VBAC Obsession - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 8 Old 12-03-2004, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
terrafirma's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Has anybody else felt this way?

I had my son by c/s in August of 2002. It was basically a cascade of interventions ending in surgery that never felt quite "right" to me, though I didn't *know* until recently how unnecessary it probably was. I am still dealing with feelings of inadequacy and like I missed out on a grand right of passage into mother and woman-hood.

I am 7 months pregnant with my second child and during this pregnancy I have started to really learn about what went wrong the first time and how to have a VBAC this time around. I have been attendind ICAN meeting, reading everything I can get my hands on, and the right books this time, not the "what to expect" crap I loaded up on the first time.

The result? I can't believe how naive I was to allow them to do those things to me, and to just trust that the doctors had my best interest at heart. (I am having a midwife attended hospital birth this time)

I'm having a hard time finding balance right now. I want to spend all of my time reading normal birth stories and researching and surfing the web ... to the point where it is seriously affecting my job. My husband and friends are tired of hearing about it. They seem to think I am paranoid and some sort of conspiracy theorist (though they've never actually said that, it comes across). How to I bring this obsession into control? It has seriously taken over my every waking moment.

I know this sounds incredibly melodramatic and desperate, but I really need to find a healthier balance. I know how important my mental health is to my family and this pregnancy, and I'm not feeling healthy right now. I'm feeling obsessive.

terrafirma is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 8 Old 12-04-2004, 03:09 PM
loved's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: A little duplex w/a dog and my kids
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you were my client I would highly recommend taking Birthing From Within childbirth classes and spend some good time writing and drawing about your birth, your beliefs and what your heart and your baby are telling you.
And - stop reading.
Connect with this sweet baby inside.
Enjoy your pregnacy. SIng, dance, swim, eat really good, healthful foods - mindfully...

You get to be angry with they way you were treated.
You also get to really explore what your firstborn's birth means - to him, to you as a mother, to you as a woman, to your partner...
Pregnancy is an incredibly creative time. It brings up a lot of stuff. It's meant to be that way.

loved is offline  
#3 of 8 Old 12-04-2004, 06:39 PM
JanetF's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,445
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi and a big hug to you.

I don't want to push a feeling onto you but when I was really obsessed about birth after my son's arrival (very traumatic c-sec after HB transfer) I had post traumatic stress. I couldn't talk enough, read enough, cry enough or be angry enough. I started an online and IRL support group for others in my position as birth trauma is one of the most ignored issues around pregnancy and birth these days. There was no support group so I made my own

Many of us go into our first birth trusting the information we've had all our lives - doctors are experts, hospitals are there for our benefit and wellbeing yada yada yada. Once we're there we often discover, to our detriment and that of our babies, that this just isn't always true and that many OBs are running on a mixture of fear and superstition with no actual evidence to support what they practice. Despite what their publicity tells us, once you step through the doors of a hospital you are no longer in control. Sure, you can say no to interventions but in the middle of labour when strangers crowd your space and lay guilt trips on you, you and your support people may not be able to hold out forever. And often there are severe consequences to saying no that can be very punitive. Been there, done that! Try to not blame yourself for what happened. Hospitals are pushing interventions and surgery in a way that's never been so strong before and many of us are being caught in their web.

You have a right to feel angry. Maybe some counselling from someone who specialises in birth issues? I tried regular counselling but I couldn't get across to them that this was a trauma. People think birth is traumatic but it's not birth itself but how our society forces women to do it. I found a counsellor who is also a doula and birth educator and she was brilliant. It saved my life.

Can you perhaps allocate a certain time each day to fuly exploring these issues on your own? And then reward yourself with a gentle, nurturing activity. You don't need to stress yourself out in the lead up to a birth. Are you feeling happy with the arrangements you've made for this birth? It's never too late to get a caregiver who reflects your philosophy.

PS The group I run is in my sig We're all just mamas muddling along together but very very supportive!
JanetF is offline  
#4 of 8 Old 12-05-2004, 10:54 PM
maureenfh's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by terrafirma
Has anybody else felt this way?
Yes! And, I am not even pregnant yet! I agree that the best thing for you to do is to stop reading! If you feel you must continue to do research, set a timer for 15 or 30 minutes to allow you to read birth stories, etc., and then, when the timer goes off, STOP. Really. It's helped me to focus on what I need to be doing instead of planning my next pregnancy (and VBAC). Part of the problem (for me, since I won't presume to speak for you) is that I'm a bit angry at myself for not doing more research the FIRST time so that I could have avoided a c/s. So, I become obsessed with knowing EVERYTHING this time to get a better outcome. But, I keep reminding myself that it was NOT my fault (although those feelings do creep in). I trusted my doctor to tell me all of my options, and he didn't. So, try to give yourself a break, and maybe turn the computer off for a couple of days. It helped me to break the cycle, and I'm hoping that when I do get pregnant, I'll be able to use the same technique to avoid the obsessive tendencies.

Hugs and Good luck!! Let us know how you're doing!
maureenfh is offline  
#5 of 8 Old 12-07-2004, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
terrafirma's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you all so much, you are very wise women and a lot of what each of you has said has really struck a chord with me. I wish I knew more women like you in my real life.

Unfortunately there are no "birthing from within" courses available in my area, but I have just started reading the book, it is a nice change in focus for me.

I am trying to switch gears and enjoy and connect with the baby in me ... how on earth did I start to lose site of that?
terrafirma is offline  
#6 of 8 Old 12-07-2004, 07:00 PM
Electra375's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,329
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had and still have a lot of issues surrounding my 2 c/s births. Reading vbac stories didn't do it for me. I read real birth stories of impowerment. I read Spiritual Midwifery and Ian May's Guide to Natural Childbirth both by Ian May Gaskin.

I ended up planning a homebirth when one I was fired by my OB and two when I realized that all those things that lead to my first c/s would still be there if I tried to have a vbac at the hospital. I called and asked the L&D nurses what the standard procedures and protocols were for vbacs and I aske which of those could be signed off by a doctor (none), the malpractice insurance company dictates what goes. It is sad but true, I don't know how any woman vbacs in a hospital, but I know of a few who do succeed.

If the doc don't like what you ask and say, they shut you up either by getting rid of you or knocking you out like one woman on this board was.
Electra375 is offline  
#7 of 8 Old 12-08-2004, 02:53 AM
richella's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: middle of nowhere, KS
Posts: 2,166
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Don't blame yourself for not knowing about the issues before your labor. When you're pregnant you just don't have time for everything. I studied womens studies in college, we used Our Bodies Ourselves as a text book! And that was 14 yrs ago. When i chose my birth attendant and location I asked all the right questions, heard all the right answers, communicated my wishes openly, felt fully supported by my husband. But for some reason labor didn't progress. None of the different positions I tried felt right at all, the juice I sneaked in made me queasy. At about 12 hrs I took Nubaine, 24+ and I took the epidural, 30 and I was ready for the c/s. Knowlege doesn't necessarily protect you. It's true, I still ask myself about every day if i couldn't have done something differently, though I don't know what and not sure I want to know. I do wonder if I missed something or if i failed somehow, but the perfect incredibly beautiful amazing little girl in my lap is evidence that somewhere I did something right. And when I think about it, the most important thing to me was avoiding birth trauma for her. Since the birth, 2 women I know have told me about injuries their babies had during delivery. One had bruises across the forehead from the pubic bone, the other had a broken collarbone. (Bless them both for not telling me those stories before the birth!) And i think, what if she got an injury because I refused a c/s? I could never forgive myself.

One thing I realized while pregnant was that I carry some abuse issues in the pelvic region of my body, and I was retraumatized by a medical procedure later. so it's very easy for me to mistrust doctors. Recognizing these issues helped me greatly to see the difference between those experiences and what is happening now. I maintained control throughout the process, and both MDs listened to and respected my wishes. (they would have done the c/s a lot sooner if I hadn't told them earlier, so emphatically, that I didn't want it.) So though it was a major surgery which could hardly be more invasive, it was a different experience from those earlier traumas, and I came out of it without feeling abused and disempowered. Perhaps this can help you to feel better about your upcoming birth. This time will certainly be different, even if you have another c/s, because you know a lot more and have already made different choices to serve your interests and those of your baby better.

I hope you can VBAC, but if it doesn't happen, you can still be okay.
richella is offline  
#8 of 8 Old 12-11-2004, 11:35 PM
MommytoTwo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Actually, its Mommy to Three now
Posts: 3,864
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I could have written that post. Unfortuantely after all my obsessing I ended up with a second c/s. The only difference being that that one was neceassry - the first was not. And only that saves my sanity..even though as we speak I am doing research on HBA2C.
MommytoTwo is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 16,114

31 members and 16,083 guests
agentofchaos , BBardott , Bow , celiguetapatri , Deborah , Dj's Mommy 1113 , Dovenoir , easydoesit , emmy526 , hillymum , iProtectmyChild , jamesmorrow , JElaineB , Kate_H21 , Katherine73 , kathymuggle , lmbjer , Lydia08 , Michele123 , Mirzam , moominmamma , Nazsmum , PDTV , pokeyac , RollerCoasterMama , rubelin , samaxtics , SarahUntalan , scaramouche131 , sren , zoeyzoo
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.