Having a hard time seperating this from c/s... - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-06-2010, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 35 weeks and we are planning an HBAC. I am SOOO excited about that. The thing I am struggling with is wondering if I am still too connected to my previous experience. I HATE pretty much everything about DD's birth story except that I got her. I just find that as we are getting closer to this birth I have nothing to compare to but what happened before. Part of me knows that it is normal for VBACs to be part of a healing experience. In writing my birth "plan" I feel like almost everything could be followed by "because it makes me think of last time" or "because I didn't get to last time.
I've talked with my MW about some of this and she didn't seem concerned. She felt like they were normal feelings and fears. I guess I am just wondering if anyone else is struggling with this.

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!

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Old 06-06-2010, 09:14 PM
 
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I never had a cesarean, so take this FWIW, but with both my later births, I totally compared to previous births and worried about "what if this happens again" and "what if that happens differently..." and "I *really* didn't like X last time..."

So, I'm guessing it's pretty normal for even NON vbacs... though, of course, throwing in birth trauma would likely make it more severe...

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Old 06-06-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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I am a fan of birth plans and I feel like they work well with a supportive practitioner. However, with my HBAC planning, I could not write a birth plan. I wrote one with my first which was completely disregarded... I'm not sure it was even read. When I chose my midwife and doula, I chose them because I had a connection with them and I knew that they had experienced what I had as well and I trusted them to understand what I wanted verbally without writing it down. Instead, I chose to focus on positive birth stories that were not mine. I had attended my sister's 2 natural births as her doula. I read the Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent. My midwife loaned me videos of birth. I told them what I wanted and in choosing homebirth in my state much of what I wanted was already the way it would be by default.
When my water broke with no labor at 41 weeks 6 days, we all went along and dealt with things as it came along. I finally went into labor with some help, but wasn't progressing and was transferred to the hospital. My midwife, doula, and childbirth educator bent over backward to take care of me and make me feel safe. Eventhough, I didn't have a vaginal birth, I never once felt like I was in danger. It was the most nurturing experience compared to my first birth... without telling my whole story.
So, for me this was the long way of saying that yes... this HBAC will in every way in your mind be compared to your last experience. However, (hard it will be) try to remember that this experience is its own. Be in the present. Make sure you have chosen people to be with you in your birth that you trust without them having to follow a paper, but because they have taken the time to understand you and your perspective. Someone who trusts your body enough to leave you alone unless/until you need them. The birth will separate for you in the present... on the birthday. Until you are knowing something different, you only have one experience on which to base you perspective. HTH!

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Old 06-06-2010, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both for sharing!
Maybe I should clarify a little. My "birth plan" isn't anything like what it would be in a hospital because I know my MW is supportive of many things already and obviously what is standard at an HB is different anyway. Here is basically what I have:
*I may be very opposed to being on the bed because it reminds me of feeling stuck in bed during labor. I understand that there may be times when that is the best place for me to be but please take this into consideration.

*Please avoid cervical checks unless it is absolutely necessary.

*I need to occasionally hear that I am doing a good job. Not in a constant or fake way but some encouragement is good.

*Please do not just tell me/remind me to breathe. If I am losing my focus please try to get my attention and breathe with me.

*If possible I would like to “catch” my baby and bring her to my chest.

Some of them seems maybe even a little silly in writing but they have strong connections for me so I felt like they were important.

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!

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Old 06-07-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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I can understand those feelings, or at least put myself in your shoes as I am not pg again yet but think back on DS's birth almost daily, 13 months later. I review it in my head, think about what could have gone differently. I know that time has removed me from the emotional pain of his birth, but I think it'll be this way until I give birth for the first time, Lord willing, with our second child someday. I anticipate a VBAC will be so healing to me, as it is for many, and I imagine it's normal to compare it to the only thing you CAN compare it to - that first birth that ended in a c/s.

Just be confident that it will be different, it will be amazing, and it will be healing. I think something that is especially meaningful for VBAC mamas is that the experience of a VBAC birth is significant because of the prior grief of the c/s. You know how parts of birth can be disappointing and then as a result, you can REJOICE exceedingly when those previous bad parts of birth become fantastic and revitalizing, as you go through birth the way it should be, and it means the world to you to GIVE BIRTH.

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Originally Posted by CoBabyMaker View Post
Some of them seems maybe even a little silly in writing but they have strong connections for me so I felt like they were important.
I don't think they're silly. If they mean something to you to experience these things a certain way, they mean A LOT.

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then an HBAC, then a VBAC!!).
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:54 AM
 
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A lot of my reasons for what I wanted with DD (my VBAC) and now even this pregnancy (planned to be my 2nd VBAC) are based off of things that I didn't do, or would like to do better or regret or so on from my first birth. I think one thing I am grateful about my c/s (if I can call it grateful) is that I've really become so much more educated and now I know what "I" want, not just sitting there waiting for my provider to tell me what she wants! I've really stepped up to research and decide what's important to ME and WHY. Instead of the first time, just going blindly into it and expecting a dream birth...I didn't even know what that meant honestly!

So, for me, I do feel like a lot of my wants and desires for my VBAC came from what I felt like was missing from my first birth experience. Or things that I requested and desired were because I didn't have them with my c/s. And now again, I have changed a few of my wants and desires to make my 3rd birth experience even better. And I am looking forward to and think about non stop a few of those things I didn't get with my VBAC, that I really hope I do get with my 2nd vbac.

I probably don't need to really say this, but one thing I think is important is remembering that this is a new birth and a new experience. Your previous birth did shape who you are and what you desire, but just because something happened last time, it does not mean it will happen this time. Go into this birth with confidence and the right support to know you will and can achieve the birth your heart desires!

Me (30), DH (31), DS (3.5 yrs - 5/07), DD (1.5 yr - 2/09) via VBAC!!! DS (newborn - 11/10) via natural VBAC! 2 angel babies - 06/06 & 04/08
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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I am also 35 weeks planning a HBAC! I have been thinking about this a lot as well and talking about it with my midwives. For me the main thing is knowing that I will be surrounded by people who 100% support me and believe that I can do this. With them, and even my back-up Dr , a vbac is a very normal which makes me feel much more calm and reasurred than last time. Even if I do have to transfer to the hospital, I will feel better knowing that we did so for a real reason not just due to lack of patience on my Dr's behalf like last time. Enjoy this new experience! I am sure it will be very different from your last birth! When are you due? I am due July 13th.

Canadian mom of Myron born in Japan, March 2007. Our second son born at home, wonderful HBAC in July 2010. I am a jeweller, I love creating things!

1***5****10****15****20****25****30****35**coolshine.gif*40****45, Due June 10th, 2014

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Old 06-08-2010, 07:06 AM
 
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I think your feelings are very normal. I had one c/s, then my first HBAC 2.5 years later. An awful lot of my birth wishes were directly related to the c/s. I discussed with my MW my fear of getting overly exhausted again. I told her I did NOT want cervical checks - not before labor, and not during. (We did have a couple when I requested them or she asked if I thought it was ok - but nothing forced on me.) We had a long list of things that we discussed, wrote down, etc., which had an awful lot to do with avoiding my prior experience.

It is true that many times we c/s mamas end up reliving the birth in some way or another the second time. It's very healing and cathartic. My labor wasn't TOO similar, but I got to a point that it felt just like where I'd been when I got "stuck" with DS1, and that was very difficult, yet very healing, because I *knew* I was almost there, and that I was going to have the birth I wanted this time.

But, even in my 3rd birth (2nd HBAC), my birth wish list had things on it that I wanted to improve from the prior time. This time, my wish list will be tweaked with things that didn't go quite as I'd hoped last time (even though it was nearly perfect!). Birth is a process of learning, growing, and changing.

Keep talking to your MW and make sure she understands your needs and fears. It wasn't until some time after my 1st HBAC that I realized how much was done for me to avoid the problems I had the first time. I was encouraged to sleep, and to rest, when I didn't even realize the point was to avoid the exhaustion I'd had before. I had a similar issue of a "lip," but my MW was able to handle it. There were so many little things that a supportive, caring, trusted provider could do for me that I never had in the first birth. It makes ALL the difference.

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.

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Old 06-08-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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Thinking of you today, and wanted to share...
"While all of your (birth) planning may spin a cocoon of security, in actuality, the course of your labor is unknowable... your critical task is to prepare for a birth that has no script." - Pam England (Birthing From Within)

Appalachian mountain woman, radical homemaker, homeschooler, childbirth educator, and doula loving her DH and three powerful little femmes. Deladis 8-4-05, Ivy 4-28-08, and Gweneth 7-21-12 HBA2C! hbac.gif  -  blogging.jpg ribboncesarean.gif

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Old 06-08-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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It's totally normal to carry your birth baggage into your second birth experience, even if your first was fine, how much more so if it was traumatic. What helped me separate the experience was to watch as many homebirth videos as I could get my hands on, and visualize myself doing the same thing. It made me feel more connected to the experience I had stolen from me instead of the experience I actually wound up with, if that makes sense. The odd thing is, when the time actually came, my labor started the same way (PROM). In a way, I think I had to go through the same first steps to come to terms with it. This time, instead of buying into the "24-hour countdown" garbage, I just relaxed and let my body do things its own way, even with a broken water for 3 whole days.

SAHM to Declan (12/12/06) and Blythe (2/9/09)
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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Have you considered husband-coached childbirth? I had three c/s and we're planning our HBA3C. Nothing put my mind at ease, that this was the absolute right thing for me, and made me so confident as reading the book 'Birth the Bradley Way'.
There are a couple of things (though not many) from the Bradley Method that I don't incorporate into what I want, but it really defines a clear role for the husband/partner and THAT role is what makes your role work. The idea of homebirthing with my DH sitting in the corner, confused and anxious does NOT appeal to me. But really there was nothing so clearly defined as what the Bradley Method outlines for the dads/partners. They are working as much as you are, and they supply you with the encouragement you need and the recognition of emotional milestones are PIVOTAL, IMO. Your partner likely experienced the previous birth with you (or if not, at least knows your story well) and can say to you just when you need it "You DO want this, even though you're saying you don't right now." and give you that kind of encouragement.
Anyway, I strongly recommend it. Reading empowering pro-natural birth books at the end of pregnancy is a great way to solidify your ideals and determine what you want and why you want it.

Good luck Mama!

Kaiti, in heartbeat.gif with Shane, astrological mama to spitdrink.gif Sophie *12.27.05*, praying.gif Maya *09.25.07*, sleepytime.gif Phoenix *08.23.09* & 3rdtri.gif due *12.04.11*  Having a hbac.gif waterbirth.jpg lotbirth.gif after 3 cesareans!

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Old 06-10-2010, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your encouragement! I am excited about this birth too, just trying to sort it all out. My MW and her apprentice are both SO great and really VERY supportive. She has been great about making sure we talk about my feelings and fears at each appt. I can call earlier than "normal" in labor if I need more support. Last time I couldn't keep my energy up because I was vomitting and we have talked about a few options to help with that. DH and I are practicing relaxation and comfort measures since he wasn't sure how to help last time ( I had a very long back labor and was so overwhelmed I didn't know how to ask for more from him). I have another friend coming for back-up support who has been very encouraging through everything. I KNOW I can do this! Just the fact that I will be at home makes me more relaxed, too.
Thank you all for sharing!

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!

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Old 06-20-2010, 01:50 AM
 
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I made an imaginary mental painting of my birth experience with DS#1 that ended with an unplanned cesarean. For me this was a drawing of me, made of lovely watercolory rainbow swirls with a big black line across my low belly. Then, I rolled it up and mentally stored it behind the refrigerator, where I could get it anytime I needed or wanted to think about or deal with that birth. And when it was time to have my first vbac, I knew I could just leave that picture and its feelings put away safely because THIS WAS A DIFFERENT and NEW birth experience.

Goofy? Maybe, but It made it possible for me to go into labor without bringing my fears and disappointments with me.

Blessings on you and your babe,

Milo

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Old 06-20-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoBabyMaker View Post
Thank you both for sharing!
Maybe I should clarify a little. My "birth plan" isn't anything like what it would be in a hospital because I know my MW is supportive of many things already and obviously what is standard at an HB is different anyway. Here is basically what I have:
*I may be very opposed to being on the bed because it reminds me of feeling stuck in bed during labor. I understand that there may be times when that is the best place for me to be but please take this into consideration.

*Please avoid cervical checks unless it is absolutely necessary.

*I need to occasionally hear that I am doing a good job. Not in a constant or fake way but some encouragement is good.

*Please do not just tell me/remind me to breathe. If I am losing my focus please try to get my attention and breathe with me.

*If possible I would like to “catch” my baby and bring her to my chest.

Some of them seems maybe even a little silly in writing but they have strong connections for me so I felt like they were important.

I think your birth plan is perfect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
Thinking of you today, and wanted to share...
"While all of your (birth) planning may spin a cocoon of security, in actuality, the course of your labor is unknowable... your critical task is to prepare for a birth that has no script." - Pam England (Birthing From Within)
Totally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo View Post
I made an imaginary mental painting of my birth experience with DS#1 that ended with an unplanned cesarean. For me this was a drawing of me, made of lovely watercolory rainbow swirls with a big black line across my low belly. Then, I rolled it up and mentally stored it behind the refrigerator, where I could get it anytime I needed or wanted to think about or deal with that birth. And when it was time to have my first vbac, I knew I could just leave that picture and its feelings put away safely because THIS WAS A DIFFERENT and NEW birth experience.

Goofy? Maybe, but It made it possible for me to go into labor without bringing my fears and disappointments with me.

Blessings on you and your babe,

Milo
Birth Art is a great way to draw out those feelings and help you heal.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
Thinking of you today, and wanted to share...
"While all of your (birth) planning may spin a cocoon of security, in actuality, the course of your labor is unknowable... your critical task is to prepare for a birth that has no script." - Pam England (Birthing From Within)
That's so funny that you quoted from Birthing from Within... I felt so much like the OP... what helped me the most was attending a mini-workshop on Healing Birth Trauma with a BFW instructor.

I had a lot of the same wishes for the same reasons (not wanting to be reminded of my previous birth). In the end I was not able to have what I wanted exactly, but I was at peace with it, because this time these actions were not mindless, but served a purpose.

Congrats on your upcoming birth mama, may it be healing for you

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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oh and to keep your energy up? Plain yogurt mixed with peanut butter or almond butter. I hate plain yogurt by itself but together... yum!

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:37 AM
 
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I have to second (third?) the advice to do some birth trauma healing with Birthing From Within techniques. Even though I consider myself a very verbal, articulate person, I found artwork to be really useful. Not everything is on the surface enough for words, and drawing helps get you deeper. Just keep drawing, and something that surprises you will come up, something that really pierces your heart. Draw the moments that make you cry, draw the sweet moments of your first labor. Then draw what you hope for with this birth, and what you most desperately fear might happen. I also like the Rahima Baldwin's book Pregnant Feelings, which has lots of questions to prompt you to think deeply about your fears, attitudes, memories, etc.

A friend and I, both pregnant and with baggage to release, did a cleansing ceremony after working through our traumas individually. We got together, and stated our intention to clear ourselves of hindrances to health, acceptance, and happiness in our current situations. We had written down on paper five things we wanted to "let go" of for at least the rest of the current pregnancy. We read those to each other out loud, and then burned them. These were haunting memories of betrayal (by care providers, partners, ourselves) or of traumas from our previous births, as well as "falsehoods" or fears we were having trouble dispelling rationally. After that we smudged each other, and then read out lists of our hopes/visions for our upcoming births and new babies. Then we blew out the candle and ate cake.

The preparatory work is the most important in healing and strengthening, but the ceremony puts a cap on it. Voicing your intentions out loud is powerful. I really did feel lighter and clearer after "finishing" the birth trauma work, more able to just revel in enjoying my pregnancy and connecting with the new baby.

I also had some craniosacral therapy done by a local massage therapist. It brought up stuff totally unrelated to c/s, but the emotional release of those memories/fears (mostly about becoming the mother of two!) was also helpful.

In more recent days I've discovered Byron Katie and The Work, a process of questioning thoughts that really does help you to release them and understand very clearly what to do going forward. I haven't personally used it for birth trauma, but it certainly seems applicable!
http://www.thework.com/index.php

FWIW, my HBAC labor was without complication, smoothly progressing (which is what I asked for during our ceremony), but not quick (which I didn't ask for!) and without much thought of my previous labor or c/s. I really believe that all the processing I did helped to dispel the emotional punch of all those negative thoughts, fears, and memories.

I hope you are able to find your way to peace about your c/s, and that you have a lovely VBAC!
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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The number one thing that I feel helped me achieve my VBAC was seeing a hypnotherapist (not to be confused with Hypnobabies or Hypnobirthing). It really helped me deal with my previous birth trauma. I know it's late in the game, but maybe a little healing will go a long way. Best wishes for your VBAC.

Michelle, Happily married to first crush 4/2005, SAHM to DD 7/2006 , DS 8/2008 ,angel1.gif 4/2010, DD 3/2011, expecting DS 8/2013. 

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