Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where Is It?

I have four months until I'm due to meet Liam. Four months to sit around, gestate, and not think about all the what-if's. As if I could stop if I wanted to. But I just can't sit around. I still have a husband, six kids, and two cats who need me. A mother's work is never done and all that.

I figure instead of wallowing in all of the emotional crap that the last week has left behind, I'd start learning about things I don't have much experience with. You know, like c-sections. I found a great video from the Mayo Clinic about what to expect and what happens during the surgery. I was in tears by the time it was over.

At first I couldn't figure our why the thought of a c-section would make me so emotional. I totally understand why it's necessary. I'm not struggling with any guilt. I don't even think it's disappointment really, though that may have some part of it. I think when I imagine Liam's birth in a hospital I'm not familiar with, in a cold operating room, I realize that this all means that there's something wrong. This isn't normal. Despite all my hope and all that I've been told by the Neurosurgeon, I'm scared.

When I realized that I'm still worried about my baby, I thought I'd find a book that goes through the range of emotions that a mom feels when she's expecting a baby with a birth defect.  Fixable or not, it's all uncertain.  But you know what?  There's not much to choose from.  There are books about having a baby with Down Syndrome.  There are books about waiting when you don't expect your baby to make it.  But there's a lack of help if you're just looking to know that you're not alone on the roller coaster of emotions that this kind of situation brings.

So, now I'm wondering, what would other moms like me want to know?  What would help them?  Is it just enough to know that you're not crazy?  I'd really like to know that right about now.  At least I'd like to know that I'm no more crazy than usual.  And I am the woman who's having a seventh child, so I understand there's a certain amount of nutty in that.

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  1. What are the risks of a natural birth? I mean, given the track record, I just can't imagine risking a surgical birth when babies with a variety of illnesses are born vaginally every day with no knowledge of the problems.

    Personally, I would avoid the c-section given how important breastfeeding will be and how busy you will be with the other kids.

    But, I mean, that's just me, my ignorant view and my own trauma speaking.

  2. Hey Anne, you don't know me well, so I hope I don't step on your toes or give you advice you don't want, but I wanted to encourage you.

    I'm sure there's a period of mourning you're going through with the loss of "normalcy". And I won't give you the spiel about being thankful your baby is not going to be dealing with an emergency or terminal illness, because I get that there is still a level of concern and loss with the c-section and the unknown.

    I have my babies at home and can't stand intervention, but if I was told it was necessary for the safety and health of my baby, I would be thankful for the early notification of the c-section so that I could try and plan for the best possible experience.

    I would do some research on Family Centered C-Sections
    Here's one small link

    After doing that research, you could take ideas and plans to the surgeon and talk with him about what is feasible and that he would be comfortable doing. One of the huge things I would try to push would be to try and leave the cord attached to Liam until it starts pulsing so he can get all the cord blood into his system. This will be especially important since he's having surgery later. I don't know how this will work with his health issues (ie: if he'll be treated as a sick baby immediately upon delivery), but I would try to chat about it at least.

    There is also a section on "Birthing from Within" on having a empowered C-section "birth". You are at an advantage with having a planned c-section and being able to get informed now rather than have to deal with an emergency situation where you have no semblance of control.

    God knows and understands what you're going through. Be strong and courageous in Him. He loves you and that sweet little guy you're carrying.

    Blessings to you, and please email me if you need me to do any research or get extra info for you.


  3. Oops, I meant STOPS pulsing, not starts, though you probably knew that...I hate typos.

  4. Jen, unfortunately, the c-section really is necessary for Liam. There's a lot of pressure put on baby's head as it passes through the birth canal, and Liam has that nice encephalocele on the back that's mostly filled with fluid. It's sort of like having a balloon on the back of his head. Not only would it be much harder to get through the birth canal, it carries the potential of bursting his 'cele open which could lead to emergency surgery, infection, etc. In this case it really is the best way to bring him into the world. I tend to think so many c-sections are totally unnecessary, but this case is exactly the time where it makes sense. I'm sorry you've had c-section trauma. I'm hoping that knowing this is coming will reduce it for me.

    Miranda, thank you so much for that information. I've always felt like birth was my first bonding experience with my babies, and I'd love to find ways to bond through a c-section as well. Birthing "from within" may be just what I'm looking for.

  5. Ah, I see. I hadn't figured the pressure into the equation. It does make perfect sense.

    I was reading about c-sections that mimic the natural birthing process just a few days ago. I'll see if I can find the link.

  6. Here it is:

    I thought it was a such a positive and progressive approach to a c-section birth.

  7. Thank you, Jen. I'll be taking all the information I can get to my doctor to see what we can implement.

  8. I found 2 more Anne.

    The NCBI article is amazing.


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