So I’m scheduled to have a c-section to bring Lucinda into the world on Thursday October 7th. That’s nearly nine weeks away.
In the beginning, I was apprehensive to the idea of simply having another c-section without trying for a VBAC. I remember feeling so robbed of the experience when I was in labor with James. It was awful and I felt like a failure when my doctor announced we no longer had any choice but to have an emergency c-section. Maybe it’s because I was in the irrational throes of labor, but I was devastated. What should have been one of the happiest days of my life, in essence, became one of the worst memories I have. My son was born perfectly healthy and I made a pretty quick recovery. Both things I am grateful for, but in the long run, that feeling of failure was pretty hard to shake. I’ve come to terms with it. I know I can’t change anything about what happened.
But it took me a long time to come to grips with that.
And now here’s the part where I talk about something I’ve almost never mentioned out loud.
After James was born, and after I struggled with breastfeeding to no avail, I was emotionally crushed. I would take James, sit in the rocking chair (or on the bed), cradle him in my arms and just weep. I cried for all the things that went wrong. I apologized to my newborn son for being such a dud, such a failure. I didn’t want anyone to know about it. I was certain I was being ridiculous and over-dramatic. Truth be told, I wasn’t prepared for any of it. I wasn’t prepared for things to go wrong. I wasn’t prepared to recover from major surgery. I wasn’t prepared to be unsuccessful at breastfeeding (clear proof I was doomed to be a bad mother).
Eventually the hurt subsided and I was able to pay my undivided attention to the new joys I had in my life.
James and I learned how to smile together.
Though that’s not to say that I was back in tip-top emotional shape by the time James was two months old, I was much more stable and much less likely to profess apologies over being a terrible mother due to things ultimately beyond my control.
In a little over nine weeks, I will have another c-section. I’m trying not to be terrified. I’m taking the time to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for the recovery. I have some amount of confidence that being prepared will aid me greatly. I have some amount of confidence that Dr. Awesome will assist me in my recovery to a greater extent than my previous doctor. I admit that I’m still concerned that I will have some small amount of postpartum depression (again). It’s something I hadn’t really thought about until somebody recently asked me point blank if I’d had trouble with it when I had my son. I realize that seems like an extremely personal question, and it is, but I wasn’t bothered by it. I was more bothered by the fact that when I got to talking about it with him, his wife and I pretty much have the same birth story. I confessed that the bulk of my depression was related to my feeling like a failure and my lack of control over the situation. But ultimately, I can’t speak for his wife.
In the past year or so, I’ve come to know some really great people through the blogosphere and the twittersphere. I find myself wishing I knew these people when I was in recovery the first time around. Maybe I would not have felt so alone. Maybe I would have reached out. I have some amount of confidence that should I find myself in the dumps again, I will have all of you to help pull me back out.