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Cesarean Birth Recovery & Support Thread 10 (April/May 2004)

post #1 of 202
Thread Starter 
This is a the Cesarean Support and Recovery Thread. This is not a thread for debate or judgement of our choices or necessity of cesarean.

post #2 of 202
Thread Starter 

Birth Plan for planned CB

Cesarean birth plan

As this is a planned Cesarean birth we are looking forward to a positive birth experience. We want to participate in this birth to the fullest. We have listed our preferences below, these decisions have been made after research, consultation, and thought. Therefore your help in attaining these goals is very much appreciated.

We would appreciate preoperative blood work and tests to be done on an out patient basis, and hospital admission on the day of the birth.

My sister, *******, is to stay with me the entire time, even for procedures and administration of anesthesia.

I would like an epidural for pain relief with Duramorph. < this I changed to the PCAPump, which left the epidural cath in my back where pain medication was directly put into the spinal column, it was like having a walking epidural and I could dose myself before moving around or nursing)

I would like the catheter put in after anesthesia is administered.

We do not wish to have medical students present during our cesarean. < I did have a student nurse and would gladly take another one, they pampered me!)

My arms are not to be strapped down unless general anesthesia becomes necessary during an emergency.

We would like the option of viewing the birth either by lowering the screen or positioning a mirror.

Kim would like a verbal description of the birth as is occurs. Kim welcomes conversation during the process. (while some people want quiet, I didnt. That scared me last time. I want some conversation)

We would like to take photos as we did of our first child. (we did not do video, but you can add this. my pictures are graphic)

Kim would like to see the baby immediately after birth if at all possible. She would also like to be given the baby or have it held near her in the OR. (my frist csection I did not get to see my baby)

No mind altering drugs are to be administered without Kim’s expressed permission. I am aware that some hospitals routinely sedate the mom for the repair portion of the surgery. It is important to Kim not to feel drugged or be unable to remember the events of the birth. We wish that no pre-op or post-op drugs be administered that cause drowsiness or sedation.

We would like our baby to be with us in recovery. Kim wishes to breastfeed immediately. Please do not give our baby bottles of formula or water and no pacifiers. ( I had Jack with me 15min after he was born, I actually was sitting in bed on the phone)

Kim does not want to be deprived of liquids or food after her cesarean.

Please remove Kim’s IV and catheter as soon as it is no longer medically necessary. She wishes to get up and move after the birth of our baby as soon as possible.
Kim would like to be promptly discharged as soon as she is well enough.
post #3 of 202
Not sure if this is the right place for this, but I'm wondering if there are other mamas who are still trying to "get over" having a c/s (unwanted or unnecessary).

Will is a little over a year now, and I'm still not quite "okay" w/his birth. I have seen a counselor (I have seasonal depression, and it combined w/my guilt/resentment/negativity about the c/s to inspire me to seek counseling). I'm feeling better about his birth now than I have before, but I'm still angry and frustrated about it.

One of the most frustrating aspects is other people's reaction to my c/s (Will was twelve pounds, so I get the "Oh, well of COURSE, you HAD to have a c/s - he's too big!" type of response). Even my counselor, while not being quite so insensitive, hinted around and tried to get me to explore the possibility that Will was just "too big" for a vaginal birth. While I understand that in some cases it is physically impossible for a vaginal birth to occur, I feel very strongly that mine is not one of them.

Although I wanted a very non-interventionist birth (and my OB SAID he agreed), I ended up having a cascade of interventions which I believe led to the c/s. A lot of my guilt is that I agreed to the interventions, and a lot of the anger is b/c I was pushed into them (repeated hassling by nurses/docs) and DH was not a strong support for me in resisting the interventions.

I woke up Wednesday morning at 5AM, having contractions five minutes apart. I timed them for quite a while and they didn't get any closer together. They weren't very strong or painful, however, so I went about my day. At 9, we went in to the OB's office - I wanted to make sure they were "real" contractions, not having BH throughout my pregnancy I didn't really have anything to compare them with. OB confirmed I was in labor and recommended I go home and then head over to the hospital later that afternoon. We did some shopping and the contractions didn't get any stronger or closer together. Late in the afternoon, the contractions stopped for a couple hours. Will wasn't moving around, either. I wasn't TOO concerned about that, as Mom had told me that when she went in to labor w/me, I "battened down the hatches" and didn't move at all.

However, after two hours of no contractions and no movement, I started to wonder about Will (not urgent "something's wrong" concern, I just wanted to be certain he was fine). After we ate dinner, I went to the hospital, intending simply to check Will's heartbeat and confirm that he was okay. On the way to the hospital, the contractions started again, a bit stronger. We had to check in to OB in order for them to even listen to the heartbeat. Of course, Will was fine, but DH talked me into staying.

I wasn't very dilated at that point (about 3 cms), and the contractions weren't bad, but got stronger. I walked and got in a tub, which helped. The OB asked if I wanted him to break my water and I declined (Hello! It's in my birthplan, which I went over ad nauseum, that I don't even want to be asked!). That was around 9, I think. I continued laboring, and the nurse kept asking if I wanted the doc to break my water. Kept saying no (it was a hard situation for me - the nurse was the same one who had taught our pre-natal class, so I didn't feel like I could be as b!tchy as I would have been otherwise since I "knew" and liked her. Looking back, it p!sses me off, b/c she KNEW how important it was to me to have a non-intervention birth. What was she thinking?).

She KEPT asking, even saying (at around eleven, I think) that if I wanted my water broken I should have it done now, b/c the doc was going to go to sleep until 5 the next morning. (So what?) Finally, at around 2 or 3, the doc came back in and asked again. I had been feeling like I wasn't making much progress (contractions weren't getting faster or much stronger), and he said ROM would probably help "speed things along". I asked him to leave the room so I could talk about it w/DH, hoping (and expecting) he would shore up my resistance. He said "go ahead", so we did.

My contractions immediately became stronger and painful, which I had expected. I also started having back labor, which I did not expect. I tried walking again, bath again, having DH rub my back, hands and knees, birthing ball, everything I could think of. Finally, I had the nurse check my dilation. When I had the ROM, I had been dilated to a good "easy" five and completely effaced. Now I was back to four (could be stretched to five, yeah, that's pleasant) and was back down to only 50 percent effaced. I really wasn't too shocked to hear this, b/c my body's reaction to pain is to tense and resist, no matter how much I try to relax. I could feel myself tensing and pushing a bit w/the contractions.

I struggled on for a while, but finally around 9 or 10 AM Thursday (after repeated suggestions/hassling from the nurses) got an epidural (and, of course, pit, but I couldn't feel it anyway). I continued laboring, sleeping (finally - over 24 hours since labor had started, and no sleep!) occasionally and dry-heaving. I asked for something to eat (nothing since 6 the previous evening) and nurses refused. I insisted and was finally given a few Saltines.

This continued all day. Shifts changed, and I really wasn't making much progress (of course not - I couldn't walk around thanks to the epidural, and was stuck in bed laying on my side). A new doc came on and threatened three or four different times to call a c/s (she'd say "okay, if you haven't progressed to xxxxx by yyyyy time, we may have to do it. However, she let me slide through - I didn't quite it to whatever dilation she wanted, so she'd let me go another hour, etc). She went off duty and a new doc came on. He checked and I was at 8 (woo-hoo! I was surprised). It wasn't too much longer before I REALLY had to push.

Finally, at 6 or so Thursday evening, I started pushing. Pushing and pushing and pushing. After (maybe) an hour, the doc said Will wasn't really descending much anymore and I should start preparing myself in case of c/s. I FREAKED out. Started crying, almost hyperventilating (remember, we're looking at over 36 hours of labor, intervention after intervention, w/me feeling pushed into it). Doc said, "okay, we'll give it some more time". I pushed Will so far down that we were able to touch his head. And then he was "stuck". I couldn't push him further. I asked the nurses to help (hold) me onto hands and knees so I could get him further out. They told me if I could get myself onto hands and knees, they'd help hold me there. (Hello! I'm freaking nine months pregnant! I can't turn myself over w/out help, even when I don't have an epidural) I tried, and couldn't even sit up (Duh! Ab muscles are not at their best after nine months of pregnancy). So I laid there and tried to push more.

Finally, at 9 or 9:30, the doc brings up the c/s again. I just gave up and said okay. I looked at DH and my mom, and could see the relief on their faces. (OMG, I am so angry about that right now, I'm crying).

Will was born at 10:02 PM Thursday, April 10, 2003.

Whoa! It feels good to get that all out. I haven't been able to write a birth story for him yet - it's still too much of a hot button for me, and I don't want my anger to leach into Will's birth story.

If I could change anything, I'd turn around and go home once I heard Will's heartbeat and knew he was okay. If I could undo a procedure, I'd kick anyone out of my room who even thought about ROM. I can't do either one.

I feel guilt b/c, in the end, I was the one who agreed to all the interventions and the c/s. I am extremely angry b/c I felt pushed into all those decisions by the hospital staff and not supported at all by DH or my mom.

Sorry if this is not the right place for this. I don't want to make anyone who's choosing a c/s or recovering from one uncomfortable. I'm just frustrated by my unnecessary c/s. You know, if only they'd helped me onto hands and knees. If only DH had reminded me why I didn't want ROM. If only I'd been able to stand that back labor better. If only we'd turned around and gone home Wednesday evening. If only, if only, if only. I KNOW I can't turn back the clock, but it still hurts to think "what if".
post #4 of 202
Big hugs to you, Kinsey, and welcome. Yep, you're in the right place. We've all had (or will have) cesareans, some for good reasons, some for not so good reasons... some of us feel fine about our cesareans, and some of us feel not so fine, but everyone is welcome.... we just want a place to talk about our births, get support and information, and above all, to be gentle to each other!

I can't believe they wouldn't help you get on your hands on knees. What would it have hurt to have given you a hand? Y'know, my ob gives me a hand to get off the table after she measures my fundus... I don't see how that's *any* different... Pg women on their backs are like beetles on their backs (except we probably don't wave our legs around as much ).

Please don't second guess yourself. You tried really hard. When it's the heat of the moment, I think sometimes drs. can prey upon their patients' fears and desires to do what's right for the baby. I think it can be really, *really* hard for our husbands and moms especially to see us in pain, to worry about how we're doing, to worry about how our babies are doing. (I'm planning a VBAC for any day now, and believe me, I've had some heart to hearts with dh and mom.)
post #5 of 202
Kinsey ...

First, .

Second, . You have completely found the right place. There are a bunch of wonderful women on this thread who have been in your shoes (or very similar ones) and have struggled to overcome their feelings surrounding their c/s. You are not alone, and you are free to share your feelings -- good and bad -- and help to come to terms with what happened. It is difficult, but know that you are not alone. My story is very similar to yours (too many interventions, back labor, epidural, long labor, no food, space cadet dh, etc.), and I know how you feel. Talking about it helps, especially with other women who have been where you are. Please feel free to work through your feelings here.

post #6 of 202
Thread Starter 
Welcome to our board! You are in the right place. It took me a long time to heal emotionally from my first csection. The second csection actually brought on a lot of healing and it had been five years.

I have to ask and I hope no one throws stones but do you really feel your csection was unnecessary? The reason I ask, is even though I had a deformed uterus, I have had more people say "I know so and so that had a bicornuate uterus and they had a vaginal birth" and "Why are you having a repeat, your chance of rupture really isnt that bad is it?" And I've read these boards, plenty of books, and stories about "Rowena" who had her 13 pound baby in the backyard under a flower pear tree, unassisted breech births, and look I am super natural birthing momma because I had 15lbs of twins in my living room that at times it has made me pause and wonder "should I of? could I have? was it really necessary?" And then the doubt, blame, and the pointing fingers begins. So I am wondering, are you really upset that things didn't go as planned and you made some decisions that may have made the experience worse or do you really feel that had you been left alone or not been in a hospital that you would have had your baby aunatural ?

For me healing began with my first csection was accepting the things I could not have controlled: my baby was transverse, my ribs were broken, my uterus is deformed; and then accepting responsiblity for making my situation worse: not trusting my insticts by allowing ECV and choosing a "green" physician that was not equipped to handle emergency situations. My ECV turned bad causing me to have an emergency csectoin with a failed spinal -- I got to endure over an hour of excrutiating pain, major drugs, and was given amnesia medication. While I don't blame myself for what happened in that OR, because they should have done G/A from the get go -- I am responsible for making choices that had reprecutions that landed me in that emergency situaiton. Had I went with my gut and listened to my body -- I would have not been in the OR under those conditions.

I think seeking therapy and talking about what happened is a good thing. I know it was very helpful to me. Luckily you have time, and time does heal.
post #7 of 202
Just subscribing

Hope everyone is well!!
post #8 of 202
I've been thinking about how to respond to your post for a while, OnTheFence, b/c I don't want to jump down your throat - I'm just frustrated w/EVERYONE who asks what you did. So if I seem snarky or defensive, I probably am, but it's not aimed at you personally.

Yes, I really do feel my c/s was unnecessary. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough in my first post. That's part of the reason I'm still so angry and hurt by it. It was UNECESSARY!!! Don't get me wrong, if there was any danger to Will, I'd have been leading the march to the OR (I didn't mention it before, but there was never any problem w/Will. He handled the entire labor like a champ. He was never in danger). I'm not such a selfish person that I would endanger my baby for my "ideal" birth. And, yes, I know that things happen causing a c/s to be necessary. But mine WASN'T. I forgot to mention earlier that, upon review of my hospital records, I can find NO evidence that the epidural was turned off when I started pushing - or ever, for that matter! Had it been turned off, at least it would have worn off eventually and I could have tried hands and knees pushing.

I know that the decisions I made caused the c/s to happen, I take responsibility for that, and believe me, different choices will be made in the future. That said, had I been out of a hospital setting and left alone? I would bet money I wouldn't have "needed" a c/s.

Sometimes I think it would be easier to accept had Will been in distress. Then the c/s would have been necessary and it wouldn't have mattered that I couldn't get on hands and knees. It wouldn't have mattered that I let them break my water. The onus wouldn't be on ME. As it is, I'm left wondering "what if", b/c you're right, there's no way to prove my c/s was unnecessary, or that left alone I could have delivered vaginally.

I just feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle (particulary once people hear how big Will was) to get people to understand how much this bothers me b/c *I* am the one who caused it - with my choices, not Will's size.

Sorry to go off there, but it did feel good to get that out there. I can't exactly lecture the woman at the grocery store when she says "Oh, I bet you were glad when they decided to section you". If I thought it would do any good, there are some days when I might. Can't you just picture it - me holding court over an audience near the diapers: "And whatever you do, don't let them break your water. Keep walking and stay away from the epidural."

I actually have an acquaintance who's newly pregnant and I'm having to keep a tight rein on myself to keep from writing her a letter detailing all the ways my decisions impacted Will's birth and how she could avoid the result I got. Probably not the best way to congratulate her on her pregnancy, eh? Maybe I'll have to settle for just sending her a book about natural childbirth.
post #9 of 202
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your candid and bold response and I like the way you said it! No apologies here honey!

And I would send your friend a natural pregnancy book or something on the fence like Dr. Sears, which is a great book for an introduction.

post #10 of 202
I have no problem telling plp what to stay away from....once they are farther along and IF it comes up. I try not to offer unwanted advice

Oh, and Kinsey...welcome to the group
post #11 of 202
Thread Starter 

Thinking about Tammy

I'm thinking about Tammy. I wonder if she had a boy or a girl. I wonder if she is breastfeeding okay. I wonder if she is in pain after her csectoin.
Is anyone else thinking about her?
post #12 of 202
Me too, Kim. I'm sure she'll post as soon as she feels able.
post #13 of 202
kinsey- welcome mama! this is a safe circle of sisters, you're in the right place and will find lots of support here. I can totally relate to what you are going through emotionally...just hang in there and feel free to vent.

yes I've been thinking about Tammy today too!!!! I hope everything went well for her!
post #14 of 202
and welcome kinsey! you are definitely in the right place...

thinking of tammy, too. hopefully everything has gone 100% by the book and she is doing great!
post #15 of 202
Kinsey-Big hugs. I'm right there with you. My dd will be one in a month and I've just started processing her birth. I have a lot of similiar feeling about the birth and sometimes just retelling it can make me cry. I also feel let down by my dh, my mom, sister and best friend (they were my support) as well as my midwives. I definately have guilt surrounding the birth and things I would have done differently.
Hearing your story resounded with me and I would like to share mine at some point. However, I absolutely must go and have some "me" time while I can. Welcome.
post #16 of 202
I was thinking about Tammy yesterday. I hope everything went well!!

I miss that excitement of a newborn....I know Bryce is only 3 months old but I miss my "baby baby"....
post #17 of 202
I just found out they are doing my c/sec in 8 wks!!!
Our son Landon is going to be a month early...
Im really nervous but sooo excited!!!
I dont have time today to read and reply to ppls posts Just wanted to let everyone know
post #18 of 202
Just checking in, not sure how I missed the new thread.

Kinsey Welcome to our "tribe". Many of us have taken quite a while to "heal" from our c-births, my healing did not come until my 3rd.

OTF- even though I KNOW my c-births were necessary, I STILL question it at times in my mind, rationally I know I made the right choices, but keep wondering if I had never had a c-birth I wouldn't be where I am today, feeling like having another baby is too risky. Then, I realize- maybe I wouldn't have the 3 beautiful children who I already know/love.
post #19 of 202
Hi, I’m Allie and I’d like to join this group. I’ve been reading the posts for awhile on mothering, all through my pregnancy and beyond. My dd is going to be 1 year next month and I’m still struggling with how she was born. A c-section after 54 hours of labor. I had planned on a homebirth with a really qualified nurse midwife and certified midwife. Between the two of them they had 40 years of experience. I loved them and felt totally comfortable. I read everything there was to read about natural birth and homebirth. My DH and family was behind the idea and totally supportive. My pregnancy was really healthy. I went into labor 3:30am on a Saturday. I was able to fall back asleep, the contractions really picked up speed that morning. We called the midwives and they came down. We labored all day Saturday and through the night, I napped when I could between contractions. DH and the midwives were totally there for me and we were all working well together and I was so thankful to be at home. Sunday morning, my water hadn’t broken yet so we talked about breaking it. My midwife was about to do an internal and my water broke. I was 7 centimeters. The contractions were really steady and frequent at this point, right on top of each other. I spent most of the day in the shower in active labor. That afternoon things really seemed to be progressing. I was laboring hard. The midwives decided to check me again so I could start pushing (I’d been in active labor forever). Well, I was still only at 7 cm. It was so demoralizing. We got into the labor tub and labored for 5 more hours. Hard contractions right on top of each other, and they had been all day. Late into Sunday evening we finally decided to go to the hospital. I’d been in labor for over 40 hours and was starting to need some more help. I was getting exhausted from the pain. At the hospital, the doctor wanted to do a c-section then. I wanted it badly. I just wanted to pain to end. My midwife though suggested we get some pain relief and try medication to further dilate me so we could try for the vaginal birth. The OB wasn’t happy about it, but I agreed. So I got an intrathecal, fell asleep and labored on the pitocin all night. By Monday morning (I’d been in labor since Saturday), I was at 9.5 centimeters with a cervical lip. I was so happy that it would be over soon (so I thought). The midwife told me to push, so I did even though I didn’t have the urge. I couldn’t feel much except pain everywhere in my body at this point. For several hours I pushed unproductively with my midwife’s hand inside pushing and pulling on my cervix. Eventually my body swelled up inside out, my temperature shot right up. We had to do a c-section. My DH was amazing through this entire process. I had tireless support of everyone there. I felt like such a failure. She ended up being a big baby in a bad position. I so badly had hoped for a natural home birth and got a c-section. I was so wiped out I couldn’t even physically hold her. That broke my heart. Bonding was definitely hindered. My milk didn’t come in for 6 days, the hospital gave her formula and sugar water. I’m crying just remembering it. Thankfully, once we got home I was able to nurse her and she’s still nursing now. The recovery was really hard and I’m still recovering. During the pushing phase, my pelvic floor was destroyed. All the muscles in my pelvic floor were ripped/torn/traumatized. I had nightmares for weeks afterwards about the labor. I have pain my pelvic region frequently. It makes me so sad. I’m sorry if this isn’t the place for this, but I’m interested in hearing other stories about c-sections. I know mine was necessary, I’m just disappointed and feel like a failure as a woman. Plus I feel like I’ve let down the home birth community by needing a hospital transport and ultimately a c-section. Lastly, I was told that due to the damage to my pelvic floor, I’m not a candidate for a VBAC so I’ll have to have a c-section again if I get pregnant and I’m afraid of it, but I really want more babies so this is a struggle. So that’s my story. Thanks. Allie
post #20 of 202
Thread Starter 

I am crying after reading your story. I am so sorry for what you had to go through. I cant believe you lasted as long as you did. I know that I probably would not have lasted as long as you. It sounds like you made some very good pregnancy and birth choices and then things just happened, not as you had planned.
I would definitely say your csection was necessary. I feel bad for you because it seems like you wanted to go through with the csection earlier on but was talked out of it and then to experience all that trauma and pain. My heart breaks for you. Literally breaks.
I can sympathize with your traumatic experience, not being able to hold your daughter, etc. I was able to breastfeed right away but with a lot of assistance and my milk came in 2 days later but my recovery was hard and it took a good year physically and emotionally longer.
I want you to know that if I was in your shoes I would not try to VBAC. It sounds like there was some damage to your pelvic floor. I cant imagine the pain you must feel and curious to see if it causes you problems in other areas (sex, urination, bowel movements) I recently have become friends with a girl whose pelvic floor was ruined and she is suffering with all kinds of horrible problems. She is trying to get pregnant right now and then after she has her csection is having everything removed and repaired. She had a vaginal birth the first time but six weeks later had to have surgery to correct damage done while pushing.

I want you to know that you can have a wonderful, healing beautiful experience the next time. I did. Planned csections are better IMO and you can have some control over the situation and prep time. Know that we are here and {HUGS} to you.
If I was there I would hug and cry with you!!!!

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