Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hey, Jealousy

I have a confession to make.  I'm jealous.

When I was 34 weeks and a few days pregnant with my girl, I was put in the hospital on bedrest.  My OB group called in a maternal/fetal specialist who sat me down and said that women die from what I had.  He was involved in a malpractice lawsuit because a new mother had a stroke a died a few hours after giving birth.  He scared the pants off me, and I wanted to do everything in my power to protect my baby.

But I also wanted a vaginal birth.  I wanted to breastfeed as soon after birth as possible.  I wanted to hold her naked body to my chest and be her warm welcome into the world.

The specialist reassured me that was still possible, that my labor could be induced.   His recommendation to my doctors was complete bedrest until delivery at 37 weeks if my condition remained stable.  He ordered twice-a-week ultrasounds and twice-daily monitoring, and told me I could have a sleeping pill if it would help me sleep in the busy hospital.  Then off he went.

At 37 weeks I was wheeled into a surgical suite to have my baby.

My water didn't break.  I didn't rush to the hospital in labor.  I sat through a comedy of errors - that wasn't so funny - that led to a C-section delivery.

I wrote about it, which felt really good.  I thought I was over it.


A dear friend went into labor.  We had plans to meet for lunch and discuss cloth diapers, until her water broke that morning at home.  Her devoted husband took her to the hospital where she had her epidural and a textbook labor to deliver her son.  She held him and nursed him and they didn't even put eye goop on him until later.

I was so overjoyed for her.  Except for the part of me that was ... jealous.

Last night I hear the joyful news that my cousin went into labor.  She was on her way to work when her water broke.  Facebook was updated all evening ... epidural, 5 to 6 cm, 9 cm, then photos of her beautiful baby girl.

I am completely overjoyed for her.  Well, almost completely.

But then I feel bad.  What kind of person am I that in celebrating the incredible birth of beautiful babies to women that I love, a part of me thinks "that's what I wanted"?  What kind of person does that?  I feel selfish to think of what I wanted in the midst of their celebration.  So on top of feeling regretful, I feel lousy that I feel regretful.

So, I guess I'm not as over it as I thought I was.


Laraf123 said...

I have everything I ever wanted but am still jealous of those who have more. I had terrible, lonely birth experiences only rivaled by my awful, isolated and slow postpartum recovery (think in terms of months). I wish it had been different but then feel incredibly guilty for thinking this way because my children are healthy and here with me--something I never dreamed of 5 years ago. Our thoughts are just thoughts--we shouldn't judge ourselves for having them.

Jenny said...

No family-creating experience is ever 100% the way it was hoped and idealized to be. 5 years ago I would have given anything to be allowed the opportunity to have a life-threatening pregnancy like yours. Nowadays I have had the time to grieve and I don't feel that ache anymore. It will come with time.

Serifm said...

No matter how wonderfully things turned out with your wee one, you're still allowed to grieve for the birth experience you lost. They didn't even give you time to prepare, for crying out loud. So you had to do all your adjusting after the fact. It's okay if it takes a while. <3