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It was the natural part not the c-section that was traumatic..

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have recently realized it wasn't the c-section that was the traumatic part of my birth, but rather the 16 hours of natural back labor when I decided to go for the epidural and felt sweet relief. I was sooo determined to push my baby out, I have giant hips, I should have been able to, but his dad is like twice the size of me and he takes after him. The 5.5 hours of pushing is what messed me up and caused a lot of the abdominal and vaginal pain and resulted in a fistula, not the c-section. Does anyone else feel this way? Like the c-section was actually the best part of your birth experience looking back?
post #2 of 19
I didn't have a c-section, so it's not totally the same, but I feel similarly about my first birth. I was determined to have a natural birth and had about 13 hours of back labor that was just horrific and totally traumatizing. Once I got the epidural I was in heaven. Even with all of the interventions that came with it, it was 1000% better than natural labor. I opted for an epidural as soon as I could have one for my second birth. So I get where you're coming from. I'm sorry for your experience.
post #3 of 19
Oh, absolutely! I was in so much pain I was literally passing out from it (and totally talking out of my mind). I was not in the hospital for the majority of my labor and planned to go natural. There was no "lesson" I needed to learn from it... well, except maybe to stop thinking I was somehow superior because I educated myself on natural childbirth - and to stop judging other for their choices.
post #4 of 19
I was very upset by my c-section, because I worked so hard to avoid interventions and a c-section is the ultimate intervention.

But my c-section was NOT the result of interventions gone wrong. I was allowed to move around however I wanted. I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted. I didn't lay on my back until I was already prepped for surgery (I didn't even lay down on the bed to be wheeled to surgery; two people walked with me to help me stay upright since that was the position I felt I needed to be in. I was not hooked to machines; I was not under bright lights; I was supported and massaged with oils and encouraged to try different positions.

But I was 20 days post term and Nick was misaligned and even after a day and a half of labour, he just would not come down. The cord was wrapped around his chest and shoulders. Such is life.

I really wanted to give birth vaginally. And I think that my midwife did everything she could to help me. It just wasn't going to happen.
post #5 of 19
Wow, I am so glad to see this thread. Yeah, my natural labor was horrific. Absolutely traumtic. I was able to move all I wanted, and I had taken natural childbirth classes at the hospital where I delivered and the hospital had very strong support for natural childbirth. I was having extremely strong contractions, back labor, and zero progress. At the MOST I got to 2, maybe 3, but that was really generous. He was sideways and totally not engaged.

Personally, IVs and monitors were no issue for me. I really didn't notice them at all because the pain was so horrible, I couldn't feel any of it. I have also been on IVs and monitors for other things, and I actually preferred to have the IV pole to help with balance anyway.

The c-section was also traumatic, but not the actual surgery. The moments leading up to the c-section when he was going in severe distress and I was scared I had waited to long to consent to surgery...that was the traumatic part of the surgery. When he came out and didn't cry and had to be rushed to be recessitated, that was the extremely traumatic. The surgery was easy, and the recovery was no worse than all the laproscopy and endometriosis surgeries I have had to maintain fertility. It sucked, but it wasn't any different than previous experiences.

The thing that was the most healing to me from my first birth, was my second. It was a MUCH harder pregnancy, and then complications brought her early. I was SO sick, and my blood pressure was so bad there was a serious risk of me stroking out at any moment, but the c-section was calm, controlled, and actually very healing and wonderful. The staff was amazing and gentle, and my baby cried as soon as she left the womb. Even though that birth had me in a much longer hospital stay and a somewhat pre-term baby, the whole experience was so much better. Much saner, much more in control, MUCH more peaceful.

Anybody who says that c-sections can't be wonderful, healing experiences has never opened themselves up to the possiblity of allowing that to be the case.

In hindsight, the only thing I would change is planning my first c-section and not going through labor. I was born small and have always had a very small pelvic arch, and it didn't stretch nearly enough in pregnancy. The reason I have problems with my bladder and will likely require surgery for incontinence is because of the labor. If I could do it again, I wouldn't go through all that pain and injury for no good reason.
post #6 of 19
Y'know what's funny; I had what some would view as a perfect birth, at home, with supportive midwives. The pain was so horrible though that about ten minutes after my daughter was born, I literally said the words... "I could've had a c-section. I could've had an epidural!" The pain really blew my mind in a way that I honestly did not expect. I think it's quite presumptive for anyone to assume they know the reasons that a mom would've decided to go for pain relief; the reality is that we all feel it differently and experience it differently and none of us can judge for anyone else what is the right path.

It took me months to write down my birth story because I really was traumatized by it. So vloky!
post #7 of 19
Not for me (I didn't have labor, a scheduled c-section but that was traumatic in its own way) but my SIL had two children born with forceps after a natural labor and tore very badly. Her births were very traumatic for her, so when she was told to have a c-section with the third she was at first apprehensive, but very happy afterwards and thought that her c-section was much better than her two relatively natural births. This has made it difficult for me, because my IL's don't understand why my cesarean was upsetting to me because she felt relief from hers.
I think it is important for each woman to have the opportunity to define what her issues are without having others try to define them for her. Because really, when people try to tell us how we should feel about our births, it really only adds to the trauma. I am glad you have made this realization about yourself.
I am glad you have passed this milestone in your journey of healing from your birth trauma.
post #8 of 19
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post #9 of 19
What was traumatic for me was being *unable.* I was *unable* to give birth. I failed. I bought into all the reasons a c-section is the worst possible way to give birth. And then I had a c-section. I felt like a failure. I felt like I missed out on a fundamental experience of womanhood. I felt betrayed by my body.

But all of this was in retrospect. At the moment, I felt empowered by making the decision-- by knowing my own body well enough to know that I was not progressing. That I was selfless enough to give up my vision of a perfect birth in order to have a healthy baby. I felt good about it -- it was my decision and not someone elses. It wasn't until later, telling my story, that I started to feel bad about it. Other women are what made it traumatic for me.

The thing is, I'd never judge another woman for doing what I did. But for some reason, I judge myself.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
Y'know what's funny; I had what some would view as a perfect birth, at home, with supportive midwives. The pain was so horrible though that about ten minutes after my daughter was born, I literally said the words... "I could've had a c-section. I could've had an epidural!" The pain really blew my mind in a way that I honestly did not expect. I think it's quite presumptive for anyone to assume they know the reasons that a mom would've decided to go for pain relief; the reality is that we all feel it differently and experience it differently and none of us can judge for anyone else what is the right path.

It took me months to write down my birth story because I really was traumatized by it. So vloky!
Me too..except mine was a UC, well, both actually....I'll never go through birth again wthout at least having drugs as an option.....even if i ended up with a "bad" hospital experience, like mean nurses or whatever, nothing they could possibly do to me would be nearly as awful as labor..nothing.
post #11 of 19
Hello folks,

Just a reminder that this forum is for support and healing and not to debate the validity of the pain the person feels over what happened to them. Please keep the c section debate out of this forum. This is a place where women can come to feel protected from judgment about how their birth went down. Lets keep this an open adn affirming place for all of us!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
Oh, absolutely! I was in so much pain I was literally passing out from it (and totally talking out of my mind). I was not in the hospital for the majority of my labor and planned to go natural. There was no "lesson" I needed to learn from it... well, except maybe to stop thinking I was somehow superior because I educated myself on natural childbirth - and to stop judging other for their choices.
I totally ate a piece of humble pie after going through labor..
post #13 of 19
Yeah, my body didn't care how well I'd prepared, or my positive attitude towards labor, or all the support I had.

It totally beat me.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugMacGee View Post
Yeah, my body didn't care how well I'd prepared, or my positive attitude towards labor, or all the support I had.

It totally beat me.
yes! and i think a lot of people just don't get it....unless you've had one of the absolutely unreal labors, despite all the prep in the world...you can not understand. And the implication that you must have done something "wrong" is just so maddening....no, i didn't do hypnobabies WRONG, it just didn't WORK for me...neither did anything else....hot water is NOT an epidural, I don't care how wonderful it was for you! And no, I did not "make" my labor be horrible because I didn't "believe" enough that it would be wonderful...

Anyway....it beat me..twice.
post #15 of 19
I also have to really work to have patience with people who can't accept that hospital birthing can be beautiful, peaceful, and healing. That I was not in any way forced to labor in a way that was for the hospital's convenience. I was encouraged to walk around, use the birthing ball, and had the option of using a birthing pool. I was comforted, supported, and there was no question that my children would room with me. They had all the support one would ever need for nursing.

I am tired of people assuming that I had an unneccesary c-section. It was necessary and it literally saved my child's life in the first birth, and saved mine in the second birth. I think those reasons are very valid. Even if I didn't have complications in each birth, I also think that emotional distress and exhaustion and more pain than a person can deal with is a valid reason because the chance of running into a medical problem with those things in place is much higher.

After all, a lot of us now birthing, me included, would likely not be here because there was medical intervention at our own births (my mom gave birth to me vaginally, but it was a high forceps delivery after a week of hard labor. It would have been a c-section today, and my mom probably would not have spent the rest of her life suffering with pelvic issues from two traumatic vaginal births. Plus, I would probably have more siblings if her births had been easier.

It is like people who have typically developing kids trying to tell me how to parent the autism out of my child. Or people who see the meltdowns and see "behavioral problems" instead of "sensory overload", or have a child who was born with innate qualities of compliance instead of anti-compliance/test every boundry a bajillion times. Or people who think that nursing is easy and you just aren't trying hard enough, or people who think that if you really cared about your children you would get them pricy carseat/latest toy/organic clothes and you are having problems just putting food on the table and a roof over your head.

Most people don't "get it" unless they live it themselves. It takes a level of emotional maturity to really put yourself in other's shoes, or to at least understand that our own journey isn't the only valid and healthy journey.
post #16 of 19

thank goodness for epidurals

I think I might have left my husband for my anesthesiologist by the time I finally got an epidural, that is how much of a relief it was. After 11 hrs of labor I had C-section delivery of an almost 10 lb baby. A lot of women where I delivered gave me the sideways stare because I didn't do it "naturally". If we'd have done it naturally, both baby and mama would have died. It was traumatic to say the least. As a side note, my husband is in medical school right now and I sooooooooo want him to go into anesthesia!
post #17 of 19
Major hugs vloky. I agree with many pp. And can sympathize a bit. I didn't have a c/s but got an epi at 9cm for a 10lb posterior baby. My wonderful ob said to think of it as a strategy and not a failure. And it really was. Once I had it, I could relax my pelvis and minutes after the epi was in place I was pushing. I was in extreme labor pain and just couldn't do it without pain relief. It was so not what I wanted, I was so surprised that I was screaming for drugs. I really expected to have another wonderful water birth like dd's. Luckily, I had the epi, b/c my placenta had to be manually removed and placing an epi pp would have been very difficult. I believe things happen for a reason. And I feel that I can be more sympathic now that I have had an unmedicated and medicated births.

If you get a chance, read some of the support I received, http://www.mothering.com/discussions...t=anders+birth. One of the poster's said, that birth does not need to be about suffering. I couldn't agree more.

HTH.
post #18 of 19
I completely understand! My first two births were c-sec that I believed were due to unneccesary interventions. So, when I was pregnant with my third I decided to have a homebirth. I researched and researched. I took hypnobithing. I hired a doula. I had two wonderful midwives. Then labor came. Minute long every minute for 12 hours. I was having back spasms in between contractions. We tried everything for pain relief. I was in another world, just to cope. At about 9 hours I was ten cent. I pushed for three hours. Then my cervix started to swell. The baby never came down. I was transferred and had my 9 pound posterior baby by c-sec. Like the others I was not traumatized by the c-sec, it was the pain. I could not believe how I was remembering the pain in the weeks after the birth. It made me want to cry. I felt foolish thinking about pain that happened in the past. I felt like no one understood. It is really hard to explain because I think every woman thinks her labor pain is the worst pain anyone could feel. I am also having a difficult time because I feel liek I had a natural labor but not delivery so how do I catgorize my experience? Can I say I was drug free even though I needed an epidural to have the c-sec?
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWAXSMOM View Post
Can I say I was drug free even though I needed an epidural to have the c-sec?
i always say "i had a 17 hour drug-free labor. i pushed for 3 hours. then i got an epidural and pushed for another hour. and then i had a c-section."
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