Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And the truth comes out

I'm terrified. Terrified of birth. I can't wait to have my baby here, I'm uncomfortable and ready to not be pregnant anymore. But the panic has set it - deep.

My first birth was long and difficult. I had taken childbirth education classes at my doctor's office and felt mildly prepared - little did I know. Jake tried intervening to coach me a few times in which after I snapped at him he backed off. After 8 hours of camel-back contractions I was exhausted and asked for an epidural. I thought it was great, I was able to sleep for 8 more hours after being up laboring for over 24. I had backpain for months afterwards, but that was nothing compared to the episiotomy I was given and recovering from.

With my second, all the birth plans were thrown out the window. Jake was being deployed and my doctor consented to inducing me 2 weeks early so he could be there. I didn't know who else could help coach me through the birth. Things were slow going and Jake went to get dinner when hard labor hit. After a while I couldn't coach myself through it any longer and asked, again, for an epidural. The learning experience from this birth was that Jake was never allowed to leave, not even to eat. Bathroom breaks were questionable in my opinion. But the worst part was, my labor wasn't that much longer after the epidural and after delivery realized if I had just a little help from someone to coach me through the end there I would have done just fine on my own.

Bring on birth #3. Absolutely determined I could do this. Although I instructed Jake firmly never to leave, starving was not allowed. I couldn't eat, so I decided neither could he. Didn't matter anyway.. my labor was too short for him to get hungry. The labor was absolutely wonderful... I spent most of the time in the rocking chair, we had quiet worship music on, I focused on relaxing my body through contractions and prayed a lot. It went quickly and was very spiritual of an experience for me actually.

Until delivery. I'll spare the gory details... but it wasn't pretty. Nora was in distress, somewhere drastic medical intervention was taken, and it was almost a comedy of errors that continued to happen even after she was fine. My body seemed to be rebelling against modern medicine (hemorrhaging, fainting, and having allergic reactions to medications).

So birth #4 comes along, and 2 days before I'm being induced I realize - I am petrified. What if the whole thing goes as poorly as the last time? What if the same process happens? Her birth was terrifying and agonizingly painful, worse than anything I had ever experienced. And I was staring that in the face. I did all right with Liam... but again, panicked towards the end and asked for an epidural. I was scared out of my mind and didn't want to at least feel the experience if everything was going to go haywire again. And how frustrating was that.. 20 minutes after they finally finished with the epidural I had to push.

So I spent a lot of time this pregnancy praying about this and thought I had made progress just to realize... I am scared. Scared, scared, scared. I don't feel like I'm able to do what I know God has designed me to be able to do naturally. I had the strength to do it once... and after the terrifying experience that ensued afterwards I am not sure I can do it. I want a calm, peaceful, natural birth and when I start thinking about what that looks like my heart jumps into my throat and my stomach knots up and I think "I can't. I can't."

So here I am... laying my heart bare on the internet. I thought I had overcome most of this and I find myself 4 days away from D-day and terrified. I feel like I might need stronger coaching to help me through when I start to panic but I don't know that Jake really feels enabled to do that. We never learned anything like that anyway in our classes, 6 years ago. I looked into Bradley classes this past summer but they were significantly more expensive than we realized.

And now I feel like it's too late to look into anything different.

I really wish I had an older sister.


Darlene Sinclair said...

Will be praying. He will see you through. I understand, really, I do. The dread and fear can get worse since there is more background to sometimes deal with - but God...God intervenes, gets us through, we never actually die like we think we will, and in the end, there is another beautiful new life. Will pray to that end, and for His peace to envelope you perfectly; your own special womb of protection!

Sarah O said...

I am asking my friend if she would be willing to doula for you, but if she can't I maybe could. Let me know what you think about that. I do have some handouts and stuff from my class that might be helpful either way.