On a cold day in January – at 8:22am, my son came into the world with a bang, weighing in at 10lbs on the dot and stretching to 22in long. He lit up the room with his fiery cry. He was pissed to be out of his comfort zone but – Damn, were we happy to see him.
Now, let me take a step back to chat about the circumstances that led up to this point. You may know a little bit about my story if you’ve read some other blogs like: I give myself permission or Create: to bring something new to existence. But let me give you more background so you can better understand the situation at hand.
- I was diagnosed with Polyhydramnios (aka extra amniotic fluid) at 33 weeks
- I had late onset gestational diabetes
- My son was measuring (via ultrasound) to be almost 12lbs at only 35 weeks
Between weeks 34 and 36 – my fundal height jumped from 37 centimeters to 48 centimeters.
Fundal height is the distance from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus and it will typically track with the week of pregnancy you’re in – give or take a 2 weeks. My uterus and pelvis began to give out under the extra stress. I was having frequent, painful contractions and could barely walk. It was determined that it would be safest to deliver him via C-Section. We got as close to the 37 week mark as possible to allow extra time for development.
Flash forward to the morning of my C-Section – I was admitted and prepped for my baby to come into this world.
I was instructed that the spinal would numb my body and they would test multiple times to ensure it had taken effect prior to cutting. No one said anything about it working TOO well. I was unable to feel anything from my neck down. Now, keep in mind that not only was I numb but was also laying on my back with an enormous amount of weight on my lungs (around 30lbs between baby and fluid). I could no longer feel myself breath and was panicking. I needed to throw up but couldn’t because my brain couldn’t talk to my stomach muscles. I begged and pleaded with them to put me under – crying over and over that I was going to die – but they couldn’t give me anything until the baby was out. The nurse urged me to slow my breathing because some of my vitals were spiking. I was beginning to have a panic attack on the table.
But how could I slow my breathing if I couldn’t feel my lungs working?!
Thankfully, the OB kicked everyone into high gear – knowing that I was not in good shape. The staff worked with speed and precision to bring my baby into this world. Not only was his first cry a signal that he was ok – it signaled that the nightmare was almost over. I was in and out of consciousness throughout the whole delivery. Luckily, my husband was there to welcome him into the world with loving arms.
The days that followed his birth were a whirlwind – as they often are after the birth of a child. It wasn’t until weeks later that I got a chance to reflect back on the experience. The mixture of emotions that came flooding through were so confusing. Anger and rage were at the forefront of all the emotions.
I wanted to understand why I was so angry at one of the happiest days of my life.
Society tells us that the day your child comes into this world is absolutely remarkable – the best day ever. But what happens when its filled with traumatic circumstances? How are we supposed to feel then? Do I love my son any less for hating that day – ABSOLUTELY NOT. But if I ignore the trauma that occurred around his birth – I am doing myself an injustice. An injustice that will one day come back to bite me. Unprocessed emotions fester and present themselves in other places throughout your life.
So – after a session with my friend Margo of Silver Leaf Acupuncture– I began to face that day. She instructed me to “have a good cry” after the session. I didn’t understand what she meant until it all flooded in. I sat in my car, crying for an hour, and reliving that day’s events – trying to release the negative parts so I could focus on the positive ones. I finished crying and texted my husband asking him to please send me the pictures from the delivery room. It had been weeks but I didn’t recall ever seeing them. I sat in my car flipping through the pics. It was like an instant replay of what I’d missed because I honestly had no recollection of the moments in the pictures. Thankfully, my husband did an amazing job so I was able to relive them. I used those pictures as a tool to release the negative feelings and feel more present at my son’s birth. They allowed me to finally begin to view that day in its proper light – as one of the best in my life. The day I met my son.