I am 26. I have always wanted to be a mom as long as I can remember. I always wanted a big family because I loved growing up with two brothers and two sisters....there was always someone to play with. 5 weeks ago I gave birth to my son. I was supposed to be induced and ended up in the hospital earlier that day because my water broke (without any contractions). I was told this meant I had 24hrs to deliver or have a c-section (because of risk of infection after 24hrs). 12hrs into labor, and I was ready for an epidural. Unfortunately, I had to wait for almost 5 hours to get one because of all the emergency c-sections going on. I was given Demerol to "hold me over" until I could get an epidural....It made me feel paralyzed, but still able to feel each contraction just as strongly. It was horrible. After 28 hours in labor (I was only allowed to go so long because of more emergency c-sections), my contractions stopped. I was fully dilated and effaced. I was allowed to push for an hour, but without contractions to keep my son down after I pushed, he just kept moving back up. The doctor tried using the vacuum twice, with no success. I was told if my contractions wouldn't have stopped I wouldn't have torn at all. I was so depressed because I could get him to crown, but we couldn't get him out without the contractions. So, I was forced into an emergency c-section. I feel like such a failure, making it so far but unable to get him out. I feel like My disappointment in his birth is ruining my relationship with him. I'm not mad at him, but I hate how everything happened and i feel like I got cheated out of the experience I wanted. I feel like I missed out on the bonding. We were in the hospital for a week because he was jaundiced from his "traumatic birthing experience" according to the doctors and nurses. He spent those days in a photo-therapy bed in our room. I was only allowed to take him out to breastfeed him. This experience has made me realize that not only do I not want more kids, but I'm not sure I want to be a mother at all. I know this will probably change with time, but I just hate it right now.
Oh, honey. I am so sorry. Thank you for coming here and sharing your story with us.
I want you to know that how you feel, that is very close to where I was just five weeks out. I completely get it. The sense of failure, the huge emotional (and physical) pain that comes when what you got is so SO far from what you tried for/wanted. I had trouble bonding with my son too. Everytime I looked at him, I felt inadequate, and I felt like I was reminded that I wasn't some kind of authentic mother because I hadn't birthed "right."
I'm sorry that you didn't get the birth you worked so hard to have. There is a grief that comes with a loss like that. You can love your baby, be happy he is here, and still feel a deep sense of sadness about the way he got here. I want you to know that's okay, and many of us here know what that's like.
You are a warrior woman. I can't imagine going through all that to get a babe here. You pushed for a long time, you labored hard. You did everything in your power. And when it came down to it, you sacrificed your dream of a vaginal birth to get your baby here safely. There is a strength in that. If you don't feel it now, that is okay. But tuck that thought away and maybe it will speak to you sometime in the future. You are far from a failure, mama. You have been to hell and back for that child. I honor your grief and the loss you feel. But I also want to tell you I'm proud of you. Your strength is amazing.
Be kind to yourself, above all else. You need gentleness in this period most of all. And as for bonding. I totally get it. I really do. I felt so disconnected from DS when he was born, and I also felt shamed, like he was angry at me for having him surgically.
But also remember that even mamas with "perfect" vaginal births sometimes don't feel bonded to their babies five, ten, even six months out. Bonding with a baby is like falling in love. Sometimes it's first sight. Sometimes it's...a process. So don't be too hard on you about this.
And having other kids.. give yourself time. There is absolutely no reason to answer the question of more children at this stage in the game. I obsessed about that when mine was born. I felt like we would likely have two. But after my son came, I kept thinking, "I can never EVER put myself or my family through this again. I feel so robbed." One thing that helped me was taking it one day at a time. I didn't think in terms of the next months or years. I just thought in terms of the day I was in. It helped me stop thinking about more children for the timebeing, which reduced some of the turmoil in my heart.
I don't mean to invalidate these thoughts. They are real and important. But I can also say from personal experience that they can totally overwhelm, and that if you can say to these thoughts, 'I hear you. I recognize you. But I will have to sort through you later,' it might help you during this very early postpartum period, which is fraught with enough challenges and changes.
Hugs, mama. Please keep posting here. We have a really supportive group and I'm glad you're here.
Thank you so much for your kind words and wisdom. I felt so alone in my thoughts and feelings until i found this group. It's hard not to feel angry at the world...and I haven't told my husband because he is sooo in love with our son and I feel like it would break his heart to know how I feel. It helps hearing everyone's story who have gone through similar things. Thank you so much!!
If I can come this far, a woman like you surely will. Give youself plenty of time to grieve. It may never go away but know that it WILL get better Hugs mama.
Thank-you Amy! It really is nice to hear how everyone is coping with their own story. I must say, that today I got a huge smile from my son...probably gas...but he looked right at me and did this huge open mouth grin. I thought "maybe it will be okay". We will see, but the fact that he is unscathed from my personal issues made me feel slightly better. I felt like "well, at least HE doesn't realize how I feel". :) The stories on here have made a huge difference in how I feel and how I am handling those feelings.
I spent months and months crying and apologizing to my son for not being able to birth him "right." Everytime he screamed and cried (which was nonstop b/c he was a very colicky baby), I thought, 'He is expressing his rage about the birth. I deserve this. He hates me.'
When he started smiling, god yes. YES. It felt SO. MUCH. BETTER. I remember the first smile I got. He was on a blanket under a big oak in the backyard of our building. I cried and was just thinking, 'you don't hate me!!'
As hard as it is, remember that your baby right now needs warmth, dry diapers, food, and cuddles. If you are getting that to him, he is feeling loved and cared for. I promise. I mothered my guy a long long time without feeling like there was real love there. I felt like I was going through the motions. But when I look back, even if my heart wasn't there, I was doing it. I was mothering. I told DH about this after DS's first birthday. And he was astonished. He said that he could not tell at all that I wasn't in love and that I did so much for DS. There was no way DS lost out on anything.
You are mothering too. And if you are gentle with yourself, your heart will get there eventually. <3