Labor & Delivery meets Childhood Cancer

I just finished The Business of Being Born and I need to write. I’ve avoided this movie. Like the plague. I’ve had numerous opportunities to see it. Due to my own birth experiences I could not watch this movie until I experienced something more painful. I could not watch The Business of Being Born until I’d experienced Childhood Cancer. That is how deep my feelings are in regard to my birth experiences.

I wasn’t not a young new mother. I was 27 when Curtis arrived. I can’t even call how they came into this world as births. I usually refer to their arrivals as being “surgically removed”. I’ve had three caesareans. Curtis was a miniscule five days past my due date. I went the “regular” route for pre-natal care and delivery. I was not aware that I had another option. Inductions were normal and routine, in my mind. To be expected. Why wait if you didn’t have to. I was so anxious to meet this little being. I love being pregnant. Love, love, love it. I am one of the lucky ones and never had morning sickness. The day Curits arrived, the doc asked me if I wanted to have a baby today. My response was a resounding YES! Induction with Petocin, they broke my water. Several hours later, it was discovered that Curtis was breach. Emergency Ceasarean. It happened so fast. Once he was outside he developed a pneumothorax. The lining of his lung separated too quickly with his first breaths and created a hole in his lung. He was rushed off to the NICU. As they were stitching me up, they told me he would be there overnight. Thankfully, it healed quickly and he was in my arms about 45 minutes later.

The group that my OB/GYN works for has a policy of once you’ve had a caesarean, always caesarean. I still did not know I had a choice. AnnMarie and Gregory arrived via planned caesarean. The time between delivery and in my arms was longest with Gregory. I spent quite a bit of time in the OR after Gregory was born. Larry took him to the nursery for his bath and all that stuff. I didn’t find out why until after Gregory and I were settled into our room together. Gregory’s placenta had adhered to my uterine wall. My doc had to scrape it out. One might say that I was lucky to have had Gregory via caesarean. Had he arrived vaginally, the placenta could have torn from the wall and I would have bled. A lot. Then again, if my uterine wall hadn’t been cut into twice already, maybe the placenta would not have adhered?
Gregory ~ June 24, 2005
There is nothing I can do to change it. What’s done is done. I’ve found some peace in my experiences. Sometimes though, it hurts. Deeply. I even feel robbed. Something was taken from me that I cannot replace. Even if I wanted another child, I can’t now. The whole placenta thing messed with that. I would not have another child, now. Larry and I knew that when we had Gregory. I had my tubes tied with Gregory. The decision was already made and I am quite satisfied with the number of children we have. I still yearn to do it again. To do it “right”. Every once in a while it crosses my mind that I have never given birth. What does that mean to me? Still trying to figure that one out. I do feel less of a mother. This is not the point in my writting where everyone clamours to tell me how much of a mother I am. I know this is not true. Doesn’t mean I don’t feel it, sometimes.

The things that bring me comfort is hearing my friends share their birth stories. I try to remember to ask my girlfriends for their birth stories on the day of their children’s births. I do NOT watch birth shows on TV. Cannot do it. The Business of Being Born had me in tears of sorrow and tears of elation. Watching those brave, educated, empowered women deliver their babies. Babies born at home, babies born in birthing centers. Babies born the way nature intended for them to arrive. Yes, intervention is sometimes necessary. Not nearly to the degree that it is given, though. I am also encouraged that generations to come will KNOW they have a choice. Will have the information and tools available to choose how they want to labor and deliver.

Yes. Childhood Cancer is so scary that I was able to face my birthing fears. Not 100%. A little bit. It’s a great movie, if you haven’t seen it, watch it. Also, if you feel like it, tell me your birth story. ’til later, gotta jet.

I couldn’t find an official video. The is Jane Siberry ~ Calling All Angels. It is hauntingly beautiful.

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About Mindi Finch

Living with Magnificence. Kicking Childhood Cancer's Ass.
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