Caesarean Guilt

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Only yesterday did I become brave enough to lift my mummy pooch up and look in the mirror at what was underneath. Expecting a big horrible scar that was a mess and unpleasant to look at. I was terrified to look. I didn't want to see it there on my body, leaving my body scarred for the rest of my life. To my own relief, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. It was shorter in length and was simply just a red line below my stomach. 

To some, I may seem ungrateful, I'm made to feel that way anyway. Whenever I bring up the fact I had a c-section, I'm told "at least your baby is here safe" and "at least you can have children". While this is true and I do count myself very lucky that I have been able to grow and have a child. I count myself incredibly lucky as I have people around me that are unable to. These words make me feel even more guilty about what I went through to get my little girl here. Moreso, I am made to feel guilty about the guilt I feel towards it. 

I spent the entirety of my pregnancy with my labour in my mind, I wanted a water birth but if I couldn't, I was happy with a "bed birth". I pictured in my head the whole time of having things happen naturally. It was what I was hoping would happen and while I was ever so slightly anxious about the pain, I knew it had to happen and I was excited. I wanted to experience childbirth in this form, naturally. I wanted to know what it felt like to push and push and give birth to my child. I wanted Stuart to cut the cord, I wanted that picture moment when you've just given birth to your child and you almost immediately get to hold them in your arms. I wanted that moment and I feel like that was taken away from me. Although I didn't get that exact moment I wanted in my head, I got my own type of moment with my daughter after she was born, where they held her next to my face and let me touch her face, in that moment my daughter grabbed my index finger and I started crying all over again. That was our moment and it's one I will always cherish. 

After that, she was given to my partner to hold. It killed me. Not that I didn't want him to hold her, but I wanted to cuddle her and feel her in my arms. But I had to lie there and wait to be stitched back up. It felt like it took forever to pass and every time they said one layer was done, there was still another to go. I just wanted it to hurry up so I could hold my daughter. It was like time slowed down and was purposely making me wait longer. When I finally got to hold her, I cried yet again, I was so happy just to have her close and I didn't want to let her go. I just kept staring at her, stroking her face and talking to her. I was immediately besotted and felt so unbelievably happy. I was thankful I even got to experience this.

I find myself some days getting incredibly upset that I had to have a c-section. I start crying in the shower, I start crying while I lie in bed, I hold my tears back if I'm around people and it comes into my head. My feelings towards my C-section are a bit more deep rooted than others may first think. 

~Trigger Warning: Pregnancy loss, depression & suicidal thoughts~

2014 was the beginning of my longest and deepest bout of depression. One where suicidal thoughts entered my mind every single day and several times a week, I would allow myself to be in a position where I would follow try to follow through with those thoughts. Being in an abusive relationship and having no control over my life and what I could do, I was in an awful place and felt like my life was going nowhere and there was no point in trying. I found out I was pregnant during this time, something that gave me something to live for, something that gave me a purpose. It took these thoughts away for a while, even though I was still in this horrible relationship, I knew at the end of the day, I would have this child and more than likely, it would be the two of us alone. 

At 11 weeks, a week before my dating scan, I miscarried. It absolutely destroyed me and I spent so long mourning over it. It took away that hope I had for myself and all I did was blame myself and my body. Though I later learned that this happened for a good reason, to allow me to be in the position I am in today. 

But I feel as though this was my body letting me down. My body not letting me carry the baby or let it grow properly. At the beginning of this pregnancy, having an ectopic scare brought it all back and made me upset thinking things weren't happening how they were supposed to, that something was wrong with me. I was lucky and so so thankful that this was not the outcome of this pregnancy. I was relieved beyond belief. But, to have my induction of labour fail and having to have an emergency c-section echoed that feeling yet again. My body didn't let me give birth normally. My body didn't respond to the hormones they were pumping through me. My body just didn't want things to happen the way I wanted to. I feel guilty that I'm not able to do these things that my body was essentially made to do properly. 

This may be something you can relate to, this may be something I am alone in feeling, this may seem completely abnormal for me to feel. It may be something you can't understand at all. I may be seen as selfish by people for feeling how I do. All I hope is that in time I'm able to feel less guilty about this happening to me, even if it's just a small amount. Or that I can accept it a bit better as I am fully aware it happened for the safety of myself and my beautiful baby daughter. I apologise if this is poorly worded or just messy, I just felt like getting how I've been feeling for the past few weeks out in the open, moreso for myself than anything. 

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