Thursday, June 5, 2014

being a mama - cesar vs. natural birth

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i know most all of my posts are soppy, love goo dripping off of every word. they are the truth but paint a very one-sided picture of a perfect family and perfect mama experience. nothing is perfect in this world and although i am so very grateful for my beautiful healthy family, my experience has been anything but perfect. as i've mentioned countless times, my biggest dream/aspiration in life was always to be a mama. what can i say, i'm just the mothering kind... i had this idea of it in my mind and for the most part it's been everything and more than i dreamed it ever could be. but i've had my battles, just like every other mother out there, trying, in vain, to find this infamous "balance" - it alludes me at every turn. anyway, i thought it would be cool to do a series of posts about my personal trials as a mother and a wife. shall we start at the beginning?
pregnancy & that huge decision cesar vs. natural birth.
pregnancy was good to me. i really enjoyed it. i suffered exactly 2 weeks of morning sickness and threw-up once. making sure i had something solid in me the minute i woke and sipping puka three ginger tea throughout the day remedied the sickies pretty quick.
i did however experience extreme fatigue, you know the kind when you wake up exhausted after a sixteen hour sleep? yeah... it settled and in my second trimester, i found i had far more energy but still thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon naps - yay for half day jobs!
i have always been a bit overweight and being preggers gave me the opportunity to embrace the belly instead of constantly trying to hide it. i adored it! although the maternity range of clothing available in this country is dismal to say the very least. dresses of any length, leggings and oversized shirts were my staples. i did document week by week here, if you're interested.
one part of being preggers i did not enjoy was peeing every five seconds! oh my life, it annoyed the pants off of me. waking in the middle of the night a bout fifty bazillion times, feeling as though you're going to burst, rushing to the loo and all for five little drops! i am so glad that's over.
my last month of pregnancy was spent nursing my husband. he had a wee bicycle accident, broke his collar bone in two places, fractured 4 ribs and puncture his lung resulting in three surgeries. it must have been rather funny watching the two of us - me rolling around and him hobbling everywhere, the heavily pregnant trying to shower and dress her battered and bruised husband - we made it through as anyone would have faced with the same circumstances - faced with any circumstances come to think of it.
i wanted the natural birth experience and had my heart set on it for the longest time. i had researched and read and dreamed for years. there are pros and cons to both but i wanted natural because i'm a bit of a naturalist and isn’t giving birth what we were made for? i knew it would be hard but my body would reap the benefits in the years to come. in my last trimester we found out that my dad was to leave on a 3 year contract around her due date! this news broke pregnant jess’s heart. what if she came late, as so many first babies do, my dad would miss her! what if she was on time but i labored for longer than 12 hours or, god forbid, something went wrong and they had to cesar me anyway? then i'd have been just plain old pee'd.
and so we seriously started looking at having a cesar. gary was all for it from the get go. he used to try convince me all the time, sighting the pro's of a controlled, scheduled cesarean birth - haha! he was dead chuffed when i showed signs of considering a cesar. i asked a lot of questions, had many discussions with gary and my mom and read up a lot. i went back and froth for a few weeks but eventually lila made the decision for us. at our 37 week check up the gyne confirmed that she had stopped growing and that it was indeed time for her to make an early appearance. you can read our birth experience here. it was so chilled and very surreal but amazingly beautiful. we have a gorgeous baby girl and would do either way we decided to go. my point being that it doesn't actually matter how your little human arrives just as long as they do and safely. ten fingers, ten toes. we stress out so much we loose sight of the end result.
i was so worried about the pain of a cesar and the scar but the pain wasn't bad at all. i'd describe it as a burning pain and it's quite dull because you're taking pills for it anyway. getting up wasn't bad, sure it hurt but it was nothing like the pain i had dreamed up in my head. as for the scar, it's tiny and so low down no one except gary and i will ever see it and in all honesty my stretch marks are far, far worse than the scar. i would gladly be covered in a gazillion cesar scars for my baby! and that’s the honest to god truth. 
i had never been in hospital except to visit friends and family, so it was my very first hospital stay. it was amazing! i got a private room and it made all the difference. ladies, talk to you anesthetist about having your catheter inserted after you have the epidural, that way you wont feel a thing. my best friend bron gave me this little gem if advice. it's just better. apparently having a catheter inserted is painful and uncomfortable and i see no reason for it especially if your having a spinal or epi and will be numb in moments.
i worried so much about being naked in front of strangers. i am an exceptionally private person. let me lay this demon to rest for all you first timers – it’s bigger in your head than it is in real life. and when it comes time, they keep as much of you covered as possible. once you're all laid down on the theater table, they have a screen up in front of you so you don't even notice that you're naked. the doctors and nurses are very professional about it and see it everyday. they aren't there to perv, they're there to get a job done. besides, all you'll be thinking about is your baby and when that little bundle pops out you’re not going to give two hoots about being starkers. it really is a non issue i assure you.
my mom said to me to stay in hospital as long as possible, to enjoy being waited on hand and foot and to soak up all the knowledge i could from the maternity ward nurses. boy did i! i was all wrinkly from my four day long soak. we slept. we fed. we loved. we cuddled. we slept some more.  
the one thing i do want to warn new mamas about is the blood. it gushes from your nether region, flows like the nile river during flood season. no matter how much i had been warned or read or told, nothing prepared me for that experience. i remember one particular occasion in hospital, i needed to get up to pee, gary helped me out of bed and as i stood up, to my utter mortification, it gushed down my legs to the floor… i rang for the nurse in a total panic, she took one look at me and chided, not one, two pads at all times, at least for the next two days. yes, those massive dr whites are so necessary. remember not one two! haha. it does calm a little after a few days and one can resume normal use of pads with wings! god who knew i would worship the invention of wings? haha. tampons were a no go for me. i did try after about three weeks but it was painful so i stuck to pads. doctors will only advocate the use of pads and i get it, you have a whole river of goo and blood that needs be flushed from your system - let it flow homies! 

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  1. Firstly, loooooove this post, and the honesty. While we are being honest here, I think my biggest fear would be to poop while I'm in labour.

    Secondly, thank God that Gary was spared and that he is with you today. My uncle died in a motor accident when my cousin was born.

    Third, I am so scared of scars. I don't scar nicely, I get keloids. So I'm also all for natural birth :)

    I really love your posts. Keep them coming.

    1. I'm chuffed you dig! Honesty is after all the best policy :) Let me ass-ure you (haha, do you see what I did there?) that you will be given an enema and if not you can always ask for one. I also promise you that at that stage in your labor your not going to give two poops about what comes out of you as long as your baby arrives.

      Yes, we are so thankful. It could have been so much worse. He had the accident on the side of an exceptionally busy main road...

      Eish - keloids, sorry lovie. You do realize that you will be cut either way - its either gonna be an episiotomy or a cesar... Sorry again.

      A thank ya! It's so great that someone out there actually reads my rambling.

      Happy Fri-YAY to you ♥