I've never written down the birth of my daughter. I've always tried to steer my thoughts away from those days in the hospital, but I think I need to deal with the anger and guilt I feel over that experience so that I can be fully present in the birth of my next child.
My pregnancy with my daughter was rough from the start. We had lost our first child in a miscarriage and looking back, I think that stripped me of any confidence I had in my body. I was terrified that I couldn't even carry a baby to term, let alone birth said baby. I had already failed as a mother in my mind, unable to protect that little life, so how could I possibly trust my body throughout another pregnancy and then a birth? I was incredibly insecure during the pregnancy, from the doubts of my abilities to the drastic changes in my body.
And like most women, I trusted my doctor. I trusted medicine. And this is where I feel guilt. I had already been burned horribly by the medical community and they had done nothing to regain my trust and yet I trusted. They had told me I was a weak, attention-seeking complainer and even after I had proven that wasn't true, I still let them tell me I was weak and incapable of doing anything. Why did I let that happen? Why didn't I stand up for myself and my child? I should have known better. I failed yet again to protect my babies. I followed all the medical advice. I did everything I was supposed to do, but there I was, swollen, my blood pressure rising and desperately trying to convince the doctor to induce me. For ignoring me on this point, I thank him. I would have done almost anything to just not be pregnant anymore.
When I was about 34 weeks along, we learned that my husband's grandfather had cancer. The really bad cancer that just comes in and destroys in a matter of months. We went to visit him and prayed he would live to see his first grandchild, but God had other plans. Thursday, May 28th, 2009, he went to be with the Lord. I had woken up that day feeling absolutely amazing and energetic at 38 weeks. I knew that baby was coming, but at 9 am, my husband came home crying to tell me Grandpa had died. What could we do? We only had a few options: not going to the funeral, my husband going without me, or both of us going and risking the baby coming. Not going at all was quickly rejected as I knew my husband would always regret it. I was terrified to have him go without me especially since I woke up feeling so incredibly amazing. So we decided to go together.
Sunday we had church and then gathered as a family before the visitation. My daughter was going crazy in the womb. My husband's cousin looked on in horror as feet and hands could be seen pushing my belly out and bouncing everything around. I was getting more and more uncomfortable and my mother-in-law told me later that watching me walk, it seemed like the baby's head was RIGHT there. Visitation over and back to the house where we talked about Grandpa and laughed and laughed (he was a VERY good joke teller!). I think the laughing was what did me in. I got up to the go to the bathroom (for about the 40th time) and halfway down the hallway I started peeing my pants. Or so I thought at first. It didn't stop though. I went back to the room and firmly told Ty I thought we should go to bed. I went downstairs where I found my MIL and asked her how I would know if my water broke. I believe her exact response was "Really?????" spoken with just a hint of dread. We decided to labor at the house for as long as possible, but labor never really started. I maybe had 2 or 3 contractions the whole night, but was terrified enough that I didn't sleep a bit.
In the morning we decided to go into the hospital which is where any remaining confidence was promptly stripped away and I became a patient, not a woman or mother.