When Things Don’t Go as Planned: Making Peace with Your Birth Experience


By Tamara of Boxer and the Baby

Like most women I had this ideal labor and delivery in my head. It was so beautiful. I would sway on a exercise ball, sit in a bathing tub and breathe through all of my contractions. But like most women that never happened. I was apart of the one in three women who gave birth through a C-section.

I felt shame, anger, disappointment, hurt, betrayal and resentment. I wondered what I could have done to avoid a C-section. Maybe it was genetic. My mom had an emergency C-section with two of her three children. I was convinced something was wrong with me. My body had betrayed me.

After taking some time to talk to my doctor, my mom and my God I finally made peace with it. I wanted to share 3 Things that helped me make peace with my birth story.

Don’t Blame Yourself
Any mom and medical professional will tell you… you don’t have control of your pregnancy. There are so many components at play when it comes to labor and delivery.You are so physically and emotionally open to external influences. I’ll give you an example from my labor day. I was 5 cm diluted and laboring just fine without medication as planned. I had my nurses to come in one after the other to attach monitors. One flipped me from one side to the other like a pancake. Then another stood at the foot of my bed with hands on hips and said with an attitude “What are you doing for pain management?” In my mind I thought I was doing well. My contractions weren’t unbearable so I was breathing through them. But that question disarmed me. I began to ask for an epidural at that point.

Looking back I understand why the nurse behaved that way. Although I still don’t agree nor did I appreciate her bedside manner. She was concerned about my son’s decreasing heart rate. And assumed my moving in response to the contractions was causing his distress.

Grieve If You Need To
I went through the 5 stages of grief after my C-section. I really can’t explain it. Although I had a healthy baby and recovery something still died inside of me. Maybe it was a little bit of my faith in God and myself. If you’re anything like me you prayed everyday about your birth plan. I explicitly prayed that my labor would not end in a C-section. And when it did I felt shut out from God. And people are so quick to tell you how you should feel. But I need the freedom to express my discontentment and disappointment with both God and myself. After I did that I was able to forgive myself.

Time Heals All Wounds
Time was the biggest factor in my recovery both physically and emotionally. My C-section scar is more than just physical. You go through so many emotions in postpartum recovery. Your hormones are out of whack and you’re sleep deprived. Oh yeah and there’s a new little person that you’re getting to know. There’s little or no time to fully internalize your thoughts. I put in just as much time researching my postpartum recovery as I did my pregnancy. That takes time in itself. This also gave me the time to formulate questions for my doctor.

Did you experience any disappointment in your birth story?