Wednesday, August 31, 2016

When Your Birth Story is Different Than You Had Hoped

If you ask me, "how many kids do you have?" I will tell you that I have three.  I can see the look in your eye as you wonder, three? Where is the third?  How old are they? Boy or girl?  I've seen the look countless times, enough to admit, that sometimes I will say two because I don't want to explain.  But when it comes down to it all, I have three children.

And with those three children come different birth stories, some things overlap, but they are all very different from each other.  Even more so, they are all different than what I was wanting and hoping for.  Beyond that, the thoughts and feelings I've been left with after each has loaded me down and weighed heavily on my shoulders.

It is a load I am tired of carrying.  Take a moment and think, do you have a heavy load to lay down, open up about, leave it down and take a new step forward feeling lighter and filled with more understanding and acceptance.

I've felt for so long that I have failed because of how each story turned out.  Some, because it didn't go the way I had hoped.  Some, because of how other people responded.  And some, because I kept replaying it over and over in my mind, seeing the negatives and blaming my body for failing me. I had heard others stories and successes, and that is what I wanted for my stories.

But you see, every pregnancy is different...every child is different...every birth is different.  Sure, there are things that are similar.  However, when things don't go the way we hope, we sometimes dwell on it and when the time comes to try again we want ever so much to change what had happened.

You see, I've delivered three children.  One natural, One c-section, and One trying natural but ending in a c-section.   Not one of them went the way I had hoped.

Our daughter I had to deliver naturally at seventeen weeks because we lost her to Turner's Syndrome.  What ended in a miscarriage, still left me having to go through the contractions and deliver her.  She was born, but never gave a breath.  I've learned so much about life from loosing her.

My oldest son decided to come a week early.  I was counting down the days and was ready to have things be different.  I knew he was healthy.  I knew I wanted to deliver naturally.  However, due to his size, he ran out of room and my water broke.  Yet, after 24 hours, he was not ready to come out and my body didn't make it all the way to 10 centimeters.  For a brief moment, I was disappointed that I was only left with having to have a c section.  I was more scared of what a c section was going to be like as the thought of having one never crossed my mind.  But, as I lay there anxiously awaiting, all I wanted to hear was his cry.  To know he was okay and was going to be staying in my arms.

My youngest son came quickly.  I had contractions starting in the morning and by noon, I was on my way to the hospital.  This time, I thought, things would be different.  Not that I have a problem with having another c section, it was more about to change the story and allowing my body to what it could naturally.  As well as being able to keep up with my older son once we were all home.  As time progressed, I found that my body was not designed for a natural delivery.  The bones in my pelvis rubbed against my son's head.  He was only going to come out via c section.  I will admit...I cried while being prepped.  I knew what it was like to go through this, but I didn't want to and I was beyond scared to go through it again.  He was born healthy and happy.  His cry was a beautiful sound.

Initially, I hadn't thought much of it all.  But as time passed and I was up in the middle of the night nursing, my mind began to wonder.  I was trying to figure out where things went wrong.  Why I was made this way.  I would beat myself up over it.  Even though the doctor had told me that I put forth a good effort and I didn't fail, I just couldn't shake the feeling.

I am blessed to have my two sons to hold onto, to snuggle, to see grow up.  With time, I am accepting that this is the way I was made.  I may not be able to deliver kids naturally, but I can at least deliver kids that are healthy and happy. 

As moms, we sometimes put too much emphasis on the places we go wrong, the mistakes we made, the failures of our body.  But when it comes down to it, our bodies can do amazing things and it shows.  No matter how your birth stories went, you are strong and courageous.  It may not have gone how you hoped, but lay down the negatives and step forward looking at the positives from it.  In the end, you are an amazing mom.

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