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C/S recovery & support thread - Page 13

post #241 of 319

I am very grateful for this thread. Now that DD is 11 months old, we're thinking about planning for #2. Not this minute, but in 2-3 months. My source of birthing trauma was the fear I felt when I heard her heart beat begin to slow down. It didn't leave until well into motherhood and the fear made it very difficult for me to bond. I had just shut down the attachment part of me to protect myself from breaking down. This was similar to what happened when I lost my father at 14. For one whole year, I didn't cry. And the year after that, I became intolerable to live with although that might have been just the normal part of adolescence. I blocked it off and in thus doing so, I can no longer remember my father's voice. I can remember some isolated phrases, but not his voice in general. The fear of the pain of losing someone else was too difficult to endure. And after she came out, I had some people who got their natural blah blah births tell me that I give in too easily, go with the flow too easily, and that I didn't educate myself enough of all the procedures. Also that heart rate slowing down isn't that big a deal and that they should have let nature take its course. Excuse me, but I am the one who would have had to live with any negative outcome, not you. Anyway, that just made me feel worse that had I not allowed myself to get induced, DD would never have gotten distressed. 

 

I've always wanted #2, so it isn't to look for healing, but yes, I wanted a VBAC to help me heal. Never allowing myself to wonder what I would do or feel if it didn't work and I have to have another emergency C-section. Isn't it better to have a scheduled C-section on my own terms? Discuss with my doctor about wanting skin to skin right away etc.? This thread has given me the courage to think that it isn't a failure if I elect a C-section. I know that I would be far worse off if I have a failed VBAC attempt, than if I make my peace with a repeat C-section and negotiate terms and conditions - only schedule one past 40 weeks, given my history of having gone 11 days over, demanding immediate skin to skin which again, I so missed with DD. It never occurred to me to demand to see her better. Or even hold her. I was only relieved to hear a squeak. She didn't cry. And I was too drained out from a long labor.

 

As for the tugging, I felt it too, but I wouldn't want general anesthesia just because I would want to meet my baby as soon as he/she comes out. This is the only surgery where it is not being done to fix something inside. Perhaps that is why it is done with a spinal block and not general anesthesia? Cut, get baby out, get placenta out, clean up, sew up?

 

Also, having worked in anesthesia, those chemicals are nasty. I wouldn't want them circulating in my blood stream if I can avoid it. Researchers are trying to determine an Alzheimer's link. Even taking it once may increase the chance of Alzheimer's.

 

Not to say that I have decided against a VBAC, but I am more open to a repeat C-section esp. if it can be on my terms, performed by my OB rather than the on-call surgeon.

post #242 of 319

I've always thought and said that woman should not choose any of her birth choices out of fear.  I was wrong.  I was oh so wrong.  While I do believe that fears do make us choose things that are maybe not rational, they are real.  They are very real.  I hope this isn't interpreted as 'If you choose _______ then you chose the not safest choice."  That's not what I'm saying. 

 

I'm a survivor of sexual abuse, and while I know it's much safer in every way for an epidural during a CS, for me, it is too emotionally damaging and has too much of a negative effect on my bonding with my child to be awake during that event.  So, while in normal, typical circumstances, it's best to have an epidural, for me, it's not. 

 

I think it's about choice, and the mom being very quite and still and pray/meditate on what she wants to do and really visualize how each choice would play out.  Then choose.  And she should always be supported in that choice.

post #243 of 319

In case anyone who is scheduled for a C section is reading this thread and getting scared, I have to say mine was pain free and I barely felt anything. I only felt the most gentle "brushes" against my skin is what it felt like. I know some women have trouble with pain and fear but it isn't always like that.

 

I was terrified when I found I had to go for a section after 40 hours of failed induction. My baby's heart rate was seriously dropping as my contractions got stronger. I talked with the doctors about my fears, that I would feel the surgery and that I would panic from being awake. I have to say the doctors I worked with were very compassionate. I was crying, just bawling when they put the spinal in, from fear!!! A kind nurse held me in her arms as I wept. However, for me, the c section was a welcome end to the hell that was my induction. I told the anesthesiologist and DH to keep talking so I couldn't hear the surgery discussion, and they kept up a lively chatter that distracted me. I was amazed at how GOOD I felt, and I am not sure if that is because they were pumping me full of something to feel good, or the induction drugs had been removed and my body numb from the spinal.

 

Honestly, I struggle with the notion of trying for a VBAC. For me, labor sucked so bad and I failed at it, and my baby was doing poorly, and the section "fixed" it all. I do feel bad I didn't feel her leave my body, I want that so badly, but at the same time, I am scared of labor now. Dare I try again for a real labor? I go back and forth. I feel like something was stolen from me by having a c section, but at the same time, it wasn't looking like labor was going to get me a healthy baby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #244 of 319
I am 2 weeks PP. My water broke on it's own, labored for almost 12 hours. DR came in, did a cervical check only to find that baby had turned breech. So off to the OR we went. I've never had surgery before..ever. And whatever meds are in the spinal...I freaked out. I thought I was going to flip out. My body doesn't even do good with Tylenol pm or benedryl. But I survived and got a beautiful baby boy! DR said that if we decided to have more kids(we arent) that im a great candidate for a VBAC...which is good news, but i wont be using it to my advantage..lol. This recovery sucks. I'm getting better day by day, but I never realized how much it takes out of you. And I'm scared to take my steristrips off... greensad.gif lol I missed holding my DS1 for that first week. I'm still not supposed to hold him, but I do...ooops. smile.gif
post #245 of 319

Why can't you hold him? I was allowed to hold DD the very first day. Do whatever doesn't cause pain.

post #246 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by hasya View Post

Why can't you hold him? I was allowed to hold DD the very first day. Do whatever doesn't cause pain.



She said her dd1, which is her older child. Post-c/s, you're absolutely not supposed to pick up/hold your older children. According to old guidelines, I wouldn't even have been "allowed" to pick up my second and third newborns. (Old guidelines - even when I had ds1 - were "don't pick up anything over 10 pounds" and both of them were over 10 pounds.)

post #247 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
She said her dd1, which is her older child. Post-c/s, you're absolutely not supposed to pick up/hold your older children. According to old guidelines, I wouldn't even have been "allowed" to pick up my second and third newborns. (Old guidelines - even when I had ds1 - were "don't pick up anything over 10 pounds" and both of them were over 10 pounds.)

Oops, sorry missed that. She said DS1 actually :-). Yeah, I was told not to lift anything over the weight of baby.
 

 

post #248 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by hasya View Post



Oops, sorry missed that. She said DS1 actually :-). Yeah, I was told not to lift anything over the weight of baby.
 

 


So, she did! That's what happens when I don't pay attention. I probably picked up on it right away, simply because I've had to deal with a c/s recovery and toddlers/older children on more than one occasion...and it's not the kind of thing one forgets quickly.

 

post #249 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post




So, she did! That's what happens when I don't pay attention. I probably picked up on it right away, simply because I've had to deal with a c/s recovery and toddlers/older children on more than one occasion...and it's not the kind of thing one forgets quickly.

 


Oh yea. I so broke that rule too. My poor toddler would have hated the baby is suddenly mommy wasn't able to cuddle and hold him for a month & a half.

 

Actually, I want to ask you, Lisa, and other moms with multiple c/s, how did you manage recovery & childcare? This last time was exhausting.

 

I'm not sure if I will even have more, or if I will go straight for a repeat c/s or try for a VBA2C, but I'm just curious about how you all handled it. I think I did way too much this time around, but I didn't have much help or even a heads up, since I was going for a VBAC and didn't even think about what another c/s would mean. Prepared food was a must, but did you guys set up family or hired someone to take care of the older kids? Cleaning the house (minimal stuff, like laundry)? Any tips?

 

I know there might be some mamas reading this who already have a little one and are facing another c/s, so I thought we could compile a list.

 

For me, I would have loved to have someone over at least 3 times a week to do the dishes/laundry/basic grocery shopping (milk, fresh fruits, etc).

 

Someone to come over for a couple hours a day to play with the older kiddo and let me shower/nap/do things that were hard for me physically

 

Someone to force feed/ hydrate me, lol. The pain and pain meds really killed my appetite. Once dh started putting breakfast, lunch and dinner in front of me and a huge cup of water, I did a lot better. lol

 

Ami

 

post #250 of 319

Ouch, I bet!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post




So, she did! That's what happens when I don't pay attention. I probably picked up on it right away, simply because I've had to deal with a c/s recovery and toddlers/older children on more than one occasion...and it's not the kind of thing one forgets quickly.

 



 

post #251 of 319

Dh had a week off of work, but I really wasn't ready to be on my own with the kids.  I think if we have any more (which will be scheduled c/s) I will see about springing for a housekeeper for a month and maybe a post partum doula.

post #252 of 319

Wow - I didn't even know this thread existed!...I guess I shall introduce myself!...

 

My name is Ann, I am 27 and mum to two wonderful boys - Duncan who was born in September 05 and Hamish - who just turned ONE! :o this past Friday!...

 

Both were born via section.  Hamish was a failed UBAC, failed HBAC, failed VBAC....(it really went downhill!)...I laugh and joke of course but it is just a mask I wear to help me cope I think...

 

I can start with Duncan.  He was my first.  He was a surprise.  I didn't know anything...I had never even held a baby!  Pregnancy went great though!  I was feeling happy and not worried and eventually I bonded with my baby (despite initial shock - it wasn't really the 'right time' as we had just got married, there was a big move, etc...but he was very much accepted and loved!).  My waters broke one morning (wow! haha) - and this was it...called DH to come back home and we went off to the hospital (as told) to make sure baby was happy about everything - he was...I was then checked (4-5cm already - wow this is easy! lol)...but wait...she didn't feel a head - his testicals were hanging out of me.  He was breech.  I was advised to not birth vaginal - I was told he could die.  I was suddenly very scared.  A section was the last thing I wanted.  I heard many horrible things about it but here I was - I felt it was my only option.  He was big too - he was 10 and a half pounds at birth (healthy baby and so was I). 

 

Despite everything - and despite the fact I would never recommend or condone a section (espeically for my own circumstances) - it went well.  I was back on my feet in a week and he was a very easy baby. 

 

My vaginal birth loss with Duncan was actually experienced later on...the more I grew as a person and the more I grew as a mother.  It set in and the more I grew the more it set in. 

 

But the joy!...We were going to try for another!  After a hard time conceiving (nearly 2 years trying and many many miscarriage - eventualy acupuncture worked!) - he stuck!  Things were different this time around.  I had learned so much.  I had grown so much.  (quite literally toward the end...haha...okay there is my mask again......)...  I visualised the birth many times.  Every day.  It is all I could think about...

 

And it started out just how I had visualised.  I went into labour early hours of the morning.  My waters did not break - instead I had bloody show.  Things happened quickly.  Before my son even got up I was in very heavy labour with my contractions less than a minute apart and coming on fast and hard....

 

They went on like that for HOURS though...a DAY later they were still going on like that.  Against my wishes I eventually called out a MW (I had planned a UBAC) - I was in a lot of pain at this point though (baby was happy though!) so opted for the gas and air...good stuff that!  Eventually I was just tired though...so tired and hungry... I was stuck at 8cm for 6 hours (again - against my better judgment I begged her to check me - I was far too curious!)...  She was a very supportive MW and very hopeful and positive and I really do love her - even now... 

 

I just gave up though.  I figured we could go to the hospital - try and epi and see if I could get some rest and something to eat.  It failed though.  They tried it three times - no luck.  This meant my section was under a general anasthetic.  Despite being healthy and not having GD - to give me a bit of credit (though it still doesn't help how I feel) - he was a very big baby at 12lbs 4oz! (I just grow them big I guess! lol)...

 

Looking back, I can think of a million places I went 'wrong'.  But theres nothing I can do about that now.  Hindsight - I can only save what I have learned and know better next time...

 

Which is where the problem lies...(I shall read though this thread in all good time - so I hope to find others who feel like me...I can't be the only one and DH doesn't understand)...I want to be done.  I want our family to be complete.  I want this to be it.  I want it just us and our two boys.  I want to grow up and move on.  But I do not feel done and I do not feel complete.  I NEED a vaginal birth.  So much it feels like such great heartache.  I really do need it.  Sometimes I think I can live without it...but then I realise that one day I will be a mother-in-law and one day I will be a Grandmother...and I can't do it...I can't bear the though of it...I can't face that part of my life not having had a vaginal birth.  So right now, in 4-5 years time we will be trying again...  Sometimes people ask me what I will do if, again, I 'need' another seciton (for whatever reason) and I can't bear the thought of it. 

 

I feel very strongly about natural birth and it kills me that mine went awry - I feel a bit like a hypocrite though I know I am not.  I also just wish that DH could understand. 

 

I have noticed one (positive/good?) change though.  After DS1, I felt a lot of anger and resentment towards others - even him for a little bit...but after DS2, I feel more anger and resentment towards myself. 

It is still hard though - because I still find it hard to be around other pregnant woman and I still find it hard to be around other woman who have had a vaginal birth.  I find it very hard to listen to other peoples vaginal birth stories and can not watch anything related to that.  Why not me?  is all that continously runs through my head.  A vaginal birth is really all I fantasis about - is that sad or what? 

 

I feel like I can never heal from this - and that the only 'cure' is a vaginal birth.  I did even consider being a host surrogate (get the vaginal birth - without doing the baby thing again! haha) - but then I realised that whilst I could most deff be happy to be a host surrogate - I can't until I have had a vaginal birth OR that baby would mean too much to me and I couldn't risk that.  I wouldn't feel that way if I had already had a vaginal birth (being a surrogate is something I have always thought of doing anyhow because I love pregnancy so much and after suffering infertility - for whatever reason - as we have - I would love to be able to give a family something they too struggle for - something I know would mean the world to them - but not until I had had my own vaginal birth). 

 

So theres my nut in a nut shell!

post #253 of 319

The one good thing was my MW.  She respected my wishes.  I had a tiny tid bit on what I would like to happen in an emergency.  She was totally supprtive - down to the home made cord ties!  She even put the placenta in the bowl we brought so I could take it home ( I ate it! lol) and ...and and and...the BEST part...she put my son right to my chest - right away - she latched him on for me and he had his first feed whilst I was still unconcious!...(if you have to have a scheduled section - I would highly recommend stating this as your wish!)...and of course, as I was knocked out, she was still able to come in with me (being a MW) so was able to get all the photos of what, even if DH could have been there!, DH himself couldn't have even been able to see - so I have those great photos to keep forever.  ...I cant' complain about that part...but I also can't change how I feel.  I hate the way it feels sometimes - a lot of the time....

post #254 of 319


I'm happy to see this thread. I've never been over here before.

 

I had my second c section 16 days ago. And I'm still processing how I feel about it.

 

DD1 was born by c section after a failed induction 6 days after her EDD.

 

DD2 was born via VBAC after a long, tough, completely natural  labor. I am so proud of my VBAC *for me*. I can't say that the recovery was physically easier, but being able to resume normal activity and hold my preschooler afterward was wonderful.

 

I was planning a second VBAC with DS. I had done it before, so I would do it again, right? Guess not. This time my labor started with my water breaking. My MW/OB's office closed 20 minutes after my water broke, so, because I didn't know what their policy was when your water breaks, I gave them a call. The MW called me back and said I needed to go to the hospital immediately. I wasn't happy with this. I wasn't having any contractions yet, and I would much rather labor at home. But she called an hour later and asked why I wasn't in the hospital yet and asked when I would be arriving. We got there an hour later, still only having ctx every 10 mins or so.

 

Anyway, labor started probably about 10 hours later and by the time I was in active labor (laboring standing up, walking around, hands and knees, on the birth ball, squatting, anything as long as I was attached to the monitors) several hours after that I was breaking down. The contractions were double and triple peaking with just a minute between. I'm pretty sure I'm not a birthing wimp, but I begged for an epidural. I continued to labor upright and on my hands and knees, but my temperature was rising and the water now had thick meconium. When it came time to push we turmed the epi waaaay down, I pushed upright using thesquat bar and in several otheer positions. He started at 0 station and three hours later he was still at 0. My temp was nearly 102 and that combined with some other factors my DH and I decided on csection. With DD1 we were lied to about needing an "emergency" csec, but this time we made all the decisions. The surgery went well, but the Dr said I got a "cervical extension", where the uterus tore toward my cervix during the section. Unfortunately DS did get an infection, presumably from my water being broken for 24 hours, but after a couple of days of antibiotics in the hospital he is perfectly fine.  

 

My recovery has been fantastic. I was up moving around and showering 15 hours after the surgery, and have just felt really good. I didn't finish either prescription I was given for pain.

 

My dr said she can't recommend a VBA2C because of the cervical extension. The thought of having a scheduled section with future children is devastating. As a Catholic family who plans to have more children I really need to research this more.

 

Failing at a VBAC after having a successful VBAC is also devastating. Hindsight is always 20/20, and the what if's are killing me. What if I hadn't called the MW immediately and stayed at home to labor? What if I hadn't gotten the epidural? What if I had just kept trying to push (DS was malpositioned, which was very obvious after he was delivered)? I feel like a failure. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who is not suffering with mommy guilt who is able to remind me that we made the best decision.

 

So, pretty much I know it was the best choice at the time, but I still feel terribly guilty about it. I guess this is normal?

post #255 of 319

Hannybanany, I definitely empathize with your situation.  My first was a c/s (failed induction), second was also a c/s (failed hbac turned emergency c-section; dd2 has significant brain damage), third was a vba2c in the hospital, pretty easy, straightforward birth.  I assumed #4 would be the same, but I ended up with my third c/s.  We're also Catholic, so I understand where you're coming from on that.  For me, I am not comfortable attempting a vba3c, so if we have any more children it will be by scheduled c/s.  I played the "what-if" game and felt guilty for whatever reason at first, but 6 months out I'm content.  He had a true knot in his cord that was causing post-contraction decels so in hindsight I'm glad we played it safe and got him out before things went bad.

 

Congratulations on your little guy!

post #256 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post


Oh yea. I so broke that rule too. My poor toddler would have hated the baby is suddenly mommy wasn't able to cuddle and hold him for a month & a half.

 

Actually, I want to ask you, Lisa, and other moms with multiple c/s, how did you manage recovery & childcare? This last time was exhausting.

 

Badly. :o

 

I'm not sure if I will even have more, or if I will go straight for a repeat c/s or try for a VBA2C, but I'm just curious about how you all handled it. I think I did way too much this time around, but I didn't have much help or even a heads up, since I was going for a VBAC and didn't even think about what another c/s would mean. Prepared food was a must, but did you guys set up family or hired someone to take care of the older kids? Cleaning the house (minimal stuff, like laundry)? Any tips?

 

I know there might be some mamas reading this who already have a little one and are facing another c/s, so I thought we could compile a list.

 

For me, I would have loved to have someone over at least 3 times a week to do the dishes/laundry/basic grocery shopping (milk, fresh fruits, etc).

 

I actually had an easier time of it than many, precisely because of the extremely unwanted break between my first and second children.

 

My reproductive "nutshell": I had ds1 in 1993, then started ttc in '94. Caught in '97, m/c at 7-8 weeks. Caught again in '98, m/c at 12 weeks. Had an "oops" in 2000 with dh - others were with my ex - which thrilled me, even though the timing wasn't great, and m/c at 12 weeks. Finally got pregnant with dd1 in '02, and had her by c/s in '03. Then, ds2 in '05, Aaron - my stillborn son - in '07, and dd2 in '09.

 

When I had dd1, I actually had a pretty easy time of it, as dh wasn't working (didn't have legal residency in Canada yet), and we were living at my mom's. I had two adults (dh and my mom) around all day, every day. So, I basically just had to cope with feeding dd1, and others took care of everything else. (This was a really, really good thing, because dd1 was a very, very challenging baby!) When I had ds2, we moved into our current place 10 days out from the section. My incision wasn't even closed yet (infection), and it was a brutal summer, but ds1 was home for the summer, and he was 12 by then. So, I let him have as much time with his friends as I could manage, but I also had another person around a lot. He could take dd1 out for a walk in the complex and things like that. I also took the two little ones to the farm down the street a couple times a week - dd1 on a harness, and ds2 in a stroller. It was hard, but not has hard as coping at home. When I had Aaron, it was brutal - really brutal - but dh's work gave him two weeks off with pay to look after his family, so that got me through the really intensive recovery part. I won't lie, though - I'm not even sure how we got through the next month. I could barely walk through a store at 6 weeks out! My mom helped out with some things, and dh did/does a lot at home. DD2...again, ds1 was off school for the summer. I didn't keep him here a lot, but I did make sure he was around enough to help out with anything really big in those early weeks - hauling things around, watching dd1 & ds2 while I slowly went to the store (was driving very short distances in about 10 days). Dh did a lot of shopping in the "pick it up on the way home from work" school, as well. Honestly, I'm not sure how I'd have coped at all without my oldest. I think I'd have probably hit up one of the teens in the complex as a mother's helper, except I don't know how well I'd have known them without ds1, yk?

 

Someone to come over for a couple hours a day to play with the older kiddo and let me shower/nap/do things that were hard for me physically

 

Someone to force feed/ hydrate me, lol. The pain and pain meds really killed my appetite. Once dh started putting breakfast, lunch and dinner in front of me and a huge cup of water, I did a lot better. lol

 

I think these are all huge. Honestly, the self care part has always been the hardest for me (after not being able to pick up my toddler/preschooler - ds2 has some developmental issues, and was emotionally still a toddler, at age four, when dd2 was born. It's pretty tough dealing with a 45 pound "toddler" post-op!). I can stumble through those first few weeks, managing to get food for the kids and change diapers and breastfeed. But, it's so, so, so hard to find the time and energy to bathe/shower, remember to drink enough water, etc. I think that's true for all new moms, but it's really difficult to heal properly when I'm not supporting my body with rest and nutrition, yk? I also think it's really important for spouses/partners to come through in a HUGE way post-op. DH definitely did, every time, and it made a big difference.

 

 

 



 

post #257 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hannybanany View Post

 

My dr said she can't recommend a VBA2C because of the cervical extension. The thought of having a scheduled section with future children is devastating. As a Catholic family who plans to have more children I really need to research this more.

 

I struggle with this too. Dh is Catholic and I am Greek Orthodox. I think a lot of my PPD has to do with this. Honestly, surgery terrifies me. And the thought of going through it multiple times? *shudder* This last time, I literally thought I would die while being wheeled into surgery. No idea where this fear comes from, but it is there. :(

 

I'm also terrified of all the complications like hemorrage, and especially hysterectomy. I don't want that. The lack of control that I would feel.....

 

It is interesting too, that several of the posters here said that having a c/s, and especially 2 c/s has changed their desired family size. It's not really talked about either. It's like a secret or something. Doctors don't talk about it, magazines, etc.

 

For those who will be having more children through c/s...what did you do to come to terms with it? For those who changed their minds on number of children, what were your thoughts? Was/is there any healing around this topic of more children? If you have come to a place of peace on this issue, how did you go about getting there?

 

I feel like there might be a lot of discussion on this topic from women who have literally experienced this, rather than an outsider. What do you all think?

 

Ami

post #258 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post



 

I struggle with this too. Dh is Catholic and I am Greek Orthodox. I think a lot of my PPD has to do with this. Honestly, surgery terrifies me. And the thought of going through it multiple times? *shudder* This last time, I literally thought I would die while being wheeled into surgery. No idea where this fear comes from, but it is there. :(

 

I'm also terrified of all the complications like hemorrage, and especially hysterectomy. I don't want that. The lack of control that I would feel.....

 

It is interesting too, that several of the posters here said that having a c/s, and especially 2 c/s has changed their desired family size. It's not really talked about either. It's like a secret or something. Doctors don't talk about it, magazines, etc.

 

There was actually at least one study done. I remember reading the comments in the conclusion and the doctors in question seemed to feel that the reduced fertility of women who had children by c/s didn't count, because that decreased fertility was voluntary, not biological. I'm not sure how one even copes with a mindset like that.

 

For those who will be having more children through c/s...what did you do to come to terms with it? For those who changed their minds on number of children, what were your thoughts? Was/is there any healing around this topic of more children? If you have come to a place of peace on this issue, how did you go about getting there?

 

 

I decided when I was 18 that I wanted four chlidren. I had ds1 by c/s after about 21 hours of labour, at full dilation, after I said "no" and was completely ignored. (FWIW, I've never had a doctor since look at my files and be able to explain exactly why I was sectioned - ds1 was breech, but our hospital did do vaginal breeches in 1993, and he was frank breech. Personally, I think they panicked when they realized that he was a "missed" breech and that was that.)

 

So, I was devastated. I was a c-section baby, myself, and I've had a lot of "stuff" about that, too. Anyway...everybody felt that I'd VBAC next time, as breech doesn't tend to recur, I'd laboured well, etc. etc. etc. Then, as per my backstory above, it took me 10 years and 3 m/c to have my second baby, with a failed marriage and a divorce thrown in for good measure. Just to add insult to injury, my brother, who didn't want kids, had had four children since I'd had ds1. My sister, who also hadn't wanted kids, got pregnant with what turned out to be twins, right after I got pregnant with my second, and those twins made her third and fourth children, as well. While part of my brain was saying, "it doesn't matter what other people have", the other part of my brain was saying, "WTF??? I've wanted four children for 16 years and both of my siblings have them, while I've had nothing but infertility issues and miscarriages and an effing c-section". It was really, really, really hard to take, and I think it's part of what pushed my desire for four chlidren to - and over - the point of obsession.

 

So, I finally got pregnant with dd1, and actually cried that Halloween, becuase it was the 12 week mark, and I'd miscarried the previous two just a day or two before that. I felt as though a 10 year curse had finally lifted, and my life was back on track. The pregnancy went well - not quite the amazing, glowing Earth Mother experience I had with my first, mostly because I was incredibly exhausted, but still a very good pregnancy. I was active, healthy, etc. and was finally going to have my VBAC! At my 39 week checkup, we discovered that dd1 was footling breech (confirmed by u/s - she looked like she was dancing a jig). I got a call the next morning from the OB's office, informing me that I was having my c-section the next day (39w, 2d). I argued, and I yelled and I cried...and I caved. I didn't agree with anything they were saying (eg. "the baby can't turn at this point - it's too big"...even though she had evidently been vertex a week earlier and my first turned in labour!), but I was also freaked out in a way I can't really describe. I'd started to feel as though reproduction was out to get me, and it was all happening again, and I was so freaked out about losing another one. I just couldn't stand up for myself. DH hadn't been with me through the whole nightmare - only the last couple of years figuring out when to ttc (didn't want our baby to have any potential legal issue with my crack-addicted ex) - do he didn't really understand the psychological ramifications of me going back on the table. Anyway...it went okay, I guess. I found the experience of being awake for a c-section to be disgustingly gruesome - much, much, much worse than the general anesthesia - and was shocked by how much I could feel, and the whole experience just sucked in every possible way. Then, I got sent to the main post-op recovery room, while dd1 went to nursery with dh. DD1 didn't nurse well, and my supply took a lot longer to come in than usual. She also had breathing problems - would just...stop. It didn't happen a lot, and she always started on her own again- it was almost as if she skipped breaths, but it was absolutely terrifying. We mentioned it to the night nurse, and she said, "yes - breathing issues like that are common with c-section babies". I felt as though I'd been kicked in the head...and I was really, really scared that something would hapepn to her.

 

Then, ds2. I decided that, as much as I hated everything about having a c-section, if I wasn't going to get support for a VBA2C, i'd still have another baby, and I got pregnant with ds. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, and had seen my doctor, I started having nightmares, for the first time in my life. They happened every night, and they were all about OR, and they were ugly. So, I knew I wasn't really okay with another c-section, and told my doctors I wasn't having it, and wanted a VBA2C. They were amazingly unsupportive, and argued with me the entire pregnancy. I tried to get a licensed midwife, only to be told that I'd have to have a consulting OB...and I already knew how that was going to go. So, I fought with my care providers through another pregnancy, and ds2 stayed vertex!!! Success! I was finally going to have this work. DS2 stayed vertex. He also went post-dates. By then, I'd done a lot more research, and also knew that dh and his brothers were all late, big, vaginally birthed babies. So, I fought with the OB some more, and refused the July 4th c-section they wanted me to have (that was before my "due date" of the 14th...and I have no idea why they wanted me to have him so early!). At my OB appointment at 41w, 4d, after my first NST (all good), the OB told me that it would be malpractice to "let" me go any further in this pregnancy, and if I didn't show up for the c-section the next day, he'd drop me from care. And, I caved again.

 

This is really getting long - sorry, but it's all emotionally complicated. Long story short, I went into labour the night before the surgery, and they didn't care, so I had c/s number three, but at least ds2 picked his own birthday. The surgery itself went pretty well, and my initial recovery was good. Unfortunately, I had fairly serious nerve damage in my pelvis (couldn't feel my bladder - still don't have normal sensation - couldn't feel my clitoris for months, and sexual sensation was totally messed up - it never did return to "normal", but I've learned to compensate...and I still have trouble doing kegels and other abdominal/pelvis muscle work), and a staple tore in my incision, which resulted in an infection. It took over a month before my incision fully closed. My hospital stay was awful, and the breastfeeding experience while at the hospital was pretty rough, because of their interference, even though ds2 had the best initial latch of any of my kids and was a really great nurser right from the beginning. I did get to hold and nurse him in recovery, which was good. So...short term was pretty good, but the longer term recovery wasn't. That c-section effed me up for life, I suspect.

 

This one's hard to talk about - but I went underground for my next baby, because I really, really needed to feel that I'd fought my hardest possible fight for a real birth, and I couldn't face another hospital stay, and I really, really wanted another baby. And, I was 38 when I got pregnant with him - had wanted all my kids by my early 30s! - and felt the clock ticking awfully fast. The pregnancy went well, although I was having a really hard time coping with my then 4 year old dd1 and 2 year old ds2. Anyway...long gestation (43+ weeks), big baby (10lbs. 14oz.), long labour, developing temperature, etc. resulted in an eventual hospital transfer (there was nothing really wrong, but things weren't right, either, yk?). I really didn't want to go, and I put it off longer than I should have. OMG - this is still so hard to talk about...Aaron's heart stopped - no decels, no anything - just stopped, and they rushed me in for a stat c/s. I came out of general anesthesia, and held my dead son, while I was still so out of it that I barely even understood that he was gone. I wished I'd gone with him (remember my mom saying "it could have been worse - it could have been both of you" and thinking "and, that would have been worse...why?"). I was absolutely devastated, and my physical recovery was a nightmare. I had horrible pain, and my incision was infected again, and I was pretty severely anemic - not quite at the transfusion point, but I suspect I was really close. I couldn't get off the couch without help for almost two weeks. I kept ending up in excruciating pain, because my bladder would get full without my realizing it (remember that nerve damage?) until it was so full that it was pressing against the incision. It was an absolute nightmare..and it broke me in almost every possible way. It's been 3.5 years, and I'm still not even remotely put back together.

 

So...the "how many children?" thing. DH didn't really want another baby - he'd been hesitant about Aaron. But, he knew that the only thing I really wanted out of life was a family of four children. In the long run, he and I both felt that my mental health would be slightly better with four living children and five c-sections than with three living children and four c-sections. The way I framed it to myself was that, no matter how many children I had, I wasn't ever going to give birth to any of them, and I'd rather live with my four children and the memory of one extra c-section, because the "births" all sucked, anyway. And...after everything, as hard as it was to end my reproductive life on another c-section, it would have been even harder to end it on a c-section and stillbirth. So, I had dd2 by scheduled, elective (truly elective) c-section in June of 2009. She's the light of my life, and one of the most truly happy, adorable, cuddly babies little ones I've ever known. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see her go into some form of counseling or health care or nursing - something, because I believe she's a healer. She's been an amazingly positive thing for our family. And, the c-section itself was a lot better than the rest of them - got to nurse her on the OR table, and dh was there for the terrifying spinal, and things like that.

 

I'm done. I had a tubal while I was on the table with dd2. I can't even describe how good it feels to look at pictures of all my kids or to watch the three younger ones dogpile ds1 on the living room floor, or whatever. But, I also know that the "how many children will I have?" question is one that I haven't been rational about for a very, very long time. If I had it all to do over, once ds1 was here, I'd probably do it again. But, if I'd known what was coming before I started having kids, I'm not sure I'd have ever had any. I feel like a crappy person even saying that, because I love my kids, but I don't like what it did to me to get them here...not even a little bit. I don't like how much of my gutlessness was exposed to me by the whole journey, and I don't like the person I am now. My reproductive life broke me. People think I'm overstating it, but I'm not. Someone told me that I'd finally learned "acceptance" when I went in for my last section without any fuss...but it wasn't "acceptance"...it was a total lack of any ability to give a crap about what happened to me..and I think part of me was hoping I'd die on the table. And, there are no words that adequately describe how I felt being wheeled out of OR that last time, knowing that my tubes were tied, and that I'm never, ever, ever having another c-section. Relief doesn't even come close.

 

I'm not sure how useful any of that is, for discussion purposes. I went ahead and had all the children I wanted, but I really, really understand why some women who've had a c-section stop afterwards. Aside from anything else, the relative risks for certain complications start getting scary after a while. 

 

 


Edited, for colour - I usually use the lighter blue to reply within quotes, but re-reading my original post, I realized that it's really hard to read in large blocks! I also fixed up a few random typos along the way.

 


Edited by Storm Bride - 4/27/11 at 1:01pm
post #259 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post

I feel like there might be a lot of discussion on this topic from women who have literally experienced this, rather than an outsider. What do you all think?

 

Ami

 

I completely agree.  I know people who have had c-sections and loved them and easily made the decision to schedule a section for their next baby.  I don't know anyone who has had a c-section and struggled.  I don't relate, at all, to people who have had uncomplicated c-sections.  

 

Up until now I have said with confidence that I didn't want to risk having another baby.  Now that my son is at the 'golden age' I'm starting to doubt myself.  I guess my first step would be to talk with my Doctor to see if he has any thoughts on the matter.  But after that, I need to know how other mamas have worked through their struggles with whether or not to have another baby.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Aside from anything else, the relative risks for certain complications start getting scary after a while. 


 

 

 

100% yes.  My fear of repeating the trauma that was my first c-section (which, in my case, was not all failed vaginal birth related trauma...I never had any real hopes of delivering vaginally) is what is currently influencing our decisions regarding family size.  If my body sucked so much the first time, isn't it going to suck even more the next time?  It's not like I can change any of the factors that caused my delivery to go so poorly.   My uteri will never be anywhere close to normal and now I have a scar to add to the mix which just makes everything worse.  Odds generally don't work in my favour so I have real doubts about a second pregnancy.  It feels like there really is no hope.

 

And Storm Bride, thank you so much for taking the time to write down your story.  I appreciate your willingness to talk about some very difficult situations in order to give us other mamas some perspective.  
 

 

post #260 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post

Hannybanany, I definitely empathize with your situation.  My first was a c/s (failed induction), second was also a c/s (failed hbac turned emergency c-section; dd2 has significant brain damage), third was a vba2c in the hospital, pretty easy, straightforward birth.  I assumed #4 would be the same, but I ended up with my third c/s.  We're also Catholic, so I understand where you're coming from on that.  For me, I am not comfortable attempting a vba3c, so if we have any more children it will be by scheduled c/s.  I played the "what-if" game and felt guilty for whatever reason at first, but 6 months out I'm content.  He had a true knot in his cord that was causing post-contraction decels so in hindsight I'm glad we played it safe and got him out before things went bad.

 

Congratulations on your little guy!


Thank you for your response. It's comforting to know that somebody understands.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post

 

I'm also terrified of all the complications like hemorrage, and especially hysterectomy. I don't want that. The lack of control that I would feel.....

 

 

Oh, me too.

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