In the immediate days following Carsten’s birth, however, I became so enamored with my son and experienced such a high when I was finally able to bond with him while breast feeding, that it didn’t matter.
“Meet” Carsten LaMonte Weeks, born 3:04 AM Feb. 26; 7 lb., 10 oz., 21 inches. He had been a planned water birth at Amplatz Children’s Hospital, but it didn’t quite go as planned…
…after 27 hours of natural labor, I was still only at 7 cm. I truly felt that I was in transition, and had just had a great labor session in the tub with my husband Seth and Amanda, our doula. So, the moment the midwife told me that I was still only at 7 was absolutely devastating. From that point on, the labor progressed slowly with an epidural, finally concluding with a C-section. Turns out he was sunny-side up and had gotten stuck in the birth canal in a cock-eyed position. Not for lack of trying, but he was not able to come out vaginally.
As you can imagine, the whole experience was pretty upsetting. “Epidural” and “C-section” were never supposed to be part of my birth, and I enjoyed the natural part of labor (i.e. breathing through each contraction, visualization, feeling my cervix open and pushing the baby down). Still, both happened, and the actual procedure and hours following we’re extremely painful – both emotionally and physically.
In retrospect, undergoing these procedures – and all the sorrow and pain that went with them – is what made me stronger. It was only after surrendering “my plan” that I was given the amazing gift of realizing my fierce propensity to cope with pure sorrow, pain and exhaustion. I am not the same person I was going into this birth, for the better. Also, what we learned in class was extremely helpful in knowing my options and what to put on my birth plan in case of a C-section.
Also, I’m happy to report that Carsten is an amazing breast feeder! One of our nurses said he should teach the other babies a course on how to latch 🙂