You see, I have an irrational fear of having a second child, but this irrational fear is technically made rational when you understand my predicament. Therefore, I have a rationally-irrational fear of procreating for a second time. In my mind it makes sense, but sometimes my mind is a very interesting place to reside.
If I could explain to you how I feel via nursery rhymes it would go something like this....
|This was the least frightening humpty picture I could find.|
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses, And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty back together again!
Now I know your utterly confused, but stick with me here. Most people would assume that after having one kid the second would be a walk-in-the-park. Sort of going with the whole been-there done-that mentality. And of course there is that concept that Mother's apparently forget what goes on in the delivery room and that's why we end up rushing to have a 2nd, 3rd and possibly even a 4th, when just 9 months before we were literally wondering why we ever decided to have children in the first place, as you attempt to push a 26 cm head out of a 10 cm hole.
But as much as I would like to think I have forgotten, I don't really think I was blessed with this so-called delivery amnesia. And to be honest its not really the delivery that was the problem for me, but more-so the post-delivery circumstances that have my panties in knots whenever I even remotely entertain the idea of getting a sperm to reach one of my eggs. Seriously, I have to work hard to suppress the mild anxiety attacks that threaten to overwhelm me and to top it off these feelings are intermixed with the giddiness & joy of adding to our family. Which, I dream about often and want more then anything else in the world (except possibly our trip to Italy in the fall, kidding, well maybe just a little bit).
Anyhow, so here is my catch 22. If you haven't read or if you don't know the circumstances behind how child #1 aka Eliana came into this world you can visit that beautiful-piece-of-wickedly-painful-awesomeness here. If you'd rather not then the cliff notes version is this: E's overall size paired with an enormous head and quick pushing left me with a 4th degree tear. What is a 4th degree tear you say?....
"About 4 percent of women who deliver vaginally end up with a more serious tear in their perineum that extends to or through the rectum. This kind of tear can cause considerable pain for many months and increases your risk of anal incontinence. These severe tears are called third- or fourth-degree lacerations. A third-degree laceration is a tear in the vaginal tissue, perineal skin, and perineal muscles that extends into the anal sphincter (the muscle that surrounds your anus). A fourth-degree tear goes through the anal sphincter and the tissue underneath it."
Yep, now you know about my downstairs mix-up and I bet you wish you didn't. Anyhow in reality a 4th degree tear translates to one of the sh@#$iest situations you could face after a vaginal birth. It blows. Majorly. Pun intended.
So the situation I face now is trying to swallow the Big C. As in Cesarean. I have been given the clear to try a vaginal delivery again, but I have also been warned by my midwife that tearing like that a 2nd time is almost imminent and like anything that has torn once before, the 2nd time things generally don't heal as nicely. Which opens up a myriad of possible problems for me that I really don't want to deal with i.e. permanent dysfunction with all of my down-stair plumbing. *sigh*
I have pretty much swallowed the concept of the Big C being the only realistic option for me, but as much as I can write those words, applying them to my life is an entirely different ball game. I have so many fears with doing the Big C that I can't even begin to list them. The funny thing is I have talked with my friend Sara a bajillion times about this (she has had a very successful c-section and loved it) and has been a wonderful source of encouragement and it's not that I don't believe her, I do. I really do, but the problem is I know what to expect with a vaginal delivery. And even though the outlook for that terrifies me, the unknown of the c-section equally terrifies me. This terrification shall we say (I know its a made-up word) freezes me almost to the point of not wanting another child. Even as I write this my hands tremble with that stupid rationally-irrational fear, of what my potential 2nd child's birthday may have in store for me. It sucks.
To top it off, I met the most randomly-awesome person ever, (shout out to Chrystle Woods!!) who has dealt with my exact same situation and who has already had her 2nd child via c-section with amazing results and yet, I still can't accept my fate (although I have a funny feeling I will be paging her many times with questions on what to expect). I feel like I am dealing with the 7 stages of grief in having to give up my natural vaginal deliveries with a midwife. I feel like I am failing as a mother. I feel like I have inoperable lady parts. I feel broken. I feel frustrated. I feel angry and I feel like I am giving up and taking the loser way out by opting for a c-section.
I know if I take a step back and look at the bigger picture and stop micro-analyzing everything I would see that I am blessed to have gotten at least the one natural delivery. I am blessed that I healed properly after the first delivery. I am blessed that my child is 100% healthy and happy. I am blessed that I can even contemplate having a second child. I am blessed that I have a child of my own to begin with because some don't even get that.
but, at some point I will have to face my situation. At some point, if we want to move forward and grow our family, I will have to swallow the reality of what will happen when sperm #2 meets egg #2 and we make baby #2.
And the God honest truth is that I don't want to experience vaginal reconstructive surgery again and I don't want to experience having my abdomen cut open for the first time, but I do want another baby. One of those "I don't want to's" is going to have to become an "I have to".
It's just hard... ya know.