I have been very active over the years on forums for mothers to talk, get advice and support, and to share their stories. One thing that I have always told women, especially first time moms, is to share their birth stories. Every birth is different and unique. Birth can be very traumatizing though. It's wonderful, painful, stressful, joyous, and a plethora of other emotions all rolled into one. Any person that goes through an experience where they have that many things going on at the same time need to talk about it to help them process what it is that they went through. Whether it was a good experience or a bad experience.
I have shared my birth stories here. I even live blogged Peanut's delivery for two days, up to the point where I was whisked away into an operating room. Then I wrote about it on a friend's blog as a guest poster. Now, come to find out, because of my genetic disorder, there is a reason why I had strange complications with all three of my births. My normal is not the regular normal. But to me, I just felt that everyone is different and unique so what really is "normal" when it comes to the miracle of birth?
I, unfortunately, have heard time and time again over the years about women who have had cesarean sections, and how they felt like less of a person, or how their body had failed to do the one thing that it was built to do, or how they were "assaulted" or "robbed" of their natural experience. I have also seen women talk about others that have had cesarean sections like they all carelessly planned it to be that way, they are ignorant or lesser people, or that they are not "real women". Now, I agree that the US definitely does not have a good track record with treating pregnant women and not rushing things when it comes to delivery. (Seriously doctors, this really is up to the babies and God! Not you! But that's another tangent for another day.) Women need to support each other, not berate each other or even ourselves. Using these harsh words like assault when it comes to birth is not a healthy way to feel. And holding onto those negative feelings is not healthy.
Now, just to make it perfectly clear. I had two vaginal deliveries. My last baby was an emergency csection. So, I really do know what I'm talking about when I talk about experiencing birth. I have been pregnant seven times, so I really do know what it's like to think that you can never have kids. Personally, through all of my life changing experiences, the one thing that I learned was to love what you have been blessed with and live on. It's not easy to do. And it's impossible if you are depressed (I know what that's like too.) The first step is to keep that as the goal to reach; being thankful for what you have.
For the women that can't stand the phrases, "At least you have a healthy baby." and "It doesn't matter how baby came into the world, they got to come into the world." You really need to seek professional help. Because you DO have a healthy baby, and you are healthy and able to be alive to enjoy that bundle of joy. That is why we have csections. So that mom and baby can survive birth.
Now before you jump to conclusions and think that I'm being flippant, I am not. If you can't get over the feelings of regret, pain, hate, and anger, then you really do need help. You cannot be the best person that you can be, the best mother that you can be, or even the best wife that you can be if you are angry, hurt, regretful, and full of hate. Having that level of regret that you will cry if anyone says the word csection, or if you can't stand the idea of walking into a hospital because you break down at the sight of an operating room, it will leave you a shell of the person that you once were. We all know that you love your baby. But if you can't look at that scar in the mirror without having that feeling that something is squeezing your heart, then you need to talk to someone about it. You need to let that hate, anger, and regret go.
I understand that hate. I understand that anger. I understand the "what ifs" that go through your mind. I understand that deep in your heart pain that is covered by the love that you have for this beautiful baby. My csection took 45 minutes, two sets of doctors hands, taking my organs out of my body, to reach my child. Then another 1.5 hours to put me back together again. It was 8 days in the hospital and more than 4 months of recovery. And I am left, 2.5 years later, with a scar that feels like pins and needles if anything touches it. If I had my doctor that delivered Little Man, none of this would have happened. She would have physically turned Peanut before my water broke. She would have known that there was something wrong the first day of labor instead of sending me home. She would have listened to my worries that first day instead of trying to reassure me that it wasn't time. But that didn't happen. And there's nothing that I can do about it now.
That's the thing. You can't change the decision. It was the best decision that you could have made for yourself in the moment with the options that you had. You can't change that now. All you can do, is tell your story. Heal your heart, and not dwell on the things that you can't change. I'm not saying that you have to be joyous that things didn't turn out the way that you wanted. But at the same time, you can't hold onto the pain of it either. It's okay to feel about this; to work through the grieving period. It's not okay to say, "I love my child, but...." That "but" should not be there. If you can't get through the grieving process, you need someone who can help you get through it.
Very few women who give birth naturally have things happen the way that they wanted. I had complications with both of my vaginal deliveries that have left me scarred inside and out. I was terrified to give birth a second time after my first horrible birth experience. So, every delivery is a miraculous, life changing event, but not every delivery is exactly what you want or what you expect. That's okay. That's normal. No one will tell you this because they don't want you to worry, but that's how it works more often than those picture perfect, made for TV deliveries.
There are a lot of unrealistic expectations when it comes to giving birth these days. Women think that if they "do all the research" and "learn everything" that they will be fully prepared when the time comes and nothing will go wrong. That's extremely unrealistic. Birth is unexpected. It is uncontrollable. People really have to learn what they can to make educated decisions, but not expect everything to go according to plan. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. And when things do go off plan, don't hate yourself for it because you have no control over that. You didn't fail.
These feelings of hate, regret, anger, and disappointment are not normal after the first few months. Of course, you need time to process and time to feel. But you can't hold onto it. Just like with Postpartum Depression, you really need to tell a doctor about these feelings and get some help to work through them. These feelings are normal, and they do happen, but it is not normal to hold the grudges. It is not healthy to hold onto the grudges. Please, if you still feel this hurt from your birth experience, please see someone who can help you get through it so you can be fully happy again. Then, you'll really learn to understand and embrace the phrase, "Be Grateful."