Thursday, September 8, 2011

C-Section Fears

A mother who is pregnant with a TVC (vaginal cerclage) posted a question asking if anyone was afraid of a c-section. This got me thinking about my own experiences and because my thoughts were too long to post a reply on facebook, I am doing it here. In short, no, I was not afraid. That sounds weird, but no.

After losing Mason, I went through an intense period of guilt and self-blaming. I have heard this over and over from mothers who have an incompetent cervix. Although there is no way of knowing you have it until it happens, there is still an immense amount of guilt we mothers carry around.

As a mother our job is too love our children, bring them to God, and protect them. When you lose a child because your cervix gave out and dilated too early, it really messes with your sense of shame and guilt. In my case, Mason was perfect in every way. He had no health issues, he was developing exactly as he should, and the pregnancy seemed great. Had my cervix not dilated at started a whole chain of events, there is no reason to think he would not have been born healthy and perfect.

As I have said before, grief if cruel. Not only that, but I honestly feel like satan was able to use grief to try and drag me even further under. In the Bible there is a verse warning about satan "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8. I can say that my mind was not alert. I was so lost in grief, anger, sadness, guilt, and shame that it was so hard to remember I had a Savior who loved me enough to die for me and because of that gave me the joy and hope of eternal life with Mason. Because I was already so wretched, I think it was very easy to become devoured in my sorrows.

because of this, I was not always rational in my feeling. Guilt ate at me from the inside out. I felt fully responsible for Mason's death. Logic said I shouldn't, but my feelings said I should. I knew that it was my job to protect him, but yet it was my body that failed him. My perfect son would have been alive if it weren't for the weaknesses in his mother. I was plagued by these thoughts and every time I saw my husband grieve I felt wracked with the thought that I was the one who brought that pain into his life.

This brings me to why I was not afraid of the c-section. In a way I felt betrayed by my own body. I also realized that there was nothing I could do to prevent something bad from happening in certain cases. Not only was I afraid of breaking through the stitch, or premature labor, the thought of a stillbirth terrified me. I had already shown in my mind that I was not good at being pregnant. In my mind, still birth due to some unknown defect in my body was always on mind.

It got to the point where once I reached 32 weeks I began to wonder if they were not safer outside of the womb where they could be monitored 24-7. Now I look back and realize how illogical that sounds, I know they need to stay in the womb as long as possible, but like I said grief is irrational and out of grief comes illogical fears.

I honestly grew to the point where I spent my days in prayer trying to give the fear to God, but then would take it back. I literally had discomfort because fear and anxiety would make my chest feel tight and put a lump in my throat that never went away. Being on strict bed-rest does not help in that area because you have too much time to think.

By the time I got to 35 weeks and went into labor, I was so ready to have the pressure and fear lifted off of my shoulders. I was ready not to feel like my body was a ticking time bomb ready to go off at any minute. Most of all, I was ready to be able to have faith in myself as a mother again. I cannot say that the guilt instantly lifted, it is still there to an extent, but I can say the fear did. Granted then it changed over to natural worry every mother has with their newborns, but it was much, much better.

For those of you that are afraid of the c-section, I offer this advise. Don't worry about the pain, it does not hurt during the procedure and afterwards, you have the greatest gift. Do not worry about you baby being "ripped away" as I have heard it worried, when the doctor places the baby in your arms, that is the last thing you will feel. Most of all, be excited about the relief and joy that comes with it as well. You have already been through things you would have never thought possible, this part....well this part is cake next to that.