I wanted a water birth first time around.
No pain relief.
Who was I kidding?
I thought baby would come early.
Again, who was I kidding?
I thought it would all go- excuse the pun- swimmingly.
Four children on and I’m aware that nothing goes to plan. Nothing happens the way you intend it and when it comes to birth, that is never more true. That water birth became an induction at 42 weeks, became a baby in distress, became a baby stuck, became an emergency section. And still I made plans.
I wanted a planned section second time around.
My choice of music in the theatre. No emergencies, no drama. No pain.
That planned section became a ‘no need for a section’, became a baby in distress, became a baby stuck, became a fading heart beat, became a mask on my face, became darkness… became an emergency section. A knife in the wrong place, on my son’s face. A tiny scar that shines when he is sad.
I got my planned section third time around.
And then I wanted a VBAC. Not just any old VBAC. I wanted a VBA3C. I wanted to prove that I could.
And could I? Who knows? I will never get that chance to find out. I wanted four babies. I happily have four babies. I’m done.
And now that I’m done, there’s no pressure hanging over my head any more. No need to strive to prove my worth as a mother. No desire to go back, do it again, get it right. Maybe I didn’t fail after all. Maybe having a c-section might not be that bad after all.
Three of my c-sections may have saved the lives of three of my children. Two definitely did. And one saved my life too. One of my c-sections showed me how beautiful birth could be, no matter how it happens.
There was a time I felt I didn’t give birth to my children; birth happened to me. Despite me. Birth was only possible thanks to the gloved hands of a stranger. Birth was a topic of conversation for someone else.
When night fell on the day that Elsie was born, I lowered myself onto the chair in the shower room at the hospital and wept. For the pain that I was in. For my broken body. For my VBAC dream. For the birth I was mourning. On her due date, I woke at home, my baby in the crib beside me, and the tears fell again. I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed. I couldn’t see what was in front of me. I could only feel despair that things has gone wrong. Again.
Elsie was in front of me. All four of my children were there. And they were there because I had a c-section.
I’ve had four c-sections. And that might be ok after all.
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