Thoughts/Feelings after VBAC - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 06-14-2006, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,

Cross-posted under pregnancy and birth

I'm pg with #2 and really focused on having a VBAC this time around, especially since I thought the need for my c-section with DS1 was so unnecessary due to a variety of interventions, fear, not knowing better, etc...

Now I've done my homework, will deliver with a midwife, have a doula, limit and/or avoid all interventions, and feel really confident in my birthing ability. But I'm wondering, if I do achieve a successful VBAC, will that somehow take away some of my bitter feelings and resentment towards my first birth? Of course, I'm so eternally grateful for my healthy beautiful DS, and in the end, that's all that matters. But my birth experience was so scary and the doctor was so disrespectful, I somehow can't get it out of my mind.

Did anyone feel like after they had the VBAC, they were able to let go of those negative c-section thoughts and feelings? Or do I need to get over it now before the next birth? Please advise!
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#2 of 19 Old 06-14-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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Darn good question. I'm in the exact same boat as you. I'll be back to read others replies.
Allison

PS - If you have since educated yourself, you are making better decisions and being more proactive this time, aren't you already getting rid of some of your negative thoughts and feelings in the process?

PPS - My biggest fear is a repeat of the same thing. I think a good thing is to do whatever you can for a VBAC. But if it ends up being cesarean again, make sure there is a reason. From reading a lot of posts, I gather that wanted VBAC's that turned into CBACs were not as traumatic for the mother, if she felt there was a valid reason for it, or it was due to HER choice and under HER control.
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#3 of 19 Old 06-14-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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Hi I have not had a VBAC or a CBAC but I did want to point out that it is OK to not be happy about your c-section birth no matter what happens in your next birth. Have you ever read http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/C...begrateful.htm ? The article can really be releasing.


Best of luck in your journey to VBAC.
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#4 of 19 Old 06-14-2006, 08:25 PM
 
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I had a successful VBAC after my first section. The thing is, I was not happy with my first cut, but not terribly distraught over it, either, like I was with my second section.

I can say that I noticed a HUGE *HUGE* difference in the bonding and attachment between my VBAC birth and my section birth. I felt all of a sudden "so THIS is what it is supposed to be." It was a huge ah-ha moment for me.
For me, it didn't resolve any of my section issues, only clarified that natural birth was for me, for a number of reasons never mentioned by an OB ( bonding, the natural process and not screwing up the hormonal balance, etc)
That VBAC, though, made my second section a really tough pill to swallow. In fact, I had to work furiously and at a feverish pace to resolve those issues I stuffed before my next baby comes this summer, a HBAC this time

I don't know that the VBA2C this go round will resolve any issues from my section~ because, well, I had to resolve them before getting to the point I am now in my path. For the first time in my childbearing years I feel totally at peace with the birthing process, and my body's ability to do it right, without intervention, without drugs, without a hospital and an OB breathing down my neck to "dilate a CM an hour or else." For me to still hold the pain and fear of my last birth events into this one would only lead me down the section path again, I believe, and it had to be resolved before focusing on my upcoming birth, KWIM?

As I type this I ask myself "am I still bitter?" and I really had to think. I no longer cry uncontrollably when I think of my son's surgical birth. I no longer question the why's and how's it came to be, as I know what sequence of events lead to it, both my internal issues ( fear of rupture, fear of section, fear of not knowing what to do in labor, fear of not being able to handle it without intervention) and the external issues ( "rules" of continuous monitoring, epidural "required" that failed, an OB who was fearful before labor began and outright statements of fear of UR..., a RN who was new and fearful and would not even look at me, not moving around, among many many others). While I'll always be disappointed with his birth, and mourn for his loss of natural birth and bonding the way it SHOULD have been, I have forgiven myself and my provider for the outcome, and I am now no longer bitter, not happy, but not bitter like I was. I have taken that bitter pill (fighting it along the way) and learned from it, and while only time will tell if all of my learning has lead me to enlightenment, and a natural birth this time, but I fully believe with all that I am it will.

My best advice is to continue processing your c birth until you become at peace with it ( you don't have to LIKE it, or celebrate it, just become at peace. Talking it out over and over really, really helps.) and then ask yourself what will you do differently to change the chain of events next time, and then focus on the positive for the next birth. Your body is made to do this. Your body CAN do this, and we have been doing this for millions of years without surgery. Read the empowering birth stories of others who've walked this path. Read the UC stories, they are AMAZING and powerful, even if you don't UC it is awe striking to read what the human body, mind and spirit is capable of if left to it's own devices.
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#5 of 19 Old 06-14-2006, 09:03 PM
 
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I can completely empathisize with where you are at. I am due with #2 on July 15, 2006, and the specter of my c-section with #1 is still looming. I have tried very hard to process the emotions, I have tried very hard to get a better support system around me, I have tried very hard to become better educated, but.....the other experience is there in the background. I think for me I am stuck because I still just don't get what happened in terms of the interventions and how they were written up. It has been really difficult to get the straight story from the notes, which just do not correspond to my experience at all. In fact my current OB is taking everything with a grain of salt because the notes just don't add up. This doesn't so much bother me anymore from an anger standpoint, but it does mess with me from a "how do I avoid this outcome" if I am unclear on how it all happened to begin with. Hard to explain, but for example, my current OB states that if I get stalled in the 1st stage that he might want to judicially use pitocin to move things along. Unfortunately, I had a horrible reaction to the pitocin last time and ended up with one continuous contraction for hours. Now was this because I was hypersensitive and should never be put on it again, or is it because I wasn't adequately monitored and was given too much. This stuff bothers me because it seems like the answers from then would help determine what I should decide now. It is hard to move on when there are so many unanswerable questions. I do think all of this is not helping the whole "just relax" mindset. I do feel in some ways that a VBAC would help reclaim something and feel empowering, but I am sort of afraid to hope at this point. Not sure this was helpful to the person who posted at all, probably just added to the anxiety.......Sorry.
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#6 of 19 Old 06-14-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR
PPS - My biggest fear is a repeat of the same thing. I think a good thing is to do whatever you can for a VBAC. But if it ends up being cesarean again, make sure there is a reason. From reading a lot of posts, I gather that wanted VBAC's that turned into CBACs were not as traumatic for the mother, if she felt there was a valid reason for it, or it was due to HER choice and under HER control.
Actually, if I wind up with a CBAC, well, it won't be because I didn't try. Sometimes these things happen despite all the best intentions and preparations. I think I would be more at peace with a cesarean birth the second time around.

Now, for my worst fear - Uterine Rupture. That is my nightmare scenario and, frankly, I'm having a hard time getting it out of my head. My worst fear the first time around was winding up with a cesarean - so much so that I sometimes found myself wishing the baby were breach or there would be some reason that the decision would be taken out of my hands. But I did have a labor and a terrible cascade of interventions and a cesarean. My nightmare was realized. Now, what do I do to get over my worst-case fear this time around???
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#7 of 19 Old 06-14-2006, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by citymama
Now, for my worst fear - Uterine Rupture. That is my nightmare scenario and, frankly, I'm having a hard time getting it out of my head. My worst fear the first time around was winding up with a cesarean - so much so that I sometimes found myself wishing the baby were breach or there would be some reason that the decision would be taken out of my hands. But I did have a labor and a terrible cascade of interventions and a cesarean. My nightmare was realized. Now, what do I do to get over my worst-case fear this time around???
What is it about UR that scares you so badly? I don't ask that to be funny, but really... For me, the last time I was TERRIFIED of UR. I had horrible nightmares about UR and the worst case senerio. So bad, in fact, that during labor, when I epi failed, and I got pain I immediately thought "oh, this is IT. We're going to die." didn't help my OB was chanting the same thing.

After 3 years to ponder it, reading my medical records, replaying my conversations with my OB and RN's I know where my fear came from~ it was HIS fear. He gave me the fear, too. That coupled with the lack of thorough research on my part gave his fear more credibility, and the fact I trusted him wholeheartedly and never questioned his word because he wouldn't say it if he didn't KNOW it was true, right? I truly believe that deep rooted fear helped lead to my cascade of interventions right up to the OR and being put under for the birth of my son, for them to find NOTHING there indicating rupture. They, of course, touted how "lucky" I was and it was good they "Saved me" before it *could* have happened, even though there was no evidence of it.: It was my OB's fear, his malpractice insurance's fears ( yes, this has been confirmed in conversations with him RE this birth and VBAC, his insurance has a LOT to do with why he won't do a VBAC now, they won't cover him. Nice, eh?)

I have to say, this time around, UR is the least of my fears. I can't tell you when or exactly how I let go of it, but I have. I have read my chart. I have read and re read studies. I read many, many books. All of it put me at peace. The risk for a true UR is very, very low. The risks of other things are greater.
For instance, did you know that the risk for fetal death from an amnio is 1-2% ? that is considered a "safe" and "medically necessary" test that is doled out to the masses, and has a HIGHER risk of fetal death than does a VBAC. Little discoveries like this lead me to release the fear of UR, and also KNOWING I WILL NOT do pitocin, any augmentation or medications that could increase my risk or mask my feelings.

I can't tell you what path to follow to release your fears, only that it is possible to do so with lots of work, soul searching and researching~ not research from an OB ( it is slanted, IME) but actually digging into and reading the actual studies yourself.... Best wishes to you on your journey,
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#8 of 19 Old 06-15-2006, 12:09 AM
 
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I am having the same issues with my upcoming VBAC. I am just hoping that if it is successful then I will can get over the trauma of my c/s. Our local ICAN chapter had a trauma & grief counselor who specializes in difficult pregnancies/deliveries speak this past weekend & I asked her if I was wrong to feel this way & she said it is definitely a good idea to resolve feelings about your c/s before the VBAC comes around because otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. She said that if I focus on one thing in the VBAC that I want to go successfully then even if I end up with another c/s at least I can still have a feeling of accomplishment even though things didn't work out the way I wanted. I plan to work on getting through my VBAC unmedicated since I know it is my best chance for success, but I have never had an unmedicated birth & it scares me a lot. If I can labor without meds & I still end up with a c/s, then at least I will know that I did try my best & help me deal with everything a little better. It is definitely hard to plan for a VBAC when you still harbor a lot of feelings about your c/s so I would say you should deal with some of those feelings beforehand & not count on a successful VBAC to fix everything. Good luck!
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#9 of 19 Old 06-15-2006, 08:28 AM
 
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Jen6 (hijacking the thread for a moment) - Can you set up an appointment with the midwife or OB, specifically to cover the translations in your medical records? If not then, find another midwife or medical person that can help you. Make a copy and underline exactly what items you dont understand, then have them explain, in clear detail. Bring a firm support person with you. It can get emotional! You may not like or agree with what they say. Instead of disagreeing about each thing, let them translate, be cold and serious, ask follow up questions, jot down scribbly notes.

When done, you can say you disagree, their reality had nothing to do with yours.... but then you have your "answers" "lies" "misconceptions" or whatever you want to qualify them as. Then spend the next days or weeks figuring out what it all really means and research whether it is really accurate, true, necessary....

I am meeting a doc and midwife next month to go over my experience and request what I want this time, including what can be written in my mdical journal (which is valid, as opposed to a verbal bs answer). I have gone over the conversation a million times in my head. It is scary, overwhelming, but vitally important. I made an outline, so I can try to stick to the facs, as opposed to getting emotional or off track.
Good luck,
Allison
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#10 of 19 Old 06-15-2006, 08:41 AM
 
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atrain mentioned a link to Gretchens article "be grateful" I'd like to recommend the whole site - http://www.birthtruth.org/index.htm. She is a brilliant writer, and her articles are short, clear and to the point. She also wrte a great article about what to tell your friends and family regarding your birth plans. And about how to deal with VBAC issues by OB's.
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#11 of 19 Old 06-15-2006, 01:21 PM
 
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I'd like to recommend the whole site - http://www.birthtruth.org/index.htm. .
Thanks for posting I did not know she had a website.
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#12 of 19 Old 06-15-2006, 02:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cherie012
What is it about UR that scares you so badly? ...

I have to say, this time around, UR is the least of my fears. I can't tell you when or exactly how I let go of it, but I have. I have read my chart. I have read and re read studies. I read many, many books. All of it put me at peace. The risk for a true UR is very, very low. The risks of other things are greater. ,
Thank you so much for this. The source of my fear is irrational - it is just that my fears of cesarean were realized the first time and so I'm afraid my fears will be realized again. Perhaps it is that I don't have any fears or doubts about my body's ability to birth that I am unconsciously trying to find another fear? So I am talking with moms who have VBAC'd (though all with OBs and on epidurals *sigh*) and becoming educated on what the risks really are. I do know that cvs and amnio are much are risk for the fetus and that I more likey to develop preeclampsia than to have UR. So I will get there, I hope, but it just takes time. Thanks for your kind words. It is good to know that I can get there.
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#13 of 19 Old 06-16-2006, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not really mad at my body or feel that my body failed me for having a C/S. I actually have a lot of confidence in my body's ability to birth normally - I did before DS1 and I do now. I'm really angry at my doctor - who just thought he was so awesome and totally in love with himself. You know the type. I should not have let him have his way with me and put me on pitocin and keep me in bed. I shouldn't have been the "good patient". I should of spoken up! I know so much better now.

So, in essence, I'd really like to tell the doctor:
I'd really love to tell him off!

One good thing about the c/s though - because I felt my birth was unnatural, it kept me breastfeeding DS well into toddlerhood because it was the one thing in my control, that was completely natural, and all me!

So, thank you ladies for sharing your experiences. It has helped me tremendously.
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#14 of 19 Old 06-17-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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Did anyone feel like after they had the VBAC, they were able to let go of those negative c-section thoughts and feelings? Or do I need to get over it now before the next birth? Please advise!
For me, the successful VBAC was just what I needed to *let go* of my lost birth experience with my c-section. I don't think I'll ever fully be "over" it, but I am not focused on it now. I am not as angry, I am not as upset. My VBAC took all of that away.

Heather, Army wife & Mama to M (10), J (9), L & S (my HBAC babies are 7!), N & R (5), and A (born 11/30/12 UBA2C)
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#15 of 19 Old 06-17-2006, 04:27 PM
 
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For me, the successful VBAC was just what I needed to *let go* of my lost birth experience with my c-section. I don't think I'll ever fully be "over" it, but I am not focused on it now. I am not as angry, I am not as upset. My VBAC took all of that away.
ditto for me... i had an old school OB who thought he was akin to God (and my ob was out of town for the weekend, although i don't really think she would have been any better - she stripped my membranes on friday, four days before my due date, w/o discussing it with me first, then she left town and left me to have a c/s with this old guy!).

had a successful VBAC and am having a HBAC with a mw this fall, looking sooo forward to what labor and birth will be like now that i trust my body and will have people around me who support and trust me and my body too - i think it's going to be great!
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#16 of 19 Old 06-18-2006, 01:31 PM
 
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for me, it was just nice to konw that my body could do it. it was similar to when i experienced hiking up Mt. Washington (highest mt. in NH) as opposed to driving my car up (which is what many ppl here do and put those stupid bumper stickers on their cars). it was challenging, exhausting, painful at times, but the inner strength i found to do it was just incredible and provide me with confidence that i really can do anything. since dr's told me it couldnt be done, kwim???
there were some disappointments but they pale in comparison to what i was able to give my baby and would do it again in a heart beat (for him...not just for fun! lol!).
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#17 of 19 Old 06-21-2006, 02:21 AM
 
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My c/s was due to footling breech and I was devastated. I had a midwife the whole time, did the pelvic exercises, read the books etc. The worst part about it all was feeling so disempowered. My midwife shaking her head, the OB saying, "We can't turn the baby, you'll have to have a caesarian." My mother crying with me at my idsappointment, my husband saying, "It's for a healthy baby. It's safest."

And to top it all off, I am very very frightened of doctors/nurses/hospitals (irraitonal?) so there we were in the hospital.

My VBAC was an ordeal in that it was high risk b/c I was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction (small baby, low fluid, small placenta, high resistance in the umbilical cord, all things you would normally see in a woman with a crack-habit) and also all things that you wouldn't have been able to see 25 years ago. It was an uphill battle to stay pregnant. It was an uphill battle to birth vaginally, I even had to remind the OB as she was telling me all the tests I would 'need to pass' (stress test, oxytocin challenge test, foley catheterization) and she was saying, "we want a healthy baby, yes?' I said, "AND and healthy MOTHER." She was aghast. "Of course,' she says. Yeah, lasy. Don't forget about the fact that I have to take care of this child and I am the one who needs the skills to do that, including needing to know that I am in control of my decisoins....though I did succumb to pressure and forego the home birth, and then ended up giving in to CFM and oops an epidural (if only for an hour!) and so it wasn't what I wanted and I did actually get yelled at my the oncall OB for resisting her suggestions...but oh the joy of the vaginal delivery!!!

Despite all the chaos and the un-ideal environment (emotionally and physically) I was so happy and strengthened and empowered and satisfied to push and grunt and holler and sweat and plead and push and sigh and gasp and lift my baby girl up and put her on my chest and say, "Oh my darling here you are, we did it!" I needed that. And I actually felt for a few weeks afterward that my c/s scar was fading. Mine is still 7 inches long and 1/4" thick and red. It is awful.

I feel like I had a rebirth into mothering and motherhood. And I am so much more confident now. I don't resent my first daughter's birth, but I do worry that it has affected her - the trauma, the cold gloved hands, the violent pulling from the womb - it wasn't gentle. I guess I have to work through that. I talk to her about it. I tell her that Mommy and Daddy were there when she was born and we were singing to her and Daddy was watching and the doctor didn't mean to hurt her or scare her...

I don't resent my first birht, but I do worry about its implications...maybe I am thinking that is more importnat than it actually is. I tend to over-think things! Definitely don't let your first birth prevent you from envisioning your upcoming birth. But also, give yourself space for flexibility. If nothing else, we have learned from our c-secs that these things aren't always plannable.

Kate: fumbling through the best years with W, L, F & V...newest arrival coming Jan '11
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#18 of 19 Old 06-21-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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Actually, if I wind up with a CBAC, well, it won't be because I didn't try. Sometimes these things happen despite all the best intentions and preparations. I think I would be more at peace with a cesarean birth the second time around.

Now, for my worst fear - Uterine Rupture. That is my nightmare scenario and, frankly, I'm having a hard time getting it out of my head. My worst fear the first time around was winding up with a cesarean - so much so that I sometimes found myself wishing the baby were breach or there would be some reason that the decision would be taken out of my hands. But I did have a labor and a terrible cascade of interventions and a cesarean. My nightmare was realized. Now, what do I do to get over my worst-case fear this time around???
About the CBAC--this is exactly why I had to try for a VBAC. I *knew* if I didn't try I would always wonder if I could do it. yeah, it wouldn't have been fun to go through labor again to end up w/a c, but I believe if that had happened I would have been more at peace, knowing I had done everything in my power to have a vaginal delivery.

I wish I could help you w/the uterine rupture worry. After doing research I was very confident that it wasn't something to freak out about. IIRC, if you have a low vertical incision, the chances are lower for a UR than for other birth complications like cord prolapse--and you're not worrying about that happening, are you? (I hope you're not!)

I feel really wonderful that my body can have a vaginal birth, and although i will never feel great about my section I have to say that the pain and sadness surrounding that experience are definitely lessened.

Best of luck to you!

mostly WAHM, sometimes WOHM to my : two boys.
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#19 of 19 Old 06-23-2006, 01:28 PM
 
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I just wanted to tell you again that you aren't alone. I am pg with #2 and wanting a VBAC but scared to death and also haunted by c section memories. :
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