Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Simply Proud of Myself

A reflection at 6 months postpartum

It was about six and a half months ago that BK was born by planned c-section.  It was not the birth plan I had in mind when I first learned I was pregnant, but it was not the plan that was important, it was the end result of a happy and healthy baby and mommy.

 I had grand plans of being able to have a natural no medication birth and I wanted to labor like all of the mothers who had labored before me.  I also felt like I needed to labor to pay the universe back to what I did to my own mother when she was birthing me (I know I am still dragging around my protestant guilt).

Leading up to the end of my pregnancy, the doctors informed me that BK was breech and about 4 weeks before my due date I had the option of scheduling a c-section or trying to turn the baby with a Version.   Since I really wanted to birth the old fashioned way, we decided to try the Version while I was doing all sorts of crazy maneuvers at home to get that baby to turn-- he didn't.   So I went into the hospital on the day of the scheduled procedure with the understanding that Versions are not always successful and knowing that all mothers and babies are not good candidates for one reason or another.  I was hopeful that we would be successful but during the mandatory ultrasound before the procedure, we found he had a nuchal cord and we were not good candidates. I had to relegate myself to a c-section.  I was very sad and scared because I really wanted to have a natural birth experience, and I was really afraid of what a c-section would be like. I spent a lot of time thinking about the goals of having a baby and the larger picture and  in about a day I came to the realization that the end goal was happy and healthy baby and mommy, so I accepted that my plan was to have a c-section, and I could focus on other things like breastfeeding.
 I really wanted to have a natural birth experience, and I was really afraid of what a c-section would be like.
So I went out and purchased The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman and this became my bible because if I could not give birth naturally I had my mind set that I would naturally feed my child, it became a need to feel this motherly gift. So, I set my plan to include the c-section (yuck!) and kangaroo care. In the hospital after BK was born we were skin to skin and he nursed for 30 min in the recovery room. I never felt more like a woman in all my life, I was elated. I birthed a healthy baby, albeit with medical assistance, and he was feeding from me. I truly felt the miracle. David, my Mom and my Dad were all there to witness this beautiful little creature do what he was designed to do.

Of course I had fears that every woman has about being able to make enough milk and her baby having a lip tie or a tongue tie and not being able to nurse well, and we had a bout of  sore nipples and mastitis, but we powered through.  We have made it 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, and I feel proud and I feel like a powerful Momma.   A few weeks ago we introduced solids (which he loves by the way), but we are still going strong.  Everytime we nurse I have the pleasure of seeing this little content face "milk drunk" and I become love drunk all over again like I did on day one.

Milk Drunk

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