Grieving 11 months PP. I'm really sad. - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-16-2007, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all. I don't think I"m depressed really, but as the 1 year mark hits I'm starting to let myself admit my grief over the birth of my son.

first of all, I did not birth him in the US, but a different westernized country. Although they were not very kind to me and did not seem to care about what I wanted...just wanted to "get it done" (the birth). I was just another person, not an individual.

So I labored basically by myself for 27 hours. My mom and dad were on a 9 hour flight over, and missed it. My husband was there, but I ended up locking myself in the bathroom for awhile. The midwife barely checked on me, maybe every couple hours. I had no support. I felt so alone.

They had said i could have a whirlpool and then they said they closed it down 'today' and i'd have to do without. I was having contractions 30 seconds a part since about 5 hours of labor, and before that 3-4 minutes. I just was not progressing. I had not slept in 2 days, and it was too painful to lay down, sit, squat, kneel. I HAD to stand. the pressure was so bad.

Then after 27 hours of labor, the baby stressed and they rushed me to a c-cection. I found out the midwife had had me pushing at 9cm and that is why the baby stressed, i beleive. his head was caved in from ramming against my pelvic bone. I cry inside to think of him going through that. NO DRUGS, only to then get a spinal block. :

They delivered my son and had a curtain up so i couldn't see any of the birth. Thankfully my husband thought to video it. But they took him right away (aganist my birth plan and verbalized wishes), and dressed him and half washed him, and then handed him to me 30 minutes later half bloody. i didn't even know when they cut the cord. I was stuck laying on my back for 4 hours and so I kept asking to nurse him or to have help to nurse him, he was rooting and i wanted to give him that right away. They wouldn't help me and i couldn't move. i was paralyzed from the chest down.

So no skin to skin contact. No nursing right away. I kept asking if I could bathe him (his head was crusted in blood) and they said no. I kept asking for help with nursing for days and they said "you're doing fine" (i wasn't and then he dehydrated a bit urinating urates (red brick crystals)).

My mom wasn't there. i had always dreamed i'd have her helping. My husband is the most wonderful man and I am so in love with him, but he didn't have a clue what to do and even got annoyed with me at one point when i was having no pain meds. That hurt and i just couldn't deal with that. he's never ever been good at sympathizing or empathizing with any sort of illness.

We got thrush right away. for 5 months. that was a horrible frustrating experience.

now i have a healthy lovely wonderful baby that I love more than anything on this planet. Everything is great. But as a year mark is approaching, and i have 5 friends that just had newborns...i can't help but want another baby so i can have the experience i wanted.

Is that asking to much? Should i not have had any expectations for birth? Not ONE thing went as "planned" although I did get a healthy wonderful baby boy that is my heart and joy.

Maybe i just needed to get all this out. I haven't talked about it much. Nobody seems to want to listen. Everyone has birth stories...mine is just another i guess.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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I am *so* sorry that you had to go through such an awful birthing experience. Your professional labor team completely let you down... perhaps it's an American thing but the way I see it, this is a service that is being paid for and you have some rights to having it done "your way". There is nothing wrong with having expectations for a birth: you *should* have those expectations. Perhaps it was unrealistic to visualize your mom there, or to predict how your husband might act (if this is his first child), but I am doing the same thing right now. It's only natural. For the hospital, however, you had a written birth plan that sounds as though it was completely ignored. Have you considered writing a letter of complaint to the hospital? It might not do much but it could make you feel better to articulate why and how you think that they failed you as a patient and a client.

I hope your next birth is everything that you dream of...

Mara, mama to two boys born 05/2009 and 04/2011, after four miscarriages. 

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Old 03-16-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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I'm so sorry, mama....you didn't get the support you needed and deserved, and you didn't get the assistance you asked for. And it wasn't right.

You have every right to be sad, mad, grieving, however you feel is perfectly legitimate. You have the right to your feelings about your experience and mourn what you didn't get. Your story is your story and it's important, it's a big part of your life and your mothering journey, it's not just another birth story.

Big hugs to you, mama. I hope you can find the healing you need, in whatever way works for you. Birthing From Within has been a really good resource for women working through their birth experiences.

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Old 03-16-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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I'm sorry things didn't go as planned for you. I know how you feel as my planned homebirth turned into an emergency c-section, and I too, did not get to see my dd until 45 minutes after her entry into this world. We all have expectations of how things should be, but quite often things turn out differently than hoped. Try to take whatever positives you can from that day and hold on to them tightly. You have a beautiful boy!
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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Let yourself grieve. Don't let anyone tell you you shouldn't. I was in the same spot as you 2 years ago - bad birth in a foreign country, terribly traumatic and not what I wanted - even the part about the whirlpool, which i was also promised. But i had a healthy, beautiful baby. I felt guilty for not being "over" the birth since the healthy baby was supposed to be all that mattered. So i didn't talk to anyone about it for fear that they would invalidate my grief.

Later, I read this:

Quote:
To say that a woman who has given birth to a healthy baby should be glad regardless of the way the birth unfolded is a gross misunderstanding. Such a statement does not take into account that a woman may be legitimately grieving about the birth, quite apart from how she feels about the fruit of her labour. It also negates the fact that birth is a transistion, a rite of passage that requires emotional adjustment even if the birth itself was uncomplicated.

As birth stories clearly show, birth cannot be predicted or scripted, and sometimes our experiences leave us with unprocessed pain and/or a longing to be more proactive in future pregnancies.
After I allowed myself this, and got pregnant a second time, my mind was cleared of the anger, and I could process it a little more. I also gave a birth plan that went ignored, I was angry at the staff, the hospital and the country for what had happened. Because i was pregnant again, I wanted to make sure it didn't happen again, and I started getting very proactive. Throughout that process, i started to also think about where *I* went wrong as well - because really that's the only thing I can change - i can't change them. I mean, ultimately, the disaster did lay in the hospitals hands, but at the same time, I also allowed them to do that to me because i didn't want to be 'difficult'. Well, now I'm difficult. So what did I change about the 2nd time? I'm a lot more demanding, and resilient.

It sounds like your birth was a cascade of events, with one bad thing leading to another. Go back to the very roots of those events and start there. I can't speak for your case, but in my case, i was thrown off course by things that happened in the beginning, and didn't know where to go from there.

In that respect, and every other - i have to 2nd the recommendation for "Birthing from Within" - the exercises in the first half of the book really helped me sort through all the emotions and come to peace (although im still not quite there YET - but on my way) with what happened. I hope you can find the same peace, but give yourself time.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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mama. I hope you find healing.

Mama to M (7/05) and S (5/08) my surprise !!!
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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Many

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Old 03-16-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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I would highly suggest EFT.

You can learn to use it for free here

http://www.emofree.com/

OR, better yet, you can work with someone who had the skills in EFT to walk you out of that trauma. I highly suggest Rick at Thriving Now.

http://www.thrivingnow.com/for/Healt...gory/Pregnancy

You can work privately, over the telephone, or you can pay one small price and work in a group setting over the phone over a month.

I have worked with EFT with some issues ( intense emotions during my third pregnancy, anger, pain and allergies) and he is amazing. He loves working with pregnant mothers and he is deeply respectful.

One session with him and your whole outlook will change. If you want to e-mail me your phone #, I would be happy to call you and tell you more about it

Good Luck
Hugs
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PS- And no- I have no financial business connection with these websites, just personal experience with the magic that they do!

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Old 03-17-2007, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by WeasleyMum View Post
I am *so* sorry that you had to go through such an awful birthing experience. Your professional labor team completely let you down... perhaps it's an American thing but the way I see it, this is a service that is being paid for and you have some rights to having it done "your way". There is nothing wrong with having expectations for a birth: you *should* have those expectations.

you had a written birth plan that sounds as though it was completely ignored. Have you considered writing a letter of complaint to the hospital? It might not do much but it could make you feel better to articulate why and how you think that they failed you as a patient and a client.

Thank you SO much. I was just continuing to process all this with DH last night (he's been listening great) and i realized that in America it is a buisness of sorts. Here, i have to say, my health care, ALL of it, was totally free. I had no choice of where i went for the birth. So i guess maybe THAT is why my way didn't matter, and also yes, my birth plan was completley ignored. In fact I'm not sure if they actually read it. I know that the racism against me being a white american is NOTHING compared to what other's go through, but that is part of it too. I have a taste of how it feels, that's for sure. Living in a western culture, but many different cultures live here.
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by halaroo View Post
Try to take whatever positives you can from that day and hold on to them tightly. You have a beautiful boy!

One, thank you about the comment on my son. I think so...

Two, I am going to start processing this for sure, what positive things can i gleam and hold on to? I may post that later. Thanks for giving me something to think about...
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirky View Post
Birthing From Within has been a really good resource for women working through their birth experiences.
I am definetly looking into this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMama View Post
Later, I read this:
Throughout that process, i started to also think about where *I* went wrong as well - because really that's the only thing I can change - i can't change them. I mean, ultimately, the disaster did lay in the hospitals hands, but at the same time, I also allowed them to do that to me because i didn't want to be 'difficult'. Well, now I'm difficult. So what did I change about the 2nd time? I'm a lot more demanding, and resilient.

It sounds like your birth was a cascade of events, with one bad thing leading to another. Go back to the very roots of those events and start there. I can't speak for your case, but in my case, i was thrown off course by things that happened in the beginning, and didn't know where to go from there.
HOw do i thank all you mamas? I didn't expect anyone to respond. Honestly. All of you have given me great things to think about, and even the are really affirming. thank you so much.

Yahoobarb: I don't live in the US so i don't think i could call and such, but this looks like a great resource and i might check it out...

Swissmama, i have to say your post was the most helpful at this point. Especially the quote you shared, and the part about changing what *I* do because i tend to be passive agressive, or "i'm all talk" when it comes to being bold. I just hate that one has to be so bold to get good care sometimes.

I'm also going to process through the root of the events.

THanks everyone so much. I feel allowed to mourn this and grieve. Again, i'm not depressed, but I do need to process through this.
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:00 AM
 
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I
Quote:
wanted to make sure it didn't happen again, and I started getting very proactive. Throughout that process, i started to also think about where *I* went wrong as well - because really that's the only thing I can change
Wow, that is beautiful.

Many many women want to be "no trouble" and go along with things.. That is a great insight- put very gently!
Barbara

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Old 03-17-2007, 10:02 AM
 
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MK momma
Do you mind telling us what country this happened in? You can PM me.
I am very interested in birth world wide!

Thanks.
Barb

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Old 03-17-2007, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MK momma
Do you mind telling us what country this happened in? You can PM me.
I am very interested in birth world wide!

Thanks.
Barb
Don't mind at all, Barb. England. I just don't want to bash it. London specifically.

I am thankful for the health care and it could be worse i know...but i am less than impressed. It is also likely to do with the poor area i live in. One time i got an infection in my foot (i was sure i broke it the pain was so bad, i couldn't walk) and the ER sent me away with a tylenol. I went an hour away for a conference, in excruciating pain that got worse by the hour, and that hospital was posh and wonderful to me. A bit more "normal" to my standards. I swore that labor couldn't be as bad as that experience and i was not far off...

One positive thing I am gleaming from all this, as an pediatric RN, i have a strong desire to become a Lactation consultant and midwife. Not for the west, but for other countries. And my experience may have been sad, but it will help me understand women better and empathize. I must admit before I went into labor i thought that women that did pain meds were weak, and my pride was great that anyone can do it without pain meds. I am humbled dramatically and much more caring for people's birth stories and much less judgemental.

So far that's the only good i can find out of my story, and i'm holding onto it tightly.
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Old 03-17-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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I don't think it is Country Bashing- But it may be helpful to others who birth there!

I teach women, and I think that it is a big deal to give them the information and facts and then let them know the possible landscape. By telling your story here I am sure that you will help countless women.

When I was pregnant with my first, I would read birth stories and they helped me realize what kind of birth I wanted, and just what kind of things where non-negotiable for my birth.

I think that we must build a sisterhood- and MDC helps here- and learn to talk straight to each other especially when we feel we have been violated.

At first if feels like courage, but then it feels like relief! Your words will mean freedom to others.

Tell, tell, tell.
Write your story!
Shout your story!

Don't make your voice small because you are afraid that "someone will think the wrong thing" ( that you are bashing the country). Believe me, there will always be people who will misunderstand and get angry at you .... for their own reasons...

You sisters need you an dif you can save just ONE women and baby from what you went through- it is worth all of the truth and straight speaking... and all of the rolled eyes that you will get from other hypnotized mothers who are grateful to the hospital for "saving their baby"

Ohh... whew. I better get off of my soap box ( I was standing there with a raised fist!)

Hugs to you and Thanks for sharing!

Barbara

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Old 03-17-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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That's so funny - I also have been looking at becoming an LC - to help others.

I agree its not country-bashing. I come from one country and gave birth in another and had a TERRIBLE experience. A good friend of mine came from my country as well, and gave birth in the same hospital as me, and had a wonderful experience. It was all circumstances and staff. The funny thing is, my postpartum OB said that I was treated so badly because they "assumed you were American" and he told me to next time speak up about where I come from and be more demanding.

I totally agree with Barbara's last post. The only thing I wonder about though (now this is kind of off topic, but good for the discussion, i think) is how to share our story and get the talking out, without putting negative images into someone else head that also is going to give birth. Do you know what I mean? What i mean is - in all of my natural birthing books, they consistently talk about purging bad "war" stories from our heads so that we won't be anxious/fearful during birth.

In the end, what would have been VERY useful to me, would have been to find a midwife or birth professional for just "postpartum" counselling - someone who could tell me that the birth wasn't supposed to be that way, that it wasn't my fault and that I had a right to grieve. I never found that in real life, but I did find it on the internet from a midwife and a doula. I hope you can find the same thing, if you can't find someone in real life to talk to. I'm so happy to hear that you are processing things but not depressed. You are very strong, and this will only make you stronger!
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:21 PM
 
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I read a really interesting book lately called The Instinct to Heal; Curing Depression, Anxiety and Stress without drugs and without talk therapy (author's website here).

He doesn't address birth trauma specifically, but addresses healing from trauma generally. I grew up in an emotionally abusive family, and went headlong into a two year physically and emotionally abusive relationship at the age of 19. I have slowly been finding my way back to emotional health since then (I'm now 35 ). I've been in talk therapy for years and years, and while I found that it helped me understand my problems/issues, I still felt emotionally controlled by them, yk?

My dd suffered birth trauma, and we went through a long winding road that eventually led us to craniosacral therapy, which healed her. This cemented my belief that emotional trauma can be stored in (and healed through) the body. I have since had multiple CST sessions and started seeing a homeopath who treats me with homeopathy, herbs, auricular therapy (acupuncture in the ears) and guided imagery/meditation. I've done more healing in the last 6-12 months than I have in 10 years of talk therapy. Admittedly, the talk therapy set the stage for all that healing by bringing me to a place of understanding. But it has been the body work and homeopathy that have truly allowed my body and mind to heal. It's very powerful stuff.

Anyway, the book I cite above is based on the same premise, and he gives all sorts of methods for accessing and healing trauma through the body. From EMDR to acupuncture, to diet and exercise, meditation, etc. Some of it is stuff you can do on your own, others you need to see a professional (and there are resources in the book and on his website for finding them), and for the cardiac coherence / meditation you can buy a biofeedback program that will run on your computer.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It is revolutionary in its approach, and is not quack science. The author is a classically trained psychiatrist who specialized in neuro-something or other, who eventually became convinced that an "alternative" model to healing was legitimate, and has dug up the research to prove it.

Also, although he does not address CST in his book, I feel it very much falls into the model he presents. If you're interested in seeking CST, you can find a practitioner through this site: http://www.upledger.com/. When you do a search in your area, you'll be able to see the courses each person has taken. I would recommend CSI, CSII, SERI (somatoemotional release) and one of the dialoguing courses at an absolute bare minimum.

Good luck mama. You deserve to heal from this, and find peace and happiness .

ETA: there are CS therapists in the UK, I just did a search, although your choices may be a little more limited. I'm not familiar with the country, but there is one practitioner in London with a reasonable amount of training, and a woman in Ramsey who has an advanced level course, which would be nice.

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Old 03-17-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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Even though you had a healthy baby, it is still perfectly normal to grieve the birth you did not have. This article might be helpful for you.

You also might consider finding an ICAN group or joining the email list for cesarean support. www.ican-online.org
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:52 PM
 
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I am so sorry Mama. I know how hard it can be. My birth with DD painfully stuck with me for a year. I, like you was not really depressed, but it was a horrible experience that glomed onto me and I had a lot of trouble shaking it. I hope, if you decide to have another baby, you know it can be different. My second was and hopefully this third will be as great. I am glad you told your story. I hope it helps you heal.
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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mkmama, I just saw this thread. I'm so sorry that your birth experience went badly for you. As another American in England who delivered in an NHS hospital (albeit a pretty good one), I know what you mean about feeling 'stuck' with the care you are offered. It's wonderful that it's free and I do think that they're more progressive about birth overall (than the US), but individual hospitals and midwives make all the difference in the world. I had wonderful pre and post-natal care but the midwife that attended my birth wasn't good. She was professional but was very cold and had a 'get over yourself' attitude. Obviously been on the job awhile and a bit jaded.

I have many regrets about my birth as well but the important thing is to recognize and list what went wrong, what events led to the outcome you did not desire, and what could have prevented it if done differently. Give yourself time to let the raw emotions release themselves from your mind and body. Grieve the loss of the birth you wanted. Know that it is normal and you are not selfish or 'depressive' for having these feelings.

Half of the beauty in a great work of art is how it was crafted and the passion the artist felt as they created it. Don't discount the process, even if the end result is what is most admired by others. Your son is your work of art but you hold the paintbrush that colors your birth experience.

((HUGS))

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Old 03-27-2007, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You rock amitymama. thanks so much. as its been a couple weeks i am coming to acceptance stage and also guarding myself against expectations for the next babe, but like you said, writing out the negative, what i could have done differently, etc. i really really appreiate this post (and everyone's) and have found so much help, release and permission to grieve thru it. THANK YOU EVERYONE! I wouldn't trade any of my experience for anything, as i love my son more than anything in this entire world.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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I could feel your pain in that post, I'm so sorry you were treated that way.
They just basically did with you what they wanted.
The good news is you can take back your power - next time you can be in control. It's never too late.
Good luck on your journey!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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