15 weeks

I spent a good part of my pregnancy looking forward to my hips widening.
It’s true.
I’m one of those girls with a big bust and narrow hips. Which is fun, except I weigh 50 pounds more than I did when I was in high school. So, I tended to show a little belly if the pants hit too low, and they also could slide down.
Seriously, I can take off most of my pairs of jeans without unbuttoning them (It has gotten worse since I had the baby).
I did yoga, I stretched, I went to the chiropractor, I danced around the living room to Shakira, all in the hopes of getting my hips in the best shape so I could gain an inch or two, enough for my pants to fit better, for a little bit of hip to balance out the muffin top I didn’t have the patience to work off.
October 21, the day before my son was born. 22 hours of labor, most of it at the hospital, and he still hasn’t dropped. Stuck in a bed with an IV since came in, I’m wondering if I had not been stuck in the bed, would this be happening. I’m sitting as far up as the bed and monitor in equipment and the IV’s will allow, hoping that he has finally gotten low enough and I have dilated enough that he would come soon.
I asked the nurse a question about how I would feel it was time to push. She went out, and the doctor came in a short while later and told me that they had waited as long as they could and I needed a cesarean.
He still hadn’t dropped, with all of the hours of labor.
I immediately started sobbing.
I had no idea they were considering a cesarean for me at all. Why didn’t anyone tell me? What did I do wrong?
I did the yoga, and the chiropractor, all in the hopes my little hips would be wide enough for my baby to go through easily.
Was it me being stuck in a bed? Could it have been the fact my contractions weren’t the greatest and I had ended up on Pitocin? And had an epidural? But I had dilated so quickly after that…
I tried so hard, where did I go wrong?
I heard over and over again, it’s just doing what’s best for the baby.
Early the 22nd, my son was born.
I was broken, my body torn apart and forever marred. In the hospital, and weeks afterward, I went over and over in my mind what I could have done better so that my nine-pound, four-ounce son could have been born the way he should have been. I tried to find out where I had failed, and immediately looked into vaginal birth after cesarean policies for the local hospitals (where I delivered doesn’t allow them.)
I couldn’t bear to look at the cut that lay across my body, a permanent reminder of what I had tried to do and not succeeded.

I felt if I moved wrong, I would split open and fall apart, so I tried my best for weeks not to use my abdominal muscles, leading to them being underused and a lecture about exercising them from the nurse.
Finally, weeks turned into months and, after my hormones calmed and my incision healed, I was looking at it much calmer. I had done all I could, even my doctor said. It was my son who had been stubborn.

I finally could look at the mark, and tried to imagine the parts of my body that lie underneath being smooth and whole, not seamed and delicate. I could look at it and wonder how he fit through such a small cut.
I finally could use my whole body without being afraid of overdoing it on my healing muscles and incisions.
15 weeks, and at a mother’s group Friday we shared our birth stories.
My story was jumbled. I jumped around at parts, trying to remember the good parts while rushing to the end, where I had the cesarean. Quickly past the parts where I lay shaking and upset, past where I heard a cry but didn’t see a face, to where I held him in his arms and he reached hungrily for me.
Trying to talk about the good, and get past the bad.
Later, I went home and cried. The weeks of forgetting about the pain I went through had came back, and a wound had been reopened, but was still mostly healed.
I still feel robbed of what is supposed to be a good memory, holding my son in my arms and accomplishing what I had worked for months to do.
But I also think of what I have accomplished, healing from a major surgery well while caring for a new baby.
A new baby that has grown by leaps and bounds, with his mother’s eyes and his father’s charming smile.