Thursday, March 17, 2016

My Birth Journey (Part One)

This is my birth story in all it's imperfection... I've been wanting to write it out, and I hope it might either be an encouragement to those who have been there, or to help those who haven't to understand what some mamas are going/have gone through. 

This time a year ago, I was being prepped for an induction after a long journey with pre-eclampsia. I had spent four weeks in the hospital on bed rest. Some days I felt really good, and it seemed useless to be there. Other days my legs/feet were so swollen & my vision was so blurred from the high blood pressure that getting out of bed to go to the bathroom was a struggle.

Almost everyone who came to see me told me how they would have gone crazy. "I don't know how you do it", "I could never do this" etc. In some ways being an introvert was a benefit, because I actually don't mind being alone, and I am pretty comfortable with the same routines every day. But, as an introvert, there was nothing I wanted more than to be *home*. I got tired of having people come in and out, doctors asking questions, everyone asking if I was doing ok. There was nothing that could be done until the baby came, so it was draining to come up with a smile and an "I'm fine".

I would spend half an hour in the shower, enjoying the fact that nobody would bother me in there. It was where I could go to cry and not have to be strong. For a few minutes, I could wash off the nasty hospital feeling & get myself from patient to human again. I probably cried in there every day the last week of my pregnancy - I wanted my bed, I wanted to sleep, and I wanted desperately for this baby to be out of my body so that I could feel better again. And then I would cry some more, because I felt so guilty. Guilty for knowing that the longer he stayed inside, the healthier he would be, and I felt selfish for not caring. Guilty because I knew my husband & family were so completely stressed about me, yet there was nothing I could do to make it better.

When Dr. Boone told us that it was finally time to start inducing because my body couldn't handle the HBP much longer, I was relieved. And then scared. I am the person who wants to be prepared, and nobody had prepared me for this. I hadn't gotten to take my birth classes, I wasn't getting the home birth & midwife I had planned, and I was scared to death of having a C-section. They told me they would let me labor naturally as long as possible, but if anything happened, a C-section was going to be necessary. I tried to push it in the back of my mind, but I read the cesarean chapter of my birth book just in case.

After they started the Cervadil Thursday night, we got ready to move our stuff from antepartum to labor & delivery. You can gather a lot of things in one room over a month! The dietician, Carol, who had been delivering my meals every day teared up when she brought my dinner & found out I was leaving. I had always tried to be pleasant when she brought my breakfast at 6:15am and I was still half asleep, even though eating was the last thing on my list right then. I imagine she didn't receive a pleasant welcome from everyone. When she came over to give me a hug, my mom took a picture of us - I wish that I'd had a picture with so many of the amazing nurses who cared for me.

I'm going to dedicate each post, and today, this is dedicated to Carol, for always having a smile on her face & being a little ray of sunshine in my day.

Part Two coming tomorrow!

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