When I got pregnant, my best friend told me what her mother had told her with her first pregnancy: ” from now on, you’re going to feel guilty for pretty much every important decision you make involving your baby, even before it’s born” BS I thought… Why would I feel guilty? Maybe she exaggerated a little bit saying “pretty much EVERY decision” but unfortunately she was totally and utterly right.
Well, let’s see, before your baby is born there are many things you should take into consideration and discuss with your partner (if you’ve decided to share baby responsibilities with someone. If you’re a single mom – good for you super-mommy! You know you can pull it off on your own!) Anyway, so even silly things like picking out a name may get you confused…
– I like Daniel.
– I kind of do too but there’s just so many Daniels now…
-you’re right…How about Alex/Alejandro?
-Hell NO! Every single Alex I’ve ever had in any of my classes was disobedient or mean or misbehaved… Same goes for Nicolas.
-How about my name?
-[very long pause] Are you serious? You’re joking, right? You DO know what your name means in my family’s language , don’t you? And you DO remember that I still have family in Poland that I would like to visit! His name is Alfonso, and as much as I am used to this name by now, it still means what it means! Alfons – Pimp (in Polish)
It went on for a while, trust me!
We finally decided on a name that neither of us could associate with a person we knew but even then you go online, searching for secret meanings, decoding and guessing their personalities, you look up horoscopes of the sign that your baby is going to be born under just to find out that he or she came a couple of days too early or too late and messed up your plans.
Even things that might have not been a dilemma before, bring doubts and cloud over your already pregnant crazy brain – like vaccinations for example.
Maybe you had had your strong opinion about it, before the hormones started messing with your head and now you are completely lost! So you start your research and you look up the “pro” and “against” arguments, the stats and credibility, you look up biographies of people who write the articles to see if they’re legit, you contact CDC and WHO and so on and so forth. Why? Because you only want what’s best for your child! And just now you’re getting a hold of the idea that this little person’s whole life is in your hands! That YOU are responsible for his or her existence! What you often don’t realize is that YOU ARE HIS MOMMY AND YOU KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR YOUR LITTLE ANGEL. TRUST YOURSELF! I am not here to judge or raise discussions or controversies on any subject. If you are pro- vaccines or against it, that’s fine. You’re still going to do everything you believe is BEST for your child.
If you are pro nursing or prefer formula, also your choice and EVERYONE should respect that (or at least shut their pie hole if they don’t agree with your actions).
-“Are you seriously gonna nurse till your baby is 6? That’s kind of weird and gross!”
– “You know there is research that shows that if you nurse for too long your child may develop different disorders and dependency from his or her mother?”
-“WOW you are using formula? Your baby is only 3 months old why are you NOT breastfeeding? You know it’s the best you can do”
You know what? Whatever you do is fine! Just make sure you make your OWN informed decision, (not your mom’s not your sister’s or friend’s or aunt’s or cousin’s! YOUR OWN!) once that’s done and you know what it is that you want to do, no one else’s opinion should matter to you. If you want to breastfeed but can’t, don’t beat yourself up, you’re kid is going to turn out just fine. Or if you simply don’t want to nurse at all – it is your life, it is your body and it is YOU deciding what you want to do with it, if you want to nurse till your kid goes to college – cool! So screw everyone else and their opinions- it’s nobody else’s business and most of all STOP FEELING GUILTY ABOUT IT!
It’s easier said than done obviously because no matter what you decide there’s still that doubt and voices in your head asking:
-Are you sure this is the best for your baby?
-Are you just trying to make yourself more comfortable, and choosing what’s best for you?
-Maybe you are sacrificing too much?
-I mean, it is your baby and you love it more than anything in the world but what about you? you are important too, and have to do what makes you happy.
Whatever the thoughts are try to be strong and don’t let those voices distract you. You are the mommy and you know best what your baby needs. Check out this Video – it sums up what really matters! Forget it’s a commercial.
Ok but what about situations that you have no control over?
Just like with every aspect I mentioned above and many, many more, you should believe in yourself and not let guilt creep up on you. So what do you do in situations such as giving birth!? Can you control the situation? How much power do you actually have in your hands? First of all I’m not an expert on this, I’ve only had one child (for now) and I’m not sure how things work in the US because I had Noah in Spain so I don’t know how it may or may not work in other countries. But I know how it is to be pregnant and the anxiety and excitement we feel when it comes to labor. You don’t feel excited? Maybe you’re scared or terrified or feel 1000 different feelings at once – it’s probably normal too. I think the preparation for the final moment is what mattered most to me (and even then, life is full of surprises)! For me, the birth of Noah was amazing and horrible at the same time. How is that possible? If you are interested, keep on reading…the story is very personal and I tear up every time I talk about it, so please be respectful and don’t judge.
My decision on how I wanted everything to go went from one extreme to the other. No joke! I went from wanting a medicated, programmed, c-section to praying and begging God for a natural home-birth. All the rest was pretty planned too.
So I was super, mega healthy during my pregnancy, doing sports, yoga, all the exercises recommended at home, my whole month 7 and 8 I spent on my knees (no, you dirty mind, not that!) walking around my house on all fours because Noah was breech and supposedly that’s how you create more room for them to turn – nothing! When I wasn’t on all fours I was in the pool floating like a whale (or more like a dead fish)- supposedly that helps them turn too! – nothing! I was even doing handstands in the water to see if he’d move – now that was a kodak moment! (I was everything but agile and elegant) – still nothing! I tried moxa sticks – warming certain acupuncture points on your feet that were supposed to help the baby turn – worked on a lot of my friends but for me? – nothing again. I read on Oil testimonials that Young Living Peppermint oil helps them turn too – Noah moved A LOT after applying the oil at the top of my belly but he wouldn’t turn! – guess what? -Nothing again! I was getting a little desperate to be honest. I really, really wanted a natural tranquil birth and if he stayed breech it wasn’t going to be possible. All my plans were falling through… the one thing I wanted so much, to be able to hold my baby the moment he’s born, to feel him on my chest, to smell him, to finally see him, to have my husband cut the cord once it stopped pulsating… all that was my dream at the moment. I found really awesome, respected but laid back doctor who accepted my birthing plan without any problem and trust me, that plan was extensive, detailed, and some would say weird – because I planned EVERY possible situation that could happen and what I would like/or wouldn’t like the doctors to do. My doctor let me bring Pilates ball to the hospital, my calming spa sounds, my diffuser with oils (YL oils that help during labor), she agreed to cut down the number of people in the delivery room to a minimum, and let me deliver in a position I felt most comfortable in. She even supported my decision to wait until the last moment (up to week 42) to let my pregnancy run its course. There was request for NO epidural, definitely no drip, no episiotomy, no forcing the placenta out or cutting the cord too early. (Now, I don’t know how it is in the US but many hospitals here don’t respect women’s requests and do whatever is more convenient for them sometimes without warning!) So as you see my plans were pretty thorough… but what I DID NOT plan was a c-section! There wasn’t even time for options… I drove to the hospital alone, happy and excited, supposedly already with labor contractions (which did not hurt at all) dilated from 1-10 with no drugs in one hour, Noah was still breech and when my water broke it was disgusting, smelly, and green, I knew I had to have a c-section! But I was fine with it at that point. I guess all the hormones, especially oxytocin were doing their work. I felt super proud of myself! I pulled off 10 cm all by myself! I only had an unpleasant nurse-man shuffling me around a hospital from one room to another because everything was going so fast. But I felt prepared and brave and happy! Even with the harsh contractions (these ones DID HURT!) I was able to txt my husband to get there from work, write to my mom in the US to get a ticket that day, and message my sister to tell her that she was going to be an aunt that night because I was just SO EXCITED. I couldn’t wait to meet my son! That part was awesome! I must say that throughout the whole pregnancy I was oiling myself up from head to toes and using all the oils recommended for the labor to go fast and smooth. I was really proud of (for once in my life) being consistent with something and it was definitely paying off!
So what went wrong? Why did it all go downhill from there?
Since the c-section was the only scenario I did not plan, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know that you were supposed to be in recovery for 4-6 hours after the surgery! The waiting time was eternal! The other woman who had a c-section after me was resting calmly across from me and I was fidgeting, I was crying, there was no one around to talk to, to ask how my baby was, when I tried talking to the nurses they just kept saying “get some rest… you should rest… bla bla bla!” How could I sleep? I had absolutely no Idea what happened to me! I felt betrayed and violated and ignored. I needed my husband to hold my hand but most of all I needed to be with my baby! All I know is that he was green when I saw him (he pooped inside the womb so he was covered in meconium) I gave him one quick kiss and they took him away while I dosed off. When I opened my eyes it was a horror for me. I am sure that if I read up on c-sections I would be more prepared for this and could minimize my pain and suffering a lot, or even avoid it altogether (I mean there obviously are women who choose this as their first option so it must have some benefits, right?) If I’d read up on it, I would definitely try to find the silver lining in my situation, but at that moment I just had no clue what good could come out of it at all! When I was finally released from the recovery I called “prison” and could be taken to the room, I found out that Noah’s breathing wasn’t stable because of all the meconium that he swallowed and breathed in, so he had to be in the incubator for a while under observation. That night they transferred him to another hospital with a specialized neonatal intensive care unit and I stayed at the other hospital, alone, balling my eyes out, praying for him to survive. He was so tiny, innocent and helpless… why was this happening to me? They put him on butt load of wide range antibiotics because they couldn’t find the infection so I knew he’d have to be there until he finished them. Which was another stab for me – all natural mommy. I promised myself that when he’s born I’m not going to force harmful chemicals and synthetics down his throat – what do you know? First thing they do is stuff him with my nr 1 enemy! (More on that in future post: “I will never, ever do that to my child!”) So there you have it and now you know why I call it: the amazing and horrible birth of my child. It’s just how I feel – I’m not trying to discourage anyone from choosing one way or another. Just read up on different options so you’re more prepared than me, in case the scenario changes in the last minute.
What I’m trying to say is that no matter how much you plan things to go your way, life has its ways to play tricks on you. Maybe God’s plan was just that – to teach me a lesson that I was not in control of everything. That even when things slip through your fingers they don’t necessarily fall. Noah is doing great now he’s very healthy, strong, and sweet and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. But until very recently couldn’t stop blaming myself for what had happened to him. It didn’t make any sense to feel guilty because I really did everything I could to have it natural way but I just couldn’t help it. I still cry every time I talk about it, just like I’m crying now, but I forgive myself and now accept things as they come. I don’t feel guilty anymore and you shouldn’t either. There is someone or something watching over us and I trust that we are protected and guided in the right direction.
This is MY story and it’s how I wanted my labor to go. However, I completely understand and respect women who chose different alternatives. Feel free to share your story especially if you could use a kind word and support.