People who didn't get the HB they wanted - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 02-20-2007, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I wanted a HB and almost had one. But after 16 hours of being in labor and going through transition three times because of a swollen cervix, I was transferred to the hospital to get IV fluids and an epidural because of horrendous back labor and because I hadn't rested much in days. When I got there, the OB said he would only do a c-section because he didn't think I could give birth on my own. My MWs were exhausted, DH was exhausted, I could hardly pronounce my name, so we agreed on it but I felt my heart shatter. It has been nearly two weeks since and I still keep rethinking the whole experience.

The OB told me he had delivered four babies, had just gotten home, and was called in again. Obviously he wanted me rushed. Had I been able to progress naturally, he wouldn't have been able to go home for a long time. Two days prior to going into labor, my MWs showed up to get me to go into labor. One of them resists delivering babies over 42 weeks. For many days before they came and when they came, virtually every technique was tried to get me into labor including herbal remedies, nipple stimulation, DTD with DH, and then the MWs gave me castor oil. The contractions never stopped, but were nothing like the contractions of labor. Then the MWs were finally able to break my water bag on 2/7 which finally sent me into fast labor. I went through transition, but didn't feel the urge to push. I pushed because it seemed like the right thing to do. I pushed for two hours and my cervix swelled which shut down my contractions. I then went through transition a second time and the same thing happened again. One MW tried to manually move my cervix, but her doing that felt like nothing I've experienced before. I needed to be held down because it hurt so much. But she stopped trying. The third transition, the baby moved totally posterior and the back labor started. Those were the worst contractions and they went on for hours it seemed before I agreed to go to the hospital.

I felt so much pressure from everyone to give birth at 42 weeks. I think my body just wasn't ready. My baby was totally healthy and the amniotic fluid level was good. My baby's heart rate stayed steady throughout labor. Other issues were that my mother begged me to be present at the birth. I told her that she could be there, but she had to come alone. I didn't want any men in the house except DH. She ignored me and brought my father along. He created havoc for the MWs and I really felt my anxiety and stress levels rise when he arrived. Even though he was downstairs the whole time, I totally felt betrayed by his presence. After the birth I told my mother that she really hurt me and her response was that she couldn't leave me father at home because it would have broken his heart. So much for my heart and respecting the rules of my house.

I'm really trying to focus on my beautiful baby and how she came through all of the interventions with flying colors. Luckily I was able to refuse a lot of the interventions, but I still feel like I betrayed her. But DH couldn't go through much more. He was there with me through everything and he cried when I was at my worst. He held my hand through surgery. He stayed with me every night in the hospital.

DH is gone this week on business and I'm by myself. My mother stayed with us for five days, but every time I tried to express an emotion about the birth around her, she argued with me saying that my baby was in danger because I was at 42 weeks and a lot of BS like that. Thank God she left.

In all I feel cheated, embarrassed, like I'm a hypocrite for advocating natural birth and then resorting to surgery, like I'm a disappointment, like I'm just a big whiner.

For other moms who have been through something similar, please tell me that the emotional pain eventually lessens. I keep thinking that next time I can have a HBAC, but I know DH doesn't want more children so it isn't something I can set my heart upon. I loved being pregnant, I love my daughter and she is such a delight. When she whimpers, my heart just melts.

If you have any reassurances or words of comfort or can share your own journeys, please let me know.

S & J . DD 2/8/7. DS 4/25/10. Natural foods eating, sleep deprived, gardening WAH mama.
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#2 of 15 Old 02-20-2007, 02:21 PM
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We are just planning our first homebirth, so I don't have any useful advice or experience for you. I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for everything that happened during your baby's birth.
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#3 of 15 Old 02-20-2007, 03:14 PM
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Hi there, I just went through an unsuccessful HBAC myself. I had 24hrs of horrendous labor onset by my waters breaking and failure to progress. I pushed, I dilated to 7cm and yet after being in pain for so long, near dehydration, and exhaustion, I ended up in the hosp for another c/s. At the time I honestly didn't care because I was in such intense pain that I just wanted it to end after sticking it out for 24 hrs. For some reason though I felt like I let everyone down, my doula, my mw, my friends who were present. It isn't that anyone said anything but I just felt self conscious about it.

My DD is ten weeks old now and it is getting better. For the first few weeks I was definitely replaying the scenario in my head a lot and wondering if I too was a hypocrite. I felt I had a little closure though when I visited my mw for the 6 wk pp check. She told me that she had seen few women endure the kind of labor I had for that long. I don't know why that should make me feel better because I realize birth isn't a competition of strength but it did, maybe because she validated that what I did was courageous. I needed to hear that since I felt like I had failed for some reason, that maybe if I held out longer I would have had the baby at home.

Plus, when she was born she had several complications like coombs blood incompatibility and a heart murmur. She had to be monitored in NICU for several days. I keep thinking that maybe she needed to be born in the hospital for those reasons, that maybe those things wouldn't have been detected at home or treated quickly enough. Sometimes I think things just happen for a reason. That also reassures me.

All in all, I highly suggest you talk with your midwife and doula. Maybe they can help you sort out your feelings and offer a sympathetic perspective of your birth. I do hope you find some resolution.
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#4 of 15 Old 02-20-2007, 05:42 PM
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I'm sorry you're feeling so down S. I wish you didn't feel embarrassed or like a hypocrite. We all know that OBs have a purpose and that some c-sections are necessary. Nobody can predict how labor will go. You didn't let anyone down, you did what was right for your girl. Shame on your doctor and your mother, they are the ones who let YOU down.
I hope you can go through a reasonably smooth healing process and come to terms with what happened. Don't blame yourself. We'll all be over at our "other" board to support you when you're ready.
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#5 of 15 Old 02-20-2007, 07:00 PM
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You might check out this thread for support. There are many who feel the way you do. I don't want to invalidate your experience of the situation, but in my opinion, you are NOT a hypocrite, you are NOT a disappointment, and you are NOT a whiner. And good for you for looking for the support you need and deserve.
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#6 of 15 Old 02-20-2007, 07:24 PM
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Sounds to me like your support people weren't there for you like they should have been. They betrayed your trust.
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#7 of 15 Old 02-20-2007, 11:14 PM
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Shazer, my heart is totally going out to you. i feel so many of your words were or could have been applied to my same situation!!!! my babe is now 15 1/2 months and i still think about my wanna0be, could-have-been homebirth... but it has gotten better. i have a lovely little gal to focus on and she has been so healing for thing someone said that helped me a lot was that it was Her birth...i wanted it to be a certain way because i thought that would be best (HB) but then other things were in the cards...i don't have much time to go into details but i can relate to your story a bit and i certainly feel the ache you describe. it gets better. it will take time to put it all in place in your mind and heart. definitely it was a tough learning experience for me, it centered a lot on issues of trust - who do you trust, who can you trust and how can you figure it all out? ultimately, you know, i trust some kind of Higher Power or something i guess. i found out my MWs were not worthy of my trust!! my husband was too freaked out and exhausted...and i didn't want to put more pressure on him....i know IF there is a next time I will do some things differently...but yeah, i have to make peace with what happened and ultimately know that for whatever reason my baby was born under certain conditions, that i ultimately couldn't control...i don't know why. all i know is i did the best i could with what i was given...and sometimes i have to shake my head when i think about what i was given in terms of really made me look at issues of control, acceptance, and these really deep feelings of alienation and isolation from other people...hey! wasn't it supposed ot be the most amazing experince ever??? Ha ha! Well, it was, but it was also intensely existential and i doubt (hope???) i'll ever experience anything like that again...maybe on my deathbed (if i'm lucky enough to die in bed that is!) really....i guess i just wanted to let you know a lot of people can relate, i'm sure of it. and it will feel better, in that, it'll ache less. and the doubts will maybe always be there but you can live with them easier and you'll have an amazing person to watch and be with and grow alongside of...your baby will always pull you to the present,which is where we always are, if we want to know?
much love
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#8 of 15 Old 02-21-2007, 12:08 AM
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My third child was supposed to be my first homebirth, but when the midwife came to check, she said he was in a transverse lie. We went to the hospital to try to get her backup OB to turn the baby, but my amniotic fluid had leaked out and there was nothing to turn him in. So, I had a cesarean, and it was SO HARD to get over! I had such bad PPD for a long time after him, and didn't think I ever wanted to have a child again.

It took me a long time to get to the point of realizing that OBs have a place, that some situations require intervention, and that there's no shame in taking interventions when you need them.

You are a strong mama, who had a beautiful vision for your birth, but who also realized when it was time to try a different approach! I know you feel really down about it, but I don't think you're a failure or a hypocrite.

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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#9 of 15 Old 02-21-2007, 11:48 AM
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I'm so sorry that this happened to you!

I had a horrendous experience with the birth of my first child--I had prepared to have a natural birth with HypnoBabies at the hospital. When we got there, the only labor support I got was a nurse asking if I wanted an epidural. I was tense due to the fact that my mother was there, and she had insisited on packing a labor bag for me--I already felt like she was trying to control the whole thing.

I got the epi, had IV fluids & gave birth pretty quickly, but the baby passed a small amt. of meconium, so since I didn't know any better, they took her to the well baby nursery to "monitor" her for over 8 hours. The real story was that there were a ton of babies born around the same time, so there was a backup in the nursery. Due to the over-amount of IV fluids I got in addition to pitocin to deliver my placenta (deliver isn't really the word--the OB *pulled* it out painfully so she could get out of there), my BP spiked very high. I was completely stressed out, they didn't even let me hold my baby before they took her & everyone there got to see my baby before I did!!!! My family kept coming back into the room to tell me how cute she was, how she looked at my husband when he talked to her, etc. It was an utter nightmare.

This time, I've switched care to a midwife, and I'm planning a home waterbirth. I do not want my mom anywhere near me this time due to the same issues you had--she completely denies my feelings & wishes & is only concerned with her own comfort. I haven't spoken to her since last week when I told her my homebirthing plans. She started acting like I had betrayed her by going to a midwife "behind her back," that I was "excluding her" from the birth (like she has some kind of right to be there) and basically told me that "she would feel more comfortable" if I stayed with her a month before delivery & went to the hospital across the street from her home.:

I just wanted to offer you support--I know exactly how betrayed and robbed you feel. It is especially difficult to process a trauma like that when your own mother denies your reality. And, remember--hindsight is 20/20--now you know that you should have been left alone to let the baby decide when to be born, but at the time you were exhausted. I would have done just about everything different if I could go back, but we can't do that. All you can do is work through the very real emotions of pain, anger and loss you are feeling right now. And do not try to be heard by your mom--she sounds just like my own, and they seem to be incapable of feeling anything execpt for themselves.

Hang in there!
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#10 of 15 Old 02-21-2007, 04:38 PM
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Please don't feel like you are not supposed to be disappointed in your birth experience and not supposed to feel all the ways you do because you have a healthy baby. PPD happens for lots of reasons (and has lots of levels) and one of them is because you did not have the birth that you put an amazing amount of energy and planning into and when it goes drastically awry, it can changes your view of yourself, motherhood, pregnancy, everything. Lots of people like to say, "All that matters is that you have a healthy baby." No, it's the most important thing, but it's not ALL that matters. Your feelings matter. You have every right to feel the way you do, and you need to deal with these feelings any way you can. Find a therapist, if you can afford it, talk with your doula, your mw, people who believe in natural birth and can appreciate your feelings.

Hugs to you. Please seek out help to feel better, and don't stop until you do.

Jessica Siczkowycz

Student CPM with Birthspirit Holistic Midwifery Services

Labor Doula

Certified Placenta Encapsulator









Mommy to four amazing kiddos, married to the best husband ever

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#11 of 15 Old 02-22-2007, 12:39 PM
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Oh mamma!! Great big hugs to you. I am so sorry for your experience. From reading your birth story there are so many things that you can only say in retrospect were off. Your midwives should have been there for you, regardless of how long your labor was, and they should not have pressured you the way they did to have your baby by a certain time.

Welcome baby Eowyn, they really are fighters arent they!

Non Practicing Midwife, going back to school! Mamma to my 3 loves, living each day to the fullest.
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#12 of 15 Old 02-22-2007, 01:34 PM
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Please don't beat yourself up. You are not a hypocrite. In planning a homebirth you expressed that you did not think that a hospital birth should be the first course of action and you absolutely followed through with that! You would be hard-pressed to find a person, even in the NFL community, who believes that medical intervention, OBs and hospitals never ever ever have a place in childbirth. Rather, the point is that you go forward with your labor in a natural, normal, non-interventive setting and you turn to the medical community when there is a problem or a complication that makes it no longer possible. And that is exactly what you did.

I had a similar birth story, with a hospital transport after 42-ish hours of labor at home, cervical swelling, and a baby whose head needed to be massaged in between pushes because his heartrate was dropping. I was exhausted, the midwives were spent, and my husband was afraid and overwhelmed. I got an epidural, an internal fetal monitor, IV antibiotics, Pitocin, and a shot of Nubain. 5 hours later, I delivered a healthy baby boy.

After the birth I had a lot of regrets and a lot of sorrow over what I felt was "giving up." But my husband, and my midwife reminded me that nature has a very special way of erasing the pain and the exhaustion of labor so that it is easy to look back and say "I could have made it at home!" and "I am such a failure, I gave in too early" and "I should have kept going" when in reality you really just couldn't. It helped to talk to the observers who could remind me that at the point of transfer I could barely sit up, communicate, or move my arms and legs, let alone push a baby out for five more hours without any relief.

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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#13 of 15 Old 02-24-2007, 02:28 AM
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i am glad you are here seeking support and comfort
i think these ladies have said it all but your story really touched me and i just wanted to say so
i do not think you are a hypocrite and a whiner or a weakling
it sounds like you went through hell and high water w/ that induction and labor
if it were me, i would want some kind of acknowledgement/closure w/ the midwives. i know that i felt extremely close to my midwife through all my pregnancies and i would be heartbroken if i felt that she had let me down
even just from a professional standpoint, they should know how you feel (if they don't already)

btw, i was curious, how big was your baby at birth??

my only real suggestion, besides that you keep enjoying your baby and keep being open about your feelings
is that you find a cranio sacral therapist to treat both you and your baby
to help facilitate the emotional healing
it was a rough beginning for both of you
but YOU DID IT!!
congratulations on your new baby!
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#14 of 15 Old 02-24-2007, 07:17 PM
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you are definetly not alone mama!! First of all - congrats on a healthy baby! That is the first and formost important have your healthy baby in your arms. no matter how she got there - she's here and you can be happy about that!

on the other hand, it's really hard to get over the pain of a birth not going just the way you wanted it to. I also was planning a home birth, we had the birthing pool set up in the living room when I went to my 41 week appointment with the ob. He did a nonstress test and said that there were heart decels and that he was worried. I swallowed my pride and checked myself into the hospital. That is something i will always regret....but I'm happy that I now have a healthy and active 17 month old! And I did have him naturally, except for a bit of pit at the end. The thing that did upset me most was when the nurses saw the heart rates, they said they didn't know what the doctor was talking about....UGH!

I think that you have to allow yourself to go through the grieving process. we want to "get this right" so badly, and talk about it and think about it so much - then when it doesn't go just right, it's the biggest let down - and sometimes a little embarassing to tell others. At least that's how I felt. i talked so much about how I wanted to be at home, all natural and that i totally trusted my body to do what it needed to do, and I felt like I had to eat those words.

really take care of yourself and your new little baby, take a lot of time to really heal both physically and emotionally and do a lot of writing and talking about the experience. Getting your frustrations out is much healthier than keeping them bottled up.

yeah, and I'd be PISSED at my mom for doing that - that's just rude. while I can see her point, she should have let your father's feelings be hurt and not compromised you request.
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#15 of 15 Old 02-25-2007, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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All of your kind words are really helping me.

My midwives are coming on Thurs for a visit. I harbor no ill will toward them. They were at my house for over 48 hours and gave me wonderful treatment throughout my pregnancy. With all of the circumstances surrounding the hospital transfer, I can't deny that they were exhausted and my situation was outside of their comfort zone. Once I was at the hospital, I believe that even had they argued with the doctor that he still would have refused to do anything but a c-section. One MW told me that in her experience that a c-section posed less danger than a forceps delivery, which might have been the only concession that the doctor would have made.

BTW, my baby weighed 7 pounds 4 oz.

S & J . DD 2/8/7. DS 4/25/10. Natural foods eating, sleep deprived, gardening WAH mama.
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