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C-section Support

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
A close family member planned on a homebirth, but had to have a c-section today. She really tried to stay home, labored for over 12 hours. I don't know all the details, but I know how important it was to have a home birth.

I don't want to bug her like the rest of the family so I want to wait until she is ready for visitors. I'm not sure how she is feeling about what happened. Baby is healthy and breastfeeding , but I am concerned for Mom.

Any suggestions for comfort? Helpful books?

post #2 of 7
Not knowing her, I can only say what I would have wanted in that situtation. I would have wanted someone to give me a journal (actually, dh *did* buy me a journal after ds birth by c/s). For me, writing out the birth story (and it had to be pen and paper, much more tactile than the pc) opened me up to greive for the loss of the birth I had imagined - I cried a lot that day, but after that I was finally able to talk about my son's birth day, and by talking about it I was able to work through my emotions and start to let myself heal. HOWEVER, if you do give her a journal, it should just be a post-partum gift - unless she has started a conversation about her birth, I would not bring it up, even if you are just offering your ear, in those first few days I read dissapointment in the voice of everyone who asked about the surgery, even those who I know now only wanted to offer their support. Of course, you know her, and she may need someone to help "open the flood gates" like my journal did for me.
post #3 of 7
I think you are very very nice. I don't think this ever occurred to anyone around me (although I didn't plan a homebirth). Instead, I spent a lot of time initially explaining myself (i.e., my failure to birth vaginally) and felt very defensive and lonely and ds and I had serious bonding issues. I suspect your friend will be so grateful just not having to defend herself from you and more questions that she'll likely talk more about it you, if that makes sense? I really like the journal idea. It's wonderful.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for reponding. I really felt helpless today and didn't know what to do. I don't want to intrude but I feel like I can be there for her. When I had my DD 4 months ago I hated when everyone came over and held her so I know how it feels to have people come over to see the baby and not you.

I am going to call her tomorrow and see if she would like visitors yet. We live so close them that I can wait if that is better for her. The journal sounds like a wonderful gift.
post #5 of 7
You are a good friend to be aware of the possible emotions this woman might be going through, and to recognize the potential lss that might ensue.

I would make sure to *not* say, "at least you have a healthy baby" or any derivation of that. I might say, you must be disappointed with the loss of your home birth, and the losss of a peaceful vaginal birth. What is it like right now to be you?"

In time, I might refer her to ICAN. There is a wonderful online support group. But I know for myself, I wasn't readyto make this move for a few months. At the outset I was just so grateful for the technology (shudder).

Ask her how she feels, try to undertsand her, and listen to her. It is not often that society accepts the grief that can come with a surgical delivery...

post #6 of 7
You are such a great friend to be thinking about her and the loss of her ideal birth. My first csection was horrific and I just wanted to talk about it, all the time. It was grief for sure. Listen to her would be my best peice of advice. The journal is a wonderful idea made by another poster.
Also I really needed help around the house after my csection. Small things, like meals, laundry, and simple chores. I had some of those things taken care of but around the two week post partum mark every one disappeared. I still needed help, my husband was back at work, and I was doing more than I should which took a longer time for me to heal.
post #7 of 7
I had a c-section rather than my planned homebirth. Just having an ear when I was ready to let it all out was sooo helpful, someone who would just listen to me cry and process when I was ready, although this didn't happen until a few weeks post partum...and then again months later. My MIL stayed with us for a week and she was SSOO supportive. Helped around the house, and gave me so much praise about my breastfeeding abilities. Hearing I was able to do something "right" (that's my baggage of course) was very important. If she's not ready to process just yet, just go clean out her fridge, or walk her dog, or do some laundry! Try to avoid the, but your baby is well, and that is all that matters business...

I hope her recovery goes well- physically and emotionally
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