Hobie is truly the baby that broke the mold. Who on earth has three babies via natural, vaginal deliveries, and then has the fourth baby be the c-section baby? I've been pondering Hobie's arrival since yesterday when my husband mentioned that Hobie had been outside of my belly now for longer than he'd been inside, and I have to say it was a little bit depressing!
I was looking at my scar today, and thinking about his entrance into the world. Having a c-section was both the scariest and most surprising thing that's ever happened to my body. The fear and helplessness rank right up there with the worst tortures I could ever imagine, but the pain and recovery were nothing at all like I assumed they would be. The physical aspects of the surgery were, in all, pretty minor. It definitely wasn't an enjoyable experience, but also not half as bad as I had thought. I was walking out of the hospital in 36 hours, and Christmas shopping in days. Not being able to bend over for awhile was a major inconvenience, and it was incredibly achy to maneuver in and out of bed, but I took less than half the narcotic painkillers prescribed to me and really wasn't hurting.
Emotionally, however, I was a train wreck. I know most of it has to do with the fact that it was an emergency c-section and we could easily have lost him. I had a placental abruption and he was being deprived of oxygen as I was lying in a hospital bed, gushing blood and grapefruit-sized clots. Abruption has a fifty percent infant mortality rate. I was horrified when Coral was born at 30 weeks and the neonatologist came up to my room and "reassured" me that only ten percent of 30 weekers didn't survive; Hobie's odds had me literally shaking with fear. I felt like I was reliving the nightmare of Coral's unexpected emergency birth, which although a vaginal delivery, was marked by the same sense of urgency and fear. Being wheeled down that OR hallway, staring up into those ultra-bright lights as my heart raced a mile a minute, was a surreal, terrifying ordeal.
What really hit me about a c-section delivery versus a vaginal delivery was how out of touch I felt with having birthed a child. I was laboring and at 6 centimeters when I was rushed back for the operation so I had the benefit of many of the normal childbirth hormones, but actually birthing the baby is missing from the c-section picture. How do you feel like you've given birth to a child, when technically you haven't? It took a LONG time for me to fully connect with Hobie for who he was, my fourth baby. When I was tired I kept referring to him as "her" and "she," and on several occasions I called him Coral and confused him with her. That's the sort of lasting effects a traumatic birth (or in my case, two) has on a post-partum mom. I know from experience that it doesn't just magically go away - with Coral I got incredibly depressed around her first birthday (the anniversary of the trauma) and I pushed everyone away. I've become proactive about Hobie and am making plans for a really fun party that will hopefully keep the blues away!
|almost nine months old|