Saturday, February 10, 2007

the strangest thing
(finding peace)

I had the strangest realizations today.

So, you'll remember that I've been bitching for months about some baby-related things.

Today, a whole host of things happened that should have ticked me off. Not only did they not in the least, but I actually realized I'm grateful for where I am at this point in time.

I went to a homebirth meeting. We discussed what typical homebirths are like and how even with most hospital transfers, the baby's are born vaginally with no drugs. That was very much not my experience.

I keep thinking that should have bothered me, but it didn't. Even when my very favorite midwife mentioned how physical abnormalities that make it impossible for babies to fit through the pelvis are very rare, I didn't get all "Woe is me," about it.

I know things could have gone very differently with my first pregnancy when I saw an OB (long story short, but the OB didn't do her job and I got very sick and had an emergency c-section 2 months too soon as a direct result), but I'm beginning to let that go. I learned from that experience and it has made all the difference. Maya Angelou had it right, "When you know better, you do better." I made a mistake in seeking Obstetric care. I have since learned the difference between the midwifery model of care and Obstetric care. I am blessed to have been fortunate enough to experience midwifery care with my second pregnancy rather than just clinging to what was familiar.

I was shocked to find that I think I have forgiven everything surrounding The Boy's birth. I know now that there is no way my son would have been born vaginally. It wasn't anyone's fault--not mine, not the doctor, not G-d's. No one could have done anything any differently.

At the meeting, a friend asked, "What if you transfer to the hospital and you refuse a c-section." It occured to me, "Wait, I did just that." Granted, I eventually signed the damn consent and had him sliced out of me because I'm one of the rare few cases that really needed one, but I went down fighting. I refused until I had a chance to exhaust my options. I didn't give up. I didn't buckle under pressure. It wasn't a waste because I proved my own strength. I find a lot of strength in that fact.

I find I'm not villifying my second c-section any longer. I still think the rates are WAY too high in the States and all this bull with not allowing VBACs in some states has got to stop, but I'm actually grateful that the procedure exists. We need to cut this shit out when we reach for the scalpel just because the doctor wants to make more money ($2,000 for a vaginal birth vs. $5-10,000 for a c-section), their "Chicken Little mentality" has them insisting there "could" be a danger when it's actually not likely, the hospital staff is tired of waiting for mom to labor on her own, or just because it happens to be a day ending in Y (a nod to Giselle for using one of her catch phrases); but when used effectively (and only when there's a true physical need), c-sections save lives. Twins are typically smaller than singletons, so with better care, there's a chance that I could have birthed my twins vaginally, but there's no chance that The Boy would have been born that way. Without a c-section, I would have died as would my son. I am the rare case (2% vs. the 30-some-odd % currect c-section rate in the U.S.) that truly needed that surgery. Words cannot express how thrilled I am that I had the option.

At the end of the meeting, it occured to me that I was the only woman present who wasn't pregnant. And you know what? That didn't bother me at all.

I'm actually grateful to NOT be pregnant right now. Dh is about to end his military career (well, the active duty part at least). He has only just begun to interview for new jobs. The Boy is still young (I like at least a 3 year age difference between my kids, not counting those that come as a matched set). My body will have a much better chance for a successful VBAC if we wait at least 2 full years after The Boy was born to start trying. There are things I'll need to do/avoid next time around and I'm just not ready to go there yet. I like that I'm giving myself time to adjust first.

This has been my biggest issue for a long time. It has torn my heart out and made me absolutely miserable. So it's very strange to, all of a sudden, find such peace with it. I am imensely thankful for that. I am just in awe of it all.

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