Google+ Followers

Showing posts with label hospital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hospital. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Reminiscing about my imperfect, completely unnatural birth

I have posted about this before (see McKenna's Birth Story), but the past couple of months, it has been weighing heavily on my mind. I had a shitty birth experience. I am not alone in having a less-than-ideal birth experience, and mine certainly wasn't as bad as some stories I have heard. But it is my experience, and one that I am still struggling with.

I am tired of hearing people say "well, your baby's healthy, that's all that matters", because that's a lie. Of course it is important to have a healthy baby, but that doesn't mean that the birth experience is nothing more than a means to an end. For some people the birth process is incredibly important. I was one of those women. I had read all the books, hired a doula, practiced mindful birthing and self-hypnosis. I couldn't wait to finally meet my daughter, but I was also excited for the experience of birthing her. No other moment in my life has been, or will be, as monumental as giving birth. And then came the news: She was breech, and I was not a candidate to try and birth her naturally because my body was "inexperienced". My heart stopped (metaphorically, of course). Never had I considered the possibility that my daughter would quite literally be ripped from my uterus. I had envisioned this peaceful, quiet, serene experience, where I would lie back in the tub while sipping Gatorade and munching on granola bars to keep my energy up. Never had I considered that I might be paralysed from the chest down (the scariest feeling ever!), strapped to a table, and deprived of seeing my daughter's first breath. I wasn't the first one to hold her, I didn't get to supervise her newborn exam, and I wasn't able to emotionally bond with her right away. Thinking about that night still brings me to tears.

Has it harmed our relationship? Probably not - I was able to nurse her within the first hour of her birth, we co-slept from a very early age, and our bond is as strong as it could possibly be. But I have not been able to move past it. Sometimes I think about having another baby, not because I am ready for another child, but so that I can have a do-over, so that maybe this time around I can experience the "real thing". I listen with thinly-veiled jealousy to friends speak of their birth experiences, no matter how painful or uncomfortable they might have been. I gaze longingly at photos of homebirthing couples, trying to recall feeling some of the wonder and joy that I see in their faces. But it was never there. There was nothing magical, joyful, or remotely peaceful about the way that McKenna entered into the world. No amount of reading could have prepared me for the trauma of having to be a helpless, passive observer in the birth of my child.

It has been nearly 14 months since my precious girl made her appearance, and I am still struggling with the circumstances of her birth. When and how I am to move past this experience are questions that I still don't have the answers to. Hopefully someday soon I will.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Sick as an... owl?

Once a week McKenna and I meet up with some other moms and babies for a play date. With today being the day before Halloween, the babies all came dressed in their costumes for some cute photos and fun times. There were lions, a skunk, a couple of superheroes, and my beautiful little owl. She looked so sweet in her costume, and even indulged me by wearing her owl hat long enough for me to get some photos of her and her friends. Within about 15 minutes of being there, McKenna threw up all over her costume. It wasn't a big deal until she threw up again, and again, and then again. At that point, I decided we should probably head home before she made the other kids sick as well. On the way home she was sick twice more (we only live 10 minutes away). I took her home, intending to give her a bath and put her down for a nap but she wouldn't stop vomiting.

Fast forward an hour and we are sitting at the hospital; McKenna is puking her little guts out, and daddy and I are covered in vomit. Oh, and we're kinda stressed as well. In a 90-minute period she was sick more than twenty times, but she never let it get her down. In between spewing yellow bile onto her parents, she smiled, she laughed, and she played peek-a-boo. After a series of tests and ultrasounds, the doctor came to inform us that she could not find anything wrong with her. She didn't have a fever, her blood pressure was fine, and there was no evidence to suggest that she had ingested anything that she shouldn't have. It seemed like my little angel was going to be just fine. We were told to take her home and keep an eye on her, which we were only too happy to do.

I guess I should consider myself lucky. We've made it to 10 months with no real health scares. She is the happiest, sweetest little girl you'd ever want to meet. Today was a stressful day for the three of us, but we're hoping to still get out for Halloween tomorrow... if I can get the chunks out of her little owl torso, that is.