Don’t Tell Me How I Should Feel!

If you read the previous article, “How to recover from a bad birth experience” than you might have noticed that I bolded 2 small paragraphs. Those are the 2 paragraphs that affected me the most. I have been so frustrated and depressed (over the past few months) because I have SO many people (nicely) telling me to “get over” the fact that I had a c-section and just be thankful that I had a healthy baby. In other words, they were telling me that I was being selfish for being upset at the way my child was born instead of just being happy that my baby is alive. Saying these kinds of things are hurtful and I would never say them to anyone who had an undesirable birth experience. Here is a note that I sent my husband (and my mom) just a few weeks ago. It gives you some insight into how I feel:

I am excited yet terrified of my daughter’s birth this coming October. I don’t want a repeat of the last experience and I’m tired of being given everyone else’s opinion and everyone telling me that my feelings are wrong and that I’m selfish for being depressed and saddened at my last birth experience instead of just being thankful I got a healthy baby out of the whole ordeal. It’s just not fair and it makes me angrier and angrier every time someone tells me to let go and be thankful and who cares how a baby gets here as long as they’re alive. I would think that as a mom it would be OBVIOUS that I want a healthy baby to be born. That’s a “duh” statement. So when I say that I had a terrible, traumatic, and stressful birth experience it has NOTHING to do with the fact that my baby was healthy. That is beside the point. I AM first and foremost thankful for that!  That just goes without saying. No mother would say that she would rather have a wonderful experience that resulted in an unhealthy or dead baby. DUH! And if my child had been born by C-section to really, I mean really, not the “oh he’s taking too long to come out so we’re going to cut him out” excuse, save his life than I would not be quite as upset that things went the way they did. Come on, people! I love my child. He is precious. And yes, he is a gift from God, but that does NOT take away the fact that I am hurt, saddened, disappointed, depressed, and yes, angry at times, at the way his birth was handled. I am angry that he was induced at only 4 days overdue! He hadn’t even dropped, I wasn’t even dilated, I wasn’t having contractions, and he was NOT ready to come out yet! As my mom says, “He was a green banana.” So after being induced I automatically got an epidural which I NEVER asked for. Then I took too long to progress and once the time reached EXACTLY 8 hours from the time the Pitocin was administered I was whisked away to have my perfectly healthy, perfectly content, perfectly beautiful baby who was never once in “distress” cut out of me like a butcher cuts meat. So next time I hear someone criticize the way I feel about my first birth experience I’m going to let it go in one ear and out the other. My experience led to postpartum depression which I’ve suffered with for almost a year now. I am finally beginning to heal and it feels good to finally let this anger go. Instead of looking at myself as a failure I am now looking at myself as a survivor. I can’t change what happened so I have to stop reliving it over and over in my head. I have to move forward and think positively about my next birth. I need to be more informed, more educated, and KNOW and USE my rights. I’m not going to let things spiral out of control this time. And I have to keep telling myself that if everything gets flushed down the toilet again than there could always be a next time and another try- despite my mom insisting that I don’t need to have any more than 2 kids.

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