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-   -   I feel like I missed the most important moment of my life... *pictures added* (http://www.mothering.com/forum/17256-c-section-birth/1349260-i-feel-like-i-missed-most-important-moment-my-life-pictures-added.html)

Shanon Mellan 03-29-2012 12:51 AM

I am 26 years old - today - and I still cannot get over the birth of my daughter.

She turns 1 in May - almost an entire year since the day I met her - and yet every time I read a birth story or see a video or pictures, I bawl.

I wasn't there.

I wasn't there for her first breath, her first scream. I wasn't there to cuddle her or comfort her, or tell her that it was okay, the world wasn't as scary as it seemed. I wasn't the first one to hold her.

Instead she had a doctor with rubber gloves and a face mask. Nurses who did not love her, did not care about her as I do. She had cold hard plastic and sterile beds, not the comfort of her mother's skin.

I wasn't there, and even writing this now makes me bawl again.

To backtrack:

I found out I was pregnant in September of 2010. It was unexpected and my relationship with the father was <i>very</i> new. To put it simply he was not ready, so I was alone. Alone I decided to keep my little miracle baby - conceived while on birth control. I made the decision to carry her to term, to keep her, to raise her to the best of my ability. I always wanted a baby, I just didn't know it would so soon!

 

My pregnancy was normal, though it came with every symptom in the book. From nausea to heartburn to backpain, I had it all. However this I was okay with - it was worth every moan and groan, every bit of discomfort. Every day I fell more in love with the little being inside of me.

And then labor.


Three and a half days of labor.

It started on Wednesday.


Friday night contractions were a minute apart and a minute long - we went in to the hospital. I wasn't dialated at all, so they gave me drugs and sent me home. Contractions nearly stopped.


Finally on Saturday my doctor wanted me to come in for a stress test, to make sure baby was handling all this labor well. Contractions were slowly picking up speed again, and when I went in they were a couple of minutes apart and about 45seconds long. The nurse examined me and hooked me up to a monitor. Baby was fine and dadny, I was still not dialated - "a fingertip" they said. On the verge of heading for home I felt a little 'pop' and told the nurse that my water broke. She laughed until I stood up from the hospital bed only to SOAK my pants. Yep. My water broke. They still wanted to send me home because I was not dialated, but there was meconium in the water. So I was admitted.

 

Labor kicked in to overdrive then. This was at 4pm. At 11pm, Seven hour of hard labor later, I had an epidural.The first dose did not work - it only numbed my right side. The doctor returned to give mea  second dose, which eased the left side but not to the extent of the right.

 

Fastforward another 3 hours. Babys heartrate elevted and would not come back down. It hovered at 180, then to 190. At this point I also spiked a major fever.

They called the on-duty pediatrician who informed me that the best route to take would be a c-section. I was still only 4 centimeters dialated. Even if they tried to induce stage 3 labor, it could take hours and baby was in clear distress.

Against everything I wanted I consented - I wanted her to be healthy and well. I wanted her to be alive.

They took me down to the OR, and baby's heartrate was up to 190-200 now. My mom was scrubbed in - she would be there for me. Having gone through an emergency c-section herself, she understood better than most how I felt.

The doctors gave me a local anesthetic. They used my already in place epidural rather than giving me a spinal, to save time. However the epidural did not work. When he poked me with the scalpel it hurt. They waited and tried again. It still hurt. With baby's heartrate at 200 they made the decision to put me under.

I was not there.

When I woke up it was 6am - my daughter was born at 4:02. By the time I left recovery it was 7am.

For 3 hours she did not have me. For 3 hours she did not know her mother was there and loved her, and would love her for every minute of every day for the rest of her life.

When they finally brought her to me I was so doped up it was all surreal. I don't remember those first moments. My mom tells me that the first thing I said to her was "I know you," but I don't remember. I don't know if I kissed her, I only know that I held her. I was out of it.

I was not there.

It is a regret I will have for the rest of my life.

I have a beautiful amazing daughter who makes up for it in every way possible, but I will always know that I wasn't there for those precious first moments.




 


Shanon Mellan 03-29-2012 01:03 AM

Our first cuddle

 

450

 

11 days old

 

11 days old

 

11 days old

 

yawns

 

my darling now, at 10 months.

my darling now

 

my darling now, at 10 months

sillywabbitsmall.jpg


Plummeting 03-29-2012 02:26 AM

You may not have been present right after her birth, but you were there for her when she needed you. You did what needed to be done for her health and safety. That's the best thing that a mother can do. I'm sorry you had a rough delivery and feel so badly about it, but you really did the best thing, and that is so much to be proud of! I didn't even have a cesarean, but when I was showering up after the birth of my first daughter, the nurses came and took her away. They kept her for FIVE HOURS, and they locked us out of the nursery. We know she was screaming, alone in a bassinet, because my husband went down and saw her. When we called to complain, they closed the blinds so we wouldn't be able to look in anymore, and still didn't bring her back to us. It was a horrible first day of motherhood for me. I understand that this sort of thing can be very upsetting, but your daughter will be fine. I promise. :) A lifetime of love is not going to be hurt by one bad day.


tonttu 03-29-2012 11:46 AM

I totally understand , where you are coming from ! hug2.gif

I had three cs myself , one planned , the other two emergencies and since I always refused an epidural due to the risk involved , I was asleep every time .

And even though , I had three normal deliveries as well , with those kids , I always feel like I have missed part of their life .

I gave birth to the other three  , those three were delivered .

I know , that I should be happy to have healthy , wonderful kids and I should be happy , that all went well and we made it out okay at the end , but I still feel like a failure in those cases !

Maybe stupid for some people , but sorry , that´s just how it is ! 


Alenushka 03-29-2012 12:07 PM

There is no "most important moment" in parenting. This is horrible fallacy that ruins lives of many mothers.

 

Even what was an important moment a year ago is not longer important as moment today, and tomorrow, or 5 years from now.

 

You are alive and so is your child. I am sorry your birth did not go the way you planned, but the most important goal of birth is outcome of an alive mother and alive healthy child.

Thing often do not go well in life. Yes, there is certain amount of grief when thing do not go the way we plan but then one needs to move on and live the life to the fullest with joy. There is not other way.

 

What was done was a right decision at that moment a year ago.   There is no point in dissecting it and thinking how things could have been.  People often assume that thing could have been better if they took different action. for some reason we forget that things could have been worse as well.

 

I highly recommend that yous top triggering yourself with "Rainbow and unicorn filled, amazing homerbtih, I had an orgasms, angels sung" stories.

 

You are not alone in what happened. Many mothers have emergencies during their labors. C-section is there for a reason.

 

If you read some blogs form India and Africa you can see what happen when medical help is not available.

 

You missed a moment for a lifetime of mothering a and Love. I hope you will be eventually able to see it.

 

Please, contact a professional therapist who can help you to move on.  You are a wonderfull mother because you sacrificed your own idea of perfect birthing experience for a well being of your child. That is what mothers do.


BroodyWoodsgal 03-29-2012 01:59 PM

You know Alenushka, I really get sick and tired of people acting like it's a terrible thing to feel completely traumatized by a birth that turns into something really scary and completely different than what was intended or imagined.

Your tone is hard and cold and what you are implying is that this shouldn't feel so rotten to her, even though, clearly, it DOES. Don't tell her to get a therapist so she can move on! How condescending and heartless could you be?? She is trying to process through this, not hang onto it. Who are you to tell her that there is no one most important moment in parenting...maybe not to you or me...but what the hell do we know about her life? She is hurting, she is feeling a REAL pain...don't brush off her totally legit feelings with "get over it, your baby is alive and well...you wanna see a sad birth story, look at what happens in Africa when there isn't a doctor around when someone needs one" - jesus, are you seriously walking around saying this kind of thing to women or are you having a cranky day?

She's not saying "Rainbows were supposed to shoot out of my vagina and the light of heaven was supposed to shine down on my perfect birth..what happened to my perfect birth! I deserved perfection!" she is saying:

 

Quote:
When they finally brought her to me I was so doped up it was all surreal. I don't remember those first moments. My mom tells me that the first thing I said to her was "I know you," but I don't remember. I don't know if I kissed her, I only know that I held her. I was out of it.

 

Are you kidding me? I read this and it strikes me to my core! Seriously, every time I read it, it brings tears to my eyes. That is so deeply moving to me...she is traumatized.

 

There she was..unexpectedly pregnant. No ring on her finger or partner by her side to make her "family unit" socially "the ideal"....she made the decision that it was gonna be her and this kid, together they would do this. She didn't have someone holding her belly every night, rubbing her feet, wondering with her who the baby would look like...she made it all alone through this pregnancy and then, she finally gets to the part where she gets to meet this amazing person and everything turns wrong. She can't remember. She has loopy, drugged memories of meeting her child, but nothing that isn't fuzzy....

Maybe that wouldn't tear you up inside, but it's tearing HER up and she doesn't need to be told to get over it. I'm so freaking tired of this backlash on the interwebs against moms who are sad and traumatized after "births gone wrong" - who are any of us to tell her what she should feel and how she should get over it?

She is reaching out for help. Help her or leave her alone. (Hint: Telling her to get over it and acting like she's an ingrate for sharing her feelings of sadness at her birth is not helping).

 

 

 

 

OP: You are amazingly strong. You can get through this. Many, many women who go through what you've gone through feel the exact same way...it takes time to move past trauma, you are doing the right thing by reaching out and sharing your feelings...most women here completely understand that being completely devastated by a birth like the one you had does not in any way detract from you feelings of overwhelming joy that your baby girl is here and safe. Those feelings can exists within you, side by side...it's not all or nothing...one way or another.

 

Investigate some of the literature that is out there for birth trauma survivors...because that's what you are: A Traumatic Birth Survivor. Don't let anyone tell you what you went through was "nothing" or that what you went through is cancelled out and healed by the fact that your daughter is alive and well.

You will be healed when you are healed - that is a process. One day this won't feel as bad at all, one day you will feel much more peace with what happened...a year out is still so soon..your body, hormonal, spiritual and emotional self are all still way in flux. I really think (just from what I've seen) that many months out from a birth is when depression, sadness and feelings of disappointment can really start to hit hardest for new moms, because you are past the "adjustment" phase and have more time to think about things, about who you are now and what everything that has happened means to you, etc....I didn't realize how sad and depressed I was after my sons birth until he was almost two! I was so busy trying to adjust to having two kids and figuring out who I was that I couldn't see how shitty I felt, how isolated and depressed I had been.

Keep reaching out. I'm glad your daughter is okay...I look forward to the day when you come back and report that you are okay, too. Your words that I posted above seriously cut me so deep...what a heart wrenching statement "my mother told me I said 'I know you'...but I don't remember"  - that is just so surreal, so strange...the fact that she said you said "I know you" chokes me up so much...but the fact that you don't remember any of this and so desperately want to makes me want to reach out and scoop you up. :(

I'm sorry for everything that happened to you. I'm sorry things went wrong. I'm sorry that freaking epidural sucked OVER AND OVER AGAIN...ugh....but I'm happy that your daughter has such a deep and loving mother. You're going to be a great mom and I know that someday you are going to feel so much more healed from this. <3 <3 <3


Bazile 03-29-2012 02:50 PM

:hugs: In a lot of ways I know how you feel. I was induced with my daughter 10 days past my due date, and then ended up with a section the next day after the amniotic fluid was full of meconium, she wasn't engaged, my cervix was swelling, and the contractions had completely stopped even with full-blast Pitocin. I didn't have an epidural when I got to the OR, so they did a spinal for the surgery. It took a long time to get the spinal in, and if my daughter had been in the same situation as yours was, I probably would have had a general as well. Even though I was awake, I feel like I wasn't present for her birth between the complete lack of feeling and the drape that didn't allow me to see anything but a blue sheet. Because of the meconium, the neonatologist said not to let her cry, so I couldn't hear her. They didn't hold her up so that I could see her, and they took her to the side to clean her up and check her out out of my sight. I did get to see her in the OR when the nurse brought her near us already wrapped up like a burrito with a hat on. The only sign that she had definitely come out of my body was the little bit of meconium I could still see on her ear that they missed. When I started reaching for her as far as I could with my arms strapped down, my OB did say they could unstrap my hand so I could touch her cheek. My husband went upstairs with her, and I was left alone in the OR to finish the surgery, and then alone in recovery. They finally brought her to my room when she was about 3 hours old and I got to finally hold her and count her fingers and toes. Thirteen months and five days later I still regret missing those first few hours, though at least I don't cry as much anymore. My husband was able to see her while they were cleaning her up, and I begged my husband in tears to tell me what she looked like when she was first born. I don't watch any kind of childbirth shows anymore because I can't handle watching someone give birth when (in my mind) I didn't. I have a lot of guilt about her birth. I'm not 100% sure that I can say that things get better, but as time passes it does seem to get easier to deal with. Her first birthday last month was hard. It was her birthday, and I did my best to make sure that it was all about her. But it's only natural that a traumatic event in ones life will be in your mind on the anniversary.

 

As far as things that do help. Find a counselor if at all possible. I have no idea what your finances or insurance status are like, but if you can afford it find a professional to help you work through things. I saw a counselor this past summer who was a big help in that she listened without being judgmental. Trying to talk to friends and family members was like hitting a brick wall since it ranged from a cousin who begged for a c-section because she was terrified of vaginal birth and thinks I'm lucky that I'll never have to have a vaginal birth, to those whose main focus was that we were both healthy and would have probably died 100 years ago, to being told to get over it and quit wearing having a c-section on my sleeve. My counselor suggested it, and I found it helpful to write down how I felt. The anger, the regret, the guilt, the worries that this wasn't actually my daughter, everything. Getting it down on paper in some ways got it out of my head. Go to ICAN. I put off going for almost a year because the closest chapter to me is a little over an hour away, but even though I spend almost as long in the car as I do there I get a lot out of the meetings. The women there have been there, and know how you feel. You won't find any judgment because the people like my mother-in-law who think a c-section under a general is the way to go for childbirth don't seek out ICAN. I would also suggest this site on emotional recovery after a c-section. The site as a whole is geared towards larger women, but her advice is relevant to people of all sizes and I've seen it recommended on several sites discussing c-section recovery. I think some of the links are out of date since she seems to be mainly focusing on her blog and not the formal site.

 

I remind myself every day that I made the best decision that I could for my daughter under the circumstances. You did too. I can't say that you'll ever not regret missing the first few hours of your daughter's life, I don't think that I will. To be honest, I think it might be worse if you were happy about it. From talking to other women at ICAN I do think that it will eventually scab over into a dull ache, and not the fresh painful wound it is now.

 

Edited because apparently my grammar sucks.


tonttu 03-29-2012 03:52 PM

Yes , as some of the lovely ladies have also stated , it is sooo important , that you get help ! 

Somebody symphatetic , who will not basically tell you to just " get over it " . 

Because , sorry , but that´s Cuss.gif! YOUR pain is real , YOU are feeling this way and to tell you , to just pull yourself together , sorry , that´s like taking away a bottle from an alcoholic and saying " okay , you´re cured !"

Of course , we should be and ARE happy , that we came out okay and so did our babies , but that does not change the fact , that in our mind , we could have ( should have ) had a nice , positive birth experience , the way nature intended . 

Not laying in a cold , sterile room , strapped down on a table !

So , please , try to find somebody , you can talk and relate to and don´t make the same mistake , I did and carry this around with you for many years , it will keep surfacing and it is not healthy to keep those bottled up without working through them . 

I know , because I did it ! 


Slmommy 03-29-2012 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shanon Mellan View Post

When they finally brought her to me I was so doped up it was all surreal. I don't remember those first moments. My mom tells me that the first thing I said to her was "I know you," but I don't remember. I don't know if I kissed her, I only know that I held her. I was out of it.
 

hug2.gif I don't really have much to add, I like what some of the pps have said. (Happy Birthday to you by the way!)
 

This part of your story makes me tear up. I don't know if this is really appropriate to say, and probably all depends on your religion/spirituality/ideas... but I wonder if some part of you, subconscious, spirit, energy, whatever, *was* there when she was born. Your love was there even if your consciousness wasn't. Not trying to minimize the situation in anyway... I just find it really striking that those were your first words. Hope you find the healing you need.

 


Shanon Mellan 03-29-2012 05:21 PM

Thank you to all of you who are being supportive.

To Alenushka - you have obviously never had a c-section, let alone one where you had to be put under general.

I assure you, I am happy that my baby and I are alive. I am happy that we live in a country where medical services are available. I am grateful every single day for every breath that she takes and every moment I have with her.
 

That does NOT take away the profound sense of loss that I still feel - and, according to my mother who had the same experience, likely always will. I carried her for nearly 10 months. Through all my fears and worries SHE was there, reminding me that it would be okay, that we would make it through together. Reminding me that my life was no longer just about me, but that I would have the eternal love of my child. And then when she first came out screaming I was not there. Yes, I have been there for her in every single way that I can from every day since, but that will never take away the fact that I MISSED her BIRTH. her BIRTH. The one thing that mothers are not meant to miss! The one thing that we are made to do, that our bodies are made to do, and I couldn't do it.

No, I don't feel like less of a woman, or less of a mother. However I do feel guilty.

I don't watch or read, as you put it: "Rainbow and unicorn filled, amazing homerbtih, I had an orgasms, angels sung" stories. The very sight of a woman giving birth, whether it be naturally nor through a c-section, sets me off. I am even envious of women who at least were AWAKE for their caeasareans. After my daugther was born the very first thing I remember was waking up to my friend's face over mine - he is a nurse - when I was in recovery. He told me I had a beautiful baby girl and later told me that I said "Oh good, so she is a girl.." before asking when I could see her.

It was HOURS after she was born that I got to hold her, and even then it was only for a short time, 30 minutes at most. Then they had to take her back to the nursery, as she was on IV antibiotics for the next three days. During that time I barely got to hold her, as every couple of hours they had to take her back to the nursery to have her antibiotics.

On top of it all, she had a receeding chin and I had flat nipples, so we were never able to latch. We tried in the hospital until she and I were both screaming and crying - myself exhausted from a lack of sleep and lingering drugs - before giving in to the bottle. When she was finally off the IV we had high hopes that she would nurse, but still no luck. The doctors and nurses threatened me that  if she did not drink 60mls every 3 hours, they would put a tube in her stomach. This made me so scared and fearful - the last thing I wanted was  MORE pain and discomfort for my baby. So I was pumping for an HOUR every 3 hours in order to get enough milk to feed her - I did not want to have to use formula. Then I would get to see her for maybe an hour, and in the remaining hour I would have to try and sleep/eat/use the bathroom/walk/shower/etc...

It was hell.

BroodyWoodsgal your words touched me and made me want to cry - thank you! It was like a hug through the computer screen.

Thank you to those that are supportive - I appreciate your kind words. <3

 

Some pictures =)

Our first snuggle:

DSC03523.JPG

 

11 days old:

 

IMG_2255-1.jpg

 

IMG_2394-1.jpgIMG_2397-1.jpg

 

 

My baby girl now, at 10 months! <3

 

sillywabbitsmall.jpg

 

IMG_5772.JPG


Shanon Mellan 03-29-2012 05:23 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

Quote:

hug2.gif I don't really have much to add, I like what some of the pps have said. (Happy Birthday to you by the way!)
 

This part of your story makes me tear up. I don't know if this is really appropriate to say, and probably all depends on your religion/spirituality/ideas... but I wonder if some part of you, subconscious, spirit, energy, whatever, *was* there when she was born. Your love was there even if your consciousness wasn't. Not trying to minimize the situation in anyway... I just find it really striking that those were your first words. Hope you find the healing you need.

 



Thank you, this touched me. I never really thought of it that way, but it makes me feel a little more... reassured. <3


mama2soren 03-29-2012 06:04 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

There is no "most important moment" in parenting. This is horrible fallacy that ruins lives of many mothers.

 

Even what was an important moment a year ago is not longer important as moment today, and tomorrow, or 5 years from now.

 

You are alive and so is your child. I am sorry your birth did not go the way you planned, but the most important goal of birth is outcome of an alive mother and alive healthy child.

Thing often do not go well in life. Yes, there is certain amount of grief when thing do not go the way we plan but then one needs to move on and live the life to the fullest with joy. There is not other way.

 

What was done was a right decision at that moment a year ago.   There is no point in dissecting it and thinking how things could have been.  People often assume that thing could have been better if they took different action. for some reason we forget that things could have been worse as well.

 

I highly recommend that yous top triggering yourself with "Rainbow and unicorn filled, amazing homerbtih, I had an orgasms, angels sung" stories.

 

You are not alone in what happened. Many mothers have emergencies during their labors. C-section is there for a reason.

 

If you read some blogs form India and Africa you can see what happen when medical help is not available.

 

You missed a moment for a lifetime of mothering a and Love. I hope you will be eventually able to see it.

 

Please, contact a professional therapist who can help you to move on.  You are a wonderfull mother because you sacrificed your own idea of perfect birthing experience for a well being of your child. That is what mothers do.


This might be a statement better suited to a separate post, but seriously, Alenushka, this woman is coming here for support and encouragement.  No one is forcing you to offer that to her.  If you do not wish to, then just butt out.

 

To the OP, I am sorry for the loss you feel.  I have felt a similar loss when my son was taken to the NICU right after his birth.  You wanted to be present during your baby's first hours, cuddling, kissing, rocking, nursing, being the first to get to know her, keeping her warm and safe.  Those would have been precious memories, and it is a loss not to have them.  Trying to confront those feelings of loss and sadness is the best way to start healing, so I hope you find a supportive community, either here on MDC or with in-person friends.  There will never be the chance to get those moments back.  But, with time, that sadness will diminish, the pain will heal.  We both have scars, physical and emotional, that will always remind us of the hopes we had that weren't realized, but we can heal.  You will heal.

 

It can be a good thing to give yourself permission to go ahead and feel all the way down to the depths of your grief.  Journal it, cry, talk with a caring friend, do what you need to do to leave no hurt "covered up" or stifled.  Sometimes, especially with disappointments involving birth, women are hesitant to acknowledge the depth of their pain.  We are told to be happy about our babies, we are dismissed, we are told to just buck up and move on.  If the pain is not acknowledged and worked through, though, it just stays there under the surface.  Grieve it fully so that you can let it go with time.  Then be kind to yourself.  Try to calm those thoughts that try to convince you that you did something wrong, or that you didn't make all of the best choices, etc.  Treat yourself with love and respect.  You gave your baby your best.  You went through a very painful ordeal to ensure her safety and health.  You are so strong (3.5 days of labor on top of recovering from a C/S plus all of that pumping!  that's amazing!).  You are loving.  With time, and with kindness to yourself, you will heal from this.

 

If you find that things continue to get worse for you, or if the thoughts of grief and disappointment start interfering more and more with your enjoyment of your daughter and your life, then yes, that would be a sign to consider finding a supportive professional to help you work through this stage.   But I didn't gather that that was your situation.


BroodyWoodsgal 03-29-2012 06:58 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

Quote:

hug2.gif I don't really have much to add, I like what some of the pps have said. (Happy Birthday to you by the way!)
 

This part of your story makes me tear up. I don't know if this is really appropriate to say, and probably all depends on your religion/spirituality/ideas... but I wonder if some part of you, subconscious, spirit, energy, whatever, *was* there when she was born. Your love was there even if your consciousness wasn't. Not trying to minimize the situation in anyway... I just find it really striking that those were your first words. Hope you find the healing you need.

 


I'm so glad you also think this. I was struck so very very heavily with that part of the OPs post...it got me so choked up.

 


OSUvet 03-29-2012 08:00 PM

I just want to send my love, support, and understanding. My experience was not as difficult as yours, and I don't want to go into my own story right now. I just want to say I completely understand the feeling. I hope you can find healing and are able to enjoy mothering your beautiful angel!


Plummeting 03-30-2012 12:07 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post
I highly recommend that yous top triggering yourself with "Rainbow and unicorn filled, amazing homerbtih, I had an orgasms, angels sung" stories.


Why would you even say that? She wasn't planning a home birth, and didn't mention them. Why would you say she's "triggering [herself]"? Like she wakes up every day and does whatever she can to make herself feel bad. You don't know anything at all about the situation, other than that she feels sadness over missing her daughter's first few hours. It is a bad feeling. I didn't have a c-section, but I only got 45 minutes with my dd before they took her for 5 hours. It was horrible. I felt bad about it for years (she's 7 now). I still feel bad about it. There's no reason a mother shouldn't be sad about that sort of thing. I've seen you involved in conversations about how traumatizing natural birth can be for some women. It's quite an amazing double standard to accept that a painful, long, natural birth can be traumatic, but a birth that involves unexpected or unwanted interventions can't be. Sure they saved her baby's life, and the OP is quite clear from the very first post how happy she is about that. That doesn't change the fact that she is hurting over what she missed.


Storm Bride 03-30-2012 12:14 AM

OP: I just want to say that my first baby turned 19 last week. Sometimes, I **** feel a little pang over the 14 hours we were apart after my c-section (I saw him for about 5 seconds while still under morphine - not sure exactly how long after the surgery that was). I had all the rest by c-section, but was awake for them. While I prefer the general for myself (I can't describe how much I hate spinal anesthesia), the one plus to that was that I saw my babies sooooo much more quickly (although there was over an hour separation again with dd1 - at least I got to see her and hold her first!). It's hard. And, it is a really important moment as a mother.

 

hug.gif


mamaofthree 03-30-2012 01:28 AM

i am so sorry for your loss, it is completely ok to be upset about what happened and still love and cherish your beautiful baby girl. maybe there is someone you can talk to who can get where you are coming from and won't belittle your emotions. 

 

(((hug)))


Edna236 03-30-2012 04:04 AM

http://www.infoocean.info/avatar3.jpgt is a regret I will have for the rest of my life.


BroodyWoodsgal 03-30-2012 05:19 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanon Mellan View Post

<snip>
It was HOURS after she was born that I got to hold her, and even then it was only for a short time, 30 minutes at most. Then they had to take her back to the nursery, as she was on IV antibiotics for the next three days. During that time I barely got to hold her, as every couple of hours they had to take her back to the nursery to have her antibiotics.

On top of it all, she had a receeding chin and I had flat nipples, so we were never able to latch. We tried in the hospital until she and I were both screaming and crying - myself exhausted from a lack of sleep and lingering drugs - before giving in to the bottle. When she was finally off the IV we had high hopes that she would nurse, but still no luck. The doctors and nurses threatened me that  if she did not drink 60mls every 3 hours, they would put a tube in her stomach. This made me so scared and fearful - the last thing I wanted was  MORE pain and discomfort for my baby. So I was pumping for an HOUR every 3 hours in order to get enough milk to feed her - I did not want to have to use formula. Then I would get to see her for maybe an hour, and in the remaining hour I would have to try and sleep/eat/use the bathroom/walk/shower/etc...

It was hell.

<snip>

 

Honey, no wonder you are in such bad shape...this sounds like a nightmare. I'm so sorry all this happened to you. Again, I'm glad that your baby girl is healthy and with you..but I think anyone can agree if they are being honest, that what you went through is not what it's "supposed" to be like. Saying that another way would have been better doesn't discount at all that modern science possibly saved your daughters life....it just speaks to the validity of your feeling that things went really wrong. It speaks to the validity of whatever you are feeling, whatever sense of loss weighs on you.

 

GL, I truly hope that you will find some amazing book, or bump into some amazing mama or something that will help you shift your perspective and help you heal from this. It breaks my heart that such a strong mama is feeling so horrible inside and I send you all my best wishes for clarity and depth in your processing all that has happened.


Youngfrankenstein 03-30-2012 05:49 AM

I have not had a section.  I am offering my support so I hope it will be seen that way.  That hospital did the wrong thing, not you.  You did what needed to be done and sacrificed for your baby.  I get the hurt.  It is horrible how babies can be treated like "stuff" rather than a little person.  I know there were medical concerns but they should have treated your baby with love and respect.  That isn't your fault.  Shame on them.

 

I am a believer that the loving mother you are from pregnancy though today, will completely overshadow the ugliness that happened to your sweet baby that day.  As much as I believe in treating newborns with TLC, I don't think they remember and know it was that way.  

 

I wish I knew how to help you get over the pain.  I have parenting regrets that aren't related to birth that I chose to do at the time and I look back and feel terrible about them.  


baglady 03-30-2012 06:49 AM

I was also put under general for my first c/s due to failed epidural. I totally understand your sadness. I really spent a lot of time crying over not being there, not hearing his first cries, and everything else one misses in such a situation. I have a video of me holding him shortly after the procedure. I'm totally drugged (read: cross eyed). I actually don't remember that event at all. I only have one memory of meeting him for the first time several ours later when they moved me to my room. I remember thinking, "why is everyone being so casual? I haven't even held my baby!". Of course I actually had without remembering it. I talked it over with my OB afterward and found out that she ripped the anesthesiologist a new one for not being able to get the epi.

I can honestly say that I am at peace with it now. My son is now three and I realized that, yes the birth is important, but he was born. He's here and he's mine. There are so many other days of his life, I had to let go of that one. Personally, I had to let go of my own guilt that I carried around for not birthing the way I envisioned. I think it took me a good year and a half to feel better. My second birth (Another c/s) with a working spinal,my husband by my side, and an amazing team of nurses who heard my story and were super supportive was also really healing for me. Mostly because I realized that their entries were different, but the instant bond and love were the same.

If you are really struggling, I would consider counseling. Your feelings are valid.


Partaria 03-30-2012 12:34 PM

I'm so glad you posted here, mama. I don't have much else to add, but I really do wish you lots of light and healing. I didn't have an emergency c, but I had one I hadn't planned on, and it devastated me. These things really linger and get a real hold on our psyches. It is so true that how we give birth matters. What happens to a woman when she has a child stays with her forever, for better or for worse.

 

I know you miss those first moments. I'm so sorry for the loss and pain surrounding that. You had a very difficult experience. But mama, be gentle with yourself. You did SO MUCH for that little child. You went through your worst fear and a terrible experience, all so she could be safe and healthy. Wow. There is much to honor in that.

 

 


Partaria 03-30-2012 12:35 PM

PS those pics of you and the wee one are absolutely beautiful.


CI Mama 03-30-2012 12:46 PM

Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful pictures.

 

You are not alone. There is a "social group" on MDC to support women who've had unplanned c-sections following a long/difficult labor. Here's more info on the group:

http://www.mothering.com/community/groups/show/25/unplanned-c-section-after-long-labor-support-group

 

You may find that a helpful place to connect.

 

I have found that my LO's birthday is a time when I reflect on her birth and all that it meant for me. That was especially true for her first birthday. I hope you can find support and great gentleness towards yourself!


JoyFilled 03-30-2012 04:24 PM

What beautiful pictures!

Thanks for sharing your incredibly sad story.  I think as more people like you share your story the easier it will be for others in similar situation to process and heal from their birth experience.


Shanon Mellan 03-30-2012 05:53 PM

Thank you, all of you, for your kind words and support. I have read through all of the replies to this thread numerous times and have both laughed and cried. I am very grateful to hear confirmation that my feelings are valid - it's hard because I know I should just be happy that she is alive and healthy.

Also none of my friends had to have emergency c/s let alone be put under,, so I don't have that relatable support in real life either. Getting it here is important to me, so thank you all <3


Storm Bride 03-31-2012 01:43 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanon Mellan View Post

Thank you, all of you, for your kind words and support. I have read through all of the replies to this thread numerous times and have both laughed and cried. I am very grateful to hear confirmation that my feelings are valid - it's hard because I know I should just be happy that she is alive and healthy.

Also none of my friends had to have emergency c/s let alone be put under,, so I don't have that relatable support in real life either. Getting it here is important to me, so thank you all <3



To the bold: No. No. No. That discounts what you went through. The idea that it doesn't matter if a mom goes through hell, because her baby is okay makes no sense. Yes - of course we, as moms, are happy that our babies are okay. That doesn't mean it's the only thing that matters, or that we "should" just be happy. There is nothing wrong with having conflicting feelings, or being happy that your baby is alive and healthy, but also sad and/or disappointed about your own experiences.

 

When people say that other people "should" feel a certain way, it makes me nuts. Feelings are what they are. You can work through them - I think you are working through them - but you can't just make them go away. And, having feelings invalidated by stupidity such as "you should feel X, instead of Y", doesn't help anyone work through anything.


MaryLang 03-31-2012 09:29 PM

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have not had a c/s where I was put out. I have had a lot of c/s's, failed birth center birth, failed vbac, ect... But I know you're probably feeling something unique to a general anesthetic birth, and the disconnect that would go along with it. It's so hard when even though we have gone through so much preparation and all the work carrying our babes all these months, it's the way they are born that can cause so much pain. And I know that it's because we spend all that time imagining all the firsts and what he/she will look like ect, and it's all hinging on their first huge transition-our baby emerging and taking that first breath. My son's birth (the failed vbac) was especially hard for me to deal with and my time in the hospital was hard as well. I developed an air pocket in my chest after the surgery that was sooooo painful and I had to have a ct scan which required me to pump and dump and there was a time one night I had to send him to the nursery for a few hours because I was in so much pain. I felt so guilty for so long about how things went. He was born roughly, and then I wasn't there the way I wanted to be to comfort him afterwards. I used to whisper into his ear at night that I was sorry for the way things went, it's not the way I wanted and that he was the world to me. That was actually a small healing thing for me to do.

I hope you're able to find peace and healing. Lots of hugs.


azzeps 04-02-2012 09:46 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanon Mellan View Post

 it's hard because I know I should just be happy that she is alive and healthy.
 


Hi Shanon,

 

I'm so sorry for what you lost, what you missed out on.  I totally get it.  I didn't have to be put under, but I felt like I missed out on a lot because of my c-section...  my daughter had to spend 4 hours in the NICU and I couldn't be with her.  It's really hard when you expect your birth to go one way, and it goes completely the other way.

 

I highlighted what you said above because I wanted you to know that this is what people will tell you - that you should be happy you are both alive and well.  But you feel how you feel about it, and there is no wrong way to feel.  You don't have to "get over it."  I don't think I will ever "get over" what I lost.  Of course, now with four years distance, and counseling, and attending ICAN meetings, and having a VBAC, I can look at the experience differently... I don't cry every time I think about it or talk about it.  But I still wish it had happened differently. 

 

Be aware that the first birthday is sometimes difficult... because it brings back all those memories.  So be kind and gentle to yourself. 

 

Also, if you feel like you are ready, go to your local ICAN meeting.  I know you'll find open arms and lots of women who have been where you've been, and who will totally understand how you feel and will be able to encourage you.  You can look up your local chapter at www.ican-online.org.  If you don't have an ICAN chapter near you, there is a Yahoo Group, if you go to the "Groups" page on yahoo.com you can search for it.  Just another way to get support and understanding.

 

Take care, and be good to yourself.  Your daughter is lovely!


VBACmama4 04-02-2012 10:21 PM

No one wants to look back at the birth of their child and remember pain and separation. It's so hard to feel like you weren't their first and most important person in this world, like you weren't there when she needed you, but even though you may not have been the first person to hold her, she knew you too, immediately, and looking at the picture of her tiny, beautiful little self dozing on your chest, she knew you well. 

 

That said, I completely understand the pain that your birth experience causes you. My oldest was my only C/S in 2001. I was young, we were both healthy, and I allowed my OB to scare me into induction for the sake of sparing risks and complications that I didn't even have. She made me feel like if something were to happen to him, it was my fault, even during my painful and terrifying induction. I couldn't move because it caused blips on the monitor, I couldn't eat or drink, she broke my water without explaining that there are all sorts of risks involved with that, she basically insisted on an epidural so I could "relax", and then after I had endured pain and fear for hours on end, she called me on my room phone to tell me she had to "take" my baby because my labor lasted too long. My then husband was about as supportive as a chair in my room, he stood aside and let her belittle me, and I resented him for it. When I was taken in for the procedure, they gave me narcotics because I could also feel them testing my skin for signs of feeling, and I was not able to see, could not feel my body, but could hear much of what was happening. I heard my husband tell me he was feeling dizzy and he had to step out, so here I was alone, blinded, unable to move, as they took my son from my body crying for me. They paused in front of my face with him, and all I could see was a blurry white outline at the very edges of my vision, I didn't even know what color his hair was. I couldn't speak, couldn't touch him. I woke up hours later to a nurse holding him at my bedside, asking if I wanted to try to nurse. How do you nurse a baby when you can't move? She held him near me for a minute or two then put him in his plastic crib and whisked him away. When I finally held him, it was the next day and he had been subjected to repeated heel stick testing because he was so "big" - 8.8lbs - only to find out that their equipment was faulty and he was fine. They gave him a bottle, which made nursing hard for us too, although we eventually got the hang of it. The only evidence I had of the whole thing was a baby I felt wouldn't know me and a scar that looked like Frankenstein when I was finally able to get to the bathroom and see myself. I felt so angry and robbed of the birth of my child, I felt guilty because I felt other people had taken the place of my importance for him because I wasn't there. I know what you are feeling when you say you missed your daughters birth. It's something I still feel even to this day, 11 years later, and because of it I have fought long and hard to ensure that the rest of my children were VBAC births. I used the anger I felt toward that experience to get me through days of labor and pain. 

 

Your feelings are real, and it's important that you do everything you can to vent them, and try to heal as much as possible. Easier said than done, but it really is possible to begin to heal. My first VBAC brought emotions for me that were so much more than just "I did it", so much more than just being the first to hold my baby. Even though I feel the way I do about my first birth experience, after 11 years I can honestly tell you that I've had more than enough opportunity to show my son that I'm here for him. We've talked about his birth and how different it was from his brothers (he has 2, with the 3rd coming in April) as he has watched me plan their births, and I can also tell you that he knows how special and important he is to me no matter how he was born. Your daughter will learn more everyday just how much she means to you and how much she can count on her Mommy. A few hours won't matter to her after years of love, but I know they will matter to you, and I hope you find the outlet you need to recover as much as possible. *hugs*



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