Feelings you didn’t know were there

My daughter is 20 months old.

Twenty months ago I was in labor.  I was in labor, then got stuck at 7cm only to realize that the cord was wrapped somewhere around her little body.

Contemplating heading to the hospital
Contemplating heading to the hospital

Off to the operating room I went and one c-section later, my daughter was here.

I didn’t get my VBAC, but I was okay with it.  My operation was 100% better than my first and my daughter was healthy.  Life was good. I accepted my fate and moved along.

Last night I sat around with a group of women who were discussing childbirth.  They talked of pushing and the things they yelled as they got through transition and right before the baby came out and…

I had a lump in my throat.  I wanted to cry.

I still long for that experience.

I’ll never have it.

We are pretty sure that we’re done having babies.  When I held my little miss in my arms for the first time, I truly felt like she completed our family.

But even if we did decide to have another one, I am pretty certain I wouldn’t be given the option for a VBAC.  It would be c-section #3 for me.

I really thought I’d come to terms with my c-sections.  I mean, I have, I know I have.  I have two beautiful, thriving children.  I don’t need anything more.

But when I sit with women and hear their stories?  A part of me feels like I broke.  My body couldn’t do what it was designed to do.

Then I realize I’m being silly.  My body carried those amazing babies.  It nourished them, provided shelter as their bodies developed and grew.

But still…


I wish…

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  1. Tiffany says

    Thanks for sharing this Erin. I have often had that feeling too and I do cry about it. But only a little. After having surgery prior to my first pregnancy, I knew going in that C-section was my only option. I so wanted it to be different…but if C-section was the path to motherhood for me, then I’d gladly, happily, merrily lay on that table again, with the curtain separating me and my little wonder(s). I realized that each birthing experience is profoundly unique – whether VB or C-sec. {Hugs}

  2. Coleen says

    I can understand wishing it had been different! After my heinous natural delivery experience, I think I’ll request a C section next time around. The grass is always greener!! :)

  3. says

    Oh sweetie, it didn’t even occur to me when we were talking about it that you felt that way, I’m so sorry.

    I think sometimes I’m jealous of C-section moms because they didn’t have their lady bits destroyed by a giant baby head, and MAN that must make things a lot easier “down there” afterward. (I realize that I am probably completely delusional in this line of thinking.) And you know, some of them last night had had natural childbirth, whereas I was all, “Epidural! Narcotics! Drug me to the freaking GILLS, man.” So, all of our experiences may have been different, but we all got our babies, and in the end, that’s all that matters.

    • Erin L. says

      Oh, of course it didn’t. I mean, it’s my issue. :) And talking about birth stories is a great way to connect. I had no idea I felt that way…

      And it’s true. Everyone’s childbirth experience is different. And we have our sweet babies.

      • says

        Agree with you both. Of course, we didn’t realize or intend to stir up any feelings as you know. Pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood – it’s a lot of crazy hormones! Interestingly enough, I actually regretted not okaying a C-section and being so determined to push D out. There were a few scary moments after his birth between my fever that he got as well as the fluids he inhaled being sunny side up. I did get to briefly see him before he was whisked to special care nursery. I was ridiculously calm (blame the drugs?). And then at 6mo I had to return to have a tumor removed that, if I’d had the C-section, could have happened then vs a new hospital visit and surgery. I was still a crazy hormonal mess then. Point of my long story, we never really know what will happen and thank goodness we made it through whatever our labor adventure was and have awesome kids. ((HUGS)) to you. Sorry we stirred up something you didn’t even realize was lurking under the surface, but glad you felt strong enough to let it out. We all have right to feel any and all emotions.

  4. Kristin says

    I blacked out during my c-section and don’t remember the first time I held or fed my son. I so, so, so longed for that experience. I wanted to see my husband hold our son for the first time. I don’t remember a period of about 8 hours after my son was born. I too feel most days that I’m OK with what happened, but then I see those pictures of moms holding their just-born babies on their chests and I ache. We are probably one and done, and even though my son turns 1 in just a couple short weeks, it hurts to know I will never have that experience.

    The “healthy baby” argument isn’t helpful. OF COURSE that’s what we all want. But the experience is life-changing too, and it is NOT wrong by any means to feel that you missed out on part of the experience you had always imagined, no matter how unrealistic it may have been.

  5. becky says

    i feel the same way. i mostly wish i would be able to experience the surprise of going into labor and not picking my baby’s birthday. i do feel that my body wasn’t able to fully do what it was supposed to do, though i am very thankful it was able to provide the necessary support for the 9 months to have healthy children.

  6. Candace says

    Oh Erin! It’s hard to know how I’d feel if I didn’t get my VBAC, but I do want to let you know one thing! I thought that I would immediately bond with B because of the way he was born. It was really hard and took a while to bond with K and I assumed it was the c-section and the whole birth experience. But guess what? It still took a while and maybe just as long to bond with B. I was kind of delusional in thinking that an easier birth would make everything be perfect. The love you have for your precious babies is the same no matter what way they were born. The only thing wonderful about my VBAC was the ease of the birth (thinks to an epi) and getting to hold B quickly. The recovery was definitely easier than a c-section but I still don’t feel completely “right” down there :) When I look back on both experiences, my feelings are completely the same starting with the day they were born. You are not broken! Your children will not care how they were born and they are super lucky to have a mom like you!

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