ICAN

I’ve been to two ICAN meetings. This is about the first meeting.

The first time I thought maybe I would throw up. Not because I was nervous meeting people, but rather acknowledging Peter’s birth in public with people I didn’t know.

I remember sitting down and having people go around the table. All you have to say is your name, your kids’ name/age and if you want if your child was a section or vaginal birth. I was in the middle of room, so it didn’t matter I wouldn’t be first or last. I didn’t take in any of the introductions. I was trying hard not to hyperventilate or start crying.

How hard it was just to say: I’m Tiffany, I have one son -Peter. He’s two and he was born via emergency c-section.

After I said my statement I breathed a sigh of relief and was exhausted, both mentally and physically. I had every muscle in my body tensed, as ready for a fight. That night there were a lot of  birth stories and support for pregnant woman. They got to the newbies at the very end. I was asked if I wanted to share anything about Peter’s birth.

Looking around the room and seeing woman who have all had c-sections, and I don’t want to do it. I’d rather look like a fool and run screaming from the room. But I take a breath and start.

I only have enough in me to give some of the ‘highlights.’ I cry and cry. I apologize and was accepted. I was told that tears are often shed there and that it was a safe spot.

I asked what to do to help in the healing process: Telling Peter’s birth story who will accept the pain and not gloss over it would help, Posting my birth story on the forums, Reading information about c-sections and seeking out information about peaceful c-sections and VBAC, and Coming to meetings. Another things that is hard to do, but will help in the healing process is access my hospital records and find out more information about Peter’s delivery.

I also remember one woman telling me that even though Peter’s delivery was traumatic that I also needed to look at the positives of his birth, because there were some positives. I wasn’t under general anesthesia, so I was able to hear Peter’s first cries. I was able to have a labor with Peter and be active (to a point) in his delivery.

And some of the best points: I was a good candidate for a VBAC! I was reassured that even though I have a vertical scar on the outside, because I have a transverse scar on the inside, that’s all that matters. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to try again because of my scar. Because I progressed to a 10 and pushed, that was a big plus! It shows that my cervix can dilate!

What a difference between entering and exiting the meeting. I came so overwhelmed that I thought I would pass out, and I left in almost a high! I talked Jacob’s ear off on the way home and we excitedly talked about the birth of our next child.

It’s the first time that I talked joyfully about the BIRTH of our next child. I long to hold another one of our children in my arms, but terrified about prospects of another horrible c-section.

If you had a traumatic birth or a c-section, I implore you to find help and an ICAN meeting. The peace you find crazy awesome. 🙂

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