Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Having all 7 stages of grief, at the same time

My daughter is now 8 months old. She weighs nearly 20lbs, is eating finger foods, crawling, saying "mama and dada", standing up, and working on walking.  Time flies when it comes to her growing up, but not to my healing. That is truly a day to day process.
So, how can I be stuck on all 7 stages of grief, all at the same time?

1. Shock and Denial-  Some parts of me still can't believe I had a c-section.  I wanted such a natural birth.  I also have wide hips.  I really thought I would push twice, and my baby would come right out.  (nothing like being hopeful)

2.  Pain & Guilt-  Pain.  I never knew pain could hurt so deep.  Not physical pain, (that I can handle, I am a read head!)  but emotional pain.  I can only imagine that this is what a bone marrow donation would feel like.  Like someone is scraping out your very core.  I still cry when someone I know goes into labor.  I cry harder when I find out they had a vaginal birth.  Then I feel guilty for "wishing" they had a c-section too.  Always hoping someone could sympathize with me.  
3.  Anger & Bargaining-  Some days I feel very angry.  I'm angry at my Doctor for loosing faith in a womans body.  Angry at the entire system.  Angry that induction has a 50% success rate, and that's what we use.  When is 50% ever good enough?  Apparently when it comes to birth.  I'm angry I never went into natural labor.  I'm angry that I have a horrible scar on my body.  I'm angry that I spent the first 3 months of my daughters life so depressed that I didn't get to enjoy so many of her firsts.  I'm angry I didn't eat better, walk more, learn more, sleep more, and exercise more while pregnant.  I'm angry that I didn't stand up for myself in the hospital when I felt like things weren't gong right.  I'm angry that I didn't research doctors before giving birth.  I'm angry that I trusted MY doctor and not MY body.  I bargain all the time that I could have done things differently.  The "ifs" are what get me.  If only I'd: Refused to be induced.  Refused to have my water broken.  Birthed on my hands and knees.  Asked more questions.  If I could bargain to change these things, could I bargain for my vaginal birth?

4.  Depression, Reflection, Loneliness-  Depression, thats a word I understand more now than I ever wanted to.  The most amazing part is to feel happy while depressed.  I'm in love with my beautiful daughter, but yet so sad about the way she came into this world.  I feel like I let down the most important person in my life down from the beginning.  I look back so often on this day.  I try to make myself feel better about it.  Who doesn't feel alone when they're depressed?  I think birth is amazing for the fact that no two births are the same.  They are all so different, even if they have 1 of 2 outcomes.  I ended up with #2, and so did 32% of the population, so why do I feel so alone?

5.  The Upward Turn-  I started the upward turn about 4 months after my daughter was born.  After absorbing about as much information as my brain can handle, I realized VBAC is the way to go.  For me.  I read a few stories that were similar to mine, and those gave me hope.  HOPE.  A word I haven't used in a while.

6.  Reconstruction and Working Through-  Research, research, research.  Ask me stats, I know them.  Ask me what doctors in the valley have the best VBAC rates, I know those too.  I'm reading books, blogs, articles and just about every story ICAN has to offer.  I'm reading the good and the bad.  Trying to be prepared as possible.  Somehow, even reading the bad can make you feel better.

7.  Acceptance and Hope-  I can't say I'm all in on this one.  Acceptance?  Not every part of the word's meaning yet.  I do "acknowledge" what happened.  But accept, eh, thats hard yet.  Hope, I'm all over hope!  I hope that we can get pregnant without a hitch.  I hope that the baby stays head down.  I hope that I can remain active during pregnancy, along with eating better.  I hope (AND KNOW) that I can have a successful, drug free, natural birth.  Now hope, I CAN do.


  1. Hang onto that "hope" Jesse....The "what if's" and "do overs" always cling, but with "hope" you can move forward. Beautiful, beautiful pictures.

  2. Found your blog through the ICAN page--I support you! I'm a co-leader of ICAN of southwestern PA and am hoping for my own VBAC journey sometime soon. After my c-section, I lost a lot of faith in my body and it's trickled into so many other areas of my life. That's why I'm training for a physical challenge to try and regain some confidence before I'll need ALL the confidence in the universe for a VBAC. I know you can do it, and then I can, too!

  3. It's always nice to know your not alone in what you feel....If only you had someone telling you that right after your csection so you don't spend so many months wondering if your the only one who feels this way!! Ive been thinking of starting a blog on my vbac journey....once I get pregnant of course...I've been writing in a journal for over a year on all my research I've done...I follow a few blogs from the cafe moms on the vbac side and they are always so nice to read...
    Thanks for sharing :)

  4. H- Having faith, O- being open, P- praying for success, E- emotional outpouring. You are able to tackle this and so much more. So proud of you. I see the growth and hope for the future...love you sister.


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