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Friday, August 23, 2013

Processing It All

So if you've been reading my blog for the past few weeks, you've noticed me trying to shift  my focus - before Logann even arrived.  

I've learned I'm learning that God isn't concerned with my circumstances - shocker right?  He's way more interested in me surrendering my will to His.  He wants me to release fears and trust.  He wants me to rely on His strength and not my own.  He wants to deliver me!

This lesson first began when I was pregnant and struggling with my providers about some standard testing I didn't want.  There was miscommunication, a bit of bullying - although I imagine and hope it was not done on purpose, and stress on both ends.  I started to become prideful.  And bitter.  If I hadn't had a csection with my first, I would be able to get the type of care I desire.  Why did that have to happen?  I shouldn't be having to even deal with all this.  My choices are limited because of laws for vbacs in our state.  I began to struggle with how to try to protect myself and my baby from unnecessary interventions while at the same time, remembering God had placed me under the care of these providers for a reason.  

Then God helped me realize no matter what, He was ultimately in control.  He controlled test results, my baby's health, my health, labor, delivery - all of it.  And I was able to surrender.  And my providers and I compromised.  Lesson learned right?

Until I was overdue - approaching a week overdue.  God wasn't done teaching me that He is the one in control.  And I had to surrender what I wanted and trust His plan.  I was finally able to do that - and we had a beautiful and healthy baby girl!

What I didn't talk about in my birth story was what happened afterwards.  The labor and birth was so beautiful.  It was a very emotional and spiritual time for me.  The Lord delivered me once again!

After Logann was born, they immediately allowed me to hold her.  This hospital is baby friendly and allows the "magical hour" with mom and baby together - skin to skin.  But the midwife had to call the attending physicians to repair my tear.  I had a third degree tear - very similar to the one I had after Kaylee.  Maybe if we have other children I can avoid tearing at all - that sure would be nice.  Although I'll take that any day over a csection incision.  Anyway, as they were repairing, they said "she's trickling".  Well, yes. I sorta tore pretty significantly.  At this point I didn't have an IV because the nurse never could get in my heplock correctly and I didn't need antibiotics for Group B this time.  

I was trying to allow Logann to nurse.  This helps expel the placenta and reduce bleeding.  But I soon found my midwife pressing down on my uterus as directed by the attending physicians.  This was incredibly excruciating.  

**They had done this after Kaylee was born a couple times.  And the nurse then asked the doctor if she should give me pitocin to stop the bleeding but the doctor said they would just keep an eye on it.  I never got pitocin. **

I told Septtro to please not allow them to press down on me like that this time.  But, likely partly because I was a vbac, the attending physicians after Logann was born weren't willing to "keep an eye on it".  My midwife pressed down more times than I can remember - sometimes even when I was contracting.  I screamed out in pain.  I asked them to stop.  They mentioned pitocin and Caryn said they'd stop pressing on me (or should anyway) if I did that. So I agreed.  They gave me a shot of pitocin in the leg and that was terribly painful.  Even after that, I was still being pressed on - now with even more intense contractions due to the pitocin.  

All this time, I had my sweet Logann lying on my chest.  I couldn't even love on her.  I was in so much pain from them pressing down on me. I couldn't take in those first few moments.  I kept yelling out in pain.  And she wouldn't latch on to nurse - likely because she knew and sensed my pain and anxiety.  Caryn tried helping me focus on Logann.  She gave me some homeopathic things to help me relax.  They helped a little bit. 

They finally finished and I was left alone.  I was a bit angry.  Things were done to me.  And I didn't feel it was necessary.  I'm sure they did and that's why they did it.  But why did my experience have to go from such incredible joy to such incredible pain and distress?

I could sense myself becoming bitter about this.  

Then we got to our post partum room.  The nurse informed me due to Logann's weight (9 pounds 4 oz), they would have to draw blood three separate times to check for low glucose levels - standard procedure.  They did this with Kaylee and hers were always great.  But little newborns don't bleed all that easily - at least mine don't.  And every time they squeezed her little foot, she would scream.  That hurt my Momma heart.  I didn't want Logann to have to go through that.  I asked if we could not do it.  What if I said no.  I was told I couldn't refuse care on behalf of a newborn.  Logann did better than Kaylee when they drew her blood.  And her numbers were, of course, great.  

The day after she was born, people were in our room constantly for a solid three hours...newborn hearing test, nurse, photographer, nutritionist, doctor to see baby...we couldn't rest or be left alone it seemed.

So I had to process all this.  All of these "standard procedures" that were done to me and my baby.  It's not what I wanted.  But then God reminded me again what He's been trying to teach me all along.  Trust.  Surrender. 

Ok.  Yes.  Focus shifted.

Then we got home.  And I had terrible pain with nursing - again.  This has happened with all three of mine.  I think I'm a bit extra sensitive.  But also, I have a very large milk supply so initially my babies tend to chomp to control the flow.  And then I over think how to position a newborn to nurse and they're so floppy when they're little and such precision is needed to attain a perfect latch, we were failing.  
Here we go again.  Why, God??  Why can't I just enjoy these first few weeks with my baby?  I don't want to cry before and during each feeding.  

Then I remembered...this is no different.  I'm in pain - physically.  And I'm emotionally dealing with the emotions that flood you after you give birth.  But the Lord wants to deliver me from this.  He wants me to rely on Him and not myself.  I can still enjoy these first few weeks if I choose to.

Nursing is better although not pain free yet. It can still be very, very painful at times.  I've asked God to deliver me from the pain - that is my desire.  But I've also asked for strength and patience in the mean time.  I'm still having to learn to surrender...not my plan, but His.

For a few days after Logann was born, I thought to myself, "I'm never doing this again.  It's too hard.  It involves too much pain - physically and emotionally."

I'm constantly leaking milk whenever my baby cries.  I can't pick up my older two girls.  I'm tired.  I'm still physically recovering from the birth.  I'm emotionally unstable.  I cry when Logann cries when I have to readjust her latch for the millionth time.  I smell like old milk.  I don't feel like myself.  How can I possibly be joyful in the midst of all this? And then God sends me an answer via Instagram, of all things:

God showed me I had the wrong attitude. Children are a blessing - He says they are.  

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward. -Ps 127:3

And although getting them into this world and beyond is hard, it's also very worth it.  Every pain, every sleepless night, every crazy hormonal emotion - it's worth it.  And it's a sacrifice.  Motherhood is a sacrifice.  And my desire is to fully embrace it as such.  With His help and through His Word, I will continue to persevere and welcome the lessons He has for me - seeing them as an opportunity to grow.  I know I won't get it perfect.  But having a better perspective and focus sure will help!
As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number - Job 5:8


JoyBelle said...

I wish I could wrap you in a big hug and just let you cry it all out. I think one of my last posts was about how easy things were going... but what I didn't post about was how all the crud hit the fan not long after.

I'm also extremely sensitive when it comes to nursing. It HURTS! I heard an interesting little factoid when Abigail was born - Caucasian women tend to be way more tender and sensitive when trying to nurse a brand new baby. And it can be more intense the more babies you have. I was so red and irritated (though no blistering this time) for a few weeks this time but sometime between 4-6 weeks I'm starting to nurse without pain or tenderness. And starting to feel normal again.

I felt overwhelmed and burdened the first weeks (and even still) by how demanding a baby can be. You're not alone in feeling that way. Thank you for being an encouragement with your words and faith. This post spoke volumes to me!

Jacque said...

Praying for you Susan! Trusting that God will deliver you through this difficult first few weeks and that you will continue to choose joy and peace amongst the difficulty and chaos. Love you much!