Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thoughts on 'A Labour of Love'

When I wrote the 'A Labour of Love' post, the purpose was to get the facts of Mikail's birth down as well as I could remember them, yet there are so many holes missing. The emotional holes, the questions, the self-doubt, the whys, and the triumphs.

When I think about everything I dreamed of in the aspect of birthing our baby, very little of what I dreamed of came true and in a way it feels like I failed. I know that deep down inside, I didn't fail, but that evil little voice that sometimes rears it's ugly head, sneers at me. I know that it is filled with lies, but none-the-less, it is there from time to time.

Everything about what happened when it came to labour was great up until the early mornings of May 9th when I had a feeling things were not progressing like they should. My body wouldn't allow me to labour in the positions I thought I would find comfortable. I longed to sit in a tub of water or stand in a shower or rock on all fours, but every time I got up from a lying position I would violently throw up. It was the first hint of what I felt at the moment as my body failing me, but I kept on telling myself that 'my body was made to do this' and Jason kept whispering those words in my ear as well.

When a trip to the big QEII Hospital was mentioned together with the words 'epidural' and 'petocin', I was devastated. Those were two words I did not want as part of my labour journey, but it was 'for the best' according to our doctor whom I trust with my everything. He referred us to an obstetrician whom he held in high regard, considered a friend, and even goes to church with. We trusted him, so when, during the pushing stages of labour the obstetrician suggested the vacuum suction, we trusted him. I do remember that I felt this feeling of "I don't know if that is the right thing to do"--I should have listened to that voice, but I am not to 'should have' myself now. 'Should haves' don't get us anywhere. But that is another voice of lies that seems to sneak in from time to time.

Throughout the whole labour I was able to tell myself that whatever happens during this labour is MY journey, my labour story. It will be like no one elses Just like I had said in an earlier post, birth plans rarely come to be, but never did I imagine that things would go so incredibly different than I had ever imagined. At the point of labour where the vacuum suction was mentioned I knew in my heart that I didn't want this, but I hadn't researched things in this aspect. I never dreamed that things would ever get to this point. So, I clearly didn't know what the consequences could be, so I went on the word of the doctor. At the time this was fine...but as you will find out in a later post, it had its consequences which has my mind reeling with guilt as to our decision from time to time.

When the vacuum suction did not move the baby forward at all, the only option was a cesarean birth. At this point I had been in labour for 37.5 hours and knew that we had done everything possible to have a natural birth. Although 37.5 hours ago I would have hated the thought of a cesarean birth, it was now a welcome option. I knew that I would probably have to deal with the thoughts of "not being strong enough" to make it through a natural birth after the fact and I did (and still sometimes do), but whenever those thoughts come to my mind, my dear Jason reminds me that he was there and I WAS "strong" and that there was never a time where I said "I cannot do this" or "I do not want to do this" or "make it stop". I just kept plugging forward, knowing that the reward at the end would be worth everything I had to go through...

...and it was.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of the vacuum. When I took prenatal classes and did my various readings (mostly What To Expect), NEVER did it get mentioned that the vacuum can cause brain damage. All I heard is that it can cause swelling...which by the way it was described, was relatively harmless.

During my labor, the doctor considered both the vacuum and c-section, but Noah just came TOO fast...he didn't have a choice but to let me do it naturally!

It wasn't until days later, while talking to doctors at the Stollery, did anyone mention that the vacuum can cause brain damage, and I was so surprised! WHY is that information kept under wraps?! It's ridiculous!!

- Olivia Greenham

Iris said...

I have gone over these same thoughts many times and I just don't have the answers either. It just makes me so sad--especially since my birth plan indicated absolutely NO suction or forceps, but after 37 hours of labour I was exhausted and told the doctor 'whatever is safest for the healthy arrival of our baby'. Should have gone with my instincts though. Shoulda, coulda, woulda doesn't seem to change anything though, does it? :)