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c-sec mommas-- growth & healing chat thread - Page 2

post #21 of 306
I have a really basic question for you mamas...when did you feel like you could exercise again? I've been DYING to exercise (I'm 10 weeks postpartum right now) but I played some air hockey a couple of weeks ago and my uterus hurt for days. Ugh. It's driving me crazy.

My external scar is barely noticeable...I can feel it but you can't really see it at all. I had an amazing surgeon who is extremely supportive of VBACs so I am very grateful for that if we decide to have another baby and HBAC. I've been battling off and on infections with it though so have been using a special salve on it hoping it'll eventually go away. It crops up every other week or so. Ouch! I can't imagine tattooing over it! Interestingly, I have some numbness on my lower back at the same level as my incision. It's slowly gotten better but was pretty noticeable right after dd was born.

Emotionally, I'm a total and complete wreck. BF has also helped me heal a lot emotionally but dd is having major problems with food sensitivities and they are suspecting celiac disease now. We had about 4 awesome weeks after she was born and then the screaming started and since then it has been so, so frustrating with mama feeling like she's gonna pull out her hair. These last 2 weeks have been especially bad with her being diagnosed as failure to thrive and me feeling like once again I have failed in mama-hood and has brought back intense memories about her birth. It's been rough, first I couldn't give birth, then we had some issues with breastfeeding and now mama's milk is ripping up her guts. Ugh.
post #22 of 306
Thread Starter 
oh, momma! huge hugs. ds had similar issues, though ours were mostly resolved by 2 months. i remember that feeling, though-- "first i couldnt birth him, now i cant even feed him. what is this body good for??" sigh. i hope you find a solution soon!

as for exercise..... wow. 10 weeks. so so short a time ago! i started being able to place myself in very gentle yoga poses without too much pain around 3, 3.5 months... do some slow vinyasas around 4 months... it took me til 6 months to really begin to feel like me again. now at 9 months, i'm starting to hike again, and doing more yoga. i still have a lot of stiffness... i think it's time to go see a chiro (went for webster when ds turned breech, so not so happy thoughts connected with going, but i think it's time!), and get this show on the road again. it's hard though! realllly hard.

huge hugs!
post #23 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawnee View Post
Thanks, I went to the article and realized I'd read it before. It helps, because the writer has articulated some things for me I find difficult to put into words. I like the ICAN list, but I unsubscribed, can't handle the volume because of the way they manage the group (no links in the index, no archiving of posts).

<clip>

It's interesting to see the different points of view that are coming to this thread. My physical recovery was relatively easy, and of no consequence. I'm angry about what was done to me and my babies by the system and a few nasty individuals. I feel like I was deceived and manipulated. I believe that my children and I will suffer from negative health and emotional consequences for the rest of our lives. I believe that the birth experience is incredibly important, to both baby and mama.

<clip>
I just wnated to respond to a couple of things but don't know how to selectively quote!

As far as managing the list (ICAN or any other high volume list) I've found gmail to be a necessity. Gmail groups like threads together so if you aren't interested in a particular "conversation" you only have one email thread about it and delete the whole thing. Also, you can filter incoming mail according to labels so if you want can sort by the label and delete everything.

I totally understand the feeling of manipulation and deception that you're talking about. It's hard because in the end, my c was necessary but it didn't have to be. It was necessary because the people that I trusted abused their position and manipulated me into it by telling me things like I was going to kill my baby if I didn't do XXX. And I didn't go into this birth uneducated (not that being uneducated gives anyone a right to manipulate anyone anyway) - I read tons of natural birth books. It's just in the end it's a little bit of a bait and switch game that they play - they SAY they'll let you have a natural birth but the "system" such as it stands right now - isn't set up for waiting or for letting things progress on their own.

Anyway, I don't know if I'll post again to this thread because I don't want to further offend anyone with my anger and sadness.
post #24 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapayaVagina View Post
Emotionally, I'm a total and complete wreck. BF has also helped me heal a lot emotionally but dd is having major problems with food sensitivities and they are suspecting celiac disease now.
((HUGS)) Hang in there, mama! I'm sorry you are facing this new challenge. Strength to you and health to your babe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moosemommy View Post
I wish there was a way to do a sub thread or something, because we should totally start a list of things that have been healing for us! my biggest one-- the "other" c-s, co-sleeping. having him next to me, where he was for so long.... has been AMAZING.
Yes! I even co-slept with my babies in the hospital, after they got out of the NICU. And I fought with the hospital to keep my second babe out of the NICU the first day, that was so much better than what happened with my first. That would be a good one to put on the list for someone trying to reduce the trauma of a planned c/s, fight to keep your baby with you in recovery.

Zmom, thanks, I've heard good things about gmail. I also went into my second birth educated and with a great VBAC birth plan. However, you can prepare for a 1000 things they are going to throw at you, but they have one more up their sleeves when you get there. And Zmom, I don't think you've offended anyone, isn't that what we're here talking for? If you don't feel comfortable to post here, feel free to PM me and I'd be glad to hash through every last detail of your anger and sadness and mine too. I'd love to have someone to help me pour all that out.
post #25 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawnee View Post
That would be a good one to put on the list for someone trying to reduce the trauma of a planned c/s, fight to keep your baby with you in recovery.
I agree. It was almost four hours before they brought me my baby. It was not an emergency c-section, I was fine (as can be for having just had surgery), and my baby was very healthy. So why WHY did it take them over 3 hours to bring him to me? He was broght to me already bathed, clothed, diapered, foot pricked, eye gooped, and fed. I was the *last* person to see him and hold him. My DH, my parents, my in-laws, and who knows how many nurses held him before I did. A nurse fed my son his first meal. A nurse gave him his first bath and dressed him for the first time. All this was going on while I was in recovery completely by myself except for the nurse that was checking on me. And I wonder why I had breastfeeding problems.
post #26 of 306
Jumping on, this thread caught my eye. I have come to terms with my c-sections, so I'm not looking for support, but maybe I could lend some?

For me, the key to being able to come to terms with the c-sections was being in complete control during the birth. We did everything 'by the book' (and by this I mean the thinking woman's guide to a better birth) and yet somehow I fell into that necessary but not emergency c/section trap. However, I was in control the entire time and I knew it had to be done. We tried again for a VBAC with #2, but my body refused to cooperate and go into labor and so we made the hard choice to schedule another c/s. But looking back I have no one to be angry at except maybe my body. I don't see how I could have done anything differently, and that helps. I will have a c/s for the next one as well and at this point I am okay with it, though I am worried about the additional damage it may cause.

We also have a thread in finding your tribe for c/s only mamas.
post #27 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapayaVagina View Post
I have a really basic question for you mamas...when did you feel like you could exercise again? I've been DYING to exercise (I'm 10 weeks postpartum right now) but I played some air hockey a couple of weeks ago and my uterus hurt for days. Ugh. It's driving me crazy.

.
I didn't feel like I was really back to normal physically for 6-8 months. Inow notice some discomrfot (at 18 months) when I try to do abwork, as far as I can tell, form scar tissue. Otherwise, I'm ok. I started gong for wlaks aroudd 2 weeks, just going slowly, and having someone else pusahg the stroller on any hills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
I agree. It was almost four hours before they brought me my baby. It was not an emergency c-section, I was fine (as can be for having just had surgery), and my baby was very healthy. So why WHY did it take them over 3 hours to bring him to me? He was broght to me already bathed, clothed, diapered, foot pricked, eye gooped, and fed. I was the *last* person to see him and hold him. My DH, my parents, my in-laws, and who knows how many nurses held him before I did. A nurse fed my son his first meal. A nurse gave him his first bath and dressed him for the first time. All this was going on while I was in recovery completely by myself except for the nurse that was checking on me. And I wonder why I had breastfeeding problems.

I did hate not having baby in recovery. I was the first one to feed her, she just had to wait a couple hours to nurse, poor thing. I"m not sure why she couldn't be with me, but at least my mom was with her. I know I bled alot, but I think that was later that night, after I was out of recovery. I hated recovery.

I did choose not to have Rachel in my room overnight. I found the pain was WAY worse then, and it took so long to get a nurse, I knew it would not be fair to Rachel. Even if I had her in my bed, it hurt so much to try to move, I would not have been able to feed her on my own. Even when I was home, I had to have my mom stay at night for 2 nights, and help me whenever she needed to eat.

I had her with me during the day, though, except for one nap one day, and when they weighed her every day.

I was prepared ahead for the possibility of a c-section, so for me, I didn't really feel like my body let me down particularly. The fact that I was unable to breastfeed past a week did though.

I most likely would have a repeat c-section. I"ve heard form many people a scheduled c-section is easier to recover from, and I don't want to risk an emrgent one again.
post #28 of 306
My major problem is "mental". I had an elective repeat c-section and I was used as a "practice dummy" for med students to do epidurals on. After getting stuck 20+ times I went hysterical and had to be put under general. They never bothered to turn teh oxygen on, and just held the mask over my face - basically suffocating me. SInce my arms were tied down and somebody was holding my head I couldn't get it off and had to lay there smothering until the medicine that puts you to sleep kicks in. I'm terrified of anyone getting too close to me now (nobody other than my kids can touch me) I have panic attacks, nightmares....I tried to watch the new superman movie and there is a part involving a plane crash where the oxygen masks drop form the ceiling and I completely FREAKED OUT.

It's awful, and all because people couldn't be bothered to pay and attention. It makes me feel worthless - like I'm not even worth putting forth the effort to do a good job.

I try to talk about it with people and they roll their eyes at me. I am so angry I can't find a word for it.
post #29 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by grypx831 View Post
My major problem is "mental". I had an elective repeat c-section and I was used as a "practice dummy" for med students to do epidurals on. After getting stuck 20+ times I went hysterical and had to be put under general. They never bothered to turn teh oxygen on, and just held the mask over my face - basically suffocating me. SInce my arms were tied down and somebody was holding my head I couldn't get it off and had to lay there smothering until the medicine that puts you to sleep kicks in. I'm terrified of anyone getting too close to me now (nobody other than my kids can touch me) I have panic attacks, nightmares....I tried to watch the new superman movie and there is a part involving a plane crash where the oxygen masks drop form the ceiling and I completely FREAKED OUT.

It's awful, and all because people couldn't be bothered to pay and attention. It makes me feel worthless - like I'm not even worth putting forth the effort to do a good job.

I try to talk about it with people and they roll their eyes at me. I am so angry I can't find a word for it.
oh, I am so angry for you!
post #30 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
I did hate not having baby in recovery. I was the first one to feed her, she just had to wait a couple hours to nurse, poor thing. I"m not sure why she couldn't be with me, but at least my mom was with her. I know I bled alot, but I think that was later that night, after I was out of recovery. I hated recovery.
With my first, I didn't get to see her for over 10 hours. No one told me I could have got out of bed after 2 hours (I found that out before my second baby). I just laid there, afraid to move at all, and alone, for hours.

With my second, I worked with my OB to advocate for allowing babies in the recovery room. As a result, the hospital changed its policy and I was able to bring ds with me (but I still had to fight for it at the time). That was wonderful, glorious! The angry nurse brought him to me, naked, and dropped him on my chest, declaring, "Here's your baby!" I tucked him into my shirt, and nursed him. Victory!

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
I most likely would have a repeat c-section. I"ve heard form many people a scheduled c-section is easier to recover from, and I don't want to risk an emrgent one again
Both of my sections were "emergency" and I had great physical recoveries from both. I had very little pain and refused all pain meds after the birth. I give the credit for this to my fantastic OB. One nurse brought some others into my room to look at my incision and compare how much better it looked than incisions from another doc. Pretty unethical, but she was one of those nurses who thinks patients are too dumb to know what's going on.

That also reminds me of another thing that was healing for me: labor! Even though it ended in a c/s, those hours I spend laboring at home, in peace, are a beautiful memory and a precious gift to my baby and me. Even if I planned on having a c/s for my next, I'd labor first for the benefits that labor brings to physical and emotional health for mama and baby.

Angelcat, I didn't say that to judge your perspective or try to change your mind at all. You are at peace with your births and at peace with an elective repeat c/s, and I respect that. I just wanted to put that other perspective out there for those that are thinking about their options.
post #31 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by grypx831 View Post
My major problem is "mental". I had an elective repeat c-section and I was used as a "practice dummy" for med students to do epidurals on. After getting stuck 20+ times I went hysterical and had to be put under general. They never bothered to turn teh oxygen on, and just held the mask over my face - basically suffocating me. SInce my arms were tied down and somebody was holding my head I couldn't get it off and had to lay there smothering until the medicine that puts you to sleep kicks in. I'm terrified of anyone getting too close to me now (nobody other than my kids can touch me) I have panic attacks, nightmares....I tried to watch the new superman movie and there is a part involving a plane crash where the oxygen masks drop form the ceiling and I completely FREAKED OUT.

It's awful, and all because people couldn't be bothered to pay and attention. It makes me feel worthless - like I'm not even worth putting forth the effort to do a good job.

I try to talk about it with people and they roll their eyes at me. I am so angry I can't find a word for it.
That's so horrible. I'm so sorry you went through this. It's making me cry just reading it.
post #32 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
My c-section opened my eyes. It lead me toward the AP path. It was an awakening that the medical system is not all knowing and that doctors are not authority figures. It made me question and seek answers....even the uncomfortable ones.

It sucked. I hated it. It hurt. It was medically unnecessary. It scarred me. It broke me. It shattered my world. It depressed me. It infuriated me. It terrified me. And along the way....It made me strong.
Thanks for being honest in your post. My c-section affected me in very much the same way.
post #33 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by grypx831 View Post
I try to talk about it with people and they roll their eyes at me. I am so angry I can't find a word for it.
I'm so sorry! ((HUGS)) This is birthrape.
post #34 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by zmom View Post
Hi Shawnee -

I don't have a lot of time to post right now but wanted to point you to this article by Gretchen Humphries called, You Should Be Grateful. It really speaks to a lot of what you're experiencing when looking for support for your feelings.

Also, I'd like to point you to ICAN where you can join a group of women healing and learning from their cesearans who will listen and/or help you through your healing process.

It's time for me to put my daughter to bed so I've got to run but I've subscribed to this thread so I'll see posts even when I forget to check. Or you can PM me if you have specific questions. I've been there and am still working through healing from my traumatic, completely unnecessary, rage-inducing c...

zmom

I just read the "You Should Be Grateful Article." Thanks for sharing the link. What a good description of the way I feel after my c-section!

After my c-section, I started to wonder why people seem to dismiss it as a simple, non-serious medical procedure...like you should recover in about two days and never have to mention it again.

I always thought (and am still really upset by this) that if the same surgery were performed without the removal of a baby, and instead, say the removal of an organ or the removal of a tumor, the surgery would be taken more seriously and I can't imagine anyone saying to you to just get over it.

Yes, like the article says, you can be grateful and love your baby, and enraged and mad as heck about your c-section.
post #35 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by moosemommy View Post
oh, i'm so glad to see more posts!



you are welcome. that is an awful thing to say. i can not believe that anyone in a birth related field would say that!

i do want to just share my experience with ICAN, because some women DO find it helpful. my experience there was not helpful. in fact, it was hurtful. that's one reason i really wanted to start something here.... my very brief time there i got the impression that if you are not LIVID about your c-s, then please do not bother them. it took me quite a while to get over the sting of trying to talk about my experience with them. just my experience... for what that's worth.

I'm not livid about mine. That doesnt mean i dont want to talk about it though. I just dont really need to talk about it in angry terms. that is not healing for me.



am in the only one who finds that article... stings? it makes me feel ... wrong... for not being livid. it makes me feel how she says she feels about people who tell her to be grateful. it makes me feel how i felt after trying to talk to women on ICAN. that i am not angry enough, that i didnt experience my son's birth as a violent and brutal attack on my body... and therefore i have no right to want to talk about my c-s, therefore i have nothing to heal from. that somehow i am not woman enough because i am not mad enough. that i am less of a mom, less crunchy... because i am not outraged.

i'm guessing we might find a split here-- between women who had c-s that they feel were unnecessary (and who are mad about it) and those who had c-s that they feel were necessary (and are sad about it). i could be wrong, but i have a guess.

in either case, for this thread, i would hope that all experiences, the full range of feelings & emotions, will be welcome & suported.

i am learning so much already. i look forward to learning more from you all.
I hope there isn't a split between us c-section moms!

In my case, I had a necessary c-section (necessary, that is, at the point it was performed, but in my opinion maybe it could have been a natural birth if the medical team had caught some things earlier). The c-section makes me sad. However, at various periods since the c-section I have also felt other emotions. While "rage" is a strong word, I think I am definitely angry and upset and even some days have some rage. I definitely trust less and I feel disppointment and some resentment towards the people who dismiss how huge a deal the c-section was to me.

So, just wanted to say I agree with the original poster. I hope we can all be a source of support to each other. We're probably all at various levels of healing so of course we're not all going to feel the exact same way. Let's just focus on the healing!
post #36 of 306
I am so happy to have found this thread!!!

My situation was not normal at all in that my cs was absolutely necessary, nothing was done wrong but I am still pissed as hell at the universe for putting me in that position.

I had a homebirth, labored for 12 wonderful hours, pushed for 1/2 hour and then my water bag naturally broke, the gush brought dd cord down and it became pinned by her head. There is nothing else that can be done for a prolapsed cord than a c-section. We transported via emergency vehicle, me head down-bottom up with my midwifes hand pushing the baby of her cord internally. Two minutes after we got to the hospital, I was down under general and she was born. It was traumatic but without it she would have died in minutes. I have no what-ifs, not so and so messed up, no my body failed...it was just an incredibly rare complication that happened to me and my dd. I am angry about it. I am sad about it. I wish it hadn't happened and I do a lot of why me asking. It is very raw since it has only been 6 weeks.
post #37 of 306
Boy, I don't think we have enough smilies for this thread.

I wanted to say that every c-section mom has a place here. What ever you are feeling is ok. Feelings can not be wrong....they just are. We need to accept our feelings and that of others as simply as what they are. Feelings change and this is part of the healing process. I encourage everyone to just let themselves go where their feelings take them. Don't be afraid to question and examine your feelings though. Accept your feeling and then explore it.

I went from grateful, denial, depression, betrayal, anger (at others and then lastly at myself), rage, and finally to acceptance. I still get angry about my c-section at times, but mostly I accept it as being an important part of who I have become.
post #38 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by moosemommy View Post
I'm not livid about mine. That doesnt mean i dont want to talk about it though. I just dont really need to talk about it in angry terms. that is not healing for me.
I also have some of the same feelings as you. I feel like I don't fit into the circle of people that I was in before I had my ds because of my c/s and how I feel about it. I really didn't feel forced into my c/s by the OB. I am basically just mourning the loss of my home birth and trying to work through the fact that I didn't get the peaceful birth that I wanted. I feel as though this healing is important so that I will not be so fearful of possible future births....we would like to have more children eventually and I definitely want a VBAC and maybe even an HBAC.

This is not exactly my birth story....more like my labor story. I still have not been able to write out my entire birth story. I think that I am waiting to heal from it emotionally first.

Alex is our first baby and we planned a home birth in SC.
Unfortunately, after 48 hours of labor and ever miwifery trick in
the book...I was still barely 1cm dilated and having so much pain
that I was shaking pretty badly. We had to transfer to the hospital
(45 minutes away) and I agreed to the epidural because I didn't
think that I could take the pain of pitocin induced contractions.
Plus, I was so tired from the two days of labor with no sleep and no
food. The epidural did not work at all and they kept increasing the
pitocin making the contractions unbearable. I was in so much pain
for 12 more hours before they finally did an ultrasound and saw that
the baby's head was not turning to decend. He was actually stuck on
my pelvic bones and after they broke my water I could literally feel
that he was being shoved into these bones. After 60 hours, I was
still only 3cm dilated. The MD was pretty good and accepting of
home birth so thankfully I didn't have to contend with them trying
to make me feel guilty. I finally did agree to a c-section after I
felt as though all other possibilities had been tried. The MD
actually did not try to force me into the c-section but after he
told me that he could not turn the baby and that the only thing that
could be done would be to up the pitocin....we decided that I had to
have the c-section. On one hand, I feel as though we made the right
decision. The baby was 9lbs 10 oz. (the MD told me he was no more
than 7lbs...;o) and his head was almost 15 inches. The doctors were
all amazed at his size.....on the other hand, I will always question
whether or not I could have hung in there and tried to have the
peaceful birth that we had wanted. I am really determined to have a VBAC or HBAC if at all possible. After my 60 hours of labor I was asking the OB (while still in the operating room) if I could have a VBAC !
post #39 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by unimatrix0 View Post
I'm pregnant now and I find that I have to face so much fear now around childbirth. I'm afraid that I won't be ready emotionally and the same thing will happen again. I no longer know what to do to prepare; the fear just always seems to be there.
I completely relate to your fear. I just had my ds 4 months ago, but we do want more children and I am so afraid that I will have the same situation occur again. I don't really know how to get past this fear except to talk about it with supportive people. I do know that every baby and pregnancy is different and there is no reason to think that the second birth will mimic the first.....but, that is logical and I'm not always able to remain logical . I truly hope that you can work through these feelings and look forward to having your baby.
post #40 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by moosemommy View Post


most of it was blaming myself. when it actually came to it, i knew i was doing the right thing.... but i did blame myself for getting there. *clearly*, i thought, i didnt do this whole pregnancy thing right. clearly, my idea of trusting myself, trusting my body, and listening to my baby was not the right thing, if this is what it led to.... i had awesome help-- from my mws and from the therapist-- to learn that i was right to trust myself, that sometimes our children want to go a way that is not the way we want to go.... actually, that was one of the more helpful things told me-- babies choose their own births, he chose this.

This is SO how I feel and couldn't really express it as well as you did! I just keep thinking that I could have done something differently. My home birth midwife did make a comment about my pelvis and how I should get a chiropracter next time that didn't help me feel any better. The CNM who was the backup for my home birth midwife actually made me feel so wonderful because she shared her own home birth story that was actually similar to mine. She told me that this was a c/s I should feel good about because I did everything I could to have the birth I wanted. I think that she understood how easy it is to blame yourself.
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