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Cesarean Birth Support Thread June/July

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
Hi ladies!!

Our April/May thread got pretty long, thought it was time for another.

I'm Alice mom to Gracie and Ian, both c-section babies. Gracie was planned to be a homebirth, but I had PROM and after 36 hours my midwife transferred me to augment labor. Another 12 hours later I had very little progress and fetal distress, so we had a c-section. It ended up I also had undiagnosed GD, my midwives didn't screen for it, so Gracie (a whopping 10lbs, 12 oz) was in the NICU with blood sugar issues, as well as problems breathing from aspirating meconium and an inability to maintain body temperature. We were so glad to go home 6 days later. The whole experience was tramatic and I ended up with PPD and horrible breastfeeding issues. Thank goodness we worked through it.....
Ian was planned to be a VBAC, but this time I didn't set myself up for such huge disappointment, I was open to the idea of a c-section. I actually had labor with him, but still to no avail, no progress, stuck for hours, groaning through pitocin without an epidural. After 24 hours I concented to the c-section. Ian was a healthy little baby born only minutes after my epidural took effect. We had a much better hospital stay (he was never out of my arms!!), and we went home in less than 48 hours. No breastfeeding issues, and no PPD!!

I am glad for the healthy children I have, and although I would have loved to have given birth naturally I have accepted that it wasn't in the cards for me.

So..........what's your story??
post #2 of 84

Too Much

Warning; slightly graphic. I had an emergency c-section last month and after a long, intensely painful induced labor. I'm still in shock from what happened and also physically tapped out from this birth and the first weeks of newborn hell.

There was every reason to expect a smooth delivery after a largely uneventful pregnancy but my water broke and the contractions weren't strong enough after 7 hours. I was induced twice with that cervical ripener (name escapes me), but couldn't get an epidural for the incredibly horrible labor (passing out from pain, screaming) because I wasn't dialated enough. About 4-5 hours went by until they gave me an IV narcotic and an epidural a little bit later. Then I pushed for 3 more hours but no progress. So the epidural was switched off because I couldn't really tell where I was pushing. Back to massive pain. The baby was stuck. I swelled up twice as much as someone who's just had a vaginal birth. The doctor on duty finally said enough and I had a c-section. It was the easy part of my day. The baby was all right except for a big lump on her head, which is slowly going away.

Thing is, I never had a birth plan because I knew anything could happen. I wanted an epidural anyway if the pain got bad. I wasn't even adverse to a c-section if events warranted. But this was too much to ask of any person. It was supposed to be a happy event, not 20 hours of total pain, fear, drug-induced confusion and fatigue. I can't stop thinking about it and can't make any sense of it either. I'm pretty much shut-in right now with no family support (live away from hometown & I'm not close to any of my in-laws) and my husband is clueless about these things and doesn't want to talk about it. So that's how it is and I'm glad to vent online. Thanks for listening.
post #3 of 84
My 2 were born by c-section.

My DD was 3 days overdue and my water broke before labor. 2.5 hours later I was ready for pushing. I pushed for 2.5 hours and got wore out...OB gave me a c-section. She was 10 lb. 3 oz.

My DS was supposed to be a VBAC, but a week before he was born, my OB (same one I had with DD) said that he was going to be another 10 pounder and said I had no option. I had no idea I had choices at the time. He was 8 lb. 6 oz.

I'm currently pregnant and really want a VBAC and have no idea how it'll end up.
post #4 of 84
Another mom who has had 2 c-sections.

Very, very short version: Ds1 was a long labor, there were some medical issues, and he was delivered via c/s because of fetal distress. He was perfectly fine and healthy. Ds2 was going to be a VBAC, but for various reasons, including problems with my health and his failure to engage or appear at 42 weeks, was another c/s.

To be honest, I was very, very upset at the outcome of ds1's birth. I never even imagined that I would have a c/s. However, I am completely at peace with the birth of my second son. I think because although I desperately wanted a VBAC, I kept myself open to what might happen, KWIM?
post #5 of 84

C section birth plans

I talked to my OB about doing a few things "outside the box" at my planned C-section in November.

1) Leaving one hand unstrapped
2) Having baby on my chest immediately after delivery
3) Having 2 support people in the OR so that I was not "alone" for the stitching up part

My OB was fine with it, but said that her influence was somewhat limited since much of that is governed by hospital policy.

Anyone have any experience getting these types of requests accommodated at hospitals? Who did you talk to in order to make these things happen?
post #6 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoldber
I talked to my OB about doing a few things "outside the box" at my planned C-section in November.

1) Leaving one hand unstrapped
2) Having baby on my chest immediately after delivery
3) Having 2 support people in the OR so that I was not "alone" for the stitching up part

My OB was fine with it, but said that her influence was somewhat limited since much of that is governed by hospital policy.

Anyone have any experience getting these types of requests accommodated at hospitals? Who did you talk to in order to make these things happen?
The policy at the hospital where I had my c/s was to allow two support people in the operating room, so I didn't have to do anything to request that. I also had at least one hand unstrapped (can't really remember what my right hand was doing, but I know I could move my left arm and hand). I did not feel able to hold the babies or have them placed on my chest after the delivery (the stitching up part was very painful for me. . . epidural problem I assume), but I did request that the babies never leave my side, and that wish was honored without hesitation (although the nurses thought I was nuts for not wanting them bathed immediately. . . we bathed them ourselves a few hours later). Dw held the babies next to me, and I touched them and admired them, and then when I was all stitched up, they put them in bed with me and wheeled us all together to my recovery room. Unfortunately I was so drugged and out-of-it that I still felt like, "what, these are my babies?" but I think it was a fairly ideal c-section scenario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allycat
Now I am having second thoughs about the C-section. Although the baby was not coming out now I feel that I am not bonding as well as I would have if I would have pushed my baby out.

Is this normal to feel this way? I am loving everything about my son, but at times I feel that there is something missing. Does it get better? I cry quite a bit lately about anything.
I did have trouble with connecting the babies whom I had "known" inside of me to the babies placed in my arms after the c-section. I felt very detatched from my body, and just couldn't believe that these were the same babies who had been inside of me. This did make it harder for me to bond with them, although I think it was also just hard for me to bond with two babies at once. It took a few months before I really felt like they were MY babies and that I was just as much their mother as I would have been had I pushed them out vaginally. For me, I think the disconnect came more from being so drugged during the birth than from the actual act of them being cut out of me, but I'm not sure. I *still* feel (3+ years later) like my body is waiting to go into labor and give birth (luckily, I'm pregnant again, and hope that my body will finally have its chance). I did not have any ppd or breastfeeding issues, but I definitely had some bonding issues that I blame on the c-section.



Lex
post #7 of 84
I've had 2 c/s. With my dd, I was induced at 42 weeks with very high bp, the induction didn't work, and she was born after 48 hours of pit labor. I felt disconnected from her (we also had bf problems) for the better part of a year, and I think the disconnect is sadly normal.

With ds, I really wanted a VBAC. Tried everything to go into labor and was a lot healthier, but didn't go into labor and at 43 weeks (yes, you read that right) I had a "planned" c/s. It was MUCH better, thanks to onthefence and her awesome birth plan for c/s, and a smaller and more bf friendly hospital. But it was still a c/s and I am still dealing with my body's seeming inability to go into labor by a reasonable date.

VBA2C is not out of the question if I have a third, but I'm not going to make myself crazy with the positioning, lots of $$ on a chiropractor, castor oil, etc.

This may be a different thread, but did y'all know that Brooke Shields had a c/s with her first baby and then had horrible ppd? It was unplanned and after 24 hours of labor, not sure if medicated or not. She also described the "disconnect" she felt with her baby. her 2nd (planned c/s) seemed better.
post #8 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeResolute
Warning; slightly graphic. I had an emergency c-section last month and after a long, intensely painful induced labor. I'm still in shock from what happened and also physically tapped out from this birth and the first weeks of newborn hell.

There was every reason to expect a smooth delivery after a largely uneventful pregnancy but my water broke and the contractions weren't strong enough after 7 hours. I was induced twice with that cervical ripener (name escapes me), but couldn't get an epidural for the incredibly horrible labor (passing out from pain, screaming) because I wasn't dialated enough. About 4-5 hours went by until they gave me an IV narcotic and an epidural a little bit later. Then I pushed for 3 more hours but no progress. So the epidural was switched off because I couldn't really tell where I was pushing. Back to massive pain. The baby was stuck. I swelled up twice as much as someone who's just had a vaginal birth. The doctor on duty finally said enough and I had a c-section. It was the easy part of my day. The baby was all right except for a big lump on her head, which is slowly going away.

Thing is, I never had a birth plan because I knew anything could happen. I wanted an epidural anyway if the pain got bad. I wasn't even adverse to a c-section if events warranted. But this was too much to ask of any person. It was supposed to be a happy event, not 20 hours of total pain, fear, drug-induced confusion and fatigue. I can't stop thinking about it and can't make any sense of it either. I'm pretty much shut-in right now with no family support (live away from hometown & I'm not close to any of my in-laws) and my husband is clueless about these things and doesn't want to talk about it. So that's how it is and I'm glad to vent online. Thanks for listening.
I'm sorry you had such a tramatic birth. Giving birth is not easy no matter what, I think it is definiately one of the hardest things on earth!! It is definiately complicated when you have to go through a surgery and then all the terrible feelings of how your body has failed you. Post-Partum Depression and also Post-tramatic stress are very common and it sounds like you may at least have a little of each of these. Go easy on yourself, and keep talking. We are here to listen.
post #9 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoldber
I talked to my OB about doing a few things "outside the box" at my planned C-section in November.

1) Leaving one hand unstrapped
2) Having baby on my chest immediately after delivery
3) Having 2 support people in the OR so that I was not "alone" for the stitching up part

My OB was fine with it, but said that her influence was somewhat limited since much of that is governed by hospital policy.

Anyone have any experience getting these types of requests accommodated at hospitals? Who did you talk to in order to make these things happen?
I had my arms unstrapped for my c-section with Carter-that was a HUGE thing for me. He was also brought over to me immediately, I held him the whole time I was being stitched up, and a huge part of my birth plan was a lowered drape AND mirror so I could see my son enter the world if I wasn't going to be able to push him out. I know so many people that think that is somehow "icky"-but I am so, so glad that I watched him entering the world. Made a huge difference for me with how I experienced the section. It wasn't a big deal to make any of this happen-I made a birth plan, discussed it with the OB and she said no problem, we'll make it happen. Our hospital relative to others in the country is very good when it comes to honoring birth wishes, and so was the OB so there was no battle or excuse from anyone as to why I couldn't do certain things.

I also breastfed pretty much as soon as I was stitched up-right when I got into the recovery area before I was even in my room. That was a huge thing for me too-so I made my wishes known and it happened without problems.

BTW, Beth/egoldber--I grew up in Northern Virginia and went to high school in Fairfax. Just noticed that's where you live in your profile/sidebar info.
post #10 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoldber
I talked to my OB about doing a few things "outside the box" at my planned C-section in November.

1) Leaving one hand unstrapped
2) Having baby on my chest immediately after delivery
3) Having 2 support people in the OR so that I was not "alone" for the stitching up part

My OB was fine with it, but said that her influence was somewhat limited since much of that is governed by hospital policy.

Anyone have any experience getting these types of requests accommodated at hospitals? Who did you talk to in order to make these things happen?
You should call the hospital and speak to someone in administration and have them mail you something in writing that states their policies on these issues. Then you will have a clear idea of what you are facing. For me personally, I was able to have both hands free when Ian was born, I held him as soon as they bundled him up, and I had him with me in recovery to immediately breastfeed. They did take him for awhile while I was stitched up, but dh went with him. All they did was weigh him and measure him. He was back really fast. He never left my arms the rest of our visit!!
post #11 of 84
Just to answer your question about who to talk to...I talked to the OB who was going to do the surgery the day before with my dh. We detailed our requests and the only thing that he wasn't sure about was having a shorter drape so I could see. We also gave the nurses a birth plan the morning of so they did stuff like save the placenta (technically illegal, but some of them will do it for you!) and hand me the baby almost immediately.

It was really good to meet with the OB beforehand...I highly recommend if if you are in a situation where you are planning one. We only had a day's notice but it was totally worth it especially since we didn't know him since I had seen the mw all the way through.
post #12 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoldber
I talked to my OB about doing a few things "outside the box" at my planned C-section in November.

1) Leaving one hand unstrapped
2) Having baby on my chest immediately after delivery
3) Having 2 support people in the OR so that I was not "alone" for the stitching up part

My OB was fine with it, but said that her influence was somewhat limited since much of that is governed by hospital policy.

Anyone have any experience getting these types of requests accommodated at hospitals? Who did you talk to in order to make these things happen?
My MW was there for my c/s and was awesome. Hands were not tied, took pics for us, got baby in my arms right away and nursing (while being stitched), got dr to speed up release of baby (I was home 48 hours after my c/s), told me everything that was going on and kept the whole procedure very positive.

We aren't planning to have more,but if I do I would still use a MW even though I have to have ac/s (I have a large window on my uterus which makes labor dangerous).
post #13 of 84
Thanks all. I'm not concerned about having the baby with me in recovery, thats actually policy at this hospital. And the baby will be with DH the entire time. There's no "mandatory" nursery time, newborn procedures are normally delayed several hours and done in the room, CS babies are encouraged to room in, etc. My main concern is having the baby on my chest at delivery and having someone with me while the stitching continues.

With my first CS (which was at this hospital, my second CS was at a different hospital), the stitching took almost 30 minutes after the baby was "done" and DH and the baby were sort of wandering around waiting for me to get to recovery. So I was in there by myself. I'd like to avoid it if at all possible.

Of course all this might be moot if we end up having to have a very early delivery and NICU time, which is entirely possible.
post #14 of 84
It's nice to see this thread. I was wondering if there would be a place for me to discuss births at MDC now that I am (and will forecver be) a C/S Mama.

My first birth was a midwife-assisted drug-free waterbirth in a hospital-based birth center (free-standing birth centers are illegal in my state). It was an extremely fast labor/delivery followed by a PP hemorrhage and a second PP hemorrhage 2 days later. Had I not received 2 blood transfusions in between the first and second hemorrhage (and a third during surgery after the second hem) I would have died. It was traumatic and my recovery was long.

I was looking forward to my second birth as an opportunity for a healing natural birth experience without all of the drama from my first birth. I was excited to know what it was like to be healthy following a birth. Another Mw assisted water-birth was planned with a few adjustments in place to intervene quickly in the case of a hem.

Unfortunately DD#2 was transverse breech and determined to stay that way. I did MANY sessions of chiropractic adjustments (Webster), accupuncture, homeopathic stuff, and spent hours upside down on an inversion table my Dad bought me to aid in the effort. I tried ice packs on my tummy top/heat packs on the bottom, an electric toothbrush near my pelvis, talking/musc at my pelvis, visualization, prayer, giving the baby "permission" to turn, and had scheduled therapy sessions with a "Birthing from Within" mentor and an external version attempt with an OB. BUT 11 days before I was due my water broke in the middle of the night. We called 911 and I was en route to the hospital in an ambulance for an emergency C/S. Fortunately, I knew that this HAD to be the plan if I went into labor and baby was still transverse, so it was kind-of a planned C/S in my head, but I was still scared. I had also posted a thread here asking for advice from BTDT C/S moms so I felt somewhat prepared for what to expect....At the hospital I requested an incision that would allow for future VBACs, but the OB explained that with a spine-up transverse breech, she wouldn't have the room to safely turn/birth baby with such an incision.

It's been difficult for me to accept that I will never have a normal vaginal birth. I had one very traumatic vaginal delivery, an emergency C/S and all my future births will be C/S. That said, I am grateful for the ability to gestate healthy babies, and the technology to birth them safely despite my wonky personal physical experiences (200 years ago I would have been dead twice over). I have found the healing process from the C/S WAYYYYY easier than my recovery after my vaginal birth with complications (although I don't like this tummy pouch I have now, and have been told is mine forever as a reminder of my abdominal surgery).

So that's my story. Thanks for the place to share it.
post #15 of 84

Rescue Remedy questions

Okay, so I've heard Rescue Remedy mentioned several times in various cesarean threads....can someone clue me in? What it is, what it's for, dosage, etc?

Thanks!
post #16 of 84
I developed PreE some where around 25 wks - was not diagnosed until 28 wk appt (even with 2 calls to Dr and 1 visit to hospital ER : ). At my 28 wk appt my BP was very high and I had protein in my urine. My OB sent me to the hospital for observation. A few hours latter they transfered me to St. Louis (~100 miles away) to Maternal/Fetal Specialists. I lasted 3 days in the hospital while they thought I was leveling out and might be able to last a few more weeks - unfortunately my 24 hr urine sample came back very bad so I had a c/s to deliver my little 2lb girl. They had to do a verticle (classical) incision to get her out. I got to see her very briefly after they stiched me up and were wheeling me out of the OR. DH stayed with her all the way to the NICU (hospital adjacent to where I gave birth) while I was taken back to recovery. Because of the Magnisium (prevents strokes) drip I could not get out of bed for 24 hours. I finally got to see my DD the day after she was born late in the afternoon. Spent 11 wks in the NICU, Luckly she is now a healthy 2 yr old.

Like others here I felt disconected (I'm sure the incubator, monitors etc. didn't help). Didn't get to hold her until she was about 10 days old (probably didn't help either!) I also had major feelings of guilt - what I had done wrong, if only's etc.

This time around I have to have a c/s (classical incision) - around 36/37 wks WHEN I make it that far!!

Like egoldber I want to ask about keeping at least one arm free, being able to lower the curtain or get a mirror for delivery and keeping the baby with us while they sew me up (as long as everything is ok with him).
post #17 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoldber
I talked to my OB about doing a few things "outside the box" at my planned C-section in November.

1) Leaving one hand unstrapped
2) Having baby on my chest immediately after delivery
3) Having 2 support people in the OR so that I was not "alone" for the stitching up part

My OB was fine with it, but said that her influence was somewhat limited since much of that is governed by hospital policy.

Anyone have any experience getting these types of requests accommodated at hospitals? Who did you talk to in order to make these things happen?
I very clearly told the anesthesiologist that I have issues with being strapped down and would freak out if they did it. No argument at all, they left my hands free.
post #18 of 84
Ds1 - water broke, pitocin, epi, in bed, hours of pushing, c-section. Baby to NICU for 12 hours w/out seeing him (that is what was so upsetting, not the c/s). Quick recovery.

Ds2 - I opted for a scheduled c/s even though my OB gave the option to vbac. I was scared and uneducated. Very smooth surgery, another quick recovery.

Ds3 - Wanted a va2c, but no doc would do it. One homebirth mw would take me, but we could not afford her. So I had a planned c/s. Smooth surgery (after shopping for hospitals to get what I wanted) and hospital stay, but much harder recovery than the first two.

I am done.

IMO, if you are going the planned c/s route the doc makes little difference (as far as personality goes), but the hospital makes a huge difference. I found 2 hospitals, less than 2 miles apart with completely different policies and philosophies.
post #19 of 84
Quote:
IMO, if you are going the planned c/s route the doc makes little difference (as far as personality goes), but the hospital makes a huge difference. I found 2 hospitals, less than 2 miles apart with completely different policies and philosophies.
Well, that's true to some degree. But I have no choice of hospitals since DH and I are anticipating complications and want to deliver at the hospital with the best NICU in our area (and is in fact one of the top NICUs in the country). I have an OB that's supportive and I think will help me negotiate with the hospital. And also, in my past experience, an OB's written orders in your chart make a great deal of difference in being able to override hospital policy in post-partum care.

Unfortunately, most surgical policy is mandated by the anesthesiology policy. I am hoping to meet ahead of time with the anesthesiologist who will be doing my surgery. Its also been suggested to me by a contact that because of my past situation (my second DD died in the NICU at this hospital) that the patient advocate at the hospital may be able to help me get some concessions in planning my C-section there.
post #20 of 84
egoldber - i am so sorry about baby leah.
i thought i'd just let you know that hospitals very often bend rules and after your experience with leah they may well accomodate your requests. i used to work l&d and we'd jump through hoops with mom's who'd had such experiences.
best of luck
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