thinking about no. 2, but still have issues w/ difficult 1st birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-21-2004, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Just wondering if others have had this experience or have any advice --

I had difficult time with my first birth -- my epidural failed, I didn't get along with my doctor and I ended up having a cesarean. (see birth story posted for more details).

We are thinking about ttc no. 2 pretty soon (Danile's now a year old). I still have lots of negative unresolved feelings about that first experience (mostly around the way that the doctor treated me) and will have to think about whether to attempt a VBAC or not. We have moved in the last year, so I'll have a new doctor. I'm excited about having another baby, but so scared about what the birth might be like. I feel like I should attempt a VBAC to show myself and others that I can do it, but if I wimp out again, I might as well have not even tried it and saved myself the grief of "failing" again.

Anyway, as I said, any advice / insight / sharing of similar experience would be appreciated!
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#2 of 8 Old 03-21-2004, 12:53 AM
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My suggestion would be this. Don't worry right now about whether or not you think you should push for a VBAC. You have plenty of time for that. Instead, I would start with making a list of what you DO want for your next birth. Write down everything that you can think of. I did this before this pregnancy and it helped clarify my options tremendously.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it sounds a bit as though you somehow blame yourself for some stuff regarding your ds's birth.
Don't be too hard on yourself, mama. And you know it can take a good while to process stuff sometimes. And a year is not that long!

Good luck to you.

Tracy, doula and Army wife and homeschooling mama to A and E
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#3 of 8 Old 03-21-2004, 01:02 AM
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I see that you are new here. Look around in the different forums. Introduce yourself. There is a lot of support here, and mamas who have done VBAC's. You could find resources about how to handle contractions so maybe you wouldn't feel like you need an epidural. Also, there is nothing wrong with getting some counseling if you are having a hard time.
Once you do get pg I would hire a doula. A doula is a wonderful asset during labor; someone to help guide you when you are in a vulnerable state. Instead of a Dr. maybe a midwife would be better for you. There are lots of options, take a deep breathe, and get to know MDC.

Mama to DD#1 2001 reading.gif, DD#2 2002 2whistle.gif, dog2.gif, & cat.gif. Me & my man partners.gifbelly.gif June 2014.
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#4 of 8 Old 03-21-2004, 03:01 PM
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I'd think the most important thing to do right now is take a huge amount of pressure off yourself by not letting it be about "proving" yourself. Instead, think about what choices will be better for you physically and emotionally. Think about how you can make this good for yourself and your baby.
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#5 of 8 Old 03-28-2004, 01:11 AM
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Hi, I just wanted to add that I had a very similar experience. I did everything under the sun to have a natural birth and ended up with a c/s. It was dreadful. I would do fine to never see that doctor or nurse again (it was the other doc in the practice).
I'm not pg yet either, but hoping to be soon. I've joined a vbac support group through ICAN and the women there are wonderful--very supportive, understanding and have a lot of information.
I am grateful for my wonderful daughter, but the c/s was one of the worst things in my life. You're not alone.
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#6 of 8 Old 03-29-2004, 01:02 PM
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elcome to MDC.

I also had a very difficult first birth; I was in active labor for 4.5 days, and even though I had a vaginal (vacuum assisted) delivery I had a 3 day recovery in the hospital, and Eli spent a week in NICU.

The decision to get pregnant a second time was hard coming. For a while I didn't even want to have sex on the off chance that I might get pregnant; learning about FA really helped me gain confidence there.

Before Eli's birth, Mike & I had planned to have a baby every year and a half or so until we had four due to his age & chronic medical condition. He's nine years older than I am and didn't want to be an old potentially sick man when he had kids. I was okay with that... until Eli's birth.

We finally did decide to ttc on schedule (and our kids will be 19 months apart or so) after I was able not so much to come to terms with my birth as to really understand that each birth is different. I still worry about the pain, but now I know my options and will not tolerate incompotence on the part of my care providers. I no longer worry about being a frequent flier in triage; if I have any suspicion that my water has broken I'll be in there so fast heads will spin, and I will not call and check in with my dr first (this was a big mistake I made last time; I assumed that other people knew more about what was going on with my body than I did, because I had never delivered a baby before). I was fairly well educated and (for the most part) recieved excellent care, but I had one very important lesson left to learn: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. I'm much more confident in my own assesment of my body this time around, and it's made all the difference in how I feel and view myself.

For example, at every appt. with my first pregnancy, the dr would ask "Do you have any vaginal discharge?" and every time I would dutifully describe what discharge (if any) I had. Now I know what they're looking for and the question they mean to ask, so I answer that instead by saying "My discharge is normal and appropriate for my stage of pregnancy". (And my current dr doesn't ask the wrong question, instead he asks "Are you experiencing any symptoms you feel are abnormal?") It's a different kind of answer, and it gets a different kind of response. Instead of "well, that sounds like it could potentially be strange, maybe we should do a pap smear or a culture" I get a nod and a check-mark on my chart.

I will go into labor informed about what I want, knowing what to expect should things go smoothly or otherwise, and able to advocate for myself (or have my husband advocate for me; he also has learned a lot!) Educate yourself and your husband about all the possibilities and make your own decision. You can get all the facts, and you can have the birth that you want. Information and confidence, those are the most important things to have. Feel free to pm me if you like... I can go on at length on this subject.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#7 of 8 Old 03-29-2004, 03:50 PM
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Like so many women, I also had PTSD (post-traumatic-stress-disorder) after the surgical birth of my first daughter.
For me, the first step was to admit that I was traumatized by what happened. I had to give myself permission to grieve the loss of the all-natural, unmedicated birth I had planned to have.
It wasn't easy, when for two years everyone kept telling me that it wasn't so bad and "all that matters is that your baby is alive and healthy."

There are so many other things I had to do before I was ready for my vbac, but unfortunately I had to do it all during my second pregnancy! Good for you, thinking ahead like that!

Welcome, stick around, get to know us. You will find this to be an amazingly supportive place, no matter what you decide is best for you in your particular situation.
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#8 of 8 Old 03-31-2004, 07:47 PM
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Count me in among the mamas who had a difficult first birth ending in c/s.

The thing that struck me about your post was what you said about being afraid that you would "wimp out" and not have a vaginal birth. I feel really strongly that a c-section should never ever be viewed as a "failure," especially if mom and baby are healthy. Sometimes traumatic, often unnecessary, but I hate the blaming language that is often used around c-sections--blaming that is often directed at the women giving birth as much as at care providers.

Based on your post (I haven't read your birth story, sorry), you did the best you could the first time around to birth your baby in the best way you could. I'm sure you'll do the same the next time around. I wonder if it might be helpful to work on forgiving yourself for what you see as your "failures" during your last birth, so that you can move on to birthing your next baby with a clean slate.
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