Preparing for Birth: Making Peace

On making peace with your c-section while preparing for a VBAC.

As I’ve gone throughout the motions of this pregnancy, some things have been very much the same as the first time, and others have been extremely different. Nevertheless, my main preoccupation with the impending birth has been that things will be “the same as last time”.

Recovering from C-Section Trauma

That makes it seem like “last time” was bad or traumatic when in reality I never really felt much negativity about it until I was forced to look at things in a really detailed manner and describe exactly what I disliked and how I would change it.

I am still very much of the mindset that at the time we made the right decisions for the best outcome, but obviously there are things I would change, otherwise I wouldn’t be worried about repeating the experience.  

So as an exercise in letting go, here’s what I didn’t like/had difficulty with “last time”:  

  • Baby had IUGR– this was out of my control and still a fear of mine going forward since it was only diagnosed at 36 weeks. But again, if it happens it will be out of my control.
  • I had an emergency c-section– although we knew ahead of time that this was highly likely, it was still difficult and the recovery was long and uncomfortable. I fear this outcome more because I know how much it would hinder my time with Little Boy after the birth.
  • I felt uninformed/ignored at the hospital- We were told things de facto rather than having our opinion taken into consideration (i.e. the baby is warming in an incubator for 4 hours; we fed the baby glucose water). This time we know: a) about some of the hospital policies, b) that we need to clarify to the staff that we would like to be involved in making those decisions.
  • I was separated from the baby for a long time- this was because of the whole incubator situation, so we will be clarifying that barring an emergency I would like to warm the baby skin to skin.
  • I wasn’t able to breastfeed immediately– resulting from the above separation. This only made things harder with an already small/sleepy baby.

Making Peace and Looking Forward

Apart from the things that were totally out of my control, the remedy will involve evaluating my care provider and reminding myself that this pregnancy is different in so many ways: a different time, a different baby with a different placenta.

From the get-go I had difficulty lying on my back; now I am feeling more and more stretched out with every passing day. It IS a different experience already.

My Birth Preparation Saga up until now:

My Pre-Birth Plan– considering a VBAC

Prenatal Yoga– preparing my body

Preparing a Birth Plan: Details & Discussion– evaluating my care provider

And spoiler alert: my final post in the series preparing for birth!

Have you had a c-section? Was it a planned c-section or emergency c-section? Did you have to make peace with having had surgery?

If you had a c-section and want support, I highly suggest checking out ICAN!

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