Life In Words | Birth Plan Grief


I knew it was there.

Anger.

Envy.

I thought I’d come to terms with it, but it bubbled up when I saw the Bradley Method book tucked in my nightstand drawer a few months ago. It came rushing to the surface when I tried to listen to a podcast interview of a blogger I like describing her most recent and second Bradley birth. I got a few minutes in and had to turn it off. I hated her and hated that she got what I didn’t. AND both of her babies were larger than Forest.

I’m still a bit pissed off that I didn’t get the labor and birth I wanted. What’s ironic is that I’m actually not upset with having a C-section, if that makes any sense. That doesn’t bother me. My scar doesn’t bother me. No, what bothers me most is that I didn’t get to experience what I had prepared for.

In my head this is how it was going to go down, or some version of this scenario: I was going to be doing some evening gardening and walking around the yard and feel the first twinges of contractions. We’d go out for dinner and come back and watch tv or a movie. Throughout the night labor would progress. Sometime the next day I’d reach the point where contractions were coming one right after another, maybe even get to transition, and we’d rush out the door for the hospital. In the birthing room at the hospital I’d be able to breathe through the contractions and maybe it would take longer to push than I thought, but Chris would be right there helping me along. I would be in a position I’d feel comfortable in and then *bam* Forest would be out and in my arms, all gooey and sweet. I’d get that first hour of nursing and bonding right away. There’d be pictures and quiet talking, glowing smiles and tiredness all wrapped into it all. We’d text and call our family and friends and have several hours together as a family before anyone arrived.

What bothers me are the what-ifs that will never be answered because hey, I have the most awesome child in the world (as every mom says) and he got here safely (despite some scary moments with the epidural). What bothers me is those moments the week before, the feeling of being pressured into induction because of the fear he’d be too large. But, what did we know? We wanted a safe delivery of our child and despite knowing about all of these pressures for induction and c-sections from the childbirth class and from all of the birthing books that I read, we went with the flow and lead from our midwife and ob. What else would a parent do? I am sure someone with more fortitude or the experience of another birth might have fought it, but when you aren’t sure of the outcome of it all and you just want your baby to be safe and sound…what else do you do? Sometimes I think maybe I shouldn’t been so scared of the c-section and held out to go into labor on my own and if nothing progressed well once I was in labor on my own, then gone ahead with the c-section. It does nothing to think of the what-if’s though.

I just feel cheated. Which is really a very stupid thing to say and to read. In fact, re-reading what I’ve written here I know I sound very selfish. But the feelings are still there. It’s a loss, the loss of a moment, of something I’d been thinking about for many months prior to the actual events. And it isn’t like I think about this every day. I don’t. Not even once a week. But it’s those little times where something triggers the feelings that are still there in my heart.

So there it is, a postpartum battle wound that is healing but likes to rear its ugly head every once in awhile. One day I’ll be totally at peace with it, but for now I think I’ll attempt to avoid triggers when I can and accept the feelings as they come.

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