or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Birth Stories › Left with a lot of questions & fear after my birth experience
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Left with a lot of questions & fear after my birth experience

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
HI everyone! I'm excited to join the group. I'm not pregnant yet but am considering it soon. Since delivering another baby scares the heck out of me... I'm trying to do research and find some reassurance. I'd like to share about my first birth experience.

So, I had my daughter a year ago. I moved to Florida at 30 weeks and was excited that even though I had medicaid, I was able to find a midwife clinic to go to. I really wanted a midwife as I had heard such great things about them and even though I wanted an Epi (I feel so official throwing out the little lingo i know.. ha) I wanted the birth to be as natural as possible and was very terrified of a csection.

At 41 weeks (this was my first and only pregnancy) my family was in town and I felt pressure to ask to be induced. At 41 weeks and 2 days, one of the midwifes told me I could come to the hospital that night. I did and they put in Cervadil. I was told I would be able to rest overnight with it in because it had to be in for 12 hours. Rest?! I was in a lot of pain right from the start. It was scary as my husband and I were new to this and basically just put in a room and left alone all night. My nurse kept telling me it should feel like a bad period cramp, but I felt like I was having contractions. It was really surprising how much pain I was in all night long. At about 4 am I asked my nurse for something to help with the pain and she looked at me like I was a big wimp. I felt dumb but I was trying my best. I wanted some rest but was getting a bad headache and was hurting so bad. Especially with bad back pain. They gave me something in my IV I don't remember what. It helped take a little edge off, but I still couldn't rest.

In the morning, the pain was so intense I was throwing up and felt extreme pain. Again, we were left pretty much to our own devices. I have to explain that although I had gone to a midwife clinic, there were five midwives in rotation. I never really got to know one over the other and they had I don't know how many other women in labor that day. Because I hardly ever saw her the entire time. My husband and I were trying different laboring positions that my friend was telling me about over the phone and also tried a shower. There was no tub. They kept wanting me to get back into bed and keep the monitor on. I felt trapped. Finally, I could stand the bed anymore and had to get up and keep moving. Leaning on my husband, I began throwing up more and felt like I was going to pass out. He grabbed some random nurse in the hall and she came in, adjusted the monitor around my waste and I was contracting off the charts. She quickly pulled the cervadil out thankfully.

They checked me and I was only at two cen. This was so disheartening because I had been in so much pain for over 12 hours. Anyone else have any experience with cervadil? I understand its supposed to be a more natural approach to induction than pitocin, but nothing felt natural about it. I felt I was contracting that entire 12 hours with no break. No rise and fall. No rest periods. Just constant cramping and back pain like being stabbed with a knife. They told me it would have to be put in for another 12 hours. I was devastated. When she put it in this time it was so painful I was screaming out. It was like my uterus was so sensitive to the touch. She was trying to get it in the right position farther back than it had been in before and it was insanely painful. Once in, the very intense pain began again. No lulls or pattern.

It was only in for two hours at which point I was vomiting and my uterus felt like it was contracting out of control again. Almost like spasming... I read later about Cervadil overreacting the uterus or overstimulating it. I feel like this might have happened to me and am confused why they didn't do anything about it. This time they took it out and I was at 5 to 6 with contractions. I quickly asked for the epidural. I received one and was so happy to get some relief for an hour. Then I was 10 and it was time to push. I'm confused at this point why my epidural seems to have "worn off" at this point. I had gone to a hospital required epidural class prior to labor and was told it doesn't wear off but is on a continual drip. By the time I was pushing it felt like I had no medication. I tried my best to use what little labor techniques I had. Finally, I did have a good nurse at this point because the midwife was hardly in the room. She tried a bunch of different position with me on the bed. I pushed for two hours. It was incredibly painful the entire time. Incredible back pain. I kept asking for more epidural because this is not how I was expecting it to be... and they kept telling me no. That my baby would end up in the NICU. I was exhausted after going into my 23rd hour and I don't know how effective my pushes were. I was sure trying my absolute hardest! I felt like I was going to die. I don't know if they gave me morphine at this point, but I remember asking to pray with my family and telling them that I felt my grandmother who has passed was near.

Come to find out, the baby was anterior (sunny side up) and even though her head was right there, she was not coming out. The midwife was trying to turn her with her hand inside me. Oh wow. But, it didn't appear to be working. At this point, comes all my questions. I was crying out for a csection. I was delirious with pain and just wanted her out and was being refused anything for the pain. I'm confused why... seeing as she couldn't turn her, why she didn't give me more epidural and do an episitomy or forceps or something. I have had several friends with episiotomies and although certainly a last resort, you think this would be better than a csection? Finally, they brought in the anesthesiologist and was told I was getting a csection. I couldn't think about asking for other options... I was just relieved.

Sorry this is turning out so long... but thank you so much for letting me tell my story. Overall, the c section was fine. The recovery was a lot more difficult than I thought, but I got through it. I had a tremendously hard time sleeping. I seriously can't sleep on my back, so could not get comfortable. I was awake the entire two day recovery in the hospital. Anyone else have this problem? If your not a back sleeper, c sections are rough. Any advice? Once home, it was little sleep for this reason too. I think it made my anxiety a lot worse too and kind of set the stage for a downward spiral...

My baby was not nursing well. She sometimes would have a good feeding, followed by an hour of crying. Or sometimes pulling away and not wanting to nurse at all. After two weeks of this and no sleep on my part, I began formula feeding feeling totally defeated, drained, and with a body that felt in trauma itself. She got worse on formula, eventually went to nutramigen and we endured a long hard four months until she grew out of acid reflux. My post partum period was one of horrible anxiety, feeling like a failure, which led to depression. The sleep thing became a huge problem and I was a zombie. My baby woke up several times a night, but even when she was sleeping, I couldn't sleep but was sick with anxiety. I had flash backs and horrible feelings about the birth experience and felt like everything after... the reflux and stopping nursing, and the sleep issue... was all my fault. I should have gone to a therapist at this point, but I didn't.

Anyway, at four months when my daughter grew out of her reflux at four months, I began to get better too. I finally could enjoy it and not feel like all her pain and problems were my fault. Now that its been a year, I feel like I can finally address some things and want to start to make myself feel better about doing that whole thing again. I am terrified. Ive read a lot about the pros and cons vs. VBAC and RC. There are a lot of parts of a VBAC I want including a better birth experience and easier recovery. I'm nervous about another anterior birth position. I question going to another midwife or seeing a regular OB. I do think I want a doula though regardless of what I choose. RC has a lot of pros on my mind too. I know what to expect. The process itself was quick and easy. I have a lot of fears of labor again. But I also fear the cseciton recovery again. I'd like to be able to sleep better and feel more relaxed in the hospital. I'd like to be able to move around more and have an easier time nursing in different positions and getting up at night by myself. I'm jealous of my friends when I hear all their much more positive birth experiences. Ones, that are very similar to mine... who were induced (but with pitocin) who had an epidural (which actually lasted through delivery) and who were able to give birth vaginally without problems. Or my friend who wanted a natural birth, but after a long labor and baby still in anterior position, her midwife suggested the epidural, they monitored baby closely, she took a nap, and when the baby was in position, they pushed a few times and got her out. I've read about spinning babies and birth position. Ive also read things that say you can't really have that much impact on birth position prior to labor. So, there is quite a bit of conflicting information out there. I also want to add that I realize I should have done more research the first time around and I was very naive. At the time, I had a cross country move to worry about, finished my Masters, and because I sometimes overwhelm myself with diving into a topic and stress myself out more than I help myself, I was trying to take a more laid back approach and trust the family members and professionals around me. But, I think they're is a balance that needs to be found... you don't want to read every horror story out there, complicate things with all these what ifs and complicated instructions... but you do need to be informed and know all the possiblities I feel. So trying to find that right balance this time around.

Anyway, those are all my thoughts! Thank you... it was therapeutic for me to share my story. I hope for insights and help!! Any similarities out there? :)
post #2 of 7

It definitely sounds like your birth was traumatic for you! I'm glad you're feeling better.Try not to compare your experience with anyone else's. I would say you should really listen to what your inner wisdom and intuition are telling you about this next birth. Educate yourself, and then make the choice that brings you the most peace. I wish you a great birth, whether it's RC or VBAC. And it can be great either way.

post #3 of 7
It sounds like you had complications, but also care providers who could have been more supportive. A family who pressures you into a non-medically indicated induction sure isn't helpful either.
My first birth was similar in that no one guided me through what was normal or presented options/explained when there was an issue. It's natural with your first to be trusting of the people around you to take care of you! But the reality is that doesn't always happen, even with midwives. It is just a job to them and the goal is to get you both in and out alive, using whatever formulas they are accustomed to without much individualization.

My subsequent births were so much better, though, partially because I found better midwives and a doula, but also because I was more confident and instinct led. I labored at home for as long as possible, moved and pushed when and how I wanted to, asked for alternatives when interventions were suggested, insisted my questions be answered (they seemed to like to brush off questions from a heavily laboring woman) and was really vocal about what I needed. That is SO much harder to do your first time. You sound thoughtful and like you are educating yourself. I would be optimistic that will help you have a better psychological experience next time no matter what kind of birth you have physically!
post #4 of 7

Sometimes moms let the epidural wear off on purpose before pushing so they can do it more effectively and quickly, that might be what they had in mind refusing you meds in pushing.

 

There are certainly ways you can try to get baby in a nice position before labor starts with posture and stretches in late pregnancy. Besides trying to sit up straight and never put my feet up I would push my belly to shove their bottoms to the middel to left side where it's harder for them to slip around to posterior. Inductions make posterior sunny side up presentation more likely, labor starts on it's own with baby in a good position a little more often, and natural contractions do a good job of encouraging the last movements into place too. I think a lot of times when labor starts and stops or babies stay in a few days or a week extra, they're waiting to get in the right position to get started. If you plan for a VBAC, take a class that is NOT affiliated with the hospital next time, you'll feel so much more prepared to give birth and confident in any choices you'll need to make. Bradley Method, Hypnobabies, Birthing from Within, etc there are lots of great programs out there to prepare you with info, techniques, and mentally. Oh and find the ICAN group near you. They shouldn't want to induce you again as a VBAC mom, as that increases risks to your incision site. Spontaneous labor is a completely different thing, it's intense and may hurt but it doesn't tend to feel wrong and disturbing like induction can, and you can spend a good part of it relaxing at home.

 

Please recognize your strength and how much you were dealing with, childbirth is the most intense thing most people will ever go through, back labor with a posterior baby is often quite painful, and being induced can make it many times more unpleasant. All that together with added uncertainty not knowing about the details and lack of support from your mw, I'm sure it was a harrowing experience. I had a rough first birth too and thought I was so absolutely un-graceful and wussy about it, but in the end you grew a baby and brought her forth, and weathered a tough time getting there, it was a real success, as well as a learning experience.

post #5 of 7
Val, I wanted to tell you that it sounds like you did the best you could with what you had at the moment. You experienced a traumatic birth that has left you questioning a lot of things as you process the memories. You did the best you could--truly! Let that sink in. It's not your family's fault or your fault that labor was induced. It's not your fault that the professionals you rightfully trusted didn't take good enough care of you. And it's not your fault that your baby was in a less-than-ideal position.

You may never know some of the answers to your questions. But know that you did the best you could at the time. Even if hindsight reveals some things you could have done differently, don't sweat it. It's over and done with and NO ONE has a perfect birth (or a perfect anything, for that matter).

Your next birth could go much easier. Or it could be just as difficult. But you can't control it. You'll continue to do the best you can with what is available to you in the moment. Research what you can but try not to make yourself crazy.

I had a posterior baby and miserable labor and delivery also. I disagree with some sentiments in the previous post. (1) my labor was not induced but didn't always feel right. Many times during it, I felt scared, overwhelmed, like I was going to die, etc., and ended up also needing pain relief. Back labor for 30 hours straight is most certainly "disturbing." (2) if your baby is going to stay posterior, there's not much you can do about it. I did the stretches, acupuncture, posture, Bradley Method, etc., and trusted 99% that DD would turn when it was time, but she didn't! It wasn't my fault. It wasn't lack of effort or trust or anything else. I'm friends with an extremely fit yoga teacher who had two posterior L&Ds that went exactly the same. Obviously, we just can't control everything.

Regarding RC vs. VBAC, maybe ask yourself what birth plan would help you have the most peaceful pregnancy. For instance, if a VBAC is going to make you anxious and obsessed throughout your pregnancy, maybe it's not the best choice. OTOH, if choosing a RC will have you overwhelmed with fear and nerves, maybe don't go that route. Ultimately, c-sections are always possible and sometimes necessary. So I think it's a good idea to get familiar with the idea as a Plan B so that you can be at peace with it if you end up there.

Just know that you didn't do anything wrong and you didn't cause any of the birth complications or reflux. I'm realizing that a lot of posterior L&Ds go very similarly. Makes me think that it just is what it is. And to me, that's freeing.
Edited by skinnyloveBC - 10/30/13 at 10:27pm
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnyloveBC View Post

Val, I wanted to tell you that it sounds like you did the best you could with what you had at the moment. You experienced a traumatic birth that has left you questioning a lot of things as you process the memories. You did the be
st you could--truly! Let that sink in. It's not your family's fault or your fault that labor was induced. It's not your fault that the professionals you rightfully trusted didn't take good enough care of you. And it's not your fault that your baby was in a less-than-ideal position.

You may never know some of the answers to your questions. But know that you did the best you could at the time. Even if hindsight reveals some things you could have done differently, don't sweat it. It's over and done with and NO ONE has a perfect birth (or a perfect anything, for that matter).

Your next birth could go much easier. Or it could be just as difficult. But you can't control it. You'll continue to do the best you can with what is available to you in the moment. Research what you can but try not to make yourself crazy.

I had a posterior baby and miserable labor and delivery also. I disagree with some sentiments in the previous post. (1) my labor was not induced but didn't always feel right. Many times during it, I felt scared, overwhelmed, like I was going to die, etc., and ended up also needing pain relief. Back labor for 30 hours straight is most certainly "disturbing." (2) if your baby is going to stay posterior, there's not much you can do about it. I did the stretches, acupuncture, posture, Bradley Method, etc., and trusted 99% that DD would turn when it was time, but she didn't! It wasn't my fault. It wasn't lack of effort or trust or anything else. I'm friends with an extremely fit yoga teacher who had two posterior L&Ds that went exactly the same. Obviously, we just can't control everything.

Regarding RC vs. VBAC, maybe ask yourself what birth plan would help you have the most peaceful pregnancy. For instance, if a VBAC is going to make you anxious and obsessed throughout your pregnancy, maybe it's not the best choice. OTOH, if choosing a RC will have you overwhelmed with fear and nerves, maybe don't go that route. Ultimately, c-sections are always possible and sometimes necessary. So I think it's a good idea to get familiar with the idea as a Plan B so that you can be at peace with it if you end up there.

Just know that you didn't do anything wrong and you didn't cause any of the birth complications or reflux. I'm realizing that a lot of posterior L&Ds go very similarly. Makes me think that it just is what it is. And to me, that's freeing.

Absolutely, nothing about the the birth was her fault and no one has a perfect birth. It's understandable to trust your care providers and the posterior presention was unavoidable. I had many similar issues complicating my first birth and made similar decisions. Don't blame myself at all. Thats good information about posterior presentation that I didnt have to share.

I did feel it worth saying, though, as a much more experienced mom now, that my research, reactions, choices, and interactions DRASTICALLY changed at subsequent births and I had far better births -and perception of the birth afterward- because of those changes. That may not be as comforting, but it could be incredibly helpful. For me analyzing hindsight was helpful.

Requesting/accepting a convienience induction is a choice. Researching, and asking for explanations and alternatives in labor are choices. I learned that the hard way from my first birth.

I would never say this to a mom directly after birth or during depression, but I thought it sounded like she was at the point of looking for more insight.
Edited by myra1 - 11/2/13 at 5:30pm
post #7 of 7

I would never suggest to anyone that a Cervadil induction is more "natural" than a pitocin induction. It's not! It's just a different drug given in a different way. It is selected when someone has a cervix that is not "ripe" enough for pitocin or breaking the water. Cervadil is meant to help the cervix soften and thin out enough that pitocin has a better chance of working. Every once in a while someone will go into labor from cervadil alone but it's the exception, not the rule. Inducing a first time mom with an unripe cervix is more often to end in a c/s, period. 

 

OP, try to keep in mind that every pregnancy, every birth is its own experience. Your baby being sunny side up (which is actually posterior- anterior is the better positioning) made for a very difficult time. A c/s after a 3 day induction, with inadequate pain relief, is very different than a scheduled c/s done before labor has started, and it's different than a non-induced vaginal delivery, too. Take the next experience on its own merits.  :thumb

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth Stories
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Birth Stories › Left with a lot of questions & fear after my birth experience