Normal to still feel sad about c-section? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son was born by emergency c-section 10 months ago and, although I understand that it was completely necessary and I'm so happy that he is healthy, I still get sad when i think about missing out on the natural childbirth I wanted. I thought I was over it, but a friend just had a baby a few weeks ago and when I heard her story, I got sad all over again.

 

Although I'm not planning on getting pregnant again any time soon, I think a lot about whether I would be comfortable with a VBAC. I've heard lots of scary things and lots of good things about it. The dr. said my son had such a big head that even if he hadn't been in distress, I might have had to have a c-section after hours of labor anyways. Since big heads run in the family, maybe attempting a VBAC wouldn't even be worth the risk.

 

 Anyways, I was just wondering if it's normal to still be so sad about it after almost a year. I feel like I cheated my way into motherhood since I didn't even have any labor pains. I missed out on seeing what my body could do. I missed out on holding him in the first 45 minutes of his life. How do I get over this sadness already??

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#2 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 11:41 AM
 
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It's completely normal to still be sad about it! Whereas more than 6 years after my c-section I'm not sad about it anymore, there are still times when I dwell on that birth, what went wrong, what I could've done differently, etc. Time helps. Have you checked out ICAN or another support group in your area? Maybe talking to other women who have been there would help.

 

FWIW I had a c-section due to being induced with a poorly positioned large baby (almost 12 lbs, 24" long, 16.5" head and 17.5" chest) but I was able to have a VBAC with my second. His head was still larger than average, 14.5", but I was able to push him out relatively quickly. A large head isn't a reason to not VBAC (although I'm not sure how big you're talking) and I've read birth stories on MDC about natural birthing large headed babies. I think the baby's position is more a factor than anything. Just some food for thought if you're thinking of having another and are considering a VBAC.

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#3 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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Short answer to your first question: yes.  Entirely normal, even if you were asking about it after 4 years.  The emotions can change, or lose their intensity, over time.

 

So that's my short answer to your second question: give it time.  Be kind to yourself.  Don't expect to get over this entirely.  Don't feel guilty either about what happened, nor about your reactions to your own story or others.  Give yourself permission to grieve, even though you have a healthy baby.  You did lose something: you lost yourself, or your notion of who you are.  You can grieve for that, even while you construct your new definition of Who You Are.  Your son's birth story is forever woven into that identity, so while you grieve for what you've lost, slowly learn to accept this new picture of You.


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#4 of 24 Old 12-01-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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Again, the short answer is yes.  My oldest is four, the youngest is two and I have another on the way in May (which will be a planned c-section). I actually do believe my c-sections were necessary as well (though after my first I didn't).    It's still hard sometimes.  I still can't watch a birth, even with actors on TV, without crying when they put the baby on the mothers chest.  People say that healthy mom and baby are all that matters but it's simply not true.  Birth matters.  It impacts how we view ourselves.  Be patient with yourself, it takes time. 

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#5 of 24 Old 12-01-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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I think it's normal and okay, too.

I had two c-sections and I feel pretty good about them, as in I can honestly say that those were insanely happy times for me. But, I had 30 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing for my first, and that was a much better scenario than my second, which was scheduled. I think for some reason birth needs some intense build-up and feels a little flat if you don't have that. I have never felt that I had missed something by not pushing them out vaginally, but I think that may have been bc the feeling of ds1s head during the pushing stage was so awful to me. -- I couldn't feel anything but happy that I wasn't going to see the outcome of that.

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#6 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 06:32 PM
 
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I think it's normal to feel sad. At least, I had one 11 months ago and I still feel sad! Also, the hospital experience.....well honestly it was very traumatizing because they were surprisingly cruel to me. I had gone there before and they were great, but then when I went for the actual birth, everyone on staff were people I hadn't ever met. And uh, they weren't exactly the A-Team. It was not a necessary c-section, either. The doctor insisted I had been in labor for twice as long as I was, for example. I eventually caved out of sheer fright. It's something that haunts me to this day and will probably continue to do so.

 

:hug:
 

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#7 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 08:38 PM
 
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Short answer, yes, I think it is normal.

 

I *still* feel sad after my c-section (7 years ago). As happy as I was/am that she was, for the most part, healthy when she was born, I hate thinking about her birth. I feel so betrayed, dismissed, lied to, I feel like I failed her, and me, and *so* disappointed.


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#8 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 08:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post

I think it's normal to feel sad. At least, I had one 11 months ago and I still feel sad! Also, the hospital experience.....well honestly it was very traumatizing because they were surprisingly cruel to me. I had gone there before and they were great, but then when I went for the actual birth, everyone on staff were people I hadn't ever met. And uh, they weren't exactly the A-Team. It was not a necessary c-section, either. The doctor insisted I had been in labor for twice as long as I was, for example. I eventually caved out of sheer fright. It's something that haunts me to this day and will probably continue to do so.

 

:hug:
 

 

This. Exactly. I hate that I believed them that if I didn't have a c-section, DD would die. (Even though her vitals were fine, placenta was okay, no signs of distress. I think they got tired of me trying to delay the c-section even though they were saying no one wants to be in hospital on Christmas, so then they went to if you don't do it, you're baby is going to die. Or else, very mean, cruel coincidence.)


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#9 of 24 Old 12-03-2012, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, hearing all of your stories makes me grateful that I know for sure that the c-section was necessary and the hospital staff was great with me. I guess I got lucky. Not that I'm happy about it or anything, but I'm happy that I don't have the added feeling of anger at the doctor. I just wish I could shake the feeling that I cheated my way into motherhood by not really having any labor pains. It was all just incredibly anti-climactic and so disappointing.

 

Thank you all for understanding. It helps to know I'm not the only one.
 

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#10 of 24 Old 12-03-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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You didn't cheat your way into motherhood.  The way your baby is born is not your ticket to motherhood.  You were a mother the minute your child was conceived and how the baby gets out should not be a stamp of approval by anyone.

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#11 of 24 Old 12-03-2012, 09:11 PM
 
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You didn't cheat your way into motherhood.  The way your baby is born is not your ticket to motherhood.  You were a mother the minute your child was conceived and how the baby gets out should not be a stamp of approval by anyone.

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#12 of 24 Old 12-03-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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My son is 13 months and was also an emergency c-section, it is something I can't think about much because it does still hurt. Especially since I had 2 natural homebirths with lay midwives before that, the hospital was a foreign place to me, and I do believe there is a difference between c-section and emergency c-section. It's all so rushed and tense, because someone is in danger. I checked out for most of it, just breathed to get through it. I'm glad it he was my third, and last hopefully child, because I don't know if I could risk living through it again, honestly. Hang in there honey, But know our stuggles and hurts will make us stronger, because we will now have a deeper concept of the value of lighter side of life.


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#13 of 24 Old 12-13-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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There is a section here about c section trauma. Its full of stories from Mama who have been traumatised by a non natural birth. Its called " unplanned c section after long labor support group".

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#14 of 24 Old 12-17-2012, 08:42 PM
 
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I had a vaginal birth with my 1st son who is almost 15 months now, I got pregnant with my 2nd son(who is now almost 3 months old) when he was 3 months old and I expected to have a vaginal birth again. I was induced with my 1st one with no problems and so I went ahead and got induced with my 2nd it was going pretty good at first but when I was dialated to 9 cm his heart rate started dropping so I had to get a c section I was devestated!! Baby #2 was born 3 days before my 1st ones first birthday and I was so worried I wouldn't be home for his first birthday and I just really didn't want a c section I wanted to experience the birth of my 2nd like I did my 1st. So I cried during the whole procedure and then for like 3 hours after. I was glad my baby was okay ofcourse but I just felt terrible. And now a lot of my friends are having babys and I get sad too when I think back on it. I hope to have another baby someday and I've already discussed with my doctor about having a vbac and that's what I plan to do. I did some research and found out a side effect of pitocin is the babys heart rate dropping so next time I don't want to be induced inless necessary so that I can hopefully have the vbac with no complications. So even though it hasn't been that long for me yet I believe the sadness is normal and that it will go away eventually just try to keep looking at the bright side of it, that's what I try to do smile.gif
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#15 of 24 Old 12-17-2012, 08:47 PM
 
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oh and I went home from the hospital on my sons 1st birthday and I was very happy about that but I was in pain so I didn't get to do what I had planned so I was pretty bummed out about it I felt like he got cheated out of a great 1st birthday because of me and my body and I still get upset about that but atleast he has a happy and healthy little brother that I'm sure he will enjoy growing up with and playing with!
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#16 of 24 Old 01-06-2013, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by RoseLemon View Post

My son was born by emergency c-section 10 months ago and, although I understand that it was completely necessary and I'm so happy that he is healthy, I still get sad when i think about missing out on the natural childbirth I wanted.

One of my dear friends has a son who will be 13 years old soon.  She continues to have sadness about his emergency c-section.  I think it's all normal.  Moms are just different.  Some truly are fine with a c-section, some prefer a c-s for personal reasons, and some will mourn that they didn't have a vaginal birth forever.  Don't beat yourself up for how you think you are "supposed" to feel.  While we can't change the past, we can try to thank ourselves for the hard work we did.  And, for me, the recovery from a c-s was a hell of a lot harder than my first child, who was born vaginally.  So if you need a "ticket of misery to motherhood" (my words, not yours...I was just playing on your "cheating your way into motherhood" comment shy.gif )...you've been there and done that.

 

Also, an analogy...if you adopted, would you have felt you'd "cheated your way into motherhood"?  Nah.

 

I have an older teen and feel sometimes that the true labor pain are when they are 17 years old.  Just a weirdo thought.

 

Hang in there and don't hesitate to reach out to a HCP or a LLL or a somebody if you feel consumed by sadness about the c-s.


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#17 of 24 Old 01-14-2013, 11:55 PM
 
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I have had 3 c/s and all went over well. Never felt sad. I felt more sad about getting my tubal ligation. It didn't feel right to change my God given right to bear children. :( still sad about that one.

 

As far as VBACs go, I know of someone who had their first child via C/S, second vaginal in a hospital and the next 3 babies were born at home. All five children were big babies, weighing over 8lbs when born. So I know it can be done!


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#18 of 24 Old 01-14-2013, 11:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

You didn't cheat your way into motherhood.  The way your baby is born is not your ticket to motherhood.  You were a mother the minute your child was conceived and how the baby gets out should not be a stamp of approval by anyone.

 

 

So true! Focus on the blessing here THE CHILDREN BEING BORN!


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#19 of 24 Old 01-14-2013, 11:57 PM
 
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You didn't cheat your way into motherhood.  The way your baby is born is not your ticket to motherhood.  You were a mother the minute your child was conceived and how the baby gets out should not be a stamp of approval by anyone.

 

and....there are adoptive mothers out there. They never gave birth at all but are still moms.


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#20 of 24 Old 01-19-2013, 11:39 AM
 
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I had a well intentioned mama that told me I missed out on natural childbirth, that it was empowering for her and she went on and on. That still bugs me!! My first c section was because I was scared and listened to the doc. It might have been avoided. I will never know, but I have a beautiful and healthy boy as a result. My 2nd c section was unavoidable because of a kidney issue in my baby. I chose to have a c section with my third. I have asthma and had a very anxiety filled pregnancy. I finally feel like I was in control and made a decision that worked for me. Do I feel any less of a mama? NO! And when my babies call me mama, I know they love me just the same and could care less!!
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#21 of 24 Old 02-17-2013, 08:45 PM
 
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Yeah, it's very normal. I'm past the grief of my almost 4yo DS's c/s, but looking back, I still have sadness that it worked out the way it did. It took me about 10 months to come through all the grief and questioning and emotional trauma of it all. My daughter's VBAC healed a lot for me, but even today, I still wish it could have been different. DS talks about his sister being born in the water, and I get a twinge that he was born on an operating table.

 

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#22 of 24 Old 08-21-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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So true! Focus on the blessing here THE CHILDREN BEING BORN!

 

It bugs me when people tell me not to dwell on my birth experience, but instead to be grateful for my child or focus on my child's well-being, as if somehow that should erase what I have experienced. For many women, the circumstances surrounding their c-section are fraught with tension and fear. They may have experienced abuse from doctors and nurses, serious side effects and complications, and long-term problems with their reproductive health. It should okay for them to feel sad, angry, or anxious about what they have experienced, and their well-being is just as important as their babies'. Telling a woman she should not feel what it is only natural for her to feel is unkind and damaging, and accompanying it with the well-meant advice to focus on her child feels like an accusation of being selfish and not caring enough about the health of her baby. We should be very careful about instructing women who've had a c-section and have experienced difficulties in coping with c-section to try to drown their own pain in gratefulness for their baby. I know it's usually meant to be uplifting or encouraging, but often just makes women feel worse, like they don't matter and they aren't good mothers.

 

With that said, it's perfectly normal to be sad or angry or upset about your c-section, and it's perfectly normal for other women's birth experiences to dredge up painful memories for you. Grieving and coming to terms with what you experienced is important to the healing process, and I don't think it can be rushed. The advice here to find a support group is excellent, and if you find that your thoughts about your c-section are getting in the way of your every day life, I'd encourage you to seek counseling, with someone who specializes in birth trauma if you can. 

 

It's been 17 months for me, and I'm still not over what I experienced.

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#23 of 24 Old 08-26-2013, 09:31 AM
 
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So true! Focus on the blessing here THE CHILDREN BEING BORN!

You can be grateful for the blessing of healthy children being born, AND still have anger/remorse/unresolved feelings about having had a c/s. I'm glad you never experienced sadness about your c-sections, but comments like yours above are exactly the sort of dismissive thinking that makes mothers like the OP wonder if there's something wrong with her for being upset over her c/s.

I had a completely unnecessary c/s because of an error on the anesthesiologist's part. You bet I'm still flaming mad at him, while at the same time of course being grateful for my healthy, wonderful daughter. If medical professionals screwed up during another hospital procedure and ended up resulting in the patient undergoing unnecessary surgery, I don't think anyone would just say, "Oh well, at least you made it out alive!"

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#24 of 24 Old 01-10-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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It's normal and you're going to be OK.  For me, I feel that the c-section interferes with the initial bonding process, but I was able to overcome that because I am still a strong MOTHER who carried and nourished my child for 9 months.  Know that time heals all wounds, and the pain of a c-section (physical and psychological) is no exception.  I still struggle with mine, but it is better every year.


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