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C/S recovery & support thread - Page 12

post #221 of 319

I think the attitude and kindness factor of the birth attendants is such a huge factor in if the birth feels traumatic to the mom or not. I have been reading lots of birth stories on mdc tonight and thinking of my own- mine was supposed to be a homebirth but ended up c section. I had a very unsupportive midwife who I ended up really not liking one bit when all was said and done.more than not liking- I actually found her to be Awful to me.  but in the end, the ob and nurses who attended me in the hospital were, ironically, really kind and wonderful and gentle. so even tho I had a c section, when I look at the actual experience it doesn't feel so traumatic because of how respectful and kind the hospital folks were to me. Just had to put that out there because I am thinking a lot about it tonight. I just feel very grateful that even tho my whole birth experience was difficult and far from the idealistic homebirth I had thought I would have, the kindness of the nurses and doctor, just by chance of who was on call that day, made the biggest difference in how I think of my birth. I have experienced many insensative doctors- downright mean really, in my life- and had one of those been the ones I ended up with, it would have been a whole different story. When I read some of the birth trauma stories, so many of them have those types of thoughtless doctors or nurses at the center of them. I am grateful for the surprising kindness with which I was treated.

post #222 of 319

I found out this week that baby is still breech at 37 weeks (after trying chiro, acupuncture, moxa, positions, sounds, prayer) and I have a uterine synechia and a few other issues that are contraindications for an external version. My midwives suggested I transfer care to an O.B. No one in my area delivers breech babies, especially with my baby in a difficult breech position (on his knees).

 

I had planned on a home birth, but unless baby finds a way around my band of scar tissue in the next couple weeks, I will birth him surgically.

 

I have to say that I am a little disappointed of the complicated nature of this, but I am embracing the birth that will be mine. I have no feelings of being "less than," no feelings of being lied to by the medical community, and no negative feelings at all. I'm happy to welcome my baby in the way that is safest.

 

It seems as though the natural birth community (which I am very much a part of) doesn't deal well with the variations of birth. There is so much guilt and disappointment, I almost feel like I'm supposed to be depressed at this turn in my plan. I am not in that space and resent the pervasiveness of this negativity. However, I understand moms who felt like their wishes weren't respected, or they were "talked into" doing something they weren't comfortable with. It is ok to feel however one feels.

 

If we do the best we are able, amidst trauma and imperfection, our experience can be no less than sacred.

post #223 of 319


Quote:

Originally Posted by Aliy View Post

Hi.... I'm 4 days post op closing in on 5 here soon. I was feeling pretty good but now I feel like a ballon. my hips are killing me my left sacrum is not moving. DH wonders if i still have some spinal left in my lower back. feels numb and sore and swollen.

 

my c-section was and emergency one that i'm still feeling pretty numb to. if you'd like more details check my birth story post in March due date club 2011 Cael William


 

hug2.gif  Oh mama, hugs and congrats to you!  Get those feet elevated and drink as much water as you can.  (Of course you know that already, but I had to say it!)  I had numbness and pain in my back for several weeks.  Not telling you that to scare you, but so that you know that it does happen.  I also had the Epi done three times, so that may have been the cause... irked.gif  I'm sorry that your birth didn't go the way you planned.  Please stay here as you heal.  And congrats again on your new baby!
 

 Quote:

Originally Posted by SeattleMolly View Post

I found out this week that baby is still breech at 37 weeks (after trying chiro, acupuncture, moxa, positions, sounds, prayer) and I have a uterine synechia and a few other issues that are contraindications for an external version. My midwives suggested I transfer care to an O.B. No one in my area delivers breech babies, especially with my baby in a difficult breech position (on his knees).

 

I had planned on a home birth, but unless baby finds a way around my band of scar tissue in the next couple weeks, I will birth him surgically.

 

I have to say that I am a little disappointed of the complicated nature of this, but I am embracing the birth that will be mine. I have no feelings of being "less than," no feelings of being lied to by the medical community, and no negative feelings at all. I'm happy to welcome my baby in the way that is safest.

 

SeattleMolly, I had a uterine synechiae too!  Where is yours?  If its going to interfere with the birth, I'm assuming it is lower in the uterus?  Mine was along the top righthand side of my uterus, and stretched across from one end of the placenta to the top/middle of the uterus.  Sort of like a foot rest for baby.  My midwife said that it shouldn't interfere with a natural birth, but something did, as DD was double wrapped and couldn't descend.  I know there are not a lot of threads here about it, so I was really confused.  The other confusing thing is that I had no history of uterine surgery or D&C, which are common precursors for the synechiae from what I've read.  I hope that baby maneuvers himself around it and gets into position so that you can have your homebirth.  I'm glad you're at peace with whatever outcome.  Hope you have a happy, peaceful rest of your pregnancy.  I'd love to hear what happens with the synechiae, too, if you feel like sharing when it's all over.  No one could say definitively whether mine contributed to my section or not.

post #224 of 319

Aliy-Maybe try some teas as well.  I am pretty sure that all black teas are diuretics, so they will help to flush out any residual pit or fluids and such.  I think, don't quote me, but do google it. :)  I read your birth story, and I am so sad that you had to have a cesarean reading that you were uneasy with it at first, but am so proud of you for embracing it and still embracing that love that you felt and soaking that up to bond and love on baby Cael.  I had a BC birth turned CS and an HBAC turned CBAC and know that it's hard and sometimes scary to move from one environment of peace and comfort and security to a hospital.  Hang in there, you are doing great, glad BFing is going well :)  Much Love to you!

 

SeattloeMolly-Is it an option to wait till labor to go in for a cesarean.  I know with a footling breech, it is riskier, but with a baby on his knees, I'm unsure why you can't wait for that to see if he turns, and to go into labor on your own to make sure that baby is fully developed and bakes as long he/she needs.  I know a lot of OBs say 'why delay the inevitable' but I feel there are reasons, and at the very least it will give you a little more hope for a vertex baby, and little more time to process and really make out a CS plan, like baby never leaving the OR, BFing in the OR, wheeling back with baby on your chest to recovery, dad announcing the sex, APGAR testing done with baby on you in the OR, weighing and measuring postponed till you are in your PP room.  There is a lot you can do to have an empowering CS.  PM me if you want more info, I'd be happy to share with you. :) Much Love to you as well!

post #225 of 319
Thread Starter 

 

I have a question for you mamas. How have you dealt with other birth practitioners? I ask this because recently on my local ICAN list a doula asked for all moms of successful VBACs to contact her so she can create a booklet to give to moms in a nearby crunchy pregnancy/mom/child center.

 

I want to email her back and tell her that for the sake of the women reading this, they should also have stories of unsuccessful VBACs. That by talking about it the stigma will be removed. I felt like such a freak/failure  for 'failing at birth not once but twice. I really wish our voices weren't silenced like that. Thing is, I'm not sure if I can keep my decorum about it.

 

Ami

post #226 of 319



Quote:

Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post

 

I have a question for you mamas. How have you dealt with other birth practitioners? I ask this because recently on my local ICAN list a doula asked for all moms of successful VBACs to contact her so she can create a booklet to give to moms in a nearby crunchy pregnancy/mom/child center.

 

I want to email her back and tell her that for the sake of the women reading this, they should also have stories of unsuccessful VBACs. That by talking about it the stigma will be removed. I felt like such a freak/failure  for 'failing at birth not once but twice. I really wish our voices weren't silenced like that. Thing is, I'm not sure if I can keep my decorum about it.

 

Ami


Amen clap.gif  I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a sharing session hosted by my doula.  She specifically wanted me there to share my story of an unsuccessful VBAC, but that you can still have a great birth process despite not getting the ALMIGHTY VBAC.

 

For those of us who have had multiple c/s - we're not freaks or failures - we're all strong women who all gave birth to our kids.  Go for the opportunity and hopefully she'll be willing to have your voice and story to share too!! 
 

 

post #227 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post

 

I want to email her back and tell her that for the sake of the women reading this, they should also have stories of unsuccessful VBACs. That by talking about it the stigma will be removed. I felt like such a freak/failure  for 'failing at birth not once but twice. I really wish our voices weren't silenced like that. Thing is, I'm not sure if I can keep my decorum about it.

 

Ami

Good for you!!! Yes, let her know your perspective. Your voice absolutely should be heard. I totally understand your concern about "keeping your decorum." Perhaps it would be helpful to compose a message that you don't send...where you say things as you would really like to say them! Then tuck it away and compose the more diplomatic message.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post



Quote:


Amen clap.gif  I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a sharing session hosted by my doula.  She specifically wanted me there to share my story of an unsuccessful VBAC, but that you can still have a great birth process despite not getting the ALMIGHTY VBAC.

 

For those of us who have had multiple c/s - we're not freaks or failures - we're all strong women who all gave birth to our kids.  Go for the opportunity and hopefully she'll be willing to have your voice and story to share too!! 
 

 


I had to laugh when I saw "ALMIGHTY VBAC." Not to discount the experience of many women who find their VBAC healing, but why is it always presented as the holy grail of c-section healing?? What about those of us who aren't going to give birth more than once? What about women who find that a subsequent c-section can be healing? Or that a successful VBAC can be followed by another c-section? Or that their VBAC, while not traumatic, wasn't "amazing"?? Or that their VBAC was traumatic in a different way than their c-section was???

 

There are a lot of experiences & stories out there...and all voices should be heard. 

The healing is in sharing the story and having it be heard.

post #228 of 319

JTA_mom, you're hitting on a HUGE pet peeve of mine, especially with ICAN.  I think it does a huge disservice to moms to present only happy stories, because it gives them the impression that if they just do x,y, and z, everything will be okay.  I remember a few years ago ICAN soliciting "success" stories of very long labors (3 or more days) and being really irritated.  Yes, sometimes long labors are normal and everything is okay, but sometimes (as with dd2 and me) it's a long labor because something is very wrong.  And, as you pointed out, it's hurtful to those of us who did NOT have "successful" vbacs (I ended up with another c/s after my vba2c, so I've been on both sides of that fence) to be repeatedly silenced. 

 

 

SM, I'm glad you have such a positive outlook.  We would like to have an other child (or two...) some day, and when we do, it will be by scheduled c/s (I will NOT be waiting for labor to start).  Sure, part of me wishes every one of my births could have been like my easy, natural vba2c, but over all I'm not upset about it, and I resent it when people act like I should be devastated.  I respect if that's how other women feel, but I don't, and I wish that were respected, too.

post #229 of 319


Quote:

Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

I had to laugh when I saw "ALMIGHTY VBAC." Not to discount the experience of many women who find their VBAC healing, but why is it always presented as the holy grail of c-section healing?? What about those of us who aren't going to give birth more than once? What about women who find that a subsequent c-section can be healing? Or that a successful VBAC can be followed by another c-section? Or that their VBAC, while not traumatic, wasn't "amazing"?? Or that their VBAC was traumatic in a different way than their c-section was???

 

There are a lot of experiences & stories out there...and all voices should be heard. 

The healing is in sharing the story and having it be heard.


nod.gif

 

I, for one, will not set myself up for emotional failure again.  I do hope for a VBAC someday, but I'm not going to allow myself to be as traumatized if I'm not successful.  I think a big part of the disappointment, the sense of failure, etc. that I went through with DD had to do with the shock, and the fear, and the unknown.  After spending 9 months here on MDC, I really thought that if I did everything *right* I would have a natural birth, just like my mother, and my grandmother.  Although I won't choose it, I can see where a c-section could also be healing for me, if it didn't involve the shock and fear (fear of the unknown, fear for DD, fear for my body, DH not responding when I ask him whether she's okay when she didn't cry, blue baby) that my first one involved. 

 

As women, part of what makes us strong is that we share our experiences, and grow from others' experiences along with our own.  I agree that the healing is in the sharing.

 

 

post #230 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post

JTA_mom, you're hitting on a HUGE pet peeve of mine, especially with ICAN.  I think it does a huge disservice to moms to present only happy stories, because it gives them the impression that if they just do x,y, and z, everything will be okay.  I remember a few years ago ICAN soliciting "success" stories of very long labors (3 or more days) and being really irritated.  Yes, sometimes long labors are normal and everything is okay, but sometimes (as with dd2 and me) it's a long labor because something is very wrong.  And, as you pointed out, it's hurtful to those of us who did NOT have "successful" vbacs (I ended up with another c/s after my vba2c, so I've been on both sides of that fence) to be repeatedly silenced. 


I've had five c-sections, including a nightmare of a failed HBA3C (my son died during labour, and I was in really, really rough shape, myself). I've never been silenced by ICAN. Have they ever asked people to submit their stories of VBAmC turned stillbirth? No. I can't see why they would. I can have the dead baby card, and the "this can go wrong if you try to birth with an explosive uterus" card played on me by walking into a random OB office. Almost the only place I can hear about the VBACs that turned out well is ICAN. Those stories are being solicited to balance the negative press VBAC gets almost everywhere.

 

I'm sorry if that's been your experience, but I really don't think looking for success stories for particular scenarios means they're silencing anyone else. When I finally gave up and had a truly elective c-section (my fifth, almost two years ago), I got total support from everybody I knew who was involved with ICAN. (And, I actually have been asked to submit my story to the Clarion, despite the fact that I never have had, and never will have, a vaginal birth.)

 

Anyway - I just popped in when I saw there were new posts here. This thread isn't a comfortable place to be, so I'll bow out again - just wanted to throw out there that specifically asking for success stories isn't the same thing as silencing those without those stories.

post #231 of 319

I totally get what y'all are talking about.  I think the reason ANY birth is traumatic (vaginal included) is usually due to lack of support, and sometimes knowledge, but that kinda goes hand in hand.  I think the reason ANY birth (including cesareans) are healing is due to having abundant support.  I did NOT have a healing VBAC, planned HBAC turned CBAC yada yada with a cadilac...etc, etc, etc. BUT, I did learn oh so so much about myself during the postpartum period where all I had was support from my MW, not saying, yeah you failed, that sucked, but, instead saying 'wow, that birth really took everything out of you and it is not what you wanted, and that sucks.'  I think it's important for people to just be with the mom who is telling her story and where she is at.  It's not really all that important to tell her, she could have got in this position, stayed at home this much longer, refused this intervention, etc.  That helps with planning the future birth, and understanding the previous birth, but as far as healing...the main this is just saying 'I agree'.  Whether this is with her choice for a ERC, no more kids, VBAC, how painful things were, etc.  Just be there with her, and let her know that her feelings are real and valid.  

 

I have a friend who had a very empowering CBAC.  Very much so.  This really opened up a whole new perspective on birth to me.   Also understanding why mine were so traumatic, helped me realize that not everyone feels the same things when they undergo a cesarean. 

 

I see why ICAN wants positive stories and I think it's great to have a blog of those stories, but those stories aren't limited to vaginal births.  I think the main thing women fear in going in for a cesarean is that if they have a cesarean again, it will be just as traumatic, just as hard to recover from, just as painful in every way.  It's important to speak to that fear and say, 'no it doesn't have to be different' instead of ignoring the thought that something unplanned could happen.  It's almost like if things don't go your way, then not only did you fail, but you'll come out traumatized too.  Women don't need this.

post #232 of 319
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinMom View Post
  It's almost like if things don't go your way, then not only did you fail, but you'll come out traumatized too.  Women don't need this.



This is it exactly.

 

I'm not saying that we should make c/s normal, but not talking about failed vbacs is a disservice. Many many many women who have a failed vbac don't comeback to ican meetings. I was lucky in that my local one is run by a woman who had a failed vbac. Being able to share the feelings/emotions/thoughts around having a failed vbac is important.

 

Also, talking openly about it shows that a failed vbac does occur, quite frequently. The way info is presented now only shows successful vbacs (so since I didn't have that, I'm obviously 'odd'), that the only way to heal is to have a vbac, and that only c/s are traumatizing. None of those is necessarily true. Shoot, the one vaginal birth I had ended with a dead baby. Sure vaginal is natural but it can still be traumatic. This last c/s was less traumatic than the first, especially since I got to keep my baby with me. Still don't like being cut open/awake for the whole thing, but it didn't affect my bond with my baby like the first one had.

 

Even this round of PPD, I think, is much more linked to a) the horrible botched epidural making me feel as if I were dying and b) the inner beating I gave myself for fealing like a failure as a woman due to having a failed VBAC. Had there been talk of how VBACs can fail, how to set up as comfortable of a c/s as possible, and had that damn epidural not happened, I think it wouldn't have been as bad as it was. 

 

Ami

post #233 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post


Anyway - I just popped in when I saw there were new posts here. This thread isn't a comfortable place to be, so I'll bow out again - just wanted to throw out there that specifically asking for success stories isn't the same thing as silencing those without those stories.

 

This is an excellent point and has got me thinking about our assumptions of what a "success" story is. I was assuming that a "successful" VBAC was one in which the baby was pushed out the vagina and no c-section was performed. And I was assuming that that's what kind of story ICAN was looking for.

 

But what if a "successful" VBAC is one in which the woman feels good about her experience, no matter how the baby entered the world? I suppose technically an attempted VBAC that becomes a repeat c-section isn't really a VBAC. But why can't it be presented as a success story? If ICAN is soliciting success stories, I think a repeat c-section that a mom feels good about should count. Success is in the eye of the beholder. Just my opinion.

 

Storm Bride, thank you as always for sharing your perspective and getting me thinking. I can understand why this is not a comfortable place for you, but I so appreciate your willingness to come back here and to share.

 

Big hugs to all.

 

 grouphug.gif
 

 

post #234 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post


 

Even this round of PPD, I think, is much more linked to a) the horrible botched epidural making me feel as if I were dying and b) the inner beating I gave myself for fealing like a failure as a woman due to having a failed VBAC. Had there been talk of how VBACs can fail, how to set up as comfortable of a c/s as possible, and had that damn epidural not happened, I think it wouldn't have been as bad as it was. 

 

Ami


DS2 brought this thread back up, so I guess I'm back. I'm actually kind of surprised at how often I see this sentiment expressed here. I've never seen anyone suggest that VBACs always succeed or that failed VBACs don't happen. I see lots of talk about ways to reduce the impact of a c/s ("natural", empowered, etc. sections). I guess I just don't know where this total silence about these things is occurring, yk? I'm very sorry about the issues with your epidural, though - I find them freaky as it gets, even when they work right, so I can't even imagine what it's like to have one not work properly.

 

And, fwiw, my last section didn't traumatize me, as such. But, it broke me. It wasn't even remotely healing. The only good point is that it marked the end of my reproductive life, and I'm never going to struggle with infertility again, and I'm never going to have another miscarriage, stillbirth or c-section again. I always thought I'd be sad about getting my tubes done, but I was just so relieved to know that it's all over. Pregnancy was such a wonderful feeling the first couple of times, and then it just turned into a burden, because of how it was all going to end and/or because of having to fight every second to avoid that ending. And, that inner beating you talk about has happened after every one of my children landed earthside. It has nothing to do with what other people say about it. It has to do with how I feel about it, and how I've felt about it my entire life. I knew going in that VBACs could fail - I knew that every time (except the last, where I'd given up hope and knew I wasn't having a VBAC, anyway). I knew things could go wrong. In fact, the last time around, everything went better than in any of my previous sections...didn't change anything, in terms of the inner beating.

post #235 of 319

My persnickety response was the call wasn't for successful stories, but for successful VBACs (or that's the way I believe JTA had phrased it). 

There are so many pathways to healing (if needed) after a c/section  or a traumatic birth that I think all should be celebrated!

 

   P.S.  I'm always glad to see you here SB as I think you are wonderful voice of perspective and I am sorry the thread is not the easiest for you...

hug2.gif

 

 

 

I'll be honest I had a bit of a bee in my bonnet since a recent thread I was participating on (I think you were there too SB) and in response to the OP, someone had posted - the only way the woman in question was going to heal was to have a VBAC.  I seethed at that phrase, because it turned on that "inner monologue tape" for me "failing" since I didn't have a VBAC.  Sorry for it coming out on this thread... I need to go and deal with it offline

 

 

post #236 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post




DS2 brought this thread back up, so I guess I'm back. I'm actually kind of surprised at how often I see this sentiment expressed here. I've never seen anyone suggest that VBACs always succeed or that failed VBACs don't happen. I see lots of talk about ways to reduce the impact of a c/s ("natural", empowered, etc. sections). I guess I just don't know where this total silence about these things is occurring, yk?

 

And, fwiw, my last section didn't traumatize me, as such. But, it broke me. It wasn't even remotely healing. The only good point is that it marked the end of my reproductive life, and I'm never going to struggle with infertility again, and I'm never going to have another miscarriage, stillbirth or c-section again. I always thought I'd be sad about getting my tubes done, but I was just so relieved to know that it's all over. Pregnancy was such a wonderful feeling the first couple of times, and then it just turned into a burden, because of how it was all going to end and/or because of having to fight every second to avoid that ending. And, that inner beating you talk about has happened after every one of my children landed earthside. It has nothing to do with what other people say about it. It has to do with how I feel about it, and how I've felt about it my entire life. I knew going in that VBACs could fail - I knew that every time (except the last, where I'd given up hope and knew I wasn't having a VBAC, anyway). I knew things could go wrong. In fact, the last time around, everything went better than in any of my previous sections...didn't change anything, in terms of the inner beating.

 

I get this message of silencing in terms of stories either focusing on having a better c/s or a successful VBAC, but none about the emotions surrounding a failed VBAC. Books on VBAC mostly focus on the successful ones, what one can do to improve the odds (aka give me ways to blame myself even more), etc. Rarely is there a section on, say, what to expect with a failed vbac. And a booklet compiling only successful vbacs (and that is the only thing she was asking for) feels a bit like a slap in the face. At the very least, I would have loved to read other women's experiences with it to get a general feel for what I would be dealing with. When I lost Joseph, I found some comfort in reading other women's stories about losing children, going on to have another pregnancy, etc, if only to give me a 'heads up' and a feeling that I'm not alone.

 

And I am so so sorry about your last c/s breaking you. I can relate. I think after the epidural being awake for the surgery (I wasn't the first time), feeling all the pulling and pressure sensation, I felt my own sanity break. I just couldn't deal with it. I feel a similar ambivalence as well. I liked pregnancy, I love having children, but the giving birth part? The recupperation? The mental beating I give myself? Not sure if I want to go through that. I wish things like this were openly talked about. It's strange but when I talk about certain scary parts of the surgery (like being able to feel the tugging up under my ribs, the only one's that don't flinch, that don't try to change the subject, are other c/s mamas, even ones who are happy with their c/s.  I think there's a certain level of barbarism in a c/s that gets lost or is too shocking to think bout. Other than a c/s, I don't know if any major abdominal surgery is done when the person is fully conscious.
 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post

My persnickety response was the call wasn't for successful stories, but for successful VBACs (or that's the way I believe JTA had phrased it). 

There are so many pathways to healing (if needed) after a c/section  or a traumatic birth that I think all should be celebrated!

 

   P.S.  I'm always glad to see you here SB as I think you are wonderful voice of perspective and I am sorry the thread is not the easiest for you...

hug2.gif

 

 

 

I'll be honest I had a bit of a bee in my bonnet since a recent thread I was participating on (I think you were there too SB) and in response to the OP, someone had posted - the only way the woman in question was going to heal was to have a VBAC.  I seethed at that phrase, because it turned on that "inner monologue tape" for me "failing" since I didn't have a VBAC.  Sorry for it coming out on this thread... I need to go and deal with it offline

 

 


I have that tape too. I guess it's a free version. lol 

 

And everytime I hear the first phrase I wonder if people realize how damaging it is. Does that mean I will forever be in pain? I think it's bs too. I don't think a traumatic event can be undone by a 'better' event. Having 2 living children didn't heal me from losing Joseph. And birth, being what it is, is not the best thing to pin one's hopes on for healing. Maybe I've just had horrible birth experiences and it's coloring my view too much. Anyways, I'll stop here. Apparently pork has made Elias gassy and I need to get some fresh air. Whew, I want my breastmilk only  baby back. disappointed.giflol.gif

 

post #237 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post

I get this message of silencing in terms of stories either focusing on having a better c/s or a successful VBAC, but none about the emotions surrounding a failed VBAC. Books on VBAC mostly focus on the successful ones, what one can do to improve the odds (aka give me ways to blame myself even more), etc. Rarely is there a section on, say, what to expect with a failed vbac. And a booklet compiling only successful vbacs (and that is the only thing she was asking for) feels a bit like a slap in the face. At the very least, I would have loved to read other women's experiences with it to get a general feel for what I would be dealing with. When I lost Joseph, I found some comfort in reading other women's stories about losing children, going on to have another pregnancy, etc, if only to give me a 'heads up' and a feeling that I'm not alone.

 

And I am so so sorry about your last c/s breaking you. I can relate. I think after the epidural being awake for the surgery (I wasn't the first time), feeling all the pulling and pressure sensation, I felt my own sanity break. I just couldn't deal with it. I feel a similar ambivalence as well. I liked pregnancy, I love having children, but the giving birth part? The recupperation? The mental beating I give myself? Not sure if I want to go through that. I wish things like this were openly talked about. It's strange but when I talk about certain scary parts of the surgery (like being able to feel the tugging up under my ribs, the only one's that don't flinch, that don't try to change the subject, are other c/s mamas, even ones who are happy with their c/s.  I think there's a certain level of barbarism in a c/s that gets lost or is too shocking to think bout. Other than a c/s, I don't know if any major abdominal surgery is done when the person is fully conscious.
 

The feeling of "pressure" wigs me right out. So many people think I'm weird, because i prefer to have my sections under general anesthesia, but this is a big part of why. I do like being with my baby more quickly with the spinal, and I love that dh can be there....but I hate having surgery performed on me while I'm awake and conscious and can feel it. And, I can feel it. As you say, people just don't think about the barbarism - they just don't. (I've had someone express shock that they "did that to [you]" after he watched a c-section on The Operation. I don't know how he thought they get a whole baby out! My bff was absolutely shocked when I described the whole procedure...like it just never occurred to her that it's surgery.) I remember talking to someone about the pulling and tugging - they make that sound so innocuous, don't they? "you may feel some pulling and tugging sensations - and the response was just "oh, yuck - I don't want to hear that". I never really wanted to feel it, either!!

 

I persisted until I had my four children, but my dream of having four children had become an out-and-out obsession by the time I had dd2. The whole journey just wrecked me, and having that last c-section was basically raising the white flag and saying "you win - I lose" to...the universe? the medical profession? A Higher Power? I don't know. But, it was definitely a defeat. My mom commented when she dropped us off at the hospital that I sounded as though I'd finally managed to find acceptance. It wasn't acceptance. It was defeat. I just plain gave up.



 

post #238 of 319

This may be a long, rambling post, so for those of you who don't like those, feel free to skip. redface.gif

 

The idea that trauma can be undone by a 'better' event...yeah, that seems really naive to me now. But I have to admit that I went into my pregnancy/birth journey really hoping that giving birth would "heal" something that has forever felt damaged in me. I think it's the legacy of being given up for adoption, then losing my mom to cancer when I was 28 years old, then having a really hard time getting pregnant. When I felt good and had a "normal" pregnancy, it felt like maybe some bad all-things-mother-related juju was finally leaving my life. So then, ridiculous 33-hour labor and c-section, followed by breast infection, major sleep deprivation, and feeling like a totally incompetent parent. The feeling of being screwed by the universe just all came back, even worse.

 

So, I understand the hope that there are ways to "redeem" a traumatic experience to the point where the trauma goes away. And I know that there are religions and spiritual paths where the idea of total redemption is possible. But....that's not my story. For me, healing isn't about making the trauma go away. It's about learning to live with a wound that will never fully heal. Incorporating it into the fabric of my being. Giving it space, without letting it dominate me.

 

There's an aspect of healing for me that is claiming precisely the right amount of trauma. I don't want to claim any trauma that's only there because I'm comparing myself to some external perfectionist ideal. And I don't want to deny or discount any trauma that is real and lasting. I don't want to "prettify" my experience or make it more palatable to others. Nor do I want to exaggerate or embellish my experience. This is very much about crafting my own story about what happened, and not fitting my story into some kind of "script" about how c-sections are "supposed" to go or what impact they're "supposed" to have.

 

And speaking of scripts, hoo boy do I know about that. For a good year after DD was born, my "c-section trauma" script completely hijacked my brain. For some reason it was especially active when I was riding my bike. I can't tell you how many times I rode to & from work with tears & snot streaming down my face. I learned a route that minimized the number of people I would see along the way, so that I could just let it go. I carried tissues in my pockets. Sometimes I would very consciously and deliberately try to think about something else. And I couldn't do it!!! The trauma script just took over.

 

One of my biggest signs of healing is that the script takes up a lot less real estate in my head now. When it starts to play, I know that there's some unmet need that I must address...often just a need to get more sleep or to eat a decent meal. I can give the script a little space without letting it completely take over. Usually.

 

I am impressed with the resilience that I've found in myself and that I discover in others when I hear your stories. Yes, there is lasting damage, but there is also a remarkable human yearning towards healing, or at least persistence.

 

Can I tell you all how much I appreciate your courage in sharing your stories here? I visit this forum more than might be evident by the frequency of my posts. The voices here are like a health tonic for me...such a powerful reminder that I'm not alone and that damage & courage sometimes go hand in hand.

 

OK, this has been gratifying for me at least! If you made it this far, thanks for reading.

 

grouphug.gif

 

post #239 of 319

I feel sad for women who want to get pregnant to VBAC as it's 'the only way the can heal'.  How much crappier are they going to feel if they fail?  Or how about if they DO have a great VBAC but realize, why does baby number 1's birth still hurt?  Oh, maybe that' because they are two different event that don't help the other.  You don't fix your oven by working on the sink, even though they are both in the kitchen.  And if you have a broken oven, try and fix the sink and it breaks too...then you are in trouble.  I fear for those women.  Although, maybe the empowerment they feel after a 'successful VBAC' is enough to cloud out the bad of the first CS.  I don't know. 

 

The 'tugging feeling' yeah, not tugging.  With my first, sure I felt pressure and pulling, with my second, I might have well as been beaten with a baseball bat for the entire surgery.  Yeah, that bad, and I not only cried by screamed on the operating table.  They said they couldn't give me any more medication as it was at it's max and the only other things would have been general.  I had a friend who had a CBAC, under general right around the time I did and she had a great birth, very empowering to her. Looking back, I wish I had.  I had a lot of emotional subconscious crap lingering from the sexual abuse that went on during my childhood and would have rather not have had to go through that pain physically during the operation.  That sucked.  BUT, looking back, I feel that if I was under general, I would have not noticed all the crap I had going on subconsciously, and would just ignored it longer, and I think because I had such crappy births, I've allowed myself to see and deal with the trauma from my childhood. 

 

No, I don't think you ever get over anything.  I agree with that.  I've never gotten over loosing my mom either (at age 11) and I get how crappy that can be.  I'm not 'over it', nor am I 'over' my abuse, or my traumatic births.  I feel like I do know how to carry them with me except now they are dead and not continuously beating me up along the way. 

post #240 of 319

CI Mama- beautifully written!  It sounds like you are really in touch with your feelings and experience. I Am glad you are able to find some healing, and I totally understand about needing to really embrace the traumatic aspects of a trauma. To really acknowledge how much something has hurt and give it a voice and all that! I am glad you are finding solace in everyone's stories.

 

AFM I wanted to tell you guys that I started this silicone strip c section scar healing thing yesterday- and I am pretty excited about it! I will let you know how it works. It is really for any scar but they made one that fits the right size of a c section scar. It is called scar away silicone strip or something. It is just this strip kind of like a band aid looking thing but less sticky- but you just stick it on the scar, leave it for 12 or more hours, then take it off and wash it with soap and water, let dry and then reapply. It is supposed to soften and help heal the scar and help minimize the itching. I got it because I am still itchy one year later so I hope it works. I noticed the scar already seemed softer a tiny bit after one day! It is recommended to use for 8 - 12 weeks and I don't even really feel it when it is on. I will let you guys know if it works for me.

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