Monday, 10 May 2010


Recently it struck me that I have no feeling one way or t'other toward Rye's birth.  I suppose in part because I was so drugged up on gas, air and pain that I was half way to being delirious.

Labour began when my waters broke at home on New Years Eve, 2007.  There was meconium in them, so naturally I called the midwives at the hospital and went in.  No sign of labour actually starting, so after an hour I was hooked up to the drip, thus began 11 hours of agony - much of which I do not remember.  I do remember the wonderful midwife that stayed with me much of the night, massaging my back - my gawd, her hands were the equivilient to ambrosia!  I remember begging her not to put the trace on Ryes head back in, after once again coming off, because I was so sore and tender, and bless her, she left me without for a while and let me move around, whereas the midwives after her wouldn't allow me off the bed.  And to be fair, I believe it was more to do with any difficulties I might get into and my weight.

I remember swearing gratefully, rather unlady like, when told I was at 7cms, and then sobbing when the doctor examined me and demurred and suggested 5cm.  I remember begging for an epidural when the pain and frequency became too much and I felt I couldn't breath - I know now I was starting to panic, hence the feeling of not being able to breath; and sadly my partner of the time was not especially supportive - in fact I do not actually remember him being there; except for one moment, in which, if I'd not being in too much pain to respond, I would have probably battered him around the head repeatedly with the gas and air cannister.
I remember the epidural failing, I remember doctors cramming into the room, I vaguely remember being told rye was in distress and that they wanted to use a ventrouse and would do everythign possible to avoid c-section.  I remember scrawling on a piece of paper, (permission slip), I remember being wheeled to the theatre and screaming, screaming so loudly and a midwive, couldn't see her, just hear, telling me to calm down and stop screaming and just to listen to her voice.  I remember the lights in the ceiling of the corridor flashing past, on the way to theatre.  I have vague memories of being prepped for surgery, a man with cold hands spraying me and asking me if I could feel that, and me, in true northern style replied, "Of course I can, you daft bugger". 

I don't remember the ventrouse I can only assume the spinal block had taken effect by that time, I remember being asked to push and wondering in my dazed state, how the hell I was suppose to push when I couldn't feel a damn thing.  And then suddenly, everyone seemed to get even more urgent and someone told me Rye wasn't breathing and they had to get him out now.  I know my ex was with me, but I don't recall if he said or did anything... not until after Rye was cut out of me.  I do remember turning my head to look out of a window, I think I was hallucinating at this point, because in my head, when I think about this, I see grasslands and cows.. I was in a hospital surrounded by houses!  So, actually, I don't know if this is a memory or something my mind conjoured up to protect me from the fear that I would feel them cutting into me and not be able to say anything.

I have vague memories of my ex, or perhaps the guy who sprayed me with water, telling me Rye was born, and I know I asked why he wasn't crying, (I didn't know that not all babies cry at birth), and no one answered, and I kept asking, and then I stared out of the window again - in my heart I was waiting to be told my baby had died, and I do remember tears falling - but in a dazed regret.

Then I don't know, I'm in the recovery room, holding Rye, smiling like a looney and the nurse trying to convert his weight into pounds for me.

Why am I dwelling on this after almost 3 and half years? 

It has just hit me, after reading on the GP forum about a lady who plans to have an elective c-section, (for medical reasons, but even if it wasn't, not for me to judge.. she is simply the catalyst for this post), that I have no real feelings toward the birth of Rye.  Neither traumatic, or positive.  Just blank, it was, what it was - a medical procedure to save the life of my son.

I wonder tho if it should mean more to me?  I laboured, afterall, for 11 hours - I joke sometimes, for nothing?  Was it?  I don't know really.  I have no idea how it feels to vaginally give birth to one's child.  I've read beautiful stories of women having vaginal childbirths, be it in hospital, or at home.  They talk of how beautiful it was, how breathtaking and amazing.  I feel none of that, I can in an abstract way understand - but I don't really know , you know?  

So, I'm left with a sense I've missed out on something; not necessarily the birth; but a feeling, for that momentous occasion.  And that, does make me feel sad.

Hmmm, Rye is at his dad's and I have too much time on my hands to think.
Bed methinks.


Roof said...

Oh Joxy, a big, big hug to you, xx

Mon said...

so sad. our birth story is no fun either.

but, c-sections, failed breastfeeding, whatever that we had little to no control over, or that we did the best we could with what we knew at the time... well, it has to be laid to rest. i did that at the last Winter Solstice. it was a great burden that i decided didn't need carrying. it served no purpose.

we both have our little miracles. only that matters.

Arlenkern74 said...

what a beautiful and thought provoking story Joxy , it always amazes me that what is supposed to be a natural thing for a woman to achieve in some cases always seems to have some difficulty or intervention. my births were both very different, one with forceps and drugged up and the other natural with a third degree tear and rectal surgery afterwards, i felt more empowered in the second, in the first i think i was fighting it a bit, but second births you seem more aware of what to expect. as far as c section , my thoughts have always been the same as yours , but after my tear i would be terrified to give birth vaginally again and would probably elect to have a c section just through fear , could i tear any more ?? xx beautiful Rye is here tho , whichever way he got here ,is your miracle x

arwen_tiw said...


Fiona said...

Birth is just one small step in a very long journey.

So many things shape the lives of our children, and the relationship we have with them, and I think it is very easy to become far to obsessed with any one of those steps.

I applaud your ability to move on from your less than ideal birth experience, which although important, is a small part of your son's life. I think birth is often the first time we realise we can't (and don't) control every aspect of our childrens' lives.

It sounds like you did everything you could at the time to have the best birth experience possible. Sometimes that doesn't work out, but accepting that is the next best thing.

bettywobble said...

Hugs hun, xxx

Becky said...