Need HEALING from Failed VBAC! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 04-30-2006, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't been back here since my failed VBAC on 1-8. I have been in a depression since then. It has gotten bad enough that I finally went to therapy & since she really doesn't understand this, I thought I would post here. I need to try to heal. Sorry this is so long..

My daughter, Georgia, was born via section April '04. She was 9lb13 & 19". I went to a birthing center & I got "too big" & got kicked to the hospital. I went into labor, labor stoped, my water got broken during a check, had to go to the hospital & the lame-ass doctor said I needed a section. I thought I was prepared, but not enough to know that I could have said "NO!"

So when I found out I was pregnant this time, I found a group of midwives to let me do a VBAC. I respect my DH as partner, & he was not at all comfortable w/homebirth much less U/C, so I would VBAC in the hospital. I read everything I could on VBAC, was here at Mothering a lot, I went to ICAN meetings. I put ALL my eggs in one basket.

I go into labor on 2 weeks after my EDD (I was actually 3 weeks "overdue" according to my LMP, but I kept that to myself!). My plan was to labor at home until transition & then go. Well, I thought I was in transition, & I turned out to be dehydrated, which made the contractions worse (I threw up a lot during contractions & tried to replenish, but obviously didn't). So I get to the hospital & was at a 4! Labor crept by, but I was able to manage. I did take IV fluids, since I wasn't keeping anything down. My water had broken. I walked the floors & bounced on my ball. I took an enima. After about 40 hours of labor the midwife introduced the idea of pitocin. I was tired, but I could have kept going. I wanted to have my baby! How stupid was I! So, I told my husband & midwife to question me if I ask for drugs. Well, I asked for the drugs. The pit got me and I could not get on top of my contractions! They gave me something to take the edge off & I could still feel the peaks. At that point I didn't care, I couldn't take this intense pain. I got the epidural & rested some until I woke up to the urge to push. I start pushing and was still pushing 2 hours later. At this point they are talking c-sec. The baby's heart rate was staying ellivated & I had a fever (I'm sure from my choices of intervention!). The baby wasn't desending. I was trying every position I could think of. They thought it would hurt the baby to use the forceps or suction. I finally gave up the fight. This was for the health of my baby after all and his little heart rate was too high continuosly. I couldn't stop crying. I didn't want anyone to talk to me, I wanted to die! I kept my eyes closed during surgery so no one would try talking to me. I remeber the docs & nurses just having conversations about there lives while they were cutting me open and taking my child from me (9lb 8 & 21"). When they got my little boy out & brought him to me, I remember reacting to him, just so my husband wouldn't think I was a monster. Recovery was a bitch - maybe my 52 hour labor then major surgery had something to do with that. I know my emotional state did. I hurt so badly & I couldn't even hold my 21 month old!

I was ennemic (sp?) when I left the hospital, so I had to take iron, which made my BM's suck. I didn't stop wearing a panty liner until 3 months after the birth. My stomach just hangs. We had planning on having 4 kids, & I'm done now after going through this. I started losing my cool w/my toddler & started yelling at her. Yes, I fell in love with my son, but it took some time. I resented him at first. My husband has tried to understand, but can't & wonders why I can't get over it. I had a strong sprituality & I am so angry at God now (actually my therapist said I am enraged). I am an alcoholic & started drinking some again. I am eating obsessively & have managed to gain 5 lb while breast feeding. I do not want to talk to other women about there birth & births on TV upset me to tears. I am so unhappy w/ my body (regardless of how many times my dh compliments me). And my house is usually a mess now. I can honestly say that my home is very sad place to be right now. And I don't want to bring my children up in this! Regardless of how God, my own choices & the idiot doctors have brought me down, my children deserve a happy home and a happy mother. But, I have sought help, but I don't think there are any VBAC therapists, so that is why I am posting.

Is there anyone out there that has struggled like this?

Rachel

wife to Keith since 5/01 - mother to Georgia 4/04 & Bishop 1/06

Rachel~wife to Keith since 5/01~mother to Georgia since 4/04~Bishop since 1/06~Zoe since 11/07 (my HBA2C!)~EDD 2/14/10 w/Baby surprise #4
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#2 of 26 Old 04-30-2006, 07:54 AM
 
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I am so sorry that you are going through this. I don't have much to offer, since I only have one child (born by c-section).

I am part of the ICAN email list on yahoo groups. I am sorry but I don't have the address right now (you could find it on the ican website www.ican-online.org). There are some moms on there who have been through what you are going through and could probably help. From reading their posts it seems that the best person for a CBAC mom to talk to is another CBAC mom. Also, you might want to consider still going to your local ICAN meetings as well - there may be women there who have gone through what you are going through.

Is your therapist good at Post Partum Depression/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder issues? If not, I would consider looking at this website:
http://dunamascomm.com/ - Under services Pauline offers phone counseling very inexpensively. She is very well versed on c-sections and post partum issues. I have been talking to her for several months now and am getting better.

I hope that things start getting better for you soon and that you can find some healing.
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#3 of 26 Old 04-30-2006, 09:22 AM
 
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It's sad how these stupid (pardon my french) doctors can mess us up for the rest of our lives...and to them we're just another number, another bill to claim..its unbelievable.

I'm currently pursuing my doctoral degree in psychology, and you better bet in a couple of years when I get my degree, my target population is helping postpartum depression women, and C-section mommies...birth trauma, etc...what has been done to many of us, has no excuse to back it up, none whatsoever..and you're right, our children deserve happy mothers...I hate that saying "well all that matters is that in the end you have a healthy baby" well NO! that's not all that matters, in the end what matters is that you have BOTH a healthy mom and healthy baby, if the mom is not healthy, how can she provide her 100% emotionally and physically to this newborn??

I can't give you any advice you haven't already heard..but please know you are NOT alone in this, if you need to talk, PM me whenever you want..
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#4 of 26 Old 04-30-2006, 01:47 PM
 
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Oh Rachel, I couldn't read your post and not comment.

I DO know how you feel. I had PPD after each of my sections and a total belief that I was a failure.

It's good that you are going to counseling, but I wonder how much it will help you if the therapist hasn't been through it or counseled many women in the same situation.

A couple of things stand out to me and I'll throw them out there for you to think about. It seems to me that you are taking on full responsibility for the "failure" of your VBAC. This is not right. YOU are not a failure and your body did not fail you. The system failed you. You did not have the support that you needed during your birth (even though you thought you would have that support b/c you went with the midwives). You did not have a true advocate. Your midwives unfortunately have to work in the framework of the hospital rules. You were presented with difficult choices while you were COMPLETELY VULNERABLE. You did the best you could with the information you had. You were convinced that your son was in trouble. What parent wouldn't make the same decision?

I'm very concerned about the fact that you've started drinking again and over-eating. It seems like you are punishing yourself and it's self-destructive. You didn't do anything wrong. Are there things that you could have done differently? Perhaps, but certainly not without support. Even if you had made different choices, you still may have ended up with a section.

I did experience the apathy you describe about "bonding" with your son. I didn't want to see 2 of my kids after they were born. In fact, I would have been happy for the nursery to take them and not bring them back to me for the time I was there. I felt guilty and ashamed and did my best to put on a good face and kept them with me so it would look good.

Anyhow, I hope that you can find healing and that you can find support here on MDC. You may PM me if I can help in any way.
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#5 of 26 Old 04-30-2006, 08:09 PM
 
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(((HUGS)))

I am so sorry you had such a terrible experience.
You are NOT a failure, hon.

Crunchy, pagan, vegan,homeschooling wife and mother of 3 beautiful daughters and 2 wonderful sons

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#6 of 26 Old 05-01-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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I am sao sorry you are feeling this way. Maybe someone in the local ICAN chapter can refer you to a therapist with experience dealing with traumatic birth experiences. You definitely should find a new therapist who you feel will understand you.

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#7 of 26 Old 05-01-2006, 07:08 PM
 
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just wanted to give you ((HUGS)). i hope you find the support you need for the road to healing...
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#8 of 26 Old 05-01-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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You didn't "fail" at having a VBAC. You did everything in your power to make VBAC possible, but it didn't work out.

It's OK to mourn the loss of the vaginal births you wanted- but remember YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!!!!!

I hope you heal emotionally and physically soon.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#9 of 26 Old 05-01-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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oh, sweetie! please please find a psych who specializes in this. i did, and it totally helped me.
huge huge hugs.
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#10 of 26 Old 05-01-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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I've heard of EMDR therapy helping mamas over on the pregnancy and birth loss boards. I haven't been myself, but I know it's helped a lot of other mamas here on MDC. You may want to look into that kind of therapist. I hope this can help.

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#11 of 26 Old 05-01-2006, 09:23 PM
 
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((hugs))

I can totally empathize. It truly sucks to have another major abdominal surgery and to struggle with 2 children that are 21/22 months apart. I'm right there with you. Makes it hard to answer people who say 'your child is healthy' so you should be grateful. . ..

Just know you're not alone. ((hugs)) I went thru 43 hours of labor, then 2 hours of pushing to end up with c/s - babe just wouldn't drop below -2 station.

Love,
BettyAnn
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#12 of 26 Old 05-03-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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I think it is perfectly normal to grieve what you did not have. I also think it is OK to feel shitty about how you birthed and still love your child...but the emotions make you see the real dichotomy of the situation.

I would list your priorities right now.
1. Being... accept your birth ( it was NOT what you wanted..and that's OK), don't worry about baby #3 or baby # 4 right now...you may indeed change your mind.
2. Try not to worry about your weight gain while BF....I did too with last baby...was just making GOOD milk. The weight will come off...
3. If you should NOT be drinking, then do you need to seek support for that?
4. Did you suffer from postpartum depression with baby #1 or is this depression spiraling from your birth?
5. Let's not call it a "failed" VBAC. Golly, what a brave mommy you were to try!
6. Do one thing that is positive for yourself everyday, which might mean praying....or taking a walk...or shaving your legs...or NOT drinking, or calling a friend. 5 years from now...the reason for your experience may be very clear. Be open to what this may bring you.

Peace,

Mary.
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#13 of 26 Old 05-05-2006, 03:30 AM
 
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Rachel--

I understand how you are feeling because I have a similar story. You are not alone. Sometimes I try to make myself believe it doesn't really matter--but it's always in the back of my head. I wonder if these feelings will ever go away. So many of the things you wrote ring true to me.

I also did my research. I had a c/s with my first b/c he was big so it was recommended to try to induce at 40 wks which failed. Tried again a week later and it failed again so I had a c/s. He was big (10lbs 4oz) but I was so obviously not ready to have him.

I was SO confident that I was going to have a great VBAC when I got pg with DD. I just knew it was going to happen.

At 41.5 wks I went to the hospital after more than 72 hours of labor at home (cx every 7-12 minutes). I was feeling mostly back labor. I was ~7cm when I got to the hospital. My progress was soo slow though. I hadn't slept in days except for a couple of a 5-10 minutes stretches. I was more exhausted than I have ever been in my life and I was so tired all I could think about was a little relief from the pain just so I could sleep for a little while and get some strength back to be ready for pushing. So I got a stupid epidural. And then I still didn't get any rest because of interruptions from nurses, etc. About 12 hours after I got to the hosp i was finally complete. I pushed for almost 4 hours and my DD never really budged much. I had the epidural turned off after an hour of pushing and I tried a bazillion different positions. I took a break from pushing for a while and I just tried to let my body do something on its own but that didn't do much either. My DD had her head tilted to one side and she wasn't really a peanut either (8lbs 13oz).

I could see it everyone's eyes that the VBAC wasn't going to happen. I agreed to have another c/s and I cried the entire time as they were transporting me to the OR.

When I got to the OR to be prepped they found that my epidural had actually come out so the anesth. decided to give me a spinal for the surgery. It was way too strong. I was not able to swallow and I felt like I couldn't breathe. Swallowing is one of those things that isn't a big deal until you can't do it. It was a HORRIBLE feeling to be strapped to the table on my back, unable to swallow, feeling numb up to my neck. My mouth was so freaking dry I could hardly talk but I was begging them to do something about the swallowing problem.

The Dr was working for a few minutes and then poked her head over the screen. She told me she had cut through my bladder b/c I had so many adhesions from my first c/s. A uro/gyn surgeon was called in to consult with her and help with the repair of my bladder. They got DD out after a TON of tugging. She was really stuck. I remember being yanked around so hard on the table. They showed her to me but I don't remember feeling much and I feel so bad about that. I think they must have given me something to calm medown b/c I had been freaking out about the swallowing problem.

They took her away and started sewing up my uterus. I guess I was bleeding a lot more than normal and they were having some difficulty getting everything stitched up and my bladder repaired. It was taking forever. Hours. I started feeling pain as the spinal started wearing off so they knocked me out with something. I don't remember much after that. I do remember being in the recovery room for a while. I think it was about 4 hours after she was born that I actually got to see my DD.

My DH (and he was not DEAR husband at this point) said they had taken DD to the nursery and he and his mom were in the nursery with her--but they didn't hold her b/c "she just looked so warm under the lights". So she just laid there for 4 hours basically by herself. ( He SO knew better than to do something like this. We had talked extensively about how bummed I was after DS was born and they gave him formula b/c it was their protocol to stick big babies to check blood sugar and he was bit low, not getting to hold him, etc etc) But then when I got back to my room and I was dying to see DD and nurse her at that point--then MIL decides to pick her up. I wanted to kill someone at that point. I was still crying non-stop I could barely squeak out a weak "Give me my baby".

I was so emotional for the the rest of the time in the hospital. And I was extremely ticked off about having to have a catheter for 7-10 more days b/c my bladder was cut.

When we got to go home I got the joy of going home with a catheter and a bag of my own urine to carry around for a week in addition to my DD. Oh, and I had a 2 yr old at home too. So in between nursing DD and everything else I also had to care for the dumb catheter bag.

I also developed an infection at my incision site and was on abx twice (for the bladder cut and then for the infection). I am STILL battling a recurring yeast infection around my incision too most likely related to all those abx.

I don't resent my kids at all. I adore my kids and even after all that rough start, DD is the sweetest, most mellow happy little baby I've ever met. She's just an angel. But damn I resent how they were born. I feel like something major in my life is missing and I don't know how to fix it. I cannot afford a therapist right now(I'd have to pay our deductible first then 20 per visit co-pay plus 20%). And I'm so afraid that I will hear them say I need to just get over it and appreciate the fact that my kids are healthy (which is exactly what my husband just told me tonight).

I also eat too much, I have no motivation to keep up the house or do anything for that matter. I don't do much during the day. I hate the way I look. My skin sags so bad over my scars. It is disgusting. Ugh. I try really hard to not this bother me but sometimes it really gets the better of me. Tonight was a rough night b/c of what my H said so I came on here to read a bit and when I saw your post I thought I'd write about my story a bit.

I'm sorry this got so long. I don't have anyone to talk to about this. My sisters had c/s and loved it with absolutely no regrets. Ugh. My friends around here all had med free uncomplicated births. I hate feeling jealous when I hear of others' natural childbirths. I wouldn't wish these feelings on anyone. I'm sincerely glad things went well for them but it's a reminder of something I will never be able to experience and of the complications with DD's birth especially.

Yeah, so I'm wondering if these feelings will ever go away too. I don't like feeling this way. I can go days feeling pretty good and then it hits me like a ton of bricks again.

I think I would like 1 or 2 more kids but at this point I can't bear the thought of getting my hopes up for a VBA2C and have it not work out b/c of an anti VBAC medical community or just b/c it may not work no matter what. I know I do not want another c/s that's for sure. My first honestly wasn't so bad physically but the second one really sucked.
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#14 of 26 Old 05-05-2006, 10:12 AM
 
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mamabear21lilcub, I'm sorry you're having these feelings too. I will repeat that joining ICAN or even just the ICAN email list could help put you in contact with other women with similar stories. And try to afford a therapist. If you find one who does tell you to "get over it", run away and find another one!
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#15 of 26 Old 05-05-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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Mamabear---I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. I agree with pp, go to ICAN and network a bit.

You can't afford NOT to get help right now. I know it costs a lot of money, but if you are able to find a good therapist (I suggest a female for this) you may heal quickly. You will be happier and your kids will have their mom back.

I know it's really hard to take that step especially when finances (not to mention the energy to actually make the call) are scarce, but this is something you need to do for you. You are an important person.
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#16 of 26 Old 05-09-2006, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OH, thank you for all your encouragement! You don't know how much better I feel to know there are others who have been where I am! Especially mamabear21lilcub - I'm glad your post was so long! It's sad why we feel a conection, but it's nice to know that you know how I feel. And, I know how you feel about not being able to afford therapy. When I wanted to get sober 7 years ago, I didn't have insurance & ended up finding a counselor who I could pay like $20 through a freind. Maybe you can find someone like that through your ICAN chapter.

Just to let everyone know...I have gone back to AA & have quit drinking. I am still eating like a cow (lots of chocolate!). I am really trying not to take out my anger on my sweet little girl, but after seeing the Dr. Phil yesterday (about a normal looking mom who screamed & smacked her kids around), I want to really really try to change me. I am going to give my therapist a few more trys to conect before I look again. I think posting here was a step in the right direction for me.

Thank you.

Rachel~wife to Keith since 5/01~mother to Georgia since 4/04~Bishop since 1/06~Zoe since 11/07 (my HBA2C!)~EDD 2/14/10 w/Baby surprise #4
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#17 of 26 Old 05-09-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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you are very normal, your emotions are appropriate. You did not fail. Labor benefited your son. Pitocin is a hard drg to take on it's own. It sounds like ds was posterior- also hard. Doctors often don't understand and respect the birth process. I commend you for being an informed consumer and I think you did an amazing job.

I am so sorry.

ETa-
I didn't see that you posted again, I'm glad thid=s board was useful.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#18 of 26 Old 05-09-2006, 04:22 PM
 
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Rachel,

Glad you are doing a little better. Please keep us posted. Definitely change counselors if the one you are seeing isn't working out. It's sometimes hard to do ,but worth it when you find the right person to help you.

Take care of yourself,

Cristina
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#19 of 26 Old 05-09-2006, 08:14 PM
 
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I recommend this book a lot on MDC because it helped so much for my healing process from my c-section with my first birth:

Birth as a Healing Experience: The Emotional Journey of Pregnancy Through Postpartum

You can find used copies of it online.

The author does post-birth counseling. Here's her info... (she may do telephone counseling - I'm not sure)

Lois Freedman, M.Ed.
Counseling for Women
City: Sharon and Boston Area
E-mail: lofreedman@aol.com
Telephone: 781-784-1380
Services Offered: Counseling for women struggling with anxiety, grief, stress, fear, traumatic birth experience, mother loss, previous cesarean section or other difficulties during the childbearing years.
VBAC counseling and preparation, Circle of Women groups and workshops, Blessingway ceremonies,
Author of "Birth as a Healing Experience"
__________________________________
SAHM to a spectacular DS (5/2003) & delightful DD (2/2006 HBAC!)
“You never know when you are making a memory.” ~ Rickie Lee Jones
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#20 of 26 Old 05-09-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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I can honestly say I struggled to heal more after my c/s 2 years ago than after my DH died last year. go figure. it is so traumatic and then is doubly so when society makes you feel guilty for feeling guilty ABOUT it. and then you also realize you might have avoided it had you know differently or had different support people. (and the thing is I DID know differently at the time as I am a former student doula) but alas in the throes of labor things change though. my c/s was due to failure to decend and basically what I feel that my mw's horribly failed me (IMHO) at a birth center as they left me alone on my back in a birth tub for 14hrs (Literally!) it was my own bad luck to go into labor when one of the mw's broke her arm. I feel this affecting the level of care I received and find it a little odd another freind of a freind ended up with a c/s transferred from the birth center within hours of mine! anyway my thing is nobody offered me water/counterpressure/ help moving/NOTHING! I am still very mad about that. I paid them to do their job and they did absolutley not a thing. they weren't even around! oh but the one did strip my membranes w/out consent which put me into labor in the first place while baby was in a bad position : i feel violated still to this day and dread hearing someone is having their baby at this particular center. I decided I couldn't do doula work after this and ever go back there. and the term birth rape fits very well to many of our situations. (seriously my labor & c/s was actually a great experience once I got out of the hands of the MEDwive's) this same mw breeched confidentiality in a big way as well. I just have had a bad experience. I didn't like her when I met her (the 1 particular mw) and should have listened to my intuition.

with my 2nd I went totally UP/UC but ended up tranferring in the last hour due to meconium. little did I know I would have ended up transferring (or hemmorraging) as I had placenta acreta (not due to the prev c/s though) it wasn't what I had planned but I can accept it. I did get my VBAC with no drugs though I feel like I still failed by having to go to the hospital as I wanted a DIY birth so to speak. I now realize having a vbac will never change how I feel about my 1st birth. DD and I were seperated for 2 days in different cities. that was nuts and worse than any c/s! I would give anything to have not missed her first 2 days of life

sorry if this is a bit rambly here, just wanted to tell you a little of my experience.

you are not alone at all mama. it takes time but you WILL heal from this. you won't ever forget it but you will eventually not feel so badly about it. (ime that is so take my advice for what it's worth)

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#21 of 26 Old 05-09-2006, 08:42 PM
 
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oh and one more thing, I want to say congrats on your AA meetings
(I felt that deserved a post of it's own )

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#22 of 26 Old 05-10-2006, 02:16 AM
 
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I am so sorry you feel this badly. It is not your fault. You do not deserve it.

I am sending my hugs and kisses and prayers for feeling to all women with disappointing traumatic birth experiences. And empathy prayers to their families...just yesterday my BIL said to me, "You know, in Mexico all the women love c-sections. Why deal with all that pain?" Duh. Bone-head.

Try to keep your chin up when you are feeling good, and know that no one here judges you as harshly as you judge yourself.

K

Kate: fumbling through the best years with W, L, F & V...newest arrival coming Jan '11
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#23 of 26 Old 05-10-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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Sending lots of s to the OP and everyone else on this thread who has experienced a C. Nobody knows the disappointment of a C like a woman who has experienced one (and tried unsuccessfully to avoid one). I think talking with other women who have experienced cesareans is the best way to find people who really understand...

Birthing is a very, very vulnerable time, even in the best of circumstances (IMO). Violations which happen during labor or around birthing cut pretty deeply.
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#24 of 26 Old 05-14-2006, 06:34 PM
 
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I am so sorry. It all sounds so painful. I am sending you hugs and blessings. I have one child (born via cesarian after long labor), so I can't empathize with "failed" VBAC attempt, but I understand the pain and disappointment that comes with a birth not going as planned. It just really sucks. By the way, in no way can you be considered a failure--Bravo for your Bravery!!

Healing Mama to :
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#25 of 26 Old 05-15-2006, 02:14 AM
 
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Rachel,
You are not a failure! You carried a baby to term and you did everything you could to have a successful vbac. That's an accomplishment in itself! It's good you are sober now and back on track w/ AA. For me, I did a lot of therapy work while I was pregnant bc I was terrified that I'd be mad at my baby if I didn't vbac. My counselor really helped me work through the "uncontrollableness" of birth and life. That's what I was facing. Even though I went to a man (his 4 children were born at home so he "got" why I wanted a vbac) he really helped me work through all these issues.
When I first read your post I thought, "Even Dr. Bradley had a 3% c/s rate! And I've heard of the best of midwives having a c/s now and then. You've got some good company."

Please postpone the decision of whether or not you want more children. That's what makes me the most sad about c/s----we get robbed of a proper birth and it makes many of us not want more babies bc of it.

I think someone from the ICAN list started a cbac list to comfort moms in a similar situation. Have you found that?
You know KMom's pages? She was a vba2c http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/f...%20and%20VBACs It's not about plus-size pregnancy.....she has oodles of info on vbac and vba2c!
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#26 of 26 Old 05-15-2006, 02:31 AM
 
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i just wanted to give you a big hug and encourage you to find the support you need. oh you are so not a failure ... keep looking until you find the right therapist! healing is entirely possible for you

Midwifery student , Mama to my 4 amazing kids. treehugger.gif

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