My son was born on February 21st 2007. Much of it was quite joyous- hearing his cry for the first time, holding him against me and seeing his eyes. Yet my son was born by c-section. After he was born it took me two days until I was able to get up on my own and walk down the hallway without literally passing out. I tried to watch a funny movie with my mother and was unable to laugh due to the pain of the incision. I was unable to climb stairs afterwards, unable to walk with my new baby, unable to wear him in a wrap as I had hoped...
It took a full six weeks for me to fully recover. It took me longer to recover some confidence in myself.
So in 2009 I was determined to birth my daughter naturally, in what is called a VBAC, (vaginal birth after cesarean.) I had a one and a half year old son already, and I knew I would never be able to manage the kind of recovery I needed after the last cesarean. I got in contact with some organizers of ICAN
online (International Cesarean Awareness Network,) and my friend Krista Cornish, who is also the ICAN Education Director, (lucky me!) She helped aleviate some of my stress, and helped reduce some of my worst fears. My biggest obstacle was that I just couldn't imagine
giving birth naturally, the act of pushing a baby out seemed so alien to me, because I had never succeeded with my son. It felt impossible somehow. Through the ICAN website I was able to read other women's v-bac stories and learned of all the successful cases out there. The happiness and glow of these positive outcomes- that's what finally melted my worries. Because these were other women like me- not midwives, not health professionals. I was able to relate and believe that I, too, could accomplish what they had.
And indeed I did! November 29th 2009 I gave birth to my baby girl. The labour was only five hours long and I can't even describe it as painful. Intense was the appropriate word. I felt like I had climbed Mount Everest. I had proven to myself that I was NOT flawed, my body was capable and I was strong. I thank ICAN for much of this confidence. This was such a gift to me. It's a gift I hope to share with others.
Please consider attending the 2011 ICAN
Conference in St. Louis Missouri, April 8th -10th. Early bird registration has been extended to February 9th!