or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Healing Birth Trauma › Does everyone who has had a c section feel that their birth was traumatic?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Does everyone who has had a c section feel that their birth was traumatic? - Page 2

post #21 of 46
No, they're not all emotionally traumatic. I actually felt pretty empowered by my emergency c-section after homebirth transfer. If you're interested, my birth story is here.
post #22 of 46
I actually felt fine throughout the surgery. It was the recovery that was pretty traumatic.

Having said that though I wouldn't dread one in the future if I needed one. My two VBACs were much easier to recover from, and worth the effort, but I don't feel like I have any residual anxiety about Csections, even though I would have never believed it 4 years ago.
post #23 of 46
I don't feel like my c-section was traumatic. Being pregnant with twins was traumatic to my body. Getting them out and hearing their sweet cries was a wonderful, amazing and quite a relief. I feel like my body recovered well from the actual section.
post #24 of 46

if my babies heads weren't so large

i had 4 c-sections and 3 of them in 3 years. I never found any one of them traumatic and each birth empowered me more because i knew what I wanted with each birth and what I wanted myself to be able to do. The hospital was great (first c/s) was an emergency and due to reasons why, I elected for next 3 to be c/s as well.

I healed well and the only thing I regret is that my abdominal muscle is very scarred.

BUT I love my kids and if it meant for them to come into this world untraumatized and healthy then every flabby shake of my belly was worth it.

Our hospital was great they let me hold the babies as soon as they put me back together and held them/or partner did while they did it because they new that it was best to have that contact.

What traumatizes me is when someone says "99% of serial killers are born via C-sections" - brutal.

My GP and OBGYN to this day still bug me to try for another and have a completely natural birth.... maybe??? or maybe not!!!
post #25 of 46
I would say yes, I did feel physically traumatized by my c sections. It took a long time for me to feel better, walking hurt for at least 3 months even though I did it every day because exercise was supposed to help speed recovery.
Directly after the c sections, lying in the hospital bed, unable to move, yeah I felt cut open and physically powerless.
Emotionally was completely different, especially the second time. I was able to nurse and hold her almost immediately and no one took her from me the whole time I was in the hospital. We roomed in and because it was hard for me to pick her up, she just stayed with me on the bed.
I had a VBAC after each c section and the difference in my physical recovery was stunning. It felt great to walk around immediately after giving birth and I was able to just be as active as I wanted right away!

I'm sorry you are feeling this way, it is difficult but it gets better. Take the pain meds and listen to your body.
post #26 of 46
I wouldn't say my first c/s was physically traumatic, but I did have a difficult recovery. I think it was due in part to standard practices, ie I wasn't allowed out of bed for 24 hours and was on an all liquid diet. With my next c/s (failed hbac turned emergency situation) they had me out of bed within 6 hours and on real food immediately, and I think it made a huge difference. Of course, I don't blame *all* of my difficult recovery on those things, but I don't think it helped me get off to a good start.

That said, if you feel traumatized, that's certainly valid. But, it doesn't necessarily mean that if you had another c/s in the future, you would feel the same.

post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2M View Post
I had a VBAC after each c section and the difference in my physical recovery was stunning. It felt great to walk around immediately after giving birth and I was able to just be as active as I wanted right away!
Yeah, I was really shocked at how much better I felt after my vba2c (although it led me to "over do it" a few times). And my recovery from my second c/s was pretty great. But no matter how good your recovery is, it is major abdominal surgery.
post #28 of 46
It seems so much of it is the circumstances surrounding the birth. If a mama really..I mean really knows that her section is necessary, or she has a planned section/repeat, and she's OK with that-has planned for being non-traumatized, it can work out better for her and baby.

My first c-section I was so naive. I had 2 vaginal births, and then my 3rd was a persistent transverse/nuchal cord on u/s. The one thing I really didn't do, was ask questions, explore options, OR think about how it would impact the future for my body. I also had family members and friends who "LOVED" avoiding vaginal birth by scheduling theirs...so it's not as if I had many experiences to think about. I just "went with it" because I had the OB knows best mentality...perhaps he did..I'll never know, cause' I didn't ask or find out!

Unfortunately, I had a bad spinal with that c-section. I could feel much, and they gave me the option of going to sleep. They had general at the ready in case it got too intense. I sweated through the whole thing, and my heart rate and BP were reacting badly. They put me out as soon as I saw the baby...

Fortunately, I didn't feel overly traumatized at that time. Recovery was easy! I was very young, fit and active, and it was my first c-section.

When it really impacted me was after we moved out of state and I became pregnant again. While I had never researched, I knew that I could vaginally birth (8 lbs 10 oz on #2 with a large head and chest) and that my section was for a 1 time deal. Well, there was a VBAC ban at our hospital. I traveled to the larger hospital in the next state where they "allowed" VBAC's, but after meeting with an OB, I could tell it wouldn't go well. She really discouraged me with all the risks and low successes. So, I scheduled another section and was PETRIFIED. I think it was because I was worried about all I'd feel..not to mention the fact I was doomed for c-sections for all time it seemed!

Well, that one I had a better spinal and was a bit more relaxed..but, recovery was horrible. I ended up developing a severe post surgical intrauterine infection (my OB said it was child bed fever) and was quite sick. I told myself at this point, if I ever had another child (it was a big if, because I was so scared and no one was supportive of our choice to let God plan our family size) it would come out of my vagina, if I had to do it myself....(and my last baby was a VBA2C at a further away hospital, and was very healing, and this one is a planned homebirth)

So, I think c-sections can be non-traumatic if they are necessary, well-researched and the mama is accepting of the situation. My 2nd surgery wasn't traumatic, but the recovery traumatized me as I faced a serious illness as a result.

Blessings to all of you for your glorious births..no matter how they occurred!
post #29 of 46
I didn't really find my first one traumatic.

My second one was really rough though due to a lot of scar tissue and loss of blood.
post #30 of 46
My third baby was a medically necessary but planned c-section. It was my best birth...I had more control in that birth, it was more peaceful, I saw my daughter right after birth (didn't get to do that with my vaginal births) and all in all, it was wonderful.

It was my vaginal births that were traumatic, including my 2nd vaginal birth where my son went into distress and passed away during a very long and difficult labor. I actually had PTSD diagnosed after that. My first labor was extremely long, drawn out over 53 hours, and ended up with my son in distress then too (he thankfully survived). Both vaginal births ended up out of my control and into the complete control of the medical staff. Ironically enough, it was a complete 180 with my third birth (the c-section) where things were calm, I was able to make more choices, and I I was able to bond with my little girl right away (she was preterm and ended up with a short nursery stay, but it was still less traumatic than my 2 vaginal births).

So yeah, not every c-section is traumatic and not every vaginal birth is the right option.

ETA: My c-section was not that physically traumatic either. I was up walking around that evening. I actually was walking around sooner than I was with my 2 vaginal births (both had vacuums and large tears) and I was on less pain meds with the c-section too. Guess it was just the right choice for me.
post #31 of 46
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "physically traumatized." Obviously, having your abdomen cut open has to be a physical trauma, by definition. It is painful and requires time to heal from. Women seem to differ greatly in how much post-surgery pain they suffer and how long they take to recover, even when there are no longer term effects. I think we need to give ourselves more time and TLC than we sometimes do. I took almost two months to feel okay again after my CS, and I got some mild criticism from women who were up and around in a week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post
For me I had to turn it around and look at is as we are all warriors and even the best end up with scars from our battles.
I like this!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Realrellim View Post
FWIW, if you look at the WHO's c-sec goal, 15%, then it's worth noting that about half of all the c-secs done in America ARE necessary.
Actually, the WHO's goal is a maximum of 10% for community hospitals, but up to 15% for special high-risk care centers which get a large number of complicated pregnancies. If you trust the WHO on this, it would mean up to a third of CS's in the United States are necessary, not half. Since birth outcomes have not improved significantly since the CS rate was well under 10%, and since some birthing centers and home birth practices produce good outcomes with even lower CS rates, you could argue that something closer to 20% of hospital CS's are actually necessary.
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyFillingQuiver View Post
So, I think c-sections can be non-traumatic if they are necessary, well-researched and the mama is accepting of the situation.
...and things go okay post-op. I actually did fairly well with my third section (went into labour the night before, so I had a boost from having put them off long enough for ds2 to pick his own birthday)...until two staples tore out, my incision got infected, and it stayed open for over a month. That was also the section that resulted in the permanent nerve damage. After initially being my least traumatic to date, that one ended up being probably the most traumatic in the long-term. I think there are just soooo many factors, yk?
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
Actually, the WHO's goal is a maximum of 10% for community hospitals, but up to 15% for special high-risk care centers which get a large number of complicated pregnancies. If you trust the WHO on this, it would mean up to a third of CS's in the United States are necessary, not half. Since birth outcomes have not improved significantly since the CS rate was well under 10%, and since some birthing centers and home birth practices produce good outcomes with even lower CS rates, you could argue that something closer to 20% of hospital CS's are actually necessary.
Depending on how one sees it, a third to a half of c-secs are necessary. Keep in mind that the standards of "high risk" vary depending on who one talks to, and that in America at least, rural communities rarely have the option of a community hospital vs a high-risk care center, so . Add to that other issues in the American population about health, not least among them the reality that more and more women over 30 and 40 are having babies, and a 15% rate makes sense. I get that there are still a lot of unnecessary ones, but it is traumatic to have to defend my first one by giving my entire medical history to women who think it must have been unnecessary because they think almost all of them are. I've long wondered if they realized that somewhere between a third and a half of them are necessary, whether they would at least have the courtesy to not judge me immediately. It's even more traumatic when, despite my explanation, someone still suggests I could have prevented it because they are so convinced that "most" is almost equivalent to "all." (For example, I've been told that I should have just eaten more protein in my first pregnancy despite 37 weeks of hyperemesis, and somehow that would have prevented the pre-e that went undiagnosed until I was in labor and led to the emergency c-sec. Looking at the numbers and realizing that in actuality, up to half are necessary helps me feel better in those situations where someone wants to believe that no matter what, to them, my c-sec was unnecessary. If it makes you feel better to cite the smaller numbers, that's fine, but either way, there's a lot of us out there who needed the surgery.

BTW--I had problems with my incision healing this time. It was strange because apparently it's something that mostly happens to larger women (I'm thin--more so from 34 weeks of nasty hyperemesis with pregnancy #2), and DH ended up wet packing the part that didn't close with gauze for about a week and half. But, I don't consider that traumatic either. It's closed now and I'm chalking it up to "another thing that my body apparently doesn't like about pregnancy" because it didn't react well to the first pregnancy, and it reacted even more poorly to this one. (Happily, my body loves to BF and we don't have any issues there!)
post #34 of 46
I was very disappointed that the birth did not go as we had planned (especially since we are only having one child), but I wasn't traumatized. I was just so happy that my DD was healthy with no serious long term problems. I honestly don't think about it all unless someone asks. I was really uncomfortable the first day, but then my recovery was fine. Honestly, my biggest problem was the hospital bed - it was so uncomfortable that I couldn't really sleep and was kind of cranky and couldn't wait to come home.
post #35 of 46
First of all--congratulations! I'm sorry you're having a rough time healing.

I did have a difficult time recovering from my C, but I was also recovering from preeclampsia. But I emotionally, I felt it was necessary and even though my daughter had to be in the NICU, I felt we bonded well.

That said, I had a worse time recovering from my first VBAC.

I was physically worse off from that birth for months, not to mention the postpartum psychosis following.

Luckily, I was able to have another birth with no ill effects at all!

I hope your recovery goes well, and speedily.
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
I was walking well, baby mostly in stroller or carried by DH by 3 weeks after. I was carrying her by 6 weeks after. Did a full day hike probably 7 months later. About 1 year after my c, I felt 90% healed, mild numbness in a few spots. By 2 years after, I felt 100% healed. I don't have numbness or any lingering pain.
thank you so much for this post. I can't tell you what seeing that 100% means to me.
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post
Does a c section ALWAYS indicate a traumatic birth?

I am feeling currently traumatized by my c section- mostly just physically so.
and I am wondering- does anyone ever have a c section and not feel traumatized by it? If so- please share!

I would love to hear about that perspective.
I don't know, but I don't think so.

I felt traumatized after my c-section, but it was not the physical aspect. I truly believe my c-section was necessary, and I was up, walking, and released from the hospital 30 hours after my DD was born. After about 12 months, I no longer had the twangs and pulls in my incision area. Things don't feel "tight" or "off" anymore (15 mos. PP). I can think about the birth without flashbacks of, I don't know, fear and anxiety. They were intense for a while.

The pain was nothing compared to my fear for my daughter--long story short, she didn't eat or pee for 24 hrs.; airlifted to NICU 4 hrs. away; spinal tap; ng tube; npo for 4 days; 3 wk. NICU stay.... That's the birth stuff that was traumatic. I pulled a stitch the second day and didn't notice. DD was/is fine, thank God, but the not knowing and the separation were traumatic. I cried every night for three weeks because I wanted my baby....

But that was just me.
post #38 of 46
Honestly, my c-section was neither physically nor emotionally traumatic. I underwent the procedure when DD was 35 weeks, and I was more worried about her than me. I was uncomfortable for a week or so but was back to work at six weeks post-birth. I'm not sure if it was because I was in very good physical shape going into the pregnancy or if it as just luck of the draw. Either way, I count myself very fortunate because it is major abdominal surgery and for some reason I lucked out with a steady and quick recovery.

There was one non-c-section painful aspect for me around that time. A few weeks before DD was born, I broke my foot. I kept telling the doctor that I thought I broke my foot and by the time I had to go into the hospital, my foot was swollen beyond recognition and I could barely walk. I was told repeatedly that it was "pregnancy swelling." I went to a podiatrist the same week DD was born and he confirmed that my foot was broken. I was in a cast for three months following DD's birth. That irritated me a lot because I was so used to being self-sufficient and "able-bodied", and because of that temporary disability, I probably spent a lot less time thinking about the c-section. We don't have a car, so I had to walk everywhere in the cast along with DD in the sling. It is water under the bridge now. Wish I had been a little more proactive but was so wrapped up mentally in the arrival of DD.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "physically traumatized." Obviously, having your abdomen cut open has to be a physical trauma, by definition. It is painful and requires time to heal from. Women seem to differ greatly in how much post-surgery pain they suffer and how long they take to recover, even when there are no longer term effects. I think we need to give ourselves more time and TLC than we sometimes do. I took almost two months to feel okay again after my CS, and I got some mild criticism from women who were up and around in a week.
I agree with all of this.

I had an emergency section, and while I don't feel physically or emotionally traumatized by it, that doesn't mean I don't sometimes ache. Several of my abdominal muscles were cut. It's been seven and a half months and they're still not back at 100% and I am still terrible at remembering that. I push myself harder than I should and then I pay for it. My new limitations aggravate and frustrate me. My body is different than it was before and I don't always like the changes.

Four weeks post-section though, I didn't have all this perspective. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, I distrusted my body (not because of the surgery, but because of the circumstances that required the surgery - I felt like my body had pretended to be my friend and then lured me into an alley for a beating), I was exhausted and hormonal and not taking enough pain medication.
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I felt like my body had pretended to be my friend and then lured me into an alley for a beating
so well said! Yes, that was me, too.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Healing Birth Trauma
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Healing Birth Trauma › Does everyone who has had a c section feel that their birth was traumatic?