or Connect
Mothering › Groups › Unplanned C-section Support Group › Discussions › Talk To Me About Support - Feedback Needed!

Talk To Me About Support - Feedback Needed!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Mamas,

 

Tomorrow morning I'm kicking off a birth trauma peer support group in my area. 

 

I'm cofacilitating with another mama who had a difficult birth. I'm eager to create a peaceful and healing space for women struggling with tough birth experiences. 

 

Going into this, I've revisited many of the threads here, to remind myself of all the feelings and issues that might manifest themselves in the group space. I also thought I might just straight out ask you wise women for your feedback. In the wake of your experiences with unplanned c-sections, can you share a little bit about what kinds of things you felt would or wouldn't have helped you? I know there are several women planning on attending whose births are still very fresh. What kinds of words or resources do you think would've made a difference for you? Where there things you hated hearing? Things you wished people had been more open to hearing from you? Things you longed to hear?

 

Thanks for your feedback.

post #2 of 10

Just thought I'd bump your post up. smile.gif

post #3 of 10

I hated hearing that there was nothing I could have done, in the end.  It is a firmly held notion in my head that there was a lot I could do beforehand.  Not that I feel that c-sections are necessarily avoidable, just mine.  I just feel like I really made some decisions out of inexperience that could have given me a better chance of avoiding this.  So, for some reason, it annoys me when people say you just couldn't avoid it.  I know what they mean.  I know they mean to be supportive and I smile sweetly and nod in agreement, it just feels actually like the opposite because my view contradicts theirs.

 

I also hated hearing how strong I was, because I don't feel I was.  I felt powerless.

 

Funny, when people try to make me feel better about it, I actually feel worse.  I guess the support I personally wanted was some commiseration, like asking about how I felt about it.  When I'd say I felt this one was avoidable, I wish they might have asked why, and if, say, I felt the nurse was pushy they might have said "Oh I hate when they do that.  What did this nurse do that was so awful?"

 

Well, but most of these questions would have lead to a deeper conversation and I don't think I've ever been in a position where someone wasn't just chatting.  So, I'm not bitter.  I don't think I've even said anything to anyone about it except dh, and he was there.  Mine is a long story and I don't think anyone wants to listen to the whole thing.

 

 

I think because people want to talk about c-sections and I want to talk about mine.  There is a difference.

 

I used to be irritated by "well, you have a beautiful girl".  It's a dismissive thing to say.  It's very truthful, but very dismissive, like they don't care very much about your experience and let's cut to the chase and get back to Happy.

 

What I liked to hear:  bitching about nurses together.  Talking about the craziness of first-time labor and the decisions we make that weren't necessarily great.  The powerlessness you can feel (I especially appreciate birth stories of the past generations--makes me feel way better!)  

 

 

Sorry for such a late reply.


Edited by SweetSilver - 7/23/12 at 8:13am
post #4 of 10
I too find it difficult that people dismiss my experience as both myself and my daughter made it through the emergency c-section. My experience was real and I can't ignore that it happened. When I describe what happened and the treatment we received immediately after the operation I feel that I am dismissed as ungrateful for having a healthy daughter. I have posted a thread called I feel cheated and its about the negative experience and have too filed a complaint. I don't feel a failure but I do feel I missed out on something special. As this is very recent for me I would seek support on how to deal with other people's hurtful responses when trying to talk about it. A group would definatley help to heal my heart but I live in Australia. I wish the group success.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your feedback, SM360. I totally hear where you are coming from.

 

There is a wonderful organization in Australia that works with mothers who are dealing with difficult birth experiences. You might want to check out their website, if you feel it would be helpful. 

 

http://birthtalk.org/index.html

 

Here is their related blog as well - 

 

http://birthtraumatruths.wordpress.com/

post #6 of 10

It's great that you're asking this question.

 

I think that the thing I've wanted most (and also found hardest to find) is the space to tell my story, the WHOLE story, without feel rushed, and without feeling like the person who's listening has already drawn their own conclusions about what happened, why it happened, and what it means. In other words, real respectful space for my story. I think that can be a hard thing to do in a group, but well worth it if you can create the space. Most of us who have long labors have a long story to tell. Our labors couldn't be rushed, and our stories can't be rushed, either. So that's what I've always wanted, and what has been most healing for me when I've been able to find it.

 

I also think that women for whom the trauma is still really fresh, and who might be dealing with issues like PPD or PTSD, need to be directed to resources for addressing those issues. This is hard because sometimes those resources just don't exist. But where they do, helping a mom connect with them can be so important. I know from my own post-partum days that I was in the worst position to make good decisions on my own behalf. People would say, "take care of yourself" and I just had no idea what that meant, let alone how to go about it. My rational brain just wasn't functioning, and pain/trauma/sleep deprivation were making me very much not myself. So it was helpful when someone could say something very specific, and then help me figure out how to achieve that thing.

 

For example: It wasn't helpful to hear: "You need to eat." It would have been better to hear: "You don't seem to be eating proper meals, and I want to help. Let's figure out how to get a good meal into you during the next hour. Can if fix something for you and then hold the baby for a few minutes so that you can sit at the table and eat? Then we can talk about how to make sure that you eat regularly during the next few days." I really needed that level of intervention. I know that a support group can't always be that "hands on." But maybe there's a way to connect a mom who is truly struggling to a post partem doula or someone else who have provide that level of support.

 

I will be interested to hear how the support group facilitation is going for you. Good luck! Please report back!

post #7 of 10

Just wanted to add the reason I didn't see this thread is that I discovered I need to actually subscribe to the group to see new threads.  Always wondered why the group I belong to didn't show up on my home page.... well, that's why.  Seems a bit silly that I need to both join a an MDC group *and* subscribe.  Oh well.  I figured it out.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partaria View Post

Mamas,

 

Tomorrow morning I'm kicking off a birth trauma peer support group in my area. 

 

I'm cofacilitating with another mama who had a difficult birth. I'm eager to create a peaceful and healing space for women struggling with tough birth experiences. 

 

Going into this, I've revisited many of the threads here, to remind myself of all the feelings and issues that might manifest themselves in the group space. I also thought I might just straight out ask you wise women for your feedback. In the wake of your experiences with unplanned c-sections, can you share a little bit about what kinds of things you felt would or wouldn't have helped you? I know there are several women planning on attending whose births are still very fresh. What kinds of words or resources do you think would've made a difference for you? Where there things you hated hearing? Things you wished people had been more open to hearing from you? Things you longed to hear?

 

Thanks for your feedback.

Great idea!! I am going to start attending a local "home birth transfer support group," I am hoping it will be an open supportive environment for me. Anyhoo, onto your questions:

 

It was not helpful to hear things like "you have a healthy baby" "why did you plan a homebirth in the first place?" *I told you so attitudes from those around me (ahem, family members, "friends"). It was helpful to hear that it was okay to be upset over the loss of my birth ideal, lots of hugs, and safe space to tell my story if and when I wanted to. I wish people would have been more direct and less dismissive of my experience "what was it like having to transfer?" rather than "well he's a healthy baby." 

 

I will post more later tonight on the ICAN conference I went to last year. I heard some really great stuff from Isa Herrera and Pam England. 

post #9 of 10

Okay well I am back quicker than I thought I would be. :)

 

I found all my notes from the 2011 ICAN conference. 

 

The two speakers that come to mind and that I remember the most clearly are Isa Herrera and Pam England. 

 

Isa Herrera spoke to the physical healing after a cesarean surgery. She wrote the book "Ending Female Pain." She advocates for physical therapy immediately and longer after the birth. I have 3+ pages of messy notes on her suggestions of what to do immediately following a C-S to help your body heal and scar heal properly. I can type them out if anyone is interested PM me.

 

Pam England's session was titled "Nine Birth Story Gates." The nine birth gates are 

Gate of love: no story

Gate of the Huntress (who was I before? who am I now?)

Gate of pride/ Forgiveness

Revolving door of Judge and VIctim (you alternate between judging yourself and those who were around you and feeling like a victim)

Gate of medical story (you tell people only the medical basics when you are asked or it comes up)

Gate of Social Story (you tell a brief story, not too medical not too emotionally deep)

Gate of relationships

Gate of relief, gratitude, and fruit

Gate of no story

 

I was really wrapped up in her talk, sometimes crying, mostly focusing and listening. I did not take many notes unfortunately. I will put my notes in parentheses. 

 

I emailed whoever runs Pam England's website and she had no idea what I was referring to. 

 

I am bummed about two things 1) I cannot find any more info. on the 9 birth story gates, I really related to everything she said. 2) ICAN did not come through (as far as I know) with their promise of the video recordings being online accessible to ICAN members. That didn't happen. I emaied back and forth a few times with some ICAN person and nothing came of it. 

 

 

Not sure if this adds anything to the conversation. If anyone finds out more info. about Pam England's take on the emotional stages after a cesarean (now that I think about it, perhaps this could be applied to all birth stories in some way?)

post #10 of 10

http://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/insoo-kim-berg

 

this method was recommended by Pam England. 

  Return Home
Mothering › Groups › Unplanned C-section Support Group › Discussions › Talk To Me About Support - Feedback Needed!