Friday, March 14, 2008

Divine Secrets of the C-Section sisterhood

So Spring is in the air...the mucousy, cough-filled air (Baby and I are dying with a sinus-y cold). And spring smells lile love and love smells like babies! Ok, that's bullshit. Babies smell like curdled milk, but it doesn't stop most women from taking a glorious whiff and exclaiming about the heaven scent. Something to do with our hormones and the biological clock. Anyways, I have a friend who gave birth a week ago, and one due in a week. And I have to admit for the first time...the very first time, I feel like a virgin. A vaginal birth virgin. And I'm jealous of all the women who got one/will get one.

My baby boy was 6 weeks early and decided to come hell or high water, inching his little foot out into the world one toe at a time. A C-Section was promptly ordered and all in all my labour lasted 8 hours from the moment I flooded the halls of school with my water breaking (not kidding-the students were later seen splashing in the puddles wearing snorkels) to the moment they hauled him out of my uterus and I cried through my morphine stupor-they give you morphine with your epidural in a C-Section! Did you know that? I didn't know that until two days later when I almost scratched my face off jonesing for another fix. But I remember feeling so angry when I learned I had to have the C-Section. I was ready. I had my doula and my husband and I had this enormous sense of strength. I wanted to get up, walk around, and squat this baby out the way it was supposed to be done. I AM WOMAN! All said...I had read stories of women who felt robbed of a natural birth experience in my months of pregnancy research. I also read how they justified it to themselves in the end, patting themselves on the back and saying "The end result is the same-you get your beautiful baby!". Yup, that's what I have just realized has been playing over and over in my head too. Many women who went au natural will actually scoff at us C's...claiming oh "you didn't really feel labour!" or "Ha! You only got to 3 cm?" Like feeling more pan is some kind of prize in this competition. They do feel superior, and as nature would have it...the opposite to that is making me feel a little inferior.

I have a friend who had two high risk pregnancies and planned C-Sections both times. When we would be with other gas who'd share their birth stories-the pain, the ripping and even shredding in some cases, the stitches, the re-opening of stitches, etc. She would always say her vagina thanks her for having a C-Section. It's in it's perfect original shape, and though the recovery from the surgery was a little painful...she was glad she could jump back on any horse (sex or otherwise) after 6 weeks and not be seeing specialists at 7 months to put her womanhood back together. I've heard many horror stories about tearing. I agree with her now to a very high degree. I felt like my old self after just two weeks and was rearing to go! Granted the last weeks of my pregnancy had me feeling terribly run-down, holding over 8 pounds of water in my ankles. So apr├ęs surgery was a snap to deal with.

So with this baby-love all around me and these fine women friends of mine embarking on those first really tough weeks of motherhood I find myself second guessing my confidence in the C-Section. It is such an exciting time. So scary too. But they will do it. I did it too, but I can't help feeling a little less accomplished. If we are to have another...would I take the C-Section handed to me on a silver platter? I am not sure at all. Actually I am not sure at all we'll do it again. But if I take a whiff of my baby boy right now maybe I could see...

Nope. Smells like yogurt 2 weeks off the expiry. With a faint odeur of manure on a grassy field. Time to change the diaper, get back to reality and give myself a pat on the back. No matter how I brought him here...he is still here after 3 months. That in itself is a feat we should be recognizing. You had a baby-now make him a good person! Kinda like the whole wedding hoopla is nothing compared to the actual marriage that you hope will last.

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