Friday, November 4, 2011

Regaining Gratitude...and Other Things I Learned In C-Section Class

Last night we completed our c-section course at the hospital where our baby will be born.  We aren’t planning on having a c-section, but we know that with a planned induction at 38 weeks having to have a c-section is a very real possibility for us.  My motto is “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” so taking the course seemed like a good idea.

There was only one other couple in the class with us.  We went through the typical introductions at the beginning of the class and I was horrified when the other woman said she was due on the same date as my original due date.  I was horrified because she looked like she was about to pop.  Next to her, I didn’t look pregnant at all.  The Prince doesn’t understand why this bothers me and, in reality, I know it shouldn’t.  But, I feel stretched out and uncomfortable a lot of the time, and if I am going to feel that way, I want to at least enjoy my baby bump.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much of a baby bump right now (still).  Stretch marks I have…so some growing must have occurred.  But no cute round pot belly sticking out in front of me, announcing to the world that The Prince and I were finally successful in our endeavor.  Instead, I think I mainly look just a little more chunky than normal.  I definitely have baby bump envy.

I felt terrible for envying the other woman’s baby belly when she told us she was having triplets.  I felt even worse when she explained that she had to drive two hours to come to the hospital and two hours for each of her weekly doctor’s visits, as her local doctors agreed she needed to deliver at 36 weeks at the hospital we are delivering at…the only one in our upstate NY area with a terrific NICU.  It’s funny how, when you are starting to fall into a pattern of self-pity, life gives you a good kick in the butt and reminds you of how much you have to be thankful for. 

When we were talking about our journeys and why we were taking the class, I prefaced my introduction with the statement that we had to work really hard to get pregnant and, as a result, I am in serious “Better safe than sorry” mode.  Later, when we were discussing birth plans and trying to balance our wishes for our birth with not wanting to be that obnoxious, demanding patient that none of the nurses want to care for, the other woman said that they had spent three years and a lot of money trying to get pregnant, and she had no intention of compromising on the things she felt really strongly about when it came to her birth experience.  It turns out, we started trying to get pregnant at the same time and actually went to the same fertility clinic throughout most of those years, although we were at different offices.  Small world.

In the end, while the class was very informative (especially the video of the actual procedure…which if I had it to do over, I may not have watched), the most important things I learned at the class were that I am blessed to be in the situation that I am in and, no matter how alone I feel sometimes in my post-IF pregnancy state, there are other women all around me who are in the same boat.  In the midst of my stress and anxiety, I sometimes forget to really bask in gratitude.  When I was still “in the trenches,” I kept a gratitude journal to keep me focused on all of the things I had to be thankful for.  I needed to distract myself from all of the things I wanted and could not have.  It was frequently a struggle to come up with ten things to be thankful for each day, but I made myself do it.  Now, there is no excuse for me not to count my blessings.  They are numerous and they deserve recognition…more recognition than my worries and fears.  With that in mind, here is a quick, public recognition of some of the things I am most thankful for...

1. Our egg donor - her selfless gift has changed my life forever
2. My amazing fertility clinic - not just their expertise, but also their love and support
3. Dr. C, my OB extraordinaire - having faith in my doctor is such a comfort
4. Living so close to a great hospital
5. My doula - her daily words of encouragement and empowerment keep me going on bad days
6. My dogs - no matter how hormonal I get, they still love me
7. My husband - our relationship is stronger than ever
8. Sleep - it isn't always easy to come by, but I appreciate it now more than ever before in my life
9. Health Insurance - we can focus on the quality of our care instead of the cost of the care
10. MY FRIENDS - my friends that have been there since before IF, my IF friends, my former IF friends and my blog friends are the reason I've made it through this journey.  Without their love and support, I would have broken down long before realizing my dream.  I only hope I get the opportunity to pay forward the kindness that has been shown to me.


ceecee867 said...

Great post :)

Lindsey said...

I really like the idea of a gratitude journal, I'm going to have to try that!

S said...

Gratitude always gives me a lift. I kept a gratitude journal for years, and it really does help shift attitude. :-)