Kimberly Peil

Re-approaching Pregnancy & Birth

In Babies and Such, Everyday Thoughts, Uncategorized on February 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Almost a year ago one of the most joyous and yet most tragic events happened to me.  I gave birth to my baby girl… via c-section.  I know when some of you read that first sentence you want to vomit, or scream at me, or even smack me.  I have gotten a lot of backlash for my feelings about my birth experience.  I am often told that so many people have it worse.  Whether it is a “worse” experience or the fact that they can’t have children altogether.  I have had a year to mull over my feelings and beat myself up for what happened.  Beat myself up for being so ungrateful about how I gave birth to my daughter.  But the more I think about it the more I feel that I was entitled to my feelings.  No one should make me feel like my situation and my feelings are insignificant or less than someone else’s.  I am so thankful for my little girl, and wouldn’t trade her for a million perfect pregnancies and birth stories, but how I felt was still real.  When you go through 2 1/2 days of Pitocin, over 50 hours of real labor (without an epidural), and finally succumb to the harsh reality that they are going to go in and jerk your baby out of you, then we can talk.

What has been even more amazing is to know that I am not crazy… and I am not alone.  There have even been clinical studies showing the relationship between unplanned c-sections and postpartum depression and even PTSD.  If you care to have a deeper understanding, check it out here.

I am actually doing fantastic now.  But Hunter and I have been talking about having another baby, and I guess this has started to bring up some feelings again.  Before I had Ella I was very passionate about natural birth.  Not because I feel like it is a competition or that I have something to prove.  I really, truly believe that drugs and chemicals have life-altering affects.  Do I think the 50+ hours of Pitocin had an effect on Ella?  Yes I do.  I may not know how exactly yet, but I still believe this to be true.  It’s okay… you don’t have to agree with me.  We can still be friends.  After all, I am the one who chose to be induced when I was 2 weeks late.

Whew!  So now that I have that off of my chest…  I have a lot to think about when it comes to possibly getting pregnant again.  I had completely put the whole birth thing on a shelf after Ella.  Then about a month ago I started to revisit what had really happened to me.  I finally watched a video (thanks YouTube) of a live c-section.  Um, Yikes!  I started reading articles on VBAC’s versus repeat c-sections.  And although “The Business of Being Born” has been playing over and over in my head for the past year, I gave it another once over.

If I am blessed enough to get pregnant again, I will shoot for a VBAC, au naturel.   If things progress differently though, I will be open this time.  And I will give the situation to God.  Somehow I thought I was in control with my pregnancy with Ella.  I controlled everything I did and ate.  I was so set on how I was going to give birth.  I think I had set myself up for failure.  But I believe that we were meant to give birth a certain way, and I don’t buy it that my body just “isn’t quite made for it.”  God made it, and he allowed me to get pregnant.  He’ll be there when I give birth too (and I know he was last time!).

A few moments after I found out I would be having a c-section.

And finally seeing my beautiful baby girl for just a few brief moments, before I started convulsing and vomiting from the medication.

I have a beautiful little girl and she is a constant reminder that I don’t want to go through this again.  I want to be there for her and for our future children… both physically and emotionally.  I think people tend to forget that emotional health is just as important as physical health.

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  1. It’s tough to go through trauma in life and feel judged by the way we handle it emotionally, or how long we take to “get over it”. Everyone heals at a different pace and in different ways. You did it though. You experienced birth. The pain, the tiredness, the excitement and the end result. A baby. I think we forget that woman died before we had the medical intervention we have now. Babies died, too. I don’t personally believe birth will ever be how God designed it because of sin, and we should just try to find peace in the direction God took us to birth our children, however it happened. I lived with immense guilt after Cohen was born because she was 5 weeks early, I couldn’t breastfeed her to save my life and endured MANY glares as I prepared her formula bottle in public. I just felt like I failed her because she came into this world too early. I felt like it was my fault. We need to stop feeling guilt as women and mothers. I know it’s easier said than done but I believe there is complete freedom when we let go and give it to God 100%. When we get to heaven, the way we birthed our children wont matter one bit to God. But the feelings we allow to haunt us and trap us might if they’re keeping us from finding peace and grace and ultimately living out the calling of raising the children we brought into this world.

  2. Ps. You’re an amazing Mom.

  3. No one should make you feel like your situation and your feelings are insignificant or less than someone else’s. I cannot even begin to imagine what your L&D was like, or how devastating it was that it didn’t fall into the vision you’d had. Thankfully, after ALL of what you went through, the Lord blessed you with a healthy baby girl. And I know it is your prayer that you will receive another blessing in the future.
    The way I see it, whether your delivery is simple or complicated, there is always some PTSD. I laugh when people say that you forget the pain. I may not be able to recreate that pain, or experience it exactly the same again, but I can definitely remember how the experience made me feel emotionally and mentally. Mommies don’t forget 🙂 It can take a moment to decide “yes, I want to be that uncomfortable again”. But obviously the reward is worth it. (still doesn’t make me sweat any less about having the needle put in my arm “in case” they need it…ahhh)

    • Kesha and Mindy,

      Thank you both for your encouragement! It is amazing that although we all have different experiences, we all seem to have something that didn’t quite go as planned. I am glad I have other moms (like you ladies) who read my blog and can share your stories! Even though you may not have had the same experience, you can at least empathize with me 🙂

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