Hello, everyone! My name is Tiara Wolfe. I’m a stay at home mommy to two crazy little people who run my life. I’m also married to the dreamiest hunk of man ever. We live in a small, tourist town in Central Pennsylvania where we spend our days hiking, gardening, playing with toy trains, and trying to live a non-toxic, holistic lifestyle. Sometimes, we fail. We’re a family of Jesus followers so failure is okay because every day is a new chance to get it right. I’m very excited to be popping up here on Sparrows Apple with Ashleigh!
I was prepared when I began writing to discuss my first cesarean, the one that started it all. With a whirlwind of emotions in such a high intensity experience, from 16 hours of labor to a failed epidural to uncontrolled bleeding and an emergency surgery, that was what I thought I would want to discuss – the day my body “failed” me and my cries of “I can do this myself” went unheard because it was truly life or death. However, as I’m typing, all I can think about it round two – the time my mind “failed” me.
Cody, my dear, adoring husband, wasn’t there with me for round one. God only blessed Aubrey and I with him later in life. He was there, though, for the meltdown of labor two. I am a planner by nature. I planned the second cesarean. I wanted no risk of what happened the first time happening with my little man. I went into labor early but it was okay. We got to the hospital and everything would be fine. I was calm. I had this. I knew what to expect and I mentally prepared myself for ten months.
The doctor looked at me and in one breath, my planning crashed down around me. “This baby wants to come now. You can labor naturally if you’d like. We can skip surgery.”
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see. I didn’t know what to do. Labor is such a natural, beautiful thing I felt robbed of before and now here it was and I wasn’t ready.
“I’ll be in the room. I won’t leave. Everything is going normally. We’ll get you an epidural if you’d like. It’ll all be over within the hour,” she said so softly and confidently. How could she not see that I was incapable? That was all I could think.
My husband stood beside me and encouraged me. Every last inch of me wanted to try but I was having flashbacks to a time when I was in a similar room but it was full of screaming doctors and sprinting nurses and the urgency that comes along with possibly losing a baby before she gets to even come into this world. I thought to myself “I couldn’t that time, how can I this time?”
I was surrounded by calm love and support and then it happened. “I can’t do it! I’ll kill this baby! I can’t do it! I’m weak and he’ll die! Get him out!” I proceeded to just keep screaming this like the sullen mantra that it was to me. I also wept. Oh, did I weep. I wanted to do it but my mind was telling my body no. I prayed, I cried, I argued with myself. I did this all the way back to the O.R. thinking this meant that I would change my mind. However, when they examined me and yelled “We need to start cutting before the baby is just delivered!” I panicked. I somehow couldn’t stop associating my natural delivery with how I would inevitably fail this child in the process.
Yes, I planned a c-section. Yes, that’s what I chose. But only because vaginal delivery didn’t feel like an option. When I could simply say “Oh, no, that didn’t work out. My body obviously isn’t capable”, I had an out. I had a pretty valid excuse. Then labor came and there it was, the elephant in the room that the excuses had been hiding. I was perfectly healthy this pregnancy. I very much so could try for a VBAC. All eyes fell on me when I didn’t have that sheet of my history to hide behind anymore. Suddenly a “regular” delivery was an option and the only thing stopping us from having it was me.
Ryder was delivered via cesarean in a room full of love and support by a caring staff who didn’t judge me but helped me and went into the arms of a father who saw me as a superhero for what I just gave him. They placed him on my chest and he looked up at me and I wept again. Tears of expected joy but also tears of frustration with myself for “not even trying” as I kept saying to myself.
It has taken a year for me to come to terms with what happened. I have finally seen my “failure” for what it truly was. It was the kind of love that leaves one without reason. I let my self-doubt think I couldn’t do the best thing for my son and that I needed help. And you know what? That is completely and utterly acceptable. I delivered a healthy, beautiful boy the best way I knew how. I recovered once again from a painful surgery so that I could welcome him into our home. I was strong and I was brave and I was enough.
To all the other mommy’s out there struggling with the fact that either your minds or your bodies “failed” you and you couldn’t have the delivery you had hoped for, know this – it was so far from a failure. You braved a mind-blowing procedure to bring that sweet angel into this world. You were so strong. You were so brave. You have always been and will always be enough.