. I don’t know the answers to these questions. But can we do this, this and this? And if not tell me why. The surgeon was like, woah hippie girl. But she basically said that they will do the best they can. Because I had given up all hope at this point, I had nothing to lose.
And then we went back to the OR.
Part 2 next.
I know you hate me. I hate me too.