Saturday, January 2, 2010

Keeping My Eye on the Prize

With the approach of my due date for baby #2 days away, I have found that it has been on my mind a lot. Mainly because I have a scheduled cesarean section looming on the horizon. I'm not particularly thrilled about this option and have struggled this whole pregnancy with the fact that I would have to deliver via c-section. My anxiety has progressively worsened with each day as I've dwelt on all the not-so-fun things that come with a c-section. I realized pretty quickly that I needed to change thought tactics before a panic attack hit full force. That's when I remembered how excited I was to see my baby boy for the first time and hold his little body that I had just spent 9 months growing. Remembering that made me excited to meet this baby and a lot of my anxious feelings drifted out the window. However, thinking about all this led me to a few things I would like to say to anyone who cares.

First, are to the mothers who have had or just found out they will need the unexpected c-section. Maybe you just found out your baby is transverse, maybe you labored for hours to only have it end in a c-section, or maybe you or the baby is a high risk and you need this c-section. You will most likely have feelings at one point that you are a failure. That you have somehow malfunctioned as a woman. I struggled with thoughts like these with my son and again with this baby when it became apparent that a VBAC was not an option. It's okay to have these feelings, just do no dwell on them. Realize that you spent 9 months building that baby just like every other mother out there and you will spend the rest of your life raising this child and it really doesn't matter how the baby arrived in the world. Besides, cesareans are rather traumatic to the body and you and I both know that it wasn't any walk in the park.

Second, to the women who are friends to those of us who have had c-sections. We do not want to hear how "lucky" or "easy" it is for us. Would you want someone to tell you how easy you had it during labor and delivery? Then why do you think we want to hear that? Sure we get to "schedule" the arrival of our baby, but that's pretty much the only benefit. And in all honesty, I'm kind of bummed out that I don't get to have that surprise arrival. Cesareans are in no way easy. It is a rather invasive surgery (I will let you do your own research as to how invasive I mean), that they keep you awake for, while you are strapped down and helpless waiting for the arrival of your child. You don't get to hold your child for at least the first hour, you're put on bed rest for the first day so if you want to hold your baby you have to have someone bring them to you, and you have to handle all the fun post-recovery stuff. Let's just all agree that bringing children into the world is no picnic and be supportive and sympathetic to each other.

Last, to the fathers out there. Your wife is going to need you now more than ever. She is going to need your support both physically and emotionally. In the surgery room she will need you there supporting her and encouraging her, and when the baby comes out she will not be able to hold it. She needs to know that you are wrapping it in love and attention. She will also need you to be her voice. If she looks exhausted kindly tell visitors to come back later, read her wants and desires, if there is ever a time to pay full attention to your wife now is the time.

In the end it is important to keep your eye on the prize. Meeting that beautiful, perfect child for the first time is why we women do it over and over again. I know I can't wait to meet my beautiful baby girl.


  1. What a great post, Aub! So, so true. My c-section was definitely my hardest birth (out of 1 c/s and 2 VBACs). No matter how that baby comes out, the process is painful but the end is so completely worth it.

  2. Not having a c-section yet, I don't know exactly how it feels, but listening to my little sis, it sure isn't any walk in the park. I have found that I am awash in anxiety with this little one's arrival, too. Mine is not quite so specific as yours, but I can't seem to wrap my mind around this is number 4, a girl and/or another little one to care for. It is nice to have my sisters and mom uttering THEIR excitement, which in turn has boosted mine. I need to change my way of thinking and find the joy of having this new little person in my family that bubbles up occasionally, and make it be my focus. Thanks for your thoughts! I'm so excited for you!!!