I haven't check-in for a while so this is really long :)
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?
I'm so glad that your second CS was more positive. I think being a player and making decisions along the way is very important, and It's good to know that you were still able to be involved. I'm glad you had that role. :)
I don't know much about cervical extensions, but I could see how an OB could be relating it to the risks of a uterine rupture. I'd definitely ask them why they deem it too risky to VBAC now, and studies, research, and really get as much info as you can and you be the one to decide where to go from there.
I think we all have those 'what if's' and I think that's a very important part of the healing journey. Guilt is very real. I think more real than that is just sorrow that I felt after my kids' births about how I wish I could have done whatever magical thing to protect them and make those crappy things not happen to them. I felt like I was to blame about everything, even though I knew knew I did everything right. It's important to keep in mind that yes, we are a player in our births, but we are only one those players. There is the baby, our bodies, our subconscious, birth itself, etc. I couldn't have blame ourselves and think that I could have done ______ different and it could have been better, because it really just all happened and it was 'out of my control'. And I'm at peace with that.
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?
I get the whole terror of surgery thing. DH had a vasectomy and to me, just thinking about someone going in his body and changing the physiology of it really freaked me out. That was a lot for me to handle. I think that is very real. For me, just the other day in fact, I got to a place where I was looking at my scar (which was a journey in and of itself) and then looked at DD and DS and really stood in amazement that their little bodies came from my body. They were born through me and I did that. I had my babies. It was so great.
I can see myself (if DH wasn't 'fixed' now) having another, and to be honest, I could really go either way. VBA2C (to which I'd drive 200 miles away for an OB that i know of) or doing an ERC. It's not that birth doesn't matter to me, I just know that I could be at peace either way. I think what is stopping us from more children (again with out the vas.) is DH does not want more, as he was never really super thrilled about having the ones we have now lol!, and I don't really know if I want to do the whole pregnancy, baby, infant thing. It's a lot. A LOT! I'd want to do it just for the 'birth' part, as I loved laboring, and would love to be a surrogate like the other mama was talking about, but don't know how I would do that skipping the pregnancy thing. Also the particial abruption is a medical risk factor, and it we would risk a third CS, but that's the technical stuff. I am at peace with where I am at. It took a lot of work. I saw a therapist who specializes in sexual abuse (which is why my CSs were so hard on me partly) and we did a 'breathwork therapy' session (you can google that) and I think that helped. Self care was/is HUGE for me. In fact, one Friday night, after dinner, I left the house, we to a very nice hotel downtown, ordered wine, cheesecake, buffalo wings, and just spent time with me. The next morning I woke (without someone waking me!) had a pedi in the AM, then a 2 hr lunch at a yummy resturant downtown with my journal and I just wrote. It was a day full of stream of consciousness writing. Then had a massage to top it off and by the time I got home kids were napping and DH and I spent about an hour just talking. I now do Yoga and mediate a few times a week and really spend A LOT of time just being present and checking in with where I am at emotionally. If I feel sad, I allow myself to feel sad. If I feel happy, upset, depressed, etc, I let myself feel those and try and figure out what is causing each feeling and really sitting with that and just spending a few minutes just feeling. That's helped me in every aspect of my life in finding peace. :)
Storm Bride, your story has touched me so deeply. I can't imagine the courage it took for you to really get to a place where you allow those emotions to come to words/text and then sending those out for others to read. I don't know if you will believe me when I say this, but you truly are stronger than you already know you are. Your kids are going to learn so much from you. SO much. You are a rock for other mamas to look to, lean on, etc. You really are amazing. :) You deserve the night away I was talking about a bit ago! Take two!!!! Lots of Love sent your way ~~~~~~
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!
Those 'what if's' again, like I mentioned above are really hard to work through, but have their purpose, so do explore them. :) You may want to check out my friends' blog. http://roadtohomebirthaftermultiplecesareans.blogspot.com/ Y'all seem to likely find insight to each other. I think exploring the why behind your desires of anything for anybirth is important. Why would that make you complete? Why would it have to be a vaginal birth? What would make a CS make you feel complete? Could that happen? I don't think it's sad or weird or odd or really that far out there to feel the way you do about vaginal birth. I think it's quite common, and really deserves some serious thoughts.
I understand that anger you speak of. I had it with my first (towards DH) and then with my second (towards my entire birth team). It was really confusing for me, and I didn't want to be angry, but I think the anger and the guilt that I talked about above to hannybanany really go hand in hand. Both those emotions can really take over you and make you feel roten from the inside out. It's worse when you ignore them and just think they will go away. Nope, they didn't for me. It took a lot of journalling (which for me really forced me face to face in quite with my thoughts and emotions) to really say how I felt and write down all the scary thoughts of anger and guilt that I felt and see them. It started to look up after that. It's like something clicked.
I'm so glad this thread exists, and I think all this stuff is really important to talk about, especially online where others can gain support, and it kinda makes it easier to type instead of talk face to face with people. BUT if any of you were local, we'd have set up a get together by now with coffee, tea, drinks, and tissues!