Family Nature

My Baby, My C-Sections. Random Ramblings about Babies, Growing Up and Letting Go.

Letting go by roujoPhoto by roujo via flickr.

The baby of the family.  I never quite got that before now.  Sure, I know what it means, but I get it now in a way that I didn’t before.  That’s because we have a baby of the family.

Our baby of the family is the youngest of four, the only girl.  She is our last biological child and there is no possibility of any more.  So not only is she the baby of the family, she is the baby girl.  But you know, one could say that she’s not really even a baby anymore.  She is 21 months old, she is nearly two.  By many people’s standards this is a toddler, not a baby.

I always thought of my babies as babies until they were much older anyway, but the difference with Baby-M is that she is the last one and that when the others were her age there was another baby here (or almost).  So Baby-M is the baby of the family, and always will be.  She’ll get to be a baby longer than the rest, and there will never be another one after her.

The other night I went out around 7:30 to get a couple of necessities from the grocery store.  When I got back, my baby was fast asleep.  Normally she nurses to sleep and she sleeps in our bed, but last night Baby-M, her brother, and Daddy all went and lay down together.  And she fell asleep happily.  Without nursing.  Without me.

I guess I should admit that I have some mixed feelings about this.  I am happy and proud of her that she’s reached this milestone – it’s a big deal around here.  I also think that this is the beginning of the end of the baby years, so that makes me a bit sad.

It’s also a reminder, like many things are, of how my kids were born, all by cesarean section.  Because we might have had more kids – we probably would have had more – if my insides weren’t totally f**ked up by four major abdominal surgeries.  *sigh*

I’ve been a bit hesitant to post on this blog more details of my kids’ birth, and how they all came to be born by c-section.  Unnecessary cesareans are a common topic on some blogs and I always shy away from commenting on them.  I just don’t think my comments would come across right.  I always feel like I have to say “No really, I was one of the ones, the ones that truly needed a c-section” because I know, probably better than most, how unnecessary most c-sections are.  And I still wonder if people are thinking “oh sure, she’s one of the ones who thinks it was necessary” which by the way, is what I usually think when I hear women say that they needed a c-section.  But then I think, blog posts and comments about unnecessary Letting go by admitchell08c-sections aren’t really about me, why do I feel the need to comment anyway?

It is these circular conversations in my head that make me think, “I have to let go.”  This is the way my kids were born.  There is nothing I can do to change that.  Accept what has already happened.  Let go.

Photo by admitchell08 via flickr.

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9 thoughts on “My Baby, My C-Sections. Random Ramblings about Babies, Growing Up and Letting Go.

  1. thefeministshopper

    I always wonder how I’ll feel when the last of my babies is no longer a baby. I LOVE the baby stage.

    And it IS sad that my 13 mo old sleeps soundly in his bed and never wakes up to nurse anymore. Every night, right around the time he used to wake up, I have this painful urge to go scoop him up and cuddle him in bed with me. But then he wouldn’t sleep, and I wouldn’t sleep, and ultimately I know I just have to leave him at peace and stifle my urge.

    So then, I have an even stronger urge to get pregnant again, so I can have another baby that needs me. Perhaps this is the real reason that Duggar woman keeps having kids? She never, ever wants to live to see a baby-less day?

    Anyway, I have no words of wisdom – just saying I understand.

  2. phdinparenting

    Very touching post.

    I assume (perhaps egotistically, perhaps correctly??) that this is in part in response to one of my recent posts.

    As hard as it is, I think we all need to try to let go of what may have happened in the past and instead focus on the future. I have read your posts on your c-sections in the past and know that they were lifesaving for you. But even if they weren’t, even if they could have been avoided, I don’t think it helps to dwell on what might have been.

    When I share information about unnecessary interventions that can lead to c-sections, when I share information about breastfeeding myths, when I share information about the risks of cry it out, it isn’t to make mothers feel bad for what they have experienced or what they did choose. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control that really suck and that we can’t do anything to change. Sometimes we make bad decisions and even then I don’t think it is worth beating ourselves up over. But it is worth considering what we could change about society, about ourselves, so that fewer people have to go through the same thing.

    Easier said than done, I know. I have things that I go over and over and over in my mind. And no amount of thinking about them is going to change what happened. But I still think about them.

    1. familynature

      Thanks Annie. I appreciate the comment.

      Well, it is sort of a response to your recent post http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/06/28/lets-try-another-analogy/#comments but not exactly.

      When I read your post I did have an emotional reaction but then I asked myself why. I re-read your post a couple of times and I can honestly say that I’m not offended. As usual you present information in a non-judgemental way and you speak the truth. The vast majority of c-sections *are* unnecessary. Epidural *does* increase your chance of c-section. C-sections are *not* better or equal to vaginal births. These are facts. Why people are offended by these facts, I just don’t understand.

      My emotional reaction has to to with my own issues and my negative feelings for my own c-sections. Your post reminds me why I wanted so badly to avoid c-sections.

      I do think about what can be done to change things; I think of this often. I don’t know if I have the emotional strength or if I have my thoughts well enough organized to make any real difference. So, I’ve written about it a bit, and I’m sure I’ll write about it more. Maybe one day one person will read my blog and realize that c-sections leave behind way more than just the physical scar and think twice about it. I hope so.

      Thanks again for the comment.

  3. Beevers

    I love you…I’ve heard the pain an anguish in your voice when you talk about your c-sections. I can’t say I feel the same about my own. I feel that they were necessary and I thank God that I was able to give birth to 2 healthy babies and even my one baby that didn’t make it. On the flip side, I don’t understand women who would opt to have c-section. I have nothing to compare it to…I haven’t even felt labour pains, but I know that having your tummy cut open and you uterus slapped on the outside of your body and then asking said body to heal when you’re dealing with all the mega changes a baby brings, is not easy…at all.

  4. Alexandra

    Oh, this is such an important topic and I feel honoured to read your words on it. You and I have talked about people saying that we are “lucky” with some of our life outcomes and we’ve chuckled, saying “that’s not luck at all.”

    But I do feel lucky with my birth choices. I had two unmedicated vaginal births, one of them a home birth. I had, particularly with my second birth, the experience that many women I know really, really wanted. (Fer crying out loud, she was born into candlelight, just past midnight, on a summer day, in my bedroom, into the arms of my husband.)

    And yes, I prepared for those outcomes, and yes, I absolutely set it up to go the way that I wanted. But I am aware how much luck played into it. I’m aware that it could have gone another way, really at any moment. I felt like my eyes were wide open and I was hoping for the best, but that I had to really surrender to whatever happened.

    Same thing with breastfeeding – I had such an easy time of it with both my kids. Sometimes I will pipe up and talk about that because I worry that breastfeeding gets portrayed as overly difficult and fraught with complications, and I sometimes get it in my head that women need to know that at least some of the time, it is smooth sailing from the get-go (otherwise we can think that breastfeeding is “hard” and only a minority of us will succeed at it). Often when I do that, someone else will immediately comment that my experience is rare and not to be expected.

    I don’t know what the answers are and I don’t think there are “answers.” What I do think is that we need to have far more dialogue about this, to allow for a much greater range of experience to be discussed. I think it is “easy” for (some people?) to choose C-sections because birth is portrayed as so messy, and complicated, and difficult. I thank you for bringing to light some of the other side of the story, the side of the necessary C-section and all the pain that brings, mixed with the joy of the outcome.

  5. Susana

    I’m sorry you hurt in this way Amanda. Your children are blessed for having parents who were so prepared/involved/informed for their birth.

    I recently had the honour to assist at a hospital birth; I’m still shocked at how little the couple knew about their rights. By the time I arrived at the hospital the mother had been hooked up to pitocin…if I hadn’t advocated for them she would’ve had an epidural & a c-section simply because the birth was ‘taking too long’. The good news is that next time they know they want midwifery care…

    Keep writing, your writing is so articulate, touching and very powerful.

  6. mybabyweight

    I’m really feeling you on this one. While I understand the point of the “NO Sections!” posts, I still want to jump up and down and cry, “BUT I HAD TO!”. I was one of those cases. My son was taken before I even had a contraction and I always thought that somehow I haven’t been through what other mothers may have gone through so therefore I’m not as much as a mother as they are.
    However, I do know that I would have gone, and will always be prepared to go, through hell or high water for my child. I did fight for my son.
    Thanks for writing.

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