Besides the obvious physical pain of recovery, this cesarean has been hard on me in ways I didn’t think possible. Every day I’m feeling a little bit better but I am still sore around the incision. It’s been three weeks since my body was opened and my insides pulled out. I often forget how serious this kind of surgery is since I never really had time to consider the implications it would have on my body. How people “elect” to have this procedure, I don’t know or understand.
The first week was hell. Merely trying to pull myself into a semi-reclining position in my hospital bed had me in tears. Walking to the bathroom, hell, even using the bathroom was agonizing. Coughing and laughing were out of the question. Coughing is still uncomfortable and I grab my belly every time for fear of my incision opening up and all my organs spilling out.
I wonder if it hurts more and is taking longer to heal because I had a vertical incision.
What I want to write about is the emotional pain.
I don’t want to look at the pictures I took of the birth kit or the birth tub as we were doing a test-inflation. Thinking back to the day I wandered around the store buying the supplies we needed for our home birth, I feel sadness for that woman who poured all her hopes into the shopping cart. What am I going to do with a painter’s tarp now? And what happened to the birth kit we never used? It was all gone and put away when I got home from the hospital–like we never planned a home birth to begin with.
I’m about to remove all the beautiful home birth photographs from one of my Pinterest boards. My hope was to have my friend come over and take photos of our birth. I wanted to have those precious first moments captured. I pinned other families’ home birth pictures for inspiration. Instead of the idealistic portraits of the post-childbirth tears, I have darkness. I have those last few seconds of consciousness and the loneliness of a recovery room. I have a picture of me reaching into a clear plastic box and saying goodbye to my baby moments before she was whisked away to another hospital.
Even though these things hurt, I’m not the kind of person to want to discuss them. Writing like this is the most therapeutic, as is commiseration with other home birth cesarean mothers:reading their stories and sharing my own. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who felt betrayed by my own body or like I jinxed myself out of a home birth because I talked about it so much. But not knowing why things happened, or not knowing what caused the abruption…that will always bother me. I’m the type of person who needs a logical explanation. The term “idiopathic” isn’t satisfying.