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Calling all C-Birth ONLY mamas! - Page 2

post #21 of 93

Thanks treelove and all

Well, after posting my message and writing some notes, it was definitely the early a.m. (3:00'ish). I went to bed and when I saw my husband, woke him up and started talking. My daughter was asleep next to me. I told him about coming online and finally being able to particpate in this great forum for ME, and women like me, and the tears just started coming. He has been awesome, and for him, he was so relieved and grateful that we were alive (when we went into surgery it was the scariest thing for him -- remember we had camped out already for 3 days and his energy pretty much matched mine -- and then it up leveled to the general anesthesia, which meant he got kicked out of the room) that it erased everything else for him (expectations of the perfect birth, etc.). But for me, on the other side of it, living/dying was never the issue for either my dd or me, so all I could stew on was how I felt as if I had LOST something (but what?). So I cried deeply about it, and he held me, and then I felt Maya's sleepy hands on my back, carressing me. She was still asleep but was carressing me. It was beautiful. This is really important for me to share because, for a lot of different reasons that don't directly include any of this, our marriage has been stressful this past year.

BUT, as you said treelove, it's not really about the baby, though I don't ever want to take for granted how lucky I am to still have her. I know that. But that's not complete. I used to say (Ms Brave Front), "Oh, I had to go unconscious to get conscious," and that was totally true, but I was also hiding and justifiying the rest of the experience. I am sick of being apologetic for how my birth went, for admitting that maybe we could have made different choices (like not have a hospital birth -- how many times have I heard that one -- but we had just moved to HI two months before and I just wasn't that savvy or confident), and yeah, hey you can have a VBAC next time round! I realized last night I was too scaredd to wish or admit that (esp since I'd really like an HBAC - home birth) in case it doesn't happen. Truth is, I do NOT want to go through a c-section again, even if the drugs work this time and I stay conscious. I don't want any of that, it was totally traumatic for me and I am still dealing with it. There, I said it.

So I've been all self-righteous lately about not wanting more kids and I can see on everyone's face it's because they think my birth experience was so bad so then try to reassure me which pisses me off even more and then makes me find even more reasons not to want to have kids when really, it is in great part to the fact that my birth experience WAS bad. So, I am going to practice saying, "You know, you're right. My birth experience was deeply traumatic and I'm still dealing with it. I am really grateful to have Maya but I lost four months of my life [in recovery] where I have almost no memory, including first seeing Maya. I don't think I could go through that again. And I would really appreicate it if you would not assume that it could have been different, because I'm already spending all of my energy in that place, and you don't really know. VBAC or not, if you can't guarantee the outcome one way or another, then you don't have a say, so thanks for sharing." OK, something like that.

I have been reading the forums here and in other places, and I am going to say my truth: I want to have another birth experience, and I want to have a HBAC, and if I end up with a c-section again, while I'll make it through and still have a great time with my child as I am with Maya right now, it will still be a huge disappointment for me. I can lie and say it's ok, but it's really not, even though I know I'll get through and I'll have more tools and resources to deal with it than the last time. I do *get* that I had a paticular experience for a reason. I also acknowledge that I may have to have a c-section again if I decide to have another child. I also acknowledge a c-section may have saved my life, though in my case, I think put it more at risk (I've seen my hospital records) and so was Maya. But, gosh, it would mean a lot to me to have a beautiful birth at home with my husband and daughter (and midwife) attending. Girls, here's what I do know -- speaking our truth is so important, it's like breathing. It's not about getting what we want, it's about saying what we want, and not holding back. If I don't get the HBAC or the VBAC, it will definitely be less than ideal, but I'll know I honored and acknowledged my deepest wish. At that point, I'll turn it over. But not until I own it. Make sense?

Blessings to all of you for being there and helping me shift A LOT in less than 24 hours. I think my soul was ready for this. Love you all,

D
post #22 of 93
Well, I don't have time to reply-reply but I want to join the discussion after we get back on Monday from visiting family (i really have to pack - don't know what I am doing on here it is SUCKING me in at 7 am EST LOL)

Anyway, I had csection for failed induction (and I mean FAILED - no contraction ever after 20 hours of cervidil, max pit, cervidil, 2 epidurals for painful exams due to cervidil slipping and swellign my vagina - lovely feeling) - induction for pre-eclampsia at 38 weeks, ds was up high and definately not ready to go and never dropped AT ALL so they wound up vacuuming him out of my uterus anyway - except via the csection. I worked as an ICU trauma nurse until 36 weeks, full time night shift, including stretcher transport and CPR and was very "cavaleir" about my whole preg, wishing for "natural birth" but doing nothing to exercise, eat well or anything of the like. I feel in some ways like I failed myself for not caring (I mean I cared but I was really busy and I guess kind of know it all, but now looking back it was really know-NOTHING LOL) and trusting too much the medical profession.

I do not feel that I missed bonding or anythgin of that ilk, that I am less than somebody who birthed vaginally, but I felt like crap for days after with fevers to 104 (no infection, just hormones) my milk didn't come in until day SIX (he is still nursing at 25 months and I am also 16 weeks preggo) and I feel like I just was a sheep being led to a csection. The whole induction SUCKED and I wish they would have just done the csection instead of torturing the crap out of me for a whole day, puking and whatnot, it was really terrible.

Anyway, I DO want to have a VBAC with this birth, primarily because I do not want to be separated from my little love (ds 25 months now) and I do not want to be cut open again because it hurt like hell and I hated being sick. I know I have a chance of c-section for various reasons like postmaturity (I am going to CNM and will have a hospital birth but they will not induce and I will not allow induction either) or if I have pre-eclampsia there is NO WAY I am getting any Magnesium ever again they can do a csection for that and I also have a history of genital herpes which is totally not active and hasn't been for over 10 years but you never know and I know that is a possibility as well. But I accept that. But I am still afraid. I don't want to have to fight for my VBAC, and I want a healthy baby. I also don't want people telling me what to do because it is what the policies or procedures are, and I am going fully armed and educated to the best I can be this time, taking my vitamins, not working, trying to have a positive experience (i was such a bitch last time) eating well and exercising so if I have to have a c, I know I HAD to have a c, not because I just did what they told me. KWIM ?

Anyway - I do lie, because this is pretty long, and I must go but I think we all share a "bond" from this experience no matter how your experience went.

Thanks for starting this thread.
post #23 of 93
hi everyone! I'd like to join in too

I have two boys, 11 and 4, both c-births


How did you come to terms w/ your c-birth?

both times I got to have a beautiful baby, that was the important thing to me, though I was disappointed at first - I know I did my best for my kids and myself in our own circumstances - I don't mean that my hopes etc did not matter, they mattered less than having my kids in my life, and for me there are way worse things than a c-birth

Have you made peace with it? If yes, then how?

see above!

How was your recovery?

first time it was very swift recovery, I felt fantastic after a hard pregnancy and was just so delighted after 2 miscarriages to finally have a child

second time I was older, had a hideous failed epidural (took 45 mins to get it in situ then it only numbed my skin so the birth part - where my dear ob had a lot of trouble unwedgeing my son from my pelvis where he was well stuck - was very painful) and developed a shocking UTI and mastitis postop, was in hospital for 10 days, it was totally cr@p

How did it affect your bonding? self esteem?

no blows to bonding or selfesteem whatsoever

What is the most important thing you have learned/gained from you expirience?

I'm a mother regardless of how I got to be one. I wish it had been the "normal" way but I did my best - probably akin to how I feel about my first son weaning at 12 months - it would have been much better for both of us to go on but it wasn't going to happen so we picked up and moved on

when I was pregnant earlier this year I was once again reading up on VBAC but I wouldn't have been horrified to have another c-birth (though NO ONE will ever go near my back with epidural needles again)


I feel for those of you who are still obviously in distress from your birthing experiences, they are such emotionally loaded times and strong feelings are so appropriate

Treelove thanks for opening a space for sharing our c-birth stories


post #24 of 93
i had a c section with our 1st.. .I went in with a migraine and came out with a baby... I think that i was probably a bit preenclampic because of the amount of watter i war retaining and the headaches and just about everything else but the high blood pressure... So i wen tin with a migraine at 37 weeks and came out with a baby.... For me the c-section was terrible... They wouldn't let my hubby call anyone and tell that what was happening and i did have an epidural and I was concious the whole time... The obgyn that did the c section said after words that the reason for it was because my uterus was heart shaped so it wasn't big enough near the bottom... (They didn't tell me that other stuff though!!!!

So i guess ds couldn't turn the right way.. (he was breach that was the reason for the c setion and they couldn't turn him... THey tried for an hour... VERY PAINFULL!!!

That said when we did get pg again i was all for a repeat even thoug the recovery for me was terrible and it took forever, but the c section was all i knew...

With ds 2 we did have a vbac, but he was too big to come out and after pushing for over 3 hours close to 4 i didn't have it in me to push any more... So they used forceps and he had a broken collar bone... If i had know that would happen i would have just gone with the repeat c section.. .I have to say the recovery was better for me though...

DS was soo crabby for the 1st year of his life and i do wonder if it had to do with how much pain he must have been in from that broken collar bone being pulled out a place he was just to big for....

Warm Squishy feelings for everyone....

Hope i wasn't interrupting..
post #25 of 93
My kids are 8 and 4 and I am pregnant again. My daughter was an emergency c-section because her umbilical cord prolapsed - in case anyone does not know, that means the umbilical cord entered teh birth canal before her head, so every contraction pressed her head against the cord, cutting off her oxygen supply.

How did you come to terms w/ your c-birth? For me it was very easy - the choice was a c-section or a dead baby, not a hard choice.

Have you made peace with it? If yes, then how? Again, it was easy for me, I had a healthy baby, and to me that was all that really mattered.

How was your recovery? Both of my recoveries went well, my second was actually easier than my first.

How did it affect your bonding? self esteem? No problems with either.

What is the most important thing you have learned/gained from you expirience? That I am just as much a mother as any woman who has had a vaginal delivery - and that I can be proud that I made the right decision for the health of my baby.
post #26 of 93

This is a fabulous thread.

<b>How did you come to terms w/ your c-birth? Have you made peace with it? If yes, then how?</b>

I have had both of my kids via C-section. The first time around it was unplanned, basically I had a very long, putzy labour. Got to 7 cm in the 1st 12 hours and then STAYED there for the next 25. I had back labour (horrific, and the whirlpool was BROKEN!!!). I was disappointed, yes, but it did not devastate me. I am a pragmatist by nature, I was prepared to do whatever needed to be done. Also, I had a great midwife who was very supportive, I felt that I was doing it for the right reasons for me and that I was not giving up. I think that what helped me reconcile things was being able to breastfeed. The incision certainly made it difficult to get a comfy position, and I was zonked out for the first 12 hours or so after the birth...the nurses on the ward gave her a bottle, I am convinced she got nipple confusion, we couldn't get a good latch for a couple of weeks. In the meanwhile, she was losing weight, crystals in her urine. I was really stressed. We were getting ready at the same time to move back to India, and I absolutely HAD to make breastfeeding work, there was no way I was going to mix formula with New Delhi tap water, boiled or not! With the help, encouragement, and persistence of my midwife and an excellent lactation consultant I was able to finally breastfeed her, and did so until she self-weaned at 14 months. I climbed mountains to breastfeed her, and this really helped me feel better about not having birthed the "natural" way.

With #2 I tried for a VBAC, knowing full well that my chances for having another C-section were significant. Again, I laboured for 30 hours, back labour, and got stuck again, this time at 5 cm. Sigh. I didn't want to have my labour augmented with Pitocin, my midwife agreed that this was a good call due to my previous section. The pragmatist in me kicked in again, faster this time, and after 32 hours labouring I had Sam via C-section. I felt great, that we'd made a good call.

<b>How did it affect your bonding? self esteem? </b>

Bonding was not an issue at all. I was able to hold and nurse both of my babies within minutes of the birth. I did feel a bit lousy about myself the first time around, I really hadn't prepared myself for the possibility of a section. I felt guilty that maybe if I'd been in better shape my body would have been better prepared for the endurance test of a long labour.

<b>What is the most important thing you have learned/gained from you expirience? </b>

What has really sunk in for me is that no matter what kind of labour I had, I know I personally did my best, I did great. Plus of course I had my two beautiful babies. Also, I know how strong my body indeed is, having recovered from 2 C-sections, the second one with an active 18 month toddler in tow. Also, I really believe it is critical to trust and have confidence in your midwife/doctor.
post #27 of 93
I haven't visited this thread for awhile. I have tears in my eyes. I am glad we can all share here together

How did you come to terms w/ your c-birth?

Through time, much discussion, much thought, many tears.

Have you made peace with it? If yes, then how?
Yes, by allowing myself to accept that we made the best decisions we could, and knowing I would do the same again, I wouldn't change a thing.

How was your recovery?
Mostly not too bad, a few weeks, but I still have the CS "shelf" tummy

How did it affect your bonding? self esteem?

We bonded well, although in the early days I swear she liked Dh more (He was there while they stitched me up; they had that magic time alone together). I did get to BF about 1/2 hr after birth, but we had MASSIVe BF problems, and sleepy baby problems I think may well have to do with the CSB.

Self esteem ? blown to pieces over having to transport from my peaceful homebirth scene to the hospital for emergency CS. Blown further to pieces by the difficulties BFing.

Thank goodness we were able to BF successfully; that has been very healing.

What is the most important thing you have learned/gained from you expirience?

This is a biggie !; Don't judge other people, especially not based upon what you see/think you know about them. I am sure there are people in my homebirth/friend/playgroup circle who think I whimped out on our birth. Thy don't know what really happened that day/night/day. I don't know why mommy xyz is feeding with a bottle, so I just assume she is a mommy loving her babe as best she can. Period.

Good thread....sometimes I don't know where I "fit in" here as far as my birth experience goes... somewhat homebirth, somewhat hospital, CSB, but not VBAC...maybe we need our own space ? A Cesarean Section Birth Forum ? Anyone ? Is there enough interest ?
post #28 of 93
I had a very positive c/s experiance. My son was breech I so I was scheduled to have a c/s on my due date. I'm such a chicken when I comes to pain and I couldn't imagine being operated on awake so I choice general anesthisa. The only thing I was feeling sad about was missing the first seconds of my babies life. The operating room didn't allow cam corders so my dad who is a private investigator and is used to hiding small cameras to bust people, rigged my hubby up and he hid a camera on him so I can have a video of my sons birth. Before I was even put out, I told my husband to stay with the baby the whole time and not to let him out of his site untill I wake up.....and he did. I woke up and my husband was in the recovery room with the baby next to me. I also felt fortunant enough that I lifted weights and walked 2 miles a day through out my pregnancy because I helped me have a speedy recovery.
Robyn
post #29 of 93
I think I am just now coming to grips with my section....my dd was born almost 10 mo ago.

I had a good conversation with my mom about the whole thing, she was there from the beginning of labor until after the delivery. My CS wasn't a complete emergency, but at the time it felt unavoidable....I was diagnosed with CPD, althought my baby was only 7 11 at birth, but when she was delivered they had to have another doctor to come in just to push her head through the birth canal, and when she finally came through they heard a "pop" from the suction. I guess she was in there pretty tight....

Anyway, my mom said "you know God is always looking out for us, and even though you didn't have to be *rushed* into the operating room, maybe you went in before some really big problems happened. Why would you have wanted to wait until it became such an emergency by putting your daughter through so much more stress, your body was tired and so was your baby."

Now reading that sounds like such a cop out, but it helps me come to terms with the whole thing.

So here is my question to you ladies.....Am I or would I be less of a mom because I had an epidural? I feel like here on MDC that people view me as such (not me in peticular but all moms who ended up not *natural*) I went through Bradley classes, and I understand and agree with the natural process of birth. But with my next child I am not sure if I want to birth at home or in the hospital with medication close by. I had a long labor (43 hours) and for the most part the pain was fine (until the last 5 hours or so) but I am so scared to go through it again.

Part of me feels like a huge wimp for even thinking of an epidural, and the other part of me feels that it is so wonderful that they have medication available if you are in such pain, why suffer?

Any of you feel that way?

Rachel
post #30 of 93
Am I or would I be less of a mom because I had an epidural?
------------------------------------------------

The way you give birth doesn't mean your going to be less of a mom. There or many moms who give natural birth and who turn out to be horrible moms and then there are moms who have kids with epidurals that are great. Now, it's a fact that babies born with no meds are usually more allert when they are born, but if you absolutly cannot handle it, then I feel it might be a little tramatic on a baby. I say that because when my sister had her first baby in '86, the doctor didn't believe in pain meds and she screamed the whole time and started hitting people.....she completly lost it. My sister is really small (4'11") and the baby weight 10 pounds! she tore so bad......she should've had something.
post #31 of 93
See, I understand that babies born without pain meds are more alert....but my dd was wide awake all night after she was born at 1:30 pm....even with a CS....so I can't imagine what she would have been like without the meds to make her *fully awake*

Rachel
post #32 of 93
My baby was awake all night too and very alert. Did you have general anethisa (sp)? I did. If you have general, then they have to have the baby out within 7 mins so the baby doesn't get any of the meds.
post #33 of 93
Nope, I had an epidural...and some other meds (don't really know what they were)....

But DD was out in 10 min, I had no idea about the time limits for CS babies....hmmmm
post #34 of 93
Oh, it's only a time limit on general anesthesia. I guess it's just too powerful and it takes 7 mins. to reach the baby so they need to have the baby out fast.
post #35 of 93
Treelove--thanks for this thread! I had a true emergency c-birth (outer incision--classic, inner incision--transverse) with my now 15-month old ds. Long story short, I was about 12 hours into labor (12 days post due date), had been fine the day before, but went in to see midwives (supposed to deliver at free-standing birth center), and he was having decels and I was all of a sudden pre-eclamptic, so had to go to hospital. They broke my H2O when I got there since his decels were so bad, and I had fresh meconium, next thing you know they are rushing me into operating room, DH was not allowed (why aren't they allowed w/general anest?), they gave me general, and saved me and my baby. He had apgar of 1, then 6 or something, and was in NICU for a week after breathing in and swallowing meconium. (what a strong strong boy, after all that, he was only on oxygen for about 12 hours, the rest of the time in the NICU was their paranoia to make sure everything was ok, waiting two days for tests to come back etc, etc).

Anyway, one thing I wanted to say for now about all this: My doula (who didn't make it there in time, no fault of her own), heard all the details, and sent me this email after he was born saying that she wanted me to know that I had made all the right decisions and not to feel bad about any of them, blah blah blah. What decisions? She seemed to be implying to me that there were other decisions to be made (other than a c/s). She was this real militant natural birth woman, I think bc she had had 3 c/s herself??!! Anyway, I was really offended at her implication that I had choices and could have still gone for a vaginal birth? Um, we might both be dead if they hadn't done what they did when they did it, I really believe that. Anyway, that's just my rant for now.

Also, my c/s really messed w/nursing. It's another long story, but end result was after 2 months of hell trying, I never got enough milk to keep him from falling asleep, tried ALL the tricks, etc, and finally had to give up to keep my sanity. Tried to pump after that, but 2 ounces a day for 4 times pumping, half hour each, did not seem worth it.


If we decide to have another, I honestly believe that I might be happier with a *scheduled* c/s than trying for vaginal and then having another emergency. Because the emergency was what really did me in, both emotionally and physically. The vertical cut on my abs made it too painful for me to even lift my baby for a month!!! I had to have other people bring him to me. It was horrible and the recovery was slooooow!!!
post #36 of 93
i just want to say thank you to all of you---

reading your posts has just helped me deal with some of the greif i have had since my very unwanted c-sec.

5 weeks ago, i had my first baby...i was very healthy, doing yoga every day thru pregnancy, preparing in every way i could for a natural birth at the hospital with a midwife. i made it through 10 hrs labor before having the section. my body and dd's position (face-up) were not working together and she had passed a lot of meconium in the water. i was pushing b/ c i felt the urge but i made my cervix swell and close back to about 5 cm. this is when my midwife said c-sec. i really trusted my midwife and knew she would not suggest it if she wasn't worried.

i have many friends who have had the dream birth i wanted, and sometimes i get the feeling from people that they think i could have avoided the whole thing by having a homebirth or making different decisions. i am having a lot of trouble coming to terms with the fact that i didn't see her being born and i didn't get to hold her immediately, she was sleepy, etc., so i have a lot of guilt and others' opinions are affecting me right now. but this i do know--i would rather have my healthy baby than have said, i went through twenty some hours of labor, had her naturally(or by then an epidurall???) and she had all sorts of problems b/c of the meconium or whatever.

i am really considering never having any more children b/c of this whole experience, mostly b/c i'm afraid theh same thing would happen or worse.

it is amazing to me to hear how strong you all sound and how you've dealt with it. i am so inspired now to really accept the birth and just be thankful for my 8 lb, 6 oz, 22 in long, amazingly beautiful and healthy daughter. maybe now i will live by what i was saying in the recovery room when i was uninhibited by the morphine-spinal block i had.. " i did so good!!! i did it! she is so healthy ! i have never been so healthy in my life!"

thank you and many blessings. i love it here
post #37 of 93
I would like to join too!!

I had an emergency c-birth and am hoping to conceive again soon. I would like to vbac, but you just never know.

Thank you everyone for your wonderful stories and thoughts. I can feel the healing begin already.
post #38 of 93
Thanks for starting this thread, TreeLove.


I just wanna add: In the pst 20 or so years, when C-section rates have increased dramatically, the rates of infant mortality have dramatically decreased. This reminds me that there are genuine medical indications for c-section. C-sections can and do save lives.
post #39 of 93
One of the things I felt robbed of were the high fives and slaps on the back from other women about my birth experience. Can we do that for each other here? Yeah, I think so!

I did a fantastic job! I was in labor for 8 hours drug-free, and used visualizations and meditation to cycle through the pain. I had an amazing attitude throughout the whole experience, joking and laughing to help myself through. When I found out she was breech and in distress & a c-section was necessary I totally reached deep inside and adjusted. It took a lot emotionally to do that! To reshape the disappointment into strength and positivity--well, it just took a lot of fortitude. I'm proud of how I accepted it and let go.

That felt great. Thank you!
post #40 of 93
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