It's been a long time since I've posted here, but I need some support, some validation that this is not the result of me doing something wrong. About seven weeks ago, I "gave birth" to a beautiful son. I was convinced I would be the last person who would end up with a C-section. I had an uncomplicated, easy pregnancy. I researched everything to do with childbirth to the nth degree and took Hypnobabies classes. I switched from my OB to the hospital's midwives at five months. I had a birth plan, typed up with bullet points. My heart was set on a water birth; the hospital had just a few months prior acquired birthing tubs. I was so looking forward to going into labor. I had no fear, honestly. The Hypnobabies rhetoric instilled the belief in me that everything would go as planned simply because I wanted it to. Right.
My water broke at 11 PM on Tuesday, July 23. We waited all night for me to start contractions, trying to rest. The following morning I had still not gone into labor so we started natural induction methods--walking, nipple stimulation, pineapple, the whole works. I could feel my belly go hard at times, but no real contractions. At noonish, I called my Dr/Midwife practice and spoke to the attending midwife. I lied and said my water had broken that morning. Coincidentally I had an appointment scheduled that afternoon and she said to come in and get checked. I was only 1 CM. She advised me to come to the hospital by 9 PM to be induced (by my account it was 12 hours since my water broke but it was almost 24.) Of course, nothing happened by then. I wanted to delay longer but my husband insisted. Walking in I felt like I was going to my death. I was so upset about the Pitocin; little did I know in a little more than 24 hours I'd be fileted like a fish. All night long I labored. I watched my contractions on the screen become more regular and intense. But when they checked me, I was stuck at 3 CM. I was on 28 units (I think highest dose is 30) for 8+ hours and not a hint of progress. We thought maybe the epidural would relax me enough to dilate, but no such luck. I felt like a complete failure. My son was not in any distress, but he wasn't going anywhere, and the water had been broken almost 48 hours at this point. I felt helpless as I signed the consent for the C-section. The whole process was terrifying, even though the doctors tried to be reassuring. I had never had surgery in my entire life and here I was, in a situation where I HAD to have surgery that I had in no way planned for. The pulling and tugging was disconcerting and uncomfortable--I remember screaming when they were taking my son out. But even worse was having to look up at the damn ceiling, not being able to see or hold him for what seemed like hours. I had planned his birth down to the last detail, of waiting to cut his cord and rubbing his vernix into his skin as I held him on my chest. He was brought to me all bundled up, shiny and clean....and I felt disconnected from him. I felt like he wasn't mine. He stared at me with this intense gaze that felt like it was boring into my soul. I know he knew I was his mother. But I couldn't connect. What a horrible feeling! That feeling lasted until he was four weeks old. I'm convinced it was the reason I had such a hard time breastfeeding, which has been an ordeal in itself. Three outpatient lactation consultants, many tears, and $700+ later, we are now finally exclusively breast feeding! I still have a lot of guilt over how I handled the delivery and worry that my emotions in his first few weeks of life might affect his development, but there's nothing I can do now but move forward. Still in the back of my mind, I wonder why this happened to me. They said he was transverse occiput (on his side facing my hip) with his cord around his neck twice. My midwife said that's probably why he didn't descend, but according to my research nuchal cords are very common, even multiples. They usually don't cause a problem with normal vaginal delivery. Would care with the local homebirth practice make a difference in terms of them identifying his position and helping me get him engaged? (I know they are big on fetal positioning and generally much more thorough than the hospital midwives.) I'll never know. I thought I was making the best decision I could for him, and maybe I did. Maybe a homebirth would have resulted in a transfer anyway for failure to progress with ruptured membranes-and would've been even more stressful.
Can anyone shed light on this? I still feel like there must be something wrong with me that I couldn't birth my son naturally, or even go into labor on my own. And I'm grieving the loss of what could have been a beautiful, intimate birth.