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Unexpected C-section mamas

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I see there are more of us.

I have family visiting, so it's not very easy to get online these days, but I have a few moments. I think this thread might be beneficial to those of us physically recovering from surgery (and emotionally healing a bit as well).

I'm doing much better these past few days. Nights are hardest, I think a touch of some baby blues is passing through. Nothing too serious, and a good long session of nursing my sweet baby girl and staring into her beautiful little newborn eyes (what color will they be?) always helps.

I can finally look at my incision without bawling. Victory!

Physically, I feel a lot better. Today is exactly two weeks since the C-section, and two weeks since I met my little Gianna for the first time. Still have burning feelings near the incision. The incision itself is numb. I can actually cough, laugh and sneeze without fear, too!

I'm allowing myself to think positively about future children. I have to keep telling myself that my body did NOT fail me, and I did NOT fail my little girl. If I had to, I would make that decision all over again.

Still though- I would gladly take the 18 hours of hard labor, and five hours of pushing all over again, over this ~7 inch line on my body, and all that it entails. I don't understand people who elect this...

Lots of love and healing to the rest of you.

Clara
post #2 of 27

thanks...

Thanks for starting this topic.

I am not in your DDC (I'm in August), but I've been scheduled for an 'unplanned' C-section.

I've been having a very hard time dealing with it.

Its my first and I've been planning on doing a natural delivery with a doula. The baby is breech and at 38 weeks, it hasn't turned head down once since 32 weeks (I'm always aware of where the head is). It moves a lot, but never shifts its basic position.

I've tried everything to get it to turn (swimming, pelvic lifts, laying with my belly suspended, external version, etc) but nothing has worked.

In any case, I've had about 2 weeks dealing with the inevitability of a c-section. People really don't seem to understand why it is so upsetting. I can barely think about it without bursting into tears.

I never wanted to just 'show up' to my birth and be a 'non-participant.' That's not how I envisioned it. The day is scheduled for next week and I really feel bad that I am looking at it with such dread. I know that it is supposed to be a wonderful day to welcome your first child into the world. I'm trying very hard to change my outlook.

I'd also like to know more about recovery. I'm afraid that I won't even feel comfortable holding my daughter.

Any tips/advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

katia07
post #3 of 27
katia~ i've heard that going to a chiropractor and acupuncture works well for turning babies. good luck, honey!

clara~ it's so good to hear from you again. you're in my prayers!
post #4 of 27
Many hugs to you ladies. I had a c-section with my first and a VBAC this time. After my c-section it was really hard to feel down in the dumps about it and talking to most people they were just like but you guys are healthy and that seemed to be all that mattered. I know how you feel and it will get better.

Katia, have you talked with your provider about waiting until you are in labor for you c-section? Some babies turn at the very last minute and then you can wait at least until the baby is ready. I heard of someone spending time in a pool and doing head stands over and over and that did the trick. Spinning babies and a chiro too.
post #5 of 27
I had c-sections with both my babies. The first was a 30 plus hour labor that ended in a section when he would not drop into my pelvis, I am talking hours and hours at 10 cm, then my blood pressure shot up and things got scary. My second labor was 12 hours in when she flipped to footling breech, and popped back up to -3 station Both were planned homebirths. I grieved the first c- section more then the second. I have been able to move on with the knowledge that damn I tried!!! I too have no idea how somepone can elect a section. The physical recovery alone is enough to make me welcome another 30 hour labor! and although i hate it when others say it to me, at least I have two healthy happy beautiful children at home to nurse sweetly to bed each night.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Katia- Stay strong! There still is a small chance. That said, the C-section obviously still can happen.

My advice- my "doulas" (one was actually an apprentice midwife who rode along with me in the ambulance until the doula got to the hospital) were so SO helpful to me. They both helped me to remain calm, and the doula who stayed with my DH and I in the recovery room (for about two and a half hours) was incredible. She held onto my phone and gave my mom a call as soon as the baby was born, she helped remind me of some things I was trying to remember to tell the OR staff before the surgery, she helped me nurse the baby when my body was still clumsy and weird from the drugs... I hope the doula you were planning on using is familiar with and comfortable with working in a C-section situation (unfortunately, I knew one or two doulas in my old location that would refuse completely).

- Also, you will need help for quite a bit of time, but the first two weeks even more so. You will be recovering from a pretty major surgery, and you will give yourself the gift of a safe and healthy recovery if you allow yourself to rest and do pretty much nothing except baby and self-care.

- Nurse, nurse, nurse. I cannot emphasize this enough. Nurse no matter what. It may hurt for a couple of days when your milk first comes in, and you may get very little sleep. Just repeat to yourself that it all passes. Do not accept formula, even in a cup, from the nursing or medical staff. Even if baby loses weight. Gianna lost 12% of her body weight, and the freaking hospital threatened to intubate her. NO. I personally believe that her weight loss was because of that darn place. As soon as she and I got home and into our own bed, she packed on 8 oz in three days!

Thank you so much, C-section and VBAC mamas! You give me hope.
post #7 of 27
(((hugs))) clara. i ended up with a section because of possible distress to my baby--who turned out fine, btw, but they were worried, and so was i, so we got him out asap once they discovered this information. here's my thread about it, if you have time to read:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=714822

i was pretty bummed initially that this was the outcome, but since i had so many drs(i even called my mw and asked her what to do, she agreed a section was best) saying he needed to come out soon, i did what i could with the information i had. and you know what? he's ok, and ultimately, i am too. after 3 weeks of reflecting, and wondering if i should have done things differently, i'm finally at peace with everything.

i hope, in time, you are too. many, many congratulations to you on your sweet little girl!
post #8 of 27
I had an unexpected c-section a week ago. I actually haven't written about this at all yet. While I truly feel like we made the right decision, for some reason I have been hesitant to put it down on paper.

We had been "warned" that the baby was big (especially his abdominal circumference, according to ultrasound) and were offered a primary c-section over a month ago. I was _very_ confident that I would be able to have a vaginal birth and never even seriously considered the c-section-- like you said, Clara, I don't understand why anyone would "choose" a c-section and I really thought it was just a case of the medical establishment pushing c-sections on everyone (and it certainly may have been at that point). We ended up having to have an induction because baby did not look great during our NST, but I was still hoping to have an "easy" induction with no pain meds, but that all fell apart and I ended up with epidurals and, finally, a c-section.

For the most part I'm ok with it because I truly believe that it was necessary. I think the baby was stuck as he did not move at all after 12 hours of labor at at 10 cm dialated. He has some torticollis that suggests he was really jammed in my pelvis in a non-favorable position. I am really thankful he's here, but I'm sad that I did not get to experience the rush of empowerment I felt after the birth of my 1st DS.

to everyone as we all adjust to our unexpected situations.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by katia07 View Post
Thanks for starting this topic.

I am not in your DDC (I'm in August), but I've been scheduled for an 'unplanned' C-section.

I've been having a very hard time dealing with it.

Its my first and I've been planning on doing a natural delivery with a doula. The baby is breech and at 38 weeks, it hasn't turned head down once since 32 weeks (I'm always aware of where the head is). It moves a lot, but never shifts its basic position.

I've tried everything to get it to turn (swimming, pelvic lifts, laying with my belly suspended, external version, etc) but nothing has worked.

In any case, I've had about 2 weeks dealing with the inevitability of a c-section. People really don't seem to understand why it is so upsetting. I can barely think about it without bursting into tears.

I never wanted to just 'show up' to my birth and be a 'non-participant.' That's not how I envisioned it. The day is scheduled for next week and I really feel bad that I am looking at it with such dread. I know that it is supposed to be a wonderful day to welcome your first child into the world. I'm trying very hard to change my outlook.

I'd also like to know more about recovery. I'm afraid that I won't even feel comfortable holding my daughter.

Any tips/advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

katia07
Katia-
I hope you can find a way to get excited about your scheduled day. Are they willing at all to wait until your body goes into labor and then do the c-section then? I know it must be hard when you feel like you have no control over the situation.

In terms of recovery, I wanted to reassure you a bit. Yes, the first day after the surgery was rough. It was hard not being able to get out of bed or lift the baby out of the bassinet myself and I cried from frustration a few times (and from hormones, I'm sure). However, if you have someone to stay with you at all times in the room, then it really is manageable. I felt natural holding my baby, just the same as I did with my 1st DS, and I was able to bf immediately (we started as they were wheeling me out of the OR-- I was still groggy, but luckily baby knew what to do!). I spent a lot of time the first day with the baby nestled in the crook of my arm when he was not nursing. I do feel like we got just as much bonding time as with my first, although he did perhaps spend a bit more time in the bassinet right next to the bed because I had more trouble getting comfortable enough to sleep. By the third day I was moving around fine, though slowly, and now, at a week later, I feel relatively normal (so much so that I have to keep reminding myself to take it easy so I don't hurt myself. I'm off pain meds except some Motrin at night.). I really was surprised at how fairly "easy" the recovery was (considering the fact that it was surgery!). The first day or two were rough, but once that is past it's just kind of a slow and steady thing... I've felt better every day. HTH.
post #10 of 27
I had a c-section with my first (twins, which meant a bigger cut 15 yrs ago), and it took me awhile to come to terms with it. I never thought I would have any more children, not only because of the c-section, but that played a major part in my thoughts.

I know this is shallow, but there are some positive things that come with c-sections. Like your cootch stays nice and umm... unstretched. You don't have any damage from a big ol' baby moving through your canal. I mean, I know that sounds silly, but it was one way I came to terms with the whole thing.
Plus, when you do (if you do) have another baby, and you have your VBAC/HBAC that you fought so hard to get, there is nothing more empowering.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by katia07 View Post
I never wanted to just 'show up' to my birth and be a 'non-participant.' That's not how I envisioned it. The day is scheduled for next week and I really feel bad that I am looking at it with such dread. I know that it is supposed to be a wonderful day to welcome your first child into the world. I'm trying very hard to change my outlook.

katia07
I have a wise friend who has had two c-sections. The first because her son was breech, the second because she couldn't do a vbac here. She said one thing that really helped her was something her MIL told her- that this is your child's birth story, unique unto that child.

The book Birthing from Within has some good ideas about ceserian(sp?) birth and how to feel like you are participating still. I have not been in your situation, and can't pretend to know what you're feeling, but I can say that going in for a c-section seems to me to be just as much of a birth journey as a natural birth. One thing I am seeing through my two births and from reading about others is that each birth has its unique dramas. A new life unfolding just brings so much wonder, fear, excitement and doubt.
I hope you can find some peace and best wishes for your new little one!
post #12 of 27
Clara, I'm mostly just subbing for now. This was supposed to be my "triumphant" VBAC...but it wound up being a fairly triumphant CBAC...I labored this time and I didn't get a chance to with my first, I worked so so so so so hard to get my girl out and give her the best possible start and I really do feel like I did...so that does help. But god, what a bummer recovery is...when I was so sure I'd not have to be dealing with postsurgery issues in addition to being a new mom to 2. That does suck.

Another CBAC, "earthy birthy", friend of mine and I were talking about this stuff right after Clarity was born and how the whole positive-mindset "Failure is Impossible" thing can be such a double edged sword. I want to be able to believe in something so strong that it must happen but then after doing everything "right" walking the walk, thinking the think, talking the talk, really truly TRUSTING BIRTH...and still having it just. not. work. Well, it's devastating. So how to process this and still remain a birth warrior? It's hard.

More later...I also have to get a birth story together and up, I think.
post #13 of 27
Thanks for starting this thread. My baby arrived via c-section two weeks ago today. My belly is healing up on the outside, and we have a beautiful healthy child, but emotionally this has been one of the most difficult events I have faced.

Somehow, even after almost two days of labor and a really rough 4-wheeler trip off the mountain and a two hour trip to town, I was completely shocked to hear the doctor say I needed surgery to deliver my baby.

I did everything I could to push her through, 7 hours of pushing wouldn't move her, and she never showed any signs of distress. I feel like I was in a time warp and missed the birth of my child.

The hardest thing for me is knowing that midwife-attended HBAC is illegal in Alaska. And I don't want my little girl growing up wondering if she'll be capable of giving birth.

All this said, I am grateful for a happy strong baby, and for the technology that allowed her to be born. And the recovery from the surgery is not as bad as I had anticipated.

I suppose that eventually I will stop tearing up every time I think about the surgery instead of homebirth. Thanks for listening to me vent. We can all get through this together.

Lisa
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn.mama View Post

I suppose that eventually I will stop tearing up every time I think about the surgery instead of homebirth. Thanks for listening to me vent. We can all get through this together.

Lisa
I know. I know, and it's so hard for some people in my life to know. I keep getting told, "In the end, Gianna's okay, and you will heal." Sure, but I still keep on falling to the ground, emotionally. And just when I tell myself I'm feeling okay, and it's going to be fine, I crash. Last night was a nightmare about people chasing me with knives. Today I burst into tears when a news story showed a mom, fresh from labor, exhausted and holding her baby. I thought about how for 25 long minutes, I had to lay still and watch my baby across the room be examined by strangers (with her daddy right by her, thank the Lord) before John was finally given the OK to carry her over to me.

DH a few days ago told me that there is a Saint Gianna. I looked her up, and sobbed my head off. The coincidences are just astounding. The final miracle involves the birth of a little girl named Gianna Maria. I keep thinking this all was forordained for some reason. At any rate, it makes me feel a little more like it will eventually be okay.
post #15 of 27
((HUGS)) Clara (and to the rest of you mamas as well!). I can only imagine how hard this must be for you emotionally. I'm sure mainstream people (or non-MDC folk) don't understand at all, and that's got to be so hard. I hope that you find healing and peace through all of this.
post #16 of 27
Hello, dear mamas... I am so thankful that you started this thread, Clara. I have not been able to sit down and join in until now... I just shared Ian's birth story in his own announcement thread, and felt like I could share more of the emotional part in this thread. It is really hitting me now (again), and I cried and cried yesterday afternoon and evening. I can so relate to all of the things, feelings, etc, that you have all shared. It is amazing how similar some of the feelings are, and I am so thankful to be able to share here. It is just so incredibly sad to realize that the precious time that was so anticipated to birth ones' baby and hold them directly following their entry into this world has passed, and that it is not time that can be retrieved. I so know how lucky I am that techno enabled my babe to be born safely (and me, too, to come through), but I just soooo wanted to bring him into this world vaginally, and to hold him close to my heart at that moment, and to not have to let him go be touched by others who did not even carry him for all these months. I ache when I reflect on him being cared for a few yards away (and then later in the nursery), even though his Papa was with him. My bro sent video of his nursery visit yesterday, and it made me cry even more (even though my hubby said it was relatively peaceful). Separation on top of separation is just darn painful. I know I did all I could to keep that to a minimum, but hospitals still have things they can override, and that part was hard, too (to be viewed as someone who kept pushing the envelope, etc, in trying to keep his separation to a minimum). I know I did all I could to make his entry happen as peacefully as possible, and am not blaming my body (in fact, the doulas reminded me to honor my body, as it knew what it was doing to not let Ian descend). It is just pure and simple loss. It does not seem like too much to ask to want to experience a vaginal birth... and I am also just realizing how much my body has been through in the last 15 mos, with losing 2 little ones in utero, having a D&C, and then having another C-section. It is a lot to take in emotionally, and I am trying to be extra gentle with myself. I feel like mamas who have gone through this journey understand it like nobody else, as well as mamas who really wanted to VBAC. I agree with you that each child's birth story is unique unto that child, and is to be celebrated... I feel like we did all we could to keep the bond as strong as possible, and to have lots and lots of holding and nursing time. It just feels like such a deep and personal loss, and I honestly just did not think I was going to have to go through it again. It was interesting, though, that Ian had the exact same weight and height as his bro, and that they entered the world through the same door. I am hoping to do some artwork about that, and that this will help with some of the emotional pain. Oh, one very positive thing about this whole birthing of Ian is that I did not get pre-eclampsia again! Yipee! That was a huge relief, as I was so sick with it with DS1 during labor, and it made recovery much much harder. So I feel thankful for that, too. Well, this has been a long and a bit scattered post, but I just so wanted to share with all of you that I feel your pain, and I appreciate your support and caring, and send you all lots of comfort, love, and gentleness with your bodies and psyches as you heal. Hugs to you all... Michelle
post #17 of 27
Hi Mamas,
Our baby arrived three weeks ago today. She is sweet and precious! I don't want this post to sound like 'the sky has fallen', but I'm feeling sad today. Maybe writing will help.

My incision is healed over but is pretty darned sensitive about two inches above the cut. When I get up from bed it feels like I have a pulled muscle on the right side at the corner of the incision. And my back is still really sore- the witch-doctor chiropractor says its from the pushing, that all the lower discs are involved. So I'm banned from weight-bearing exercise for now.

Did your surgeons give you any exercises to help with muscle strengthening? I badly need some endorphins. Between no sex and not being able to walk/berry pick/fish/garden, I'm feeling pretty down. Maybe chocolate will help?

All this hurt comes in waves... some days now I can talk about it without crying- today is not one of those days. The birth house is still uninhabited and the hot tub empty after 21 nights. I want to go home, to start over, to have another try at this, to babymoon where and how we planned.

Summer has passed me by, leaving a beautiful child in my arms. At least she is worth it all! And yes I would do it again. Surely the second time around is easier to deal with, knowing what is coming.

Here's to all you Moms walking this path!

Lisa
post #18 of 27
My triumphant feelings of "well, I did everything I could to VBAC and got the most beautiful C-birth I could for my daughter and myself" have started to ebb a little. I am starting up with the what-ifs and the regrets. I was all the way to 7 cm dialated. What if I had just fired my midwife at the mention of hospital transfer? What if I had taken the epidural they had offered me at the hospital and NOT gone directly to c-section? Would I have been able to rest enough to dialate more or to have the baby move down enough to birthed vaginally? Or would the epidural stalled an already slow process that was on the clock anyway due to the broken waters? Hmmmmm. I am unsure now and I don't like where I am with this today. I guess it's because I'm ready to be healed, physically, and I'm not yet. I'm frustrated at not being able to drive to the drugstore, to a friends house, relying so much on my dh to take out the trash, empty the diaper pail, etc.
post #19 of 27
Hey Racecar, I know what you mean about the regrets and what ifs... I'm trying super hard not to play into that game. Today looks better than yesterday, mostly because I got a good dinner and a decent amount of rest. I hope your tomorrow looks better than today... Lisa
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by katia07 View Post
Thanks for starting this topic.

I am not in your DDC (I'm in August), but I've been scheduled for an 'unplanned' C-section.

I've been having a very hard time dealing with it.

Its my first and I've been planning on doing a natural delivery with a doula. The baby is breech and at 38 weeks, it hasn't turned head down once since 32 weeks (I'm always aware of where the head is). It moves a lot, but never shifts its basic position.

I've tried everything to get it to turn (swimming, pelvic lifts, laying with my belly suspended, external version, etc) but nothing has worked.

In any case, I've had about 2 weeks dealing with the inevitability of a c-section. People really don't seem to understand why it is so upsetting. I can barely think about it without bursting into tears.

I never wanted to just 'show up' to my birth and be a 'non-participant.' That's not how I envisioned it. The day is scheduled for next week and I really feel bad that I am looking at it with such dread. I know that it is supposed to be a wonderful day to welcome your first child into the world. I'm trying very hard to change my outlook.

I'd also like to know more about recovery. I'm afraid that I won't even feel comfortable holding my daughter.

Any tips/advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

katia07

Katia, 3 weeks ago I was in your shoes. I understand how you are told that a c-section is 'inevitable' and that you have 'no choice' and it's 'just the way it is'. I refused the c-section and had a natural vaginal breech birth. I just wanted you to know you do have the choice. If you truly feel it's the best way, and that's an informed choice, then please, of course do what you need to do. Just don't rue later that you didn't know there was a choice. Only a few weeks before the birth I didn't know I had a choice either.
Best of luck to you!
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