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Cesarean Section Support Thread September 2005 - Page 4

post #61 of 122
Lisa, thanks for sharing kelly's birth story. It was obviously so traumatic and I am sending a your way. It is terrible that no-one explained anything to you. There is just no excuse for that. One would think with the high c-section rate hospital staff would be more aware of the emotional fallout after a cesarean birth and try to address how to make it easier on mom and baby. Sometimes I think it is because we keep the pain hidden or that we deny it - something I have definately been guilty of especially when talking to mom's who had a vag. birth. When I was wheeled into the OR I was shaking but refused to loose my smile, I pretended I was okay with it. How i wished i'd screamed no. It might not have changed the outcome but I may have felt a bit better!
Your words about jealousy of other mom's who have vag births ring so true. It is not that I wish them to have a c-section but it reminds me of what i lost.
post #62 of 122
I'm just glad I finally wrote that. I probably should have done it a long time ago, but I thought I'd be okay if I just got on with things. And, for a long time, I was really counting on a VBAC.

I've hidden the emotional aftermath to some extent with my other two sections. When I'm dealing with negative emotions around strangers, I tend to withdraw and become very aloof. I suspect I come across as somewhat unfriendly and uncooperative, but I don't think my fear and anger would be noticeable to someone who doesn't know me well. I've been thinking of writing a letter to my family doctor. Wheneven I take Evan in, she and the nurse are always asking me how I'm doing, and I usually just say "I'm okay". I don't think they really want to acknowledge how bad this last section was for my emotional state, so they're quite willing to take that to mean that everything's just fine. What it really translates as is more like "I don't want to talk about this with you, because I'll start crying and I don't like to be that vulnerable in public". Maybe a letter would help.

And, I don't know how to deal with the OB. I actually do believe he was sincerely acting in what he saw as my best interests (I've witnessed his attendance at other births, and he's not at all intervention happy), but his idea of a good outcome is not the same as mine.

I'm finding that after my doctor's appointments, I tend to become very, very angry...at them, at my dh, at myself...even at my babies a little bit. I'm trying to find a way to direct it, because last night I felt like ripping my own uterus out, and that's not a good mental state! Maybe that's what triggered my need to write the birth story.

I post essays, don't I?
post #63 of 122
Thread Starter 
Lisa - I think writing is very theraputic. Sharing your story and trauma helps unload the burdens that you carry. I think writing a letter to your OB would at least clear your concious, if not help the staff at your OB office understand what you are going thru even if they don't do anything about it. I am just speaking from what I know. I changed OB offices, so no letter was needed. But, I found that in writing a letter to my dh, that I was able to get out everything I was feeling without sobbing thru an entire conversation. It was helpful, but it brought me back to a very raw grief. Do you have to see your OB frequently right now?
post #64 of 122
I only have to see him - if I do - for my six week pap test. I've actually gotten along with him very well. And, he's more VBAC-friendly than most OBs around here. It was just the way things ended this time that's left me so angry. This isn't about the birth I wrote about above - that was my first, and I'm dealing with my third right now. I think I'm actually angriest at myself, for not standing up for myself better. I fought for a VBA2C for months, then caved at the end.
post #65 of 122
Lisa, I read your post, and I'm so sorry you went through that. I wish you could have had my experience instead! My daughter was breach, too. I was devastated when I realized I was going to have to have a c-section, but I had about two weeks to come to terms with the idea and grieve the birth process I had hoped for ahead of time. Even then, it was a little bitter-sweet going in for surgery that day.

For you, being forced into it at the last minute and then sedated for so long afterwards - unbelievable. That was like my worst nightmare of what might happen, and in fact part of why I went ahead and chose the planned c-section instead of trying to deliver vaginally.

ARGH! I can see why you hate hospitals, delivery and maternity nurses now. I do think writing a letter to your doctor explaining your feelings might be helpful to you. Even if you never get around to sending it. But it might be helpful to them as medical professionals if they could understand that two extra minutes explaining what was going to happen to you and why - and discussing it rather than forcing you - might have been SO helpful and worth it.

Many hugs.
post #66 of 122
Originally Posted by wombatclay
Heyla all!I had a cesarean with my first baby just five months ago. The incision has healed up really well and I've been doing my "scar therapy/massage" faithfully without a problem, but in the last few weeks I've been getting a nagging ache along the incision area (actually, a little above the incision and only on the right hand side)...in the last few days this ache has been almost constant. It kind of reminds me of the round ligament pain I had during pregnancy.
this sounds like adhesions, i get the same ache in the same exact place as you. it only became painful when my period came back. i've heard a lot of things about adhesions, some take years to "dissolve" and some you don't feel after about 6 months. i do yoga also. mostly i'm just used to it now, although i notice on a long car ride it'll feel just like the round ligament pain again.
post #67 of 122
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I only have to see him - if I do - for my six week pap test.
i didn't go to mine, which felt empowering. i mean, at first i thought i "had" to go, then so many other mamas here let me know it isn't necessary unless the lochia is unusually heavy or you're having unusual pain, or a fever.

i DO need to go in for pelvimetry, eventually. my dr. said she noticed i did have a narrow, V-shaped pelvic interior, she and the attending dr. both said they'd like me to have pelvimetry done to rule out CDP in future pregnancies. because it's xrays, if we have an oops and i get pregnant, i wouldn't be able to get it after that. but i've got a wicked fear of doctors now, not all doctors, just any doctor that has to look inside any orifice
post #68 of 122
My baby is 1 today!!!! So it's the 1 year anniversary of my c-s. I can't believe it's been a year. I was sitting in recovery 1 year ago today.

Originally Posted by ruby slippers
I had my cesarean Feb 2005 for a posterior baby with no descent. I was so disappointed with the birth at the time but there were some little snippets of "nice" things that happened that I cling onto. Being able to hold dd in the OR, my dh being there with me, my MW and the OB who did the surgery were very respectful and some of the nurses were (other not so). I was actually very shocked with my feelings of jealousy of other friends who had vaginal deliveries. One friend had a wonderful delivery and I spent the entire weekend crying - my dh even suggested I go to see my MD to get some meds for depression! I have a total of 7 friends pregnant at the moment (2 with previous c-sections, one with a VBAC) and I wonder how it'll be for them. I am hit with the "it's so unfair" thoughts frequently. I did everything the books said to avoid a c-section (I had a midwife, I wasn't induced ) I often think about having counselling or something to deal with it. Anyone out there tried therapy for this? How many sessions do you recommned, etc.
I can relate!!! I had a midwife, 2 birthing balls, I did prenatal yoga... I sometimes wonder what I did wrong or what I could have had done better. I'm so jealous of women who do nothing and have great deliveries. I did wind up going a seeing a therapist b/c I think the whole experience (plus my colicky baby) was pushing me to the edge. I think I went to about 8 or 9 sessions but I think that 5 would have been okay. My first session, I just vented all my frustrations!!! Then we went through them after that.

Lisa ~ I swear, I had the same excited feelings about labor and delivery. I felt great! Contractions were exciting and they mean the baby would be here soon. I was devastated when I just wouldn’t dilate (to my midwife’s liking) and they finally start the myriad of interventions leading to my c-s (pitocin, stadol, epidural). I felt like I failed and that my body had failed. I was so upset with my c-s. Horrible, uncaring nurse. I was wheeled to recovery where I sat by myself for 2 hours wondering where this baby was. I wish I had been there when my dh told everyone that we had a girl. I wish I could have been the first person to hold her. I wish I was around to hear my dh call everyone to tell them about out dd rather than sitting by myself and staring off into space. It’s so hard and I doubt the hospital staff has any clue how a c-s affects some women. Thanks for sharing your story.

Wombatclay ~ My dd used to kick me all the time in the belly while nursing (I liked to nurse in bed). My scar would hurt a lot b/c of that. I’m not sure if it’s the same thing you are having but not that she is too big to kick me there, it doesn’t hurt like it used to.
post #69 of 122
Originally Posted by soccerchic21
Checking in...

I had a late 4 week checkup with my midwife this week. I have been dying to talk to her about my birth and what she thinks went on to lead up to the c-seciton. There was a lot of crying. I feel a bit better.

She did reassure me that I was indeed very strong (8 hours of labor on pitocin naturally got complete water broke back to 7cm hit transition again). I was feeling like maybe if I didn't ask for the epi and got back into the water that things would have turned out differently. From the notes that she had though she said it looked like we did all we could.

I am supposed to go back in a month and we requested the documents from the hospital and we are going to go over those at the next appt. The way it looks now is that Jake was indeed "stuck" and the c-section was the only way to get him out. I still can't help but feel like I didn't do enough. But when they tell you that his heart rate isn't standing the labor or pushing what are you supposed to do?

I can't wait for my next local ICAN meeting. I wish they were more than once a month. DH was saying that maybe I should see a therapist to talk about my feelings. I am thinking it might help. I got a few names of people who deal with birth trauma.

Again this past week yet again someone I knew had a great vaginal birth. We saw them last night and her baby was 9 days old and I just kept staring at his vaginally birthed cone head feeling jealous. I hate that. I made an excuse about needing to leave so we could get out of there.

Hi! I'm new here and I have to say I wish I had met with my midwife like that. I have really been feeling it since my SIL just had a baby two days ago and pushed him out in 10 minutes and looked awesome the day after.

I'm not even pregnant yet, but I am thinking about VBAC. I don't want to take any risks, but I would love to have a vaginal birth next time.

I guess I feel like a failure even though I know I couldn't have gone on. The docs were asking my midwives for about 8 hours when I was going to have the c-section. They new I really wanted a vaginal birth, but final said it was risky to go on. DS was really stuck, they even had a hard time getting him out via c-section and he had molding for quite some time.

I think that all's well that ends well! DS is happy and healthy.
post #70 of 122
First, Lisa, . I'm so sorry for your experience.

Second, hello to all the newer people. I've been lurking but not posting much due to generalized chaos in my house (ACTIVE 22 month old combined with my mother living with us until mid-October due to her being very ill all summer).

I have news ... we're starting to ttc#2. I'm SO excited at the possibility of another baby and looking forward to hopefully having a VBAC. I have a great duo of midwives and a different hospital. (I crave an HBAC but that's just not gonna happen around here.) And the midwives are with 2 OBs that are actually very laid back -- this is about mom kind of thing. But ... I'm also beginning to work through the "what-ifs" -- what-if I have a r/c/s. I'm mad at myself already for not being in better shape going into this upcoming pg. (I blame my stressful summer, though.) I'm doing the best I can now to do good things -- eat well, try to exercise, etc. I just hope it's enough.

Anyway ... I'm sure I'll be posting about my journey as I go through it. I know you ladies understand.
post #71 of 122
A close friend of mine delivered her 9lb 11oz son yesterday via a planned cesarean (her second c/s). She was in the same hopsital where I had my unplanned c/s 5 months ago and visiting her...even though she seemed so happy...was really rough for me. Just being back on the labor/delivery ward brought back so many negative emotions it was hard to be cheerful and upbeat even though I really was thrilled for her!

So, I'm gonna take the advice of some of you all here and run through my own c/s experience to see if talking about it can help me over this emotional bump. I'd already planned on asking my doc about a post-partum counselor when I see her next (my dd and I have the same family doctor) but...I apologize for what will be a long post...at least in an online forum you can always just skip to the end!

This was my first pregnancy and while I LOVED being pregnant I did have a number of problems over the months...borderline high blood pressure and some bleeding or spotting almost every day for the first 5 months, and occassional bleeding every few weeks after that. Nerve wracking, and I wound up having three ultrasound scans to rule out previa and to monitor dd's condition, but it wound up being nothing to worry about.

I walked a mile or two each day, shifted my daily yoga practice to focus on the pregnancy, and practically lived on a birth ball for nine months. I've studied middle eastern dance for years and I continued to dance while pregnant, expecting to dance the baby out when the time came. I meditated, journaled, and researched everything I could get my hands on (and as a reference librarian, I could get my hands on a LOT). My doctor (a family practitioner) was and is a wonderful physician who is far more comfortable with "alternative" therapies/treatments than not, and her c/s rate is almost non-existant. The hospital I chose (my insurance only covered hospital births) has one of the lowest c/s rates in NY (and one of the highest VBAC rates) and is very baby friendly as well. They don't even have a formal nursery...the babies are expected to room in and they really push breastfeeding. I interviewed a half dozen doulas and chose a wonderful woman who met with my dh and I several times.

I attended independent birthing classes (a mix of bradley, lamaze, and kitzinger's methodologies so that participants would have plenty of options), and a birthing discussion group. And in a truly ironic twist I watched all those TV birth shows and thought "gee...if only those women could get up and move around, they wouldn't be needing all those c-sections".

I went 15 days past date before my water broke while I was eating breakfast. My dh and I were so excited! I called my doctor and my doula to let them know things were finally starting to happen! I stayed home for the first 13 hours, watching a Law & Order marathon while walking around the house, sitting on my birth ball, and generally feeling pretty good about life. I even went for a walk around town just to enjoy the sunny weather (Ithaca is not known for it's sun and I wasn't going to stay inside just because I was in labor!).

That evening I decided things were becoming a bit too intense for me to stay home...I was throwing up, shaking, and was pretty sure I was no longer amused by the process. The hospital I chose doesn't have any "routine" practices in regards to birth with the single exception of a 20 minute fetal monitor trace on admission. No IV, no continuous monitoring, no required positions, and no offer of medication (you have to ask, they don't offer it automatically)...in fact, most of the labor/delivery nurses have had un-medicated births as well and are VERY supportive.

Anyway, the ward was empty when I arrived and while I was getting my 20 minute trace one of the nurses filled the birthing jacuzzi for me...a quick check (I told them my water was broken so they were very hesitant to do internal checks, but they also wanted to make sure I was far enough along to benefit the most from the tub) showed I was 6.5cm dilated. 15 hours of back labor later (contractions were near constant for several hours...who said you get a break between them?), after being in and out of the tub, on and off the birth ball and stool, up and down the hallways, I was only 7cm and I was beyond exhausted.

Everything I tried to eat I threw up and even the juice I was drinking only stayed down half the time. My doctor suggested an interthecal (so called walking spinal) to allow me to nap and to see if perhaps the pain relief would allow my body to relax and dilate more effectively. The injection itself was less than fun, but I was still able to walk and squat with the help of my dh and doula and my doctor reassured me that she was expecting to catch the baby in just a few hours.

Then everything went all icky...to get the interthecal I had to have an IV (the fact that I hadn't been able to keep much fluid down for more than 24 hours was another concern considering my blood pressure) and after the spinal injection they added some pit to the IV to see if that would kick up the contractions. This meant that I had to had a monitor on (though I could still walk around) to track my response to the medication. Apparently the contractions were pretty massive, but when the interthecal began to wear off three hours later I was still at 7cm.

A surgeon I'd never seen before showed up (after the spinal had worn off and I was suddenly back in the land of massive contractions with no real warning) and said "Yup...no real progress here, are you ready for your cesarean?". I must have looked shocked or something because he then went on to explain something about failure to dilate even with the drugs and the fact that my water had been broken for well over 24 hours and if I wasn't pushing in an hour I was going to be having a cesarean.

My dh tells me the surgeon was actually pretty compassionate, but I honestly don't recall anything but a feeling of total despair. I saw that same surgeon in the hall two days after the surgery and I actually cringed.

Needless to say, an hour later I was being wheeled down the hall to the OR, still at 7cm...

My dd was delivered a few minutes later (9lbs 5oz, perfectly healthy) so the grand total from water breakage to dd's birth was 32 hours: 13 at home, 15 unmedicated in the birthing suite, 3 with a spinal interthecal and pit, and 1 with pit and no pain med.

I spent the first month sobbing every time I thought about the delivery/surgery...what did I do wrong? Should I have turned down the interthecal? Should I have had it sooner so I wasn't as worn down? I checked the hospital records and technically the c/s was my dd's fault...her head was twisted to the side and tilted back (the molding on her temple made her look like she had horns when you looked at her right profile) but...well...I still felt like something must be my fault.

Sadly, my doula added to this feeling when she visited me at home a few days later. She was surprised that the c/s upset me, saying something like "well, you must have been okay with having a cesarean on some level because you let them do it, right?". And then when I attended the "graduates" class of my birthing group the leader congratulated the women who'd had vaginal births and told me "well, you can always try for a VBAC...it's too bad you were the victim of medical intervention" (and was honestly surprised that her calling me a victim didn't make me "feel better") To be honest, it's a sentiment I see on some of the threads around MDC. That somehow if I'd avoided the interthecal, or been more "natural", or birthed at home, then everything would have been all right. That obviously if I'd been better informed I would have made better decisions and this would have prevented my cesarean. I know that my dd's positioning meant I probably would not have had a vaginal birth no matter how long I waited, that the longer I went with my water broken the better the chance got that I and my dd could have been negatively affected by an infection, and that at least my c/s was done in a non-crisis mode.

But somehow that doesn't make me feel any better. And spending a few hours back on the labor/delivery ward yesterday brought it all back...my brain is stuck in a "what if?" loop and I just can't seem to break out of it this time. Hopefully my doctor will be able to recommend someone I can meet with...I want more children, and I want a VBAC, and I know that it's better to deal with this sort of thing sooner rather than later, but right now I'm feeling pretty low.

Sorry for such a long (and depressing!) message...but my friends here either are thrilled with their c/s experiences or have never had a c/s". Thanks for listening!
post #72 of 122
No need to apologize - that's what this thread is for!!

You did your homework, did everything you could to birth naturally and look after yourself...and still ended up in the operating room. I can completely understand why you're still upset. And, yes - visiting at the hospital is painful. My sister and SIL's have all birthed at the same hospital I did, and I truly hate going to visit them. I've spent some of the worst hours (days) of my life on the maternity ward (separate from L&D at our hospital), and knowing other women who don't care as much didn't have to be cut is difficult.

I'm so sorry about the comments from your doula and the leader of your birthing group made things even worse. I'm constantly astonished at the reactions some people have to c-section moms.

You did everything you possibly could, and the birth didn't turn out right. You have every right to be upset about it...and I understant blaming yourself, even though there's no blame to be attached. I hope writing your birth story helped. Thank you for sharing it.
post #73 of 122
Thanks for sharing your birth story! I'm so sorry you're having what-if flashbacks! It does sound like you did everything right - including accepting the c-section when you did. You don't mention anything about negative aftereffects of the surgery, so I'm going to take a big leap and assume that your recovery was okay.

I was so disappointed when I realized I was going to have a c-section as well, but in my case, I didn't even go into labour. I guess that's on thing you did get to experience, and it sounds like you toughed that out amazingly well.

If your healing went well, there is no reason to think you can't have a VBAC. The midwife group I'm going to has an 85% success rate with VBACs - that's higher than the national average for births in general - so I know it can be done, and I'm counting on it for my own birth.

It's totally okay to feel sad about the way things turned out with your birth. No, most people won't understand. But I sure do! Something I've learned over time with a lot of hard things in my life is that, for me, if I allow myself to really feel the pain, to grieve whatever the loss, that it really is alleviated somewhat. The hurt is always there on some level, but it doesn't seem to bother me as much any more once I've really felt it and released it. So go ahead and take the opportunity to feel those feelings while they're bubbling up! This is a great place to let it out!

But, the molding on your daughter's head tells the story. Yes, maybe there is a chance that you could have gotten her to reposition somehow if you had continued to labour. But maybe not. You made the very best decision you could at the time, and the outcome was positive. So, try not to kick yourself too much while you're doing your grieving over the birth process.

post #74 of 122
hugs for you!!
post #75 of 122
thanks everyone! I'm so glad a place like this exists!
post #76 of 122
Thread Starter 
: After 10 weeks of bleeding post c-sec, it has finally stopped! :
: I thought it would never end! :
I think I'm back to my "normal" cycle now.
post #77 of 122
Congrats on that Sandy, I bled for 9+ weeks, so I hear ya on that one. I always joke that my baby didn't have diaper rash, but I sure did. :
post #78 of 122
ARRGH! She said it again!!

I've always had a hard time getting to know my SIL. She and my brother have been together for 10 or 11 years and she's just never felt like part of the family. She's been very distant and aloof and attends family "dos" out of a sense of duty. My family are very casual and like to get together for BBQ and stuff just for fun.

Anyway...she's been loosening up a lot over the last year or so, and I'm finding her much easier to be around. I don't talk to her about raising children much because we just don't do things the same way (she's big on schedules, and gives her kids the silent treatment - even washed their mouths out with soap for saying "no" when they were toddlers!!). But, we're generally getting along a lot better.

So, how on earth do I respond when she says things that really hurt?? Twice now (when Evan was 10 days old and again last night), she's come out with "I know you don't like the c-section thing, but you're so lucky you didn't have to push out a 10-pounder". Last night, I responded with "I'd sell my soul to know that", but I don't think she heard me (it was dh's 30th birthday and there were a lot of people around - lot of noise). Does anybody have any suggestions about how to respond? She's really prickly and I don't want to go back to stage one when we're finally developing a relationship. But, I don't cope well with comments like that!
post #79 of 122
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
ARRGH! She said it again!!
So, how on earth do I respond when she says things that really hurt?? Twice now (when Evan was 10 days old and again last night), she's come out with "I know you don't like the c-section thing, but you're so lucky you didn't have to push out a 10-pounder". Last night, I responded with "I'd sell my soul to know that", but I don't think she heard me (it was dh's 30th birthday and there were a lot of people around - lot of noise). Does anybody have any suggestions about how to respond? She's really prickly and I don't want to go back to stage one when we're finally developing a relationship. But, I don't cope well with comments like that!

First off to you Storm Bride.

I've been reading and rereading your post hoping to be able to come up with some perfect solution for you. Unfortunatley, the only thing I could come up with is maybe you could take her aside privately and tell her your true feelings about your c-sec, and let her know that it really hurts you when she makes comments like that. That way you may be able to keep the relationship that the two of you have finally developed. I don't know if my suggestion will work, but it was the only thing I could come up with. Hopefully some of the other mamas here will have some good suggestions. I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you and hope you are doing well.
post #80 of 122
Lisa, I'm so sorry you're in such a tough situation - it is obvious that you are wanting to get closer to SIL and I think you are to be commended for thinking carefully about how to deal with her comments...

I had a somewhat similar situation with one of my DH's friends when we were first married. I had mentioned to him or the group or somehow he found out that I don't speak to my parents or sister any more - after years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and lots of work with a therapist and many attempts to reconcile with my family, it was clear that they were just poisonous people to me and that I had to get out of their trap. But DH's friend didn't get it. He comes from a close-knit, wonderful family that I'm sure has it's problems like every family, but he can't imagine the kind of stuff I went through growing up. He kept popping up with these offhand comments about "But don't you miss them? Don't you feel guilty for just dumping them?" Whatever. In the middle of a party, I didn't want to try to convince him by telling him the 2-hour version of the story and probably breaking down in tears, and it was none of his D*** business anyhow.

Finally, it got to be too uncomfortable, and I didn't know how to talk to him, but I also didn't want to alienate myself from him and the rest of the group of friends...I knew he didn't mean to be hurtful, he just couldn't wrap his head around it. So I cornered his wife. I explained it to her - and luckily, her parents had taken in a lot of foster kids over the years so she kind of understood what life was like for kids from abusive families. But it was still very hard to explain, and I did end up crying. But when it was over, I felt much better, and she somehow made him understand because he never brought it up again.

Could you talk to your brother? Or, maybe if you could just find a way to corner your SIL where you have some uninterrupted time...or even if you could write her a letter. You've shared your birth story here, so you could use that as a starting point maybe. I don't mean to say that it's any of her business - it's not. But sometimes when we're trying to get closer to someone, we have to risk some of our own hurt to reach out to them for understanding. It still might not work. But at least you would know you'd sent the underlying message of "I care enough about you and our relationship that I'm going to share this with you, so please respect my request in not making comments about my c-section experience being better than yours"

I am so full of hot air. Sorry. I hope this helps.
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