A letter to my body..

Baby bump

I feel betrayed..

I looked after you for 10 whole months. I treated you like the holy grail. I ate well. I didn’t drink. I abstained from anything and everything that they said you shouldn’t eat or drink. All the things I love – Pate, Camembert, runny yolks.. I worked out up until 7 months. I started walking. I conceded to you and ate more than I ever have before. I took vitamins and had the requisite jabs. I hypno-birthed and attended antenatal. I even started drinking water.Β  You had it good before, but for 10 months you had it better than you ever had. I thought we were partners. I thought that if I treated you well, if I looked after you and worked with you, you would work with me when the day came. I embraced you and your changes. I loved you and marveled at how amazing you were. I was excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time about what lay at the end of our journey, but I trusted you. I thought that if you could do all this with such ease and grace then we would be fine. I felt at ease, a quiet confidence.

So why then did you let me down. How did we go from such calm to such confusion. I can’t quite figure it out. My mind is still fuzzy. I can’t recall an exact sequence of events, and I am upset at you. I am upset because I thought we were supposed to work together. I am upset because I didn’t get the memo. Because if I did, I would have prepared myself better. I would have done certain things differently. I am upset because I cannot recall in perfect detail, one of the most important events in my life. I am upset because I have to rely on someone else to fill in the gaps, and I am upset because it makes me sad to think about it.

But how can I be mad at you. Because at the end of it all you gave me the most wonderful and precious gift, a daughter. I just don’t understand how such happiness can be tinged with such sadness. I feel disappointed. Disappointed because we couldn’t do something that we should have been able to do, you and I. Instead we needed assistance and intervention, and not just a little, but quite a lot. I’m confused, because at the time it was the right thing to do, and if the same sequence of events occurred I may very well have made the same choices. It felt right at the time. But then why do I feel so scared by the experience. Why then can I not bring myself to think about it. Why then, five months on does it all still feel so raw. Why then do I feel so betrayed..

Am I the only woman that feels like this? I would love to hear from you if this resonates for you in any way whatsoever, or if you have any comments that you’d like to share.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bies/107729240/”>bies</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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19 thoughts on “A letter to my body..

  1. I had a similar experience, my body refused to go into full labour, despite every intervention going so we ended up in theatre. I never had a birth plan, I always said I would go with the flow, so don’t feel too sad about how it all turned out.
    But a friend of kind had the same thing and it really affected her. She suffered from PND and made the decision she didn’t want any more children as a result. Her second child came along a little unexpectedly, she chose a VBAC and had a much better experience second time round which laid those ghosts to rest.

    • I never had a birth plan either and was happy with the way it went at the time. I feel like we made all the right decisions for the situation we found ourselves in. I’m just disappointed that my body wasn’t able to fully progress through labour on its own.

  2. With my son (my first) I had hoped for a home birth, after struggling for an hour (after 13 of being in labour) to finally deliver him we had to be transferred to hospital, I had an episiotomy and vontouse. It was totally not as I had expected and I was still healing about 5 months later. I resented everything about the birth and it just didn’t happen the way i’d hoped. I had expected my body would know what to do but it was awful, the contractions stopped and I was exhausted.

    Three years later along came my daughter, an entirely different experience one which totally closed the wound of my sons birth, I felt like it I had closed a door on the pain of what happened first time round, four hours, only gas and air and two wonderful midwives helped me bring my daughter into the world naturally, I was smiling and so happy.

    It is difficult when the birth doesn’t go as you’d expected or hoped and you are not alone in feeling that pain many months on. Hugs xx

    • Thank you! It is comforting to know that other women have has similar experiences and feelings after birth. It does seem like it will take time and perhaps once I can face it, a second labour to help get over how I feel about my body myself and the experience of labour.

  3. Oh, I love this letter! I have been feeling this way the past few months, too! My daughter is now 13 months. I also have two older children ages 13 and 11. But I was in really good shape prior to baby number 3, and during my third pregnancy I managed to only gain 25 pounds. I lost all the weight two months after having her, but months later put it back on. I completely understand how you feel. Great post!! xx

  4. I’m sorry you feel so sad about this, it’s the one occasion where the mystery of nature is so apparent – you couldn’t have prepared better but this is something you ultimately can’t control. As you say, the most important thing is the safe arrival of your baby girl, but sounds like you have some feelings to work through. When first pregnant, I read a book I would recommend, Birthing From Within, which has quite a lot on processing previous traumatic or difficult births. It’s quite “alternative” but might be worth a look. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/0285637878/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1393072941&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165 Can lend it to you if you like. Don’t beat yourself up – you did the most amazing thing on the planet. Xx

    • Thank you so much for sharing your comments and kind words. I know that what I did is amazing, and whilst im obviously happy about the outcome – my beautiful daughter, its the emotions from the experience that make me feel the way I do. I will most definitely take a look at your recommendation, it sounds like it could be quite helpful. Thank you x

  5. A very moving post and I’m so sorry to hear you had such a touch time. It’s heartbreaking to feel that you aren’t able to do something which you feel should be natural to you. Monkey was breech so we had an elective C-section. It turned out I have a bicornuate (heart shaped) uterus so there was no way he could turn and had the cord around his neck multiple times. I’m glad I had a c-section as my fears are that without the assistance he may not have been here – but at the same time I’ve felt at times like I have missed out on something by not having any experience of labour, of having my waters break, of feeling contractions. I know its no fun but it’s something so womanly that it feels odd not to have experienced any of it as a mother. Not sure if that makes sense! Will have to see what happens if we get pregnant again but there’s a high chance I’ll need a second c-section and of course I will do whatever gives the best chances of a happy healthy outcome! #archive day xxx

    • Hi Caroline, thanks for reading and for commenting. I completely understand and relate to what you say about feeling like you have missed out on the full experience of labour. Even though we have had different experiences, how they have made us feel is fairly similar – that we’ve missed out and not been able to do something that you feel you should be able to do as a woman. However im a great believer in the saying that “everything happens for a reason” and as it was in your case that it worked out medically for the best, im sure for some reason it was the same for us. I just don’t know what the reason was yet. Im hopeful that if there is a second time round, it will be a more positive experience.

  6. Your labour sounds quite similar to mine, although my waters hadn’t broken by the time I was pushing. I’d been having contractions for 2 days before I started to push and when it was time I was pushing for four hours. It was only when I was to be taken for assistance that I found something inside me to push the little pudding out! I didn’t get to hold him for a while coz I heamorrhaged so bady, it was omly when they brought blood for a transfusion I was aware of how serious it was. It was the scariest moment of my life, yet I only ever look back with pride. It doesn’t matter how we did it… coz we did it! It’s rhe most pressure we’ll ever put on ourselves, physically and emotionally, and we’re here to tell the tale, with our beautiful babies to remind us of how proud we should be!! I hope you can soon look back at it as a moment you cherish, you did bloody good!

    • Thank you. Its true, I really do believe that it doesn’t matter how we do it, just that we’ve done it. It is amazing and I am completely aware and in awe of what Ive done. Its one of my greatest achievements. Its just the emotion of it all, and the expectation that we put on ourselves as you said, that has made it hard for me to look back on it. It sounds like you had an equally difficult and quite scary time, particularly with the hemorrhage which actually makes me quite grateful that I didn’t have an even worse time than I did. I’m glad that you are able to look back on it with pride, I would love to be in a similar place int the future. Thanks for sharing your comments, and for reading of course!

    • It sounds like it is relatively normal/commonplace for a less than perfect birth. It helps when you know that you aren’t the only one though. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience πŸ™‚

  7. Oh I can empathise with this… I dont talk about it so much now but I had really wanted a water birth for Mushroom. However, various complications meant that I not only needed intervention but that the midwife wanted to use Mushroom’s birth as a ‘teaching’ experience and have a student midwife in the room. It was already a very small room and I was very upset that I wasn’t even allowed to stand or even crouch to give birth, I had to lie flat on my back. It wasn’t until I read your post that the feelings at the time came back. I am extremely thankful for my sister who was my second birthing partner and the only one with the balls to tell the midwife to F Off and give her what for when she suggested we didn’t ‘understand the importance of training.’ Our late mother was a midwife so of course we did and naturally we were thinking of her at this time – I wish she could have been there. She would have understood. I just didn’t want an extra person in an already overcrowded room where I had only just managed to deal with the fact I couldn’t do what felt like the most natural thing in the world – move around. I have put it behind me now but at the time… Mind you, post natal preeclampsia meant that once I was through the worst and back home I was just grateful to be alive and here for Mushroom.

    • Oh, that sounds absolutely awful. How terrible for you to be put in such a stressful situation when you were at your most vulnerable. On top of that you had the issue of complications which I completely empathise with too. It isn’t easy giving birth, but its even harder when there are so many complications around it that they make you emotionally overlook the amazing thing your body has done, even if it has had a bit of help getting there. It sounds like you have come out the other end of it now which is great. I cant wait to be in the same place too.

  8. And now I’m definitely in tears! You’re definitely not alone. I ask my body the same things (slightly different, but I specifically ask my uterus why it decided to rupture and generally, why it happened to me when I was so damn positive about having a natural VBAC). It will take time, but you will start to trust and love your body again, and I hope in the future, you will feel ready to let your body work it’s magic and bring another child into the world.

    • Again, thank you for reading and commenting and sorry for another tardy response! I have such a love/hate relationship with my body – I am in awe of what it has been able to do in making and growing a baby, but dissapointed in how it delivered it. Its so bittersweet. I read your birth story and it made me realise how differently it could have gone, so Im trying to be more grateful for the birth experience I had even though it wasnt what I hoped for. Hopefully as you said, time will be the healer and I can learn to really love and appreciate my body and everything it has done in bringing my little lady into the world.

  9. Pingback: PBloggers | A Letter to my Body – Guest post by @MyPetitCanard #pbloggers #guestpost

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