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C-section mamas having a hard time getting past it? - Page 2

post #21 of 76
Absolutely, Lenore.

DH was very traumatized by seeing me strapped down with tubes everywhere, shaking violently, and puking when she was cutting. He has never been quite the same either.

My section was nothing like what you read in the "books". It wasn't gentle, smooth, or easy in any way. Because I was in labor for 48ish hours, fully dialated and effaced for 8, and DS's head was smashing into my hip that was too injured to open, the doc had to jump up on the table and shove him up over my pelvis to get him out. The table was shaking with her pushes to get him back up. DH and I really freaked out then. It was so much more violent than anyone tells you.
post #22 of 76
[QUOTE=lenore80;6672590]Its also important to let our partners mourn too. I asked DH if it was the happiest day of his life, and he told me it was...when he found out that I and the baby were ok.QUOTE]

That brings up an interesting topic. Several weeks ago I was talking with my son about his birth (who was born by c-section and is now almost 3.5 yo). He remembers his birth and the time afterward. He appears to be most traumatized by the time afterward. When we were talking, he became really teary and said he cried because he did not know where I was (I saw him for one minute in the operating room then we were not reunited for an hour - he screamed for the whole hour).

I am a huge proponent of talking with kids about things. I think we often forget to talk with babies but they are listening and understanding too.
post #23 of 76
[QUOTE=InstinctiveMama;6673129]
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenore80 View Post
Its also important to let our partners mourn too. I asked DH if it was the happiest day of his life, and he told me it was...when he found out that I and the baby were ok.QUOTE]

That brings up an interesting topic. Several weeks ago I was talking with my son about his birth (who was born by c-section and is now almost 3.5 yo). He remembers his birth and the time afterward. He appears to be most traumatized by the time afterward. When we were talking, he became really teary and said he cried because he did not know where I was (I saw him for one minute in the operating room then we were not reunited for an hour - he screamed for the whole hour).

I am a huge proponent of talking with kids about things. I think we often forget to talk with babies but they are listening and understanding too.
This so touched my heart. I have been sensing similar feelings from my dd since she was born. She suffered deeply from emotional trauma from the birth. I talk to her often and tell her how sorry I am. I think she is starting to relax a bit but it has been tough since she was born.
post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapayaVagina View Post
I have also wondered if this is somehow punishment for being so vocal about homebirths in my past, silly I know. Having to transport to the hospital was my absolute #1 fear for my birth and not only did I get that, but I got just about every single intervention in the book.
I've had this feeling too. I want to kick myself for everytime I told a friend "Trust your body, it's OK." We had a homebirth transfer end in c-section for fetal distress (caused by undetected IUGR and low fluid), and I remember thinking "man, now I'm going to have to eat it and explain this to everyone who gave me a hard time about homebirth." Not that homebirth caused it, but you know how it goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InstinctiveMama View Post
Several weeks ago I was talking with my son about his birth (who was born by c-section and is now almost 3.5 yo). He remembers his birth and the time afterward. He appears to be most traumatized by the time afterward. When we were talking, he became really teary and said he cried because he did not know where I was (I saw him for one minute in the operating room then we were not reunited for an hour - he screamed for the whole hour).
Wow, this is my biggest fear/source of grief, that my daughter was separated from me and didn't get a gentle welcome at home. I've wondered if she'll be able to tell me about. I asked her to try to remember so she can tell me later so we can talk about it when she's bigger. Her father was with her the whole time, and she really didn't cry. She's much snugglier and easily soothed with him, and sometimes I wonder if that has to do with it. He took photos during her first bath and time in the nursery getting footprinted (while I was down in recovery literally bleeding my guts out), and I have a hard time seeing those photos.

OP, I don't know how to get over it, because every time I think I am, something else surfaces, but you absolutely aren't alone. My husband and I watched last week's Grey's Anatomy on the dvr today, and we both started crying during the c-section/baby not breathing scene. I don't think people give enough credit to how traumatic a c-section can be, especially one precipitated by distress. It's right and fine to mourn. I felt better after a few sessions with a therapist, but she didn't do anything particular earth-shattering, just let me talk about it again and again.
post #25 of 76
DS also remembers. He was with DH too, and didn't cry. He brought it up to me once when he was around 2y/o. He said something that I knew he meant his birth, and I asked him about it. He said, "It was time to hold Daddy."

I was terribly traumatized by the separation. I was held in captivity in recovery for 4 hours. I begged, pleaded, threated, and demanded to see DS, but the nurses were absolutely horrible to me. I've never felt so helpless in my life (that I consciously remember). It was the first time I can remember that I couldn't just get up and make something happen, or leave, or make someone take me seriously - whatever. All the family was with DS - which I wanted - but I almost called the police to get my son.

I know he must have been lost then too. I hope he can talk to me about it sometime. He tends to be nervous a lot, and I suspect this is the seed.
post #26 of 76
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all of the kind, wise, thought-provoking and inspirational responses.

to the mamas of babes traumatized by their passage into this world. I feel a bit of this myself, not because my section was particularly traumatic or difficult on DD (it was a scheduled section due to a combination of IUGR, low fluid, and breech position), but because she was so clearly not ready (it was done at 37 weeks). DD had no problems with the birth and we never had to be separated, in the operating room or afterwards, but she slept almost constantly for the first 4 weeks of her life (had to be woken to eat) and just generally seemed easily overstimulated by life outside the womb. She seemed to have adjusted well by a few months post-partum, but I find myself wondering just how deep the effects of that too-early entry into the world might go.
post #27 of 76
My c/s happened suddenly when my baby's heartrate disappeared. I was under general and they got him out just in time. I didn't get to see him in recovery. My husband was with him as soon as they got him out, even though he wasn't able to be in the OR with me. I know it was the right thing to happen. I know the Dr helped to save Aidan's life. I know people feel badly for me because I wanted to have a natural childbirth. Even my OB apologized. I want to tell my story over and over and I know noone else wants to hear it all the time.
I think the worst part for me is that this child was a suprise. An accident. And we are certainly NOT going to have another (that would make 5 and 4 is really pushing our budget). This was my last chance to do it MY way. Everyone was supportive of that, even my OB. I had fleeting thoughts of staying at home and doing a UC at the last minute.
And breastfeeding....well, I had a reduction 6 yrs ago and knew it would be a challenge but I was totally confident. We would nurse after delivery and everything would be fine. Of course I didn't see him for several hours and had all the anesthesia in my system, so he was sleepy, I was sleepy. He mouth was so small my nipples were bleeding for the first week and it turns out I don't have the supply I had hoped. His supplementation is making him less interested in nursing. The at breast supplementation stopped after 5 days of bleeding and severe pain. I feel like a failure all they way around.
My lat chance to do it right and I am just screwing it up.

At least the cloth diapers are going well.
post #28 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by InstinctiveMama View Post
I am where I am today (mostly healed from the c/s and planning my first HBAC) because of the generosity of the ICAN women.
ITA. There are so many women on the ICAN list who have been here. Sure, some are angry. I was angry, too, at some point in my journey. Angry at a system that I trusted blindly. Angry at myself for blindly trusting. Angry that the system is beyond broken. Angry that choices are taken away from me. There's a lot of encouragement and uplifting that also goes on. Everyone is in a different place on their journey to reconcile their c/s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aira View Post
DH was very traumatized by seeing me strapped down with tubes everywhere, shaking violently, and puking when she was cutting. He has never been quite the same either.
I only learned from my dh how badly the experience affected him when planning my first VBAC. He couldn't even enjoy his newborn son because he was worried about his wife unconscious on the OR table.
post #29 of 76
I am also struggling. Its only been 10 days since my experience. It was unavoidable...I was at he end of an amazing home birth when my water broke to reveal a prolapsed cord. One ambulance ride later, I was out under general and sectioned. A lot of issues I think have to do with the fact that there isn't anyone to blame...we did everything right and this still happened. being in my bathroom is a major trigger for me since that is where all the chaos began. I am also dealing with some guilt that my baby lived and another baby in my ddc club with a similar complication didn't. I should feel lucky.

I can also relate to being angry on my child's behalf. At least she didn't go anywhere and dh was with her the whole time. She didn't cry and was with me in recovery the entire time...she didn't even have a bath until we came home.

eta: This is also my last child and was to be my perfect homebirth...my only homebirth...
post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess View Post
I should feel lucky.
It's ok to mourn the birth you lost, even though your baby is healthy. It's ok for your feelings to be mixed. To feel grateful your baby is alive and also to have your feelings about the birth experience. So many people will tell you "at least you have a healthy baby". To some extent that is true. But it does not mean you should not mourn the loss of the birth you planned.
post #31 of 76
For all those who have recently had thier babes... and congrats!

For those who have been dealing with this longer... Do you have sense that time has kinda stopped? Like, the crisis struck and even though it's "over" you're just stuck in it?

I guess that's a hallmark of PTSD, which I've been diagnosed with, but I'm wondering if you've felt this way, and have you overcome it?
post #32 of 76
I am so glad I saw this thread. Just last night I was awake crying at 2am, thinking back to my c-section 4 months ago. I told my husband I felt like my body had been violated, ripped open in a very violent way, and I think it is going to take a long time to heal from that.

I love my baby, but I am still mourning his birth, and I don't know how to get past it. I would like to have a VBAC, but the OB told me that because of my hip structure, it is unlikely that I would ever be able to give birth vaginally. This hurts me a lot, because until then I had perfect confidence in my body - now it feels like I'm not made right, or not good enough... I feel let down. I'm also envious of my friends who had natural births (one with twins!). Breastfeeding has helped me a lot with that feeling, since at least that is something good my body has been able to do for my baby.

It is reassuring for me to read other people's stories and to know that I'm not alone in the way I feel about my son's birth.
post #33 of 76
I had a c-section with twins 3 years ago and suffered terrible ppd. Anyway, even though I eventually got over the ppd, I never felt completely "right" since. I was diagnosed with PTSD more recently. My therapist said it was the worst birth story she ever heard (that didn't involve the baby/ies dying).

Therapy alone wasn't helping. Last week I did EMDR, a therapy that is not widely known, but very effective with PTSD. (Even used by the Veterans Admin. with military vets.)

It's like a veil has been lifted. I felt better the SAME day. I would encourage anyone who has been diagnosed with PTSD from their c-section to explore this treatment as an option.
post #34 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birth Junky View Post
Thank you all for your kind and wonderful posts. I don't really know where to go from here . . . often I think that the only route to healing for me will come through a successful HBAC. DH and I aren't planning baby #2 for at least a couple more years, though. And even then, I wonder if the HBAC might just make things worse, by making me FULLY realize what I missed the first time around. :
That's what I hope for too. I am planning an HBAC. My sister just had an HBAC and it was healing for her. I noticed the difference immediately talking to her, the tears of joy, the elation, when after her csection she had no energy, was so sad. The photos she sent me of her after having her first son and her second son are like night and day. She looks so calm and peaceful after her HBAC birth. I am really looking forward to mine.
post #35 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birth Junky View Post
DD had no problems with the birth and we never had to be separated, in the operating room or afterwards, but she slept almost constantly for the first 4 weeks of her life (had to be woken to eat) and just generally seemed easily overstimulated by life outside the womb. She seemed to have adjusted well by a few months post-partum, but I find myself wondering just how deep the effects of that too-early entry into the world might go.
Mine is just the opposite. Initially she had to be nursing constantly and had to be on me every single second (not complaining, but it just made me sad because I knew what it was stemming from). She is pretty much the same way now but is just starting to sleep a bit next to me instead of on me all the time. She's got a lot of issues with her head though from a horrible cephalohematoma and I think gets pressure build ups in her head and palate so she screams and is inconsolable a lot.
post #36 of 76
hi, I just wanted to say that i too suffer from PPD or maybe post traumatic stress...My son is now 10 months old. I am so scared that his birthday will be a sad day is so many ways...even just saying that makes me feel somehow like a bad mom for not sensoring my feelings about his birth....

some background....i was two weeks to a month "late" from the due date, and i had a planned homebirth (we live in alabama, and it is not exactly accepted here ) So anyways we had one ultrasound at 22 weeks and everything was fine, but i was in labor for over 30 hours, my baby's heartrate was not right somehow. I labored to 10 and pushed, but he wasnt coming out...his head turned (and looking back on it, i dont know if i really felt the urge to push or if i was just pushing because i was ready to have my baby in my arms) anyways my water was still intact and we chose to go to the hospital. our midwife planely said "i am her midwife" and from that point on we were treated like trash....like we didnt have feelings. I refused to sign papers consenting for the hospital to do whatever they felt necessary, but the gave me pitosin without my consent and when the contractions were burning they offered me an epidural. I was in the shower with scorching hot water on me and i accepted the epidural b/c i was so exhausted i was trying to fall asleep in b/t the contractions. They broke my water. The next day at 11:25 my son was born via c/sec. he was beautiful. we love him so much. I saw him for a second and smelled his head and i think kissed him. Then they took him away and wouldnt let me or my husband hold him or get "too close" they gave him immunizations and told us that they would call child services if we didnt consent to the immunizations and preventative antibiotics. I wouldnt let them give him a bottle or formula so they gave him an IV because they wouldnt let me nurse him. They told us that our child wasnt in our best interest, and then we found out he had a heart problem. Tetrallogy of Fallot. they told us he might die. we were so devasted, shocked, and tired. we flew to atlanta and the docs were very considerate. My son had open heart surgery 6 months later, and now he is fine. he is so wonderful. I just hate having to pretend i dont "feel" anything. also my body doesnt work like it should. I hurt when i move a lot, and sex is not what is once was or should be(TMI sorry ) i feel scared to ever plan another homebirth although i desperately mourn that experience...not just for myself, but for my husband and son also. I also feel like i am not capable of having that birth, and i feel so nieve and also betrayed by people i trusted...midwife, doctors,ect. I also feel like my reality is much different as a mother than i expected, and we have to do things with our son we never thought we would...antibiotics....whatever....I just feel desperate, but my son is such a blessing, such a wonderful blessing. Thanks for letting me get that our and not judging me! i pray for each of you and your families. take care, and much love
post #37 of 76
you ladies are WONDERFUL!

i too can relate and was wondering if i was alone. amber is my first child. she is my blessing that caught me by SURPRISE:

i always wanted to have children..natural child births and just be a natural MOMMA!

i am not in the position (in my eyes) to just go ahead and try for another one.
1) i am not married
2) i will be 34 in a few days...

so when i found out i was pregnant...i was ELATED and scared. i was frightened by the things that "could" happen and yet anxious to have my baby. i LOVE her dearly and im glad to have gotten her here safely..however, a part of me is so sadden that i was NOT able to "push" her into the world.

the labor started off as any other "typical" labor..but then i got stuck at 5 cms...i stayed that way forever...my water was broken..contractions stopped. i was given pitocin (or whatever it is) still no baby..nothing past 5 cm..then her heartrate began to decline with each contraction..FINALLY i requested the epidural "knowing" that a c-section was coming.

at first i didnt think it bothered me but it DID! it took almost 6 hrs before i had a chance to BOND with my baby or even attempt to BF. now, when i read a birth story or see one on tv, a part of me is so SAD and JEALOUS!

im just glad that i am not alone in feeling this way and seeing that it is ok....

thank you all so MUCH and i apologize for the long post and rambling:
post #38 of 76
I think so many people don't understand all of the other things that go along with a c/s that affect us... like not getting to hold our babies, like feeling our bodies don't work, like being yelled at for "not having prenatal care" (I had a HB MW doing my prenatal care but apparently that's not good enough).

Yes I'm grateful that my son is alive and well, but my first memories of him are hearing his cry when I couldn't see him, then my husband holding him next to my head where I could only see 1/4 of his face, not feel his body, not smell him, not kiss him, nothing. I was locked down, shaking uncontrollably and those will be his first experience of life and the guilt is overwhelming that somehow I allowed that to happen to my baby.

I had a breast reduction and since I had the c/s I couldn't BF properly ti give him enough milk and he got very bad jaundice and we had to stay in the hospital for 5 days and suppliment with formula. Talk about feeling like a failure. (I still BFing though thank God because that would have put me over the edge)

And no one wants to hear about it after a while but I want to talk about it over and over again. I NEED to work it out, make it ok, make peace with it.

I spend so much time wanting to try for an HBAC, but I'm terrified that something will go wrong and I will lose my chance for my perfect HB. My DH is totally against getting pregnant again, both of our birth experiences were so traumatic for him. I can't imagine doing that to him again.

DS is 15 months now, and most days I don't think about it. I've had terrible PPD with him though, and horrible anxiety. I have panic attacks all the time and I wonder if I would be like this if things had gone the way I planned.
post #39 of 76
When I found I was pregnant with my first son, I read EVERY natural birthing book possible. I was determined to have a natural, vaginal birth.

Then one complication came and then another, I started doing stress tests every week at 20 weeks, at 30 weeks I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsya. My liver proteins were up, my kidneys started malfunctioning and finally at 36 weeks, they admitted me for induction. Still thinking I would be able to vaginally birth and with my health and my son's health at risk I agreed. At 8pm my pitocin iv begun. I started having contractions and by 10pm, the doc was called to check the monitor. I was asked to lay on my left side and to remain calm. 11pm I was put on an oxygen mask. From 11pm to 12am the babies heart rate was fluttering up and down. at 12:05 he flatlined .. I was rushed into surgery and at 12:16am my baby born was born.. BLUE..no apgar.. after 4 minutes of working on him.. he was revived.

To sit there.. and to hear nothing was a nightmare in reality. I have never felt such fear!

My recovery was hard. I was ever so grateful for the wonderous gift of my baby boy.. but I felt slighted, like if I was a woman in the middle ages I would have been a failure.. most likely I would have died and so would my babe.

I was so distraught at not having a vaginal birth that PPD hit me hard.

2nd pregnancy (9 months later).. I fought for a VBAC, but I had too many prior vaginal and uterine surgeries (endo, stage 4 cancer cells vaginal, uterine and cervical) the top docs at Johns Hopkins totally OBJECTED to a VBAC.. so another c-sect.

I was still bummed.. I was really depressed.. all of my friends were experiencing these wonderful birth experiences.. why couldn't I? I would watch "A Baby Story" and just cry during their vaginal births.. I would breathe with them.. just trying to get a glimpse of the experience.

I had my 3rd child & my 3rd C-sect. It's like an old glove now.

But still.. I feel cheated. But you know what keeps me going? I have 3 beautiful healthy babes... ones that if c-sects weren't practiced I wouldn't have. And most likely I wouldn't be here either.

Life isn't always what we want.. but we take the good with the bad and we proceed down this wonderful pathway leading us on to better adventurers than the last!

May you find peace in your heart and know that YOU ARE STILL A WOMAN NO MATTER HOW YOU BIRTHED YOUR BABE!
post #40 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birth Junky View Post
And even then, I wonder if the HBAC might just make things worse, by making me FULLY realize what I missed the first time around. :
This is true for me. Having a successful HBAC has made me more angry about my c/s (I didn't think I could be angrier about it). In some ways the HBAC was healing and validating, but it's also made me grieve harder for what I lost with DS.

You're not alone, mama. Time did lessen the pain, but 3 1/2 years later I am still processing the trauma from my c/s, and I don't expect that to end anytime soon.
___________________________________
SAHM to a spectacular DS (5/2003) & delightful DD (2/2006 HBAC!)
International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)
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