C/S recovery & support thread - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-26-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Hm, I see that you're new here so I want to say as nicely as possible, we are entitled to our feelings and to a place to discuss them freely. I'm glad you feel good about your csection and your part in the process. Unfortunately a lot of us do not and the "healthy mom, healthy baby=success" attitude is so prevalent that it is very hard to find help and support to process a birth that did not go as planned or desired.

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Old 10-26-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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Ama-mama - I'm glad your birth experience and c-section were wonderful.

As this thread is titled, this is an area for support, compassion and understanding for those of us who have had c-sections and wrestle with our decisions, expectations and emotions. The birthing experience is not and should not be wrapped up into an end goal of healthy baby, healthy mother, but a journey which may challenge even the best of our intentions and hopes and how we come out the otherside to make improvements to the process.

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Old 10-27-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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Well, considering how many posts there are in this thread about how OTHER people have made the posters feel about their c-sections, and how many felt they needed to defend their decisions, I don't think my views are out of line. I think there is so much pressure on women to have a certain kind of "birth experience." IMO, that is unhealthy. These expectations can lead to PPD, a slower, harder recovery, and an atmosphere where some women feel superior, when in reality they may have just been lucky.

As I said, I didn't plan on a c-section. I stayed home for quite a while after my water broke before going to the hospital. I also believe that one reason many women have bad c-section experiences is that, in their effort to have a vaginal birth, they resist medical advice until the situation is truly dire.

All that said, I also think my experience was a good one because I was lucky in many ways. The OB on call was the most experienced in the practice, and likely the most skilled surgeon, I lucked out with the anaesthesiologist, my doula rocked (even though she was my backup, as my first choice was out of town for Thanksgiving (I delivered at 38 weeks)), and that it was hospital policy not to separate mother and baby post c-section. From what I understand, it's unusual that I was holding my daughter almost immediately and that she was nursing, skin on skin so quickly.

I have friends who've had still births, I have a dear friend whose daughter's neural tube defect was not discovered until after her birth. To downplay the importance of a healthy baby vis a vis an "experience" makes no sense to me. I'll just end this by saying to the women who feel that other women have made them feel "less than" for not having a vaginal birth, you are a strong woman who endured major abdominal surgery to bring your child safely into the world, and possibly to ensure that you would survive to mother your child. That is the furthest thing from "less than" or "broken."
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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Well, considering how many posts there are in this thread about how OTHER people have made the posters feel about their c-sections, and how many felt they needed to defend their decisions, I don't think my views are out of line. I think there is so much pressure on women to have a certain kind of "birth experience." IMO, that is unhealthy. These expectations can lead to PPD, a slower, harder recovery, and an atmosphere where some women feel superior, when in reality they may have just been lucky.

As I said, I didn't plan on a c-section. I stayed home for quite a while after my water broke before going to the hospital. I also believe that one reason many women have bad c-section experiences is that, in their effort to have a vaginal birth, they resist medical advice until the situation is truly dire.

All that said, I also think my experience was a good one because I was lucky in many ways. The OB on call was the most experienced in the practice, and likely the most skilled surgeon, I lucked out with the anaesthesiologist, my doula rocked (even though she was my backup, as my first choice was out of town for Thanksgiving (I delivered at 38 weeks)), and that it was hospital policy not to separate mother and baby post c-section. From what I understand, it's unusual that I was holding my daughter almost immediately and that she was nursing, skin on skin so quickly.

I have friends who've had still births, I have a dear friend whose daughter's neural tube defect was not discovered until after her birth. To downplay the importance of a healthy baby vis a vis an "experience" makes no sense to me. I'll just end this by saying to the women who feel that other women have made them feel "less than" for not having a vaginal birth, you are a strong woman who endured major abdominal surgery to bring your child safely into the world, and possibly to ensure that you would survive to mother your child. That is the furthest thing from "less than" or "broken."
Thanks! I needed that tonight. I'm going in for my 5th in the morning and am so nervous and even though I feel comfortable with this decision, I tend to second guess a lot when I'm under pressure.
I always wonder "maybe I could've had that VBA3C or maybe I should have gone for a VBA4C? I mean other women have." But with my history of scar dehiscence and placenta problems, I know my risks are higher with a VBAC and that it's better for the baby if I have the c/s. And it was nice to read the part about feeling "less than" tonight.

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Old 10-27-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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Glad that helped, Mary. Congrats on #5! With 5 imminently on the way, you are the furthest thing from "less than." You are Supermom. Hope all goes smoothly tomorrow. I wish drs and hospitals did more to make all kinds of birth experiences as good as possible. You don't need to have a vaginal birth to have a joyful birth experience. And mothering is SO much more than childbirth. One of the most incredible moms I know is the adoptive mom of 2 amazing children. Some of the choices she's made in dealing with things with her kids just blow me away with her wisdom. So much of her mothering is about mindfulness. I think that applies to birth experiences. Instead of wishing for a different kind of experience, be in the moment of the one you are actually having.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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Mary, good luck and congrats! Not to sound weird, but I'm glad to hear you're having your 5th c/s, it gives me hope I can safely have more children someday (And, i have a friend who has had 6 c/s and might have more, so I know it's possible!)

I understand what you're saying, ama-mama (though I don't think it came out the way you meant in your first post).
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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I understand what you're saying, ama-mama (though I don't think it came out the way you meant in your first post).
Thanks, CherryBomb. I think a lot of what I was trying to express in my first post (maybe unsuccessfully), is how awful it is for other mothers to make a woman feel bad for having a c-section. The atmosphere that makes it okay for women to judge each other contributes greatly to women beating themselves up and second guessing their decisions. You may get another chance at the childbirth experience you want, but you don't get a do over for that particular child's birth. So what's the point of welcoming your child into the world with self recrimination and regret?
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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So what's the point of welcoming your child into the world with self recrimination and regret?
I think the issues a lot of us have is that we know vaginal birth is safer (void medical contraindications) and we plan for that for our babies and are more sad that we couldn't give them a safe birth, or simply that they didn't have one, as we know a lot of time the choice is not up to us. So, it's not that we don't welcome them, it's that the process of birthing them was difficult, not what we planned, we most likely felt afraid, out of control, looked down upon (by ourselves or others) or all of those and more.

It's very easy for one who has had trauma in the past rape, molestation, physical abuse, other scary events, some maybe relating to surgeries, to hate the fact that they had/had to have a cesarean. To these moms, just because the baby is here and they are to, doesn't mean both are 'healthy', and I think that's a little misunderstood.

I believe that birth is an event personal to both the mom and baby and it's separate than the love of the baby, but a bad birth can cloud that line and make it difficult for a mom to work through. The not bonding is a simple fact of nature. In studies, when sheeps are given just an epidural for birth, they don't want anything to do with their babies. What if we did not only that, but actually cut the babies out of them. How traumatizing for the ewe and lamb, and I'm sure you would that some reactions mom's have are simply part of our mammalian make up.

Just to say also, I doubt many moms 'resist medical advice till the situation is truly dire'. I think that is incredibly irresponsible, and dangerous. I think moms that don't respect the risks of some interventions are in the same category. There are plenty of women who know that VBAC is safer (usually), epidurals are risky (some times should be delayed and other interventions tried) and such and they put htemselves subject and their babies to risks.

Yes, I agree there is pressure to have 'the perfect birth'. I think this is wrong also and women should not necessarily believe that they should be happy with a healthy mom and baby, but should be happy, in time, when they work through their process knowing they did everything they could for a happy, healthy birth for them and their babies. Otherwise, women feel that they again, are crappy for not being 'over it' and that they are now ungrateful in addition to the plethora of emotions they are working through.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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I think the issues a lot of us have is that we know vaginal birth is safer (void medical contraindications) and we plan for that for our babies and are more sad that we couldn't give them a safe birth, or simply that they didn't have one, as we know a lot of time the choice is not up to us. So, it's not that we don't welcome them, it's that the process of birthing them was difficult, not what we planned, we most likely felt afraid, out of control, looked down upon (by ourselves or others) or all of those and more.

It's very easy for one who has had trauma in the past rape, molestation, physical abuse, other scary events, some maybe relating to surgeries, to hate the fact that they had/had to have a cesarean. To these moms, just because the baby is here and they are to, doesn't mean both are 'healthy', and I think that's a little misunderstood.

I believe that birth is an event personal to both the mom and baby and it's separate than the love of the baby, but a bad birth can cloud that line and make it difficult for a mom to work through. The not bonding is a simple fact of nature. In studies, when sheeps are given just an epidural for birth, they don't want anything to do with their babies. What if we did not only that, but actually cut the babies out of them. How traumatizing for the ewe and lamb, and I'm sure you would that some reactions mom's have are simply part of our mammalian make up.

Just to say also, I doubt many moms 'resist medical advice till the situation is truly dire'. I think that is incredibly irresponsible, and dangerous. I think moms that don't respect the risks of some interventions are in the same category. There are plenty of women who know that VBAC is safer (usually), epidurals are risky (some times should be delayed and other interventions tried) and such and they put htemselves subject and their babies to risks.

Yes, I agree there is pressure to have 'the perfect birth'. I think this is wrong also and women should not necessarily believe that they should be happy with a healthy mom and baby, but should be happy, in time, when they work through their process knowing they did everything they could for a happy, healthy birth for them and their babies. Otherwise, women feel that they again, are crappy for not being 'over it' and that they are now ungrateful in addition to the plethora of emotions they are working through.
Perfectly put, as always.

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Old 11-02-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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Yes, I agree there is pressure to have 'the perfect birth'. I think this is wrong also and women should not necessarily believe that they should be happy with a healthy mom and baby, but should be happy, in time, when they work through their process knowing they did everything they could for a happy, healthy birth for them and their babies. Otherwise, women feel that they again, are crappy for not being 'over it' and that they are now ungrateful in addition to the plethora of emotions they are working through.
Great point, especially the bolded. I think it's important for us to be gentle with ourselves and each other and respect that we might all be in different places.

At any rate, I'm 3 weeks out from my c/s and feeling decent physically. I'm also feeling more at peace about it emotionally, and more accepting of the fact that any future babies will be born via c/s. I'm still working through some stuff, but overall I'm okay. I hope everyone else is doing okay, too.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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So what's the point of welcoming your child into the world with self recrimination and regret?
The point? The point is that that's how we feel. It's that simple. I didn't wake up after my first c-section and think, "okay - time to feel like an awful mom and a failure"...I just felt that way. (And, I didn't even know about the natural birth community, so it wasn't about anyone "making" me feel that way.)

And, I've had a stillbirth - at term, after an HBA3C attempt. And, I still despise the "healthy mom, healthy baby" mantra. It makes me furious whenever I hear it. It's been used to push me down a path I never would have chosen on my own, and it's part of the mindset of the people who stepped all over me to protect me from...me.

I have many, many regrets. I didn't decide to have them. I just do. Dealing with them is a 24/7 task that affects every part of my life. Now, in my case, the reason it's so hard to say, "Oh, well, I did my best" is because I didn't. But, whatever the reasons, the self-recriminations and regrets just are. They don't have to have a point.

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Old 11-03-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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so I don't know if this is the right place to post this thought- but I guess it is related to my c section. It is just that I am 7 and a 1/2 month post c section (which is my only birth experience so I have nothing to compare it to) and while the weight in most of my body is rebounding somewhat to pre pregnancy form, still a ways to go but feeling fine with it, despite that my Belly is still huge and I look about 6 months pregnant! Like the rest of me is slimming down but my belly still protrudes out really far. I even had a guy on a train the other week say something to me like, it looks like your baby is going to have a sibling! I'm like- no, I am not pregnant. But I can see how he thought that. So is this c section related? I am quite active, eat a lot but not ridiculous- I am just wondering if the belly area in your guys' experiences, stays big/ pregnant looking for longer after a c section than a vaginal birth? I don't know but in some ways I feel like my body is still protecting that incision area. but it is awkward to still look pregnant.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:22 AM
 
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snapdragon: It sounds as though you have a diastasis. They happen in a high percentage of pregnancies, but I believe - based solely on anecdotal evidence, so take it for what it's worth - that they're more common, or at least generally more severe, after a c-section.

Check out maternalfitness.com and/or the book, Lose Your Mummy Tummy for more information.

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Old 11-04-2010, 01:13 AM
 
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thanks for the idea- I looked up what that is but that is not what I have! My belly just looks big and round. It probably wasn't the right place to post it here- and I am feeling fine about it so now I think I will move away from that subject please, thanks!!
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:48 AM
 
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Hi mamas,
Can you please help me out with some info? I'm pregnant with my 3rd, the first 2 were unfortunately cesarean births. It looks like we will have to move back to the US (probably NY) before the end of this pregnancy, and I know nothing about how c-sections work there, as both of mine were born in Europe.

I have anxieties about sharing recovery rooms with other women...do you know if it's possible with private insurance to have a private room, or whether it is possible to pay for an upgrade?

How long do they let you stay and recover?

Will it be possible to hire a postpartum midwife/doula to help out with the recovery at home afterwards even if you've had a c-section?

Do they always ask for parental permission before they try to jab your newborn with a vaccine or other treatment? Or do they sometimes do it without you knowing?

Do I have to look for a certain kind of hospital that allows for rooming in with the baby?

Sorry for so many questions...I'm freaking out! Thanks so much to anyone who will kindly take the time to help me understand!

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Old 11-04-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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Hi calynde! Do you have any idea where you'll be moving to? Really, it all depends on the hospital. I had a great hospital that only has private rooms, for example, but that might not be the case in many other hospitals. Standard stay for c/s is 3 days, I think this is pretty consistent across the country. Yes you should be able to hire a pp doula. Legally they're supposed to ask parental permission before doing anything. Rooming in is pretty standard in many hospitals now.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:33 AM
 
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Hi calynde! Do you have any idea where you'll be moving to? Really, it all depends on the hospital. I had a great hospital that only has private rooms, for example, but that might not be the case in many other hospitals. Standard stay for c/s is 3 days, I think this is pretty consistent across the country. Yes you should be able to hire a pp doula. Legally they're supposed to ask parental permission before doing anything. Rooming in is pretty standard in many hospitals now.
I don't know where exactly we'll be. The job is in NYC, we're still grappling with whether to live in the city or out in the burbs.

3 days? omg, we have 7 days here, including 3 delicious meals a day and massages, herbal teas and acupuncture to aid healing. then they pay for a post partum midwife to come to your house every day for a week afterward.

Of course, I knew this wouldn't be the case in the US, but I was soooo not ready to go home on day 3. man.

thank you so much for responding!

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Old 11-06-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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Oh gosh, that sounds heavenly! Well, I doubt you'll find a hospital like that here, but hopefully you can find a decent place.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Hi mamas,
Can you please help me out with some info?
All the rooms in the three hospitals I've used are private rooms and I've always roomed in without having to ask. I've stayed 2.5 days after each c/s. I couldn't wait to get home and rest comfortably. With our first they did everything without asking. He would come back with band aids on. Now my DH goes with the baby every single time to make sure they don't do that.

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Old 11-07-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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Hello, ladies. Just subbing in. Glad to have found this thread, although I have not read it all. I just had a c-sec on Friday, planned at 37w1d due to complete previa. I had been planning a home water birth. Like some of you, I have a sense of my body failing me.

Can't keep me eyes open. More later.

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Old 11-07-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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Congratulations on your new baby Karen! I'm sorry that you are feeling like your body has failed you. I hope that these feelings will pass over time.

One of the things that I appreciated most about my hospital is that they purposely do not use the term "natural" birth. Whether their patients deliver vaginally or by c-section, with medication or without, they do not consider any birth to be more "natural" than the other. Each scenario results in the birth of baby and that is what they focus on and each mother is esteemed for what she went through to bring her baby into the world.

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Old 11-07-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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congrats and welcome karen! take it easy the next few days and enjoy thew babe!

anyone here from mary? she was about to have her newest addition a few days ago.

i don't mind the term natural child birth for the non-meds births,but now that i've had a c-section birth i don't like the term "normal" birth to describe ant type of vaginal birth. i feel that my c-section birth was still normal and resulted in a beautiful and healthy baby.

i am missing some of what i could have had with a vaginal,pain free birth,but soon hope to release all of that.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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Congrats Karen! Previa is a tough thing to deal with, I hope your baby is doing well being early, that was always my fear with scheduled CS. I had an abruption at 43 weeks at the end of labor and I know how you feel about your body failing you.

There are a lot of posts here through out this thread that are very helpful and supportive, I think they are worth reading. You will see a lot of women feel the same emotions you are feeling now and have yet to feel.

Rest up, enjoy your baby as much as you can and feel like, but do address the emotions you have about the birth, they are worth dealing with. Post again when you have energy.

Much Love to you!
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I agree that the term natural birth doesn't necessarily bother me, but "normal" birth does. It seems like a very loaded, judgmental term.

Karen, congratulations on your little one! Sorry about the previa and c/s

My feelings are always up and down about this last c/s. I don't really have negative feelings about the surgery itself, but I have a lot of regrets about decisions I made. I asked to be induced for PIH instead of continuing bedrest, I asked to do it Monday instead of Friday (when my OB would have been the on call), I consented to surgery after the c/s happy oncall suggested it for ftp...etc etc. I feel resentful of people I know who have such easy labors and deliveries, like my friend who was induced at 39 weeks, got her epidural right away, labored for 4 hours and pushed 3 times. Sigh. (Granted this was her third, but she was induced at 37 weeks with her first 2 and also had easy labors).
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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Congratulations Karen! Hope you're enjoying the little one.

For some reason everyone I know seems to be having these 3-4 hour labors and popping the baby out in the comfort of their own home. And I've been feeling so sad and "why me?" I had 4 days of labor and 2.5 hours of pushing w/ DS1, a day and half of labor with like 8 hours of on and off pushing w/ DS2. It makes me feel like my body is just not designed to deliver babies. DH said, well maybe it is something physical and in that case, how can you feel bad about it, it's totally out of your control. But that doesn't sit right at all. I know what went wrong with DS1 but have no idea what happened with DS2 and I'm fairly sure it's unrelated.

I've also just been grieving the vaginal birth experience I'll most likely never have. Something I always wanted. And it makes me wish I didn't know what natural birth was supposed to be like and that I hadn't read all those awesome, empowering home birth stories. And it makes me wish I didn't care and could just be happy with just doing what I was told.

And honestly, the term normal birth, in a hospital situation is generally not a natural birth either.

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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And I've been feeling so sad and "why me?" I had 4 days of labor and 2.5 hours of pushing w/ DS1, a day and half of labor with like 8 hours of on and off pushing w/ DS2. It makes me feel like my body is just not designed to deliver babies. DH said, well maybe it is something physical and in that case, how can you feel bad about it, it's totally out of your control. But that doesn't sit right at all. ..........

I've also just been grieving the vaginal birth experience I'll most likely never have. Something I always wanted. And it makes me wish I didn't know what natural birth was supposed to be like and that I hadn't read all those awesome, empowering home birth stories. And it makes me wish I didn't care and could just be happy with just doing what I was told.
I so get this (bolding mine). I went through this, and with my first he was asynclitic, 24 hrs. active labor only 4cm to 6cm, then CS, second was with a baby who we now think was in the same position possibly, and with non reassuring heart tones, 36+hrs active labor 5cm to 9cm, then back to 7cm at hospital and with an abruption. I delt with the, 'if it's physical it's not my fault', but honestly, if it's emotional, it's not your fault either. There are plenty of emotional things that inhibit labor and those aren't our fault either. If we had the tools to recognize them and change those circumstances, we would, just as physical things. We didn't. We did the best we knew how to do with the situation that was given.

Oh, and I'll never have that vaginal birth experience, as we have to sadly and gladly be done with having babies. So, I get that too, and it's worth grieving over for me.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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I delt with the, 'if it's physical it's not my fault', but honestly, if it's emotional, it's not your fault either. There are plenty of emotional things that inhibit labor and those aren't our fault either. If we had the tools to recognize them and change those circumstances, we would, just as physical things. We didn't. We did the best we knew how to do with the situation that was given.

Oh, and I'll never have that vaginal birth experience, as we have to sadly and gladly be done with having babies. So, I get that too, and it's worth grieving over for me.


Bolding mine...

 

This is such an important thing to recognize, and I really appreciate you phrasing it in this way. The mainstream view of birth doesn't seem to acknowledge that emotional history has anything to do with birth. And the natural birth approach talks a lot about how emotions affect birth, but seems to assume that you can just "get over" your fear, grief, or whatever just by thinking positive, putting love in your heart, having an outstanding support team (as if everyone can manifest that just by wanting it), etc. Neither approach is very helpful for those of us with complex emotional histories.

 

I had one experience of pregnancy & birth, and that's it for me, too. I'm sad that my birthing experience was so difficult and that's all I'll ever know. It's another strand of grief woven into my being, and as time goes by, it's easier for me to accept that that's how it is and to have compassion and even tenderness for my grief.

 

I do sometimes think that people who have "peaceful, blissful" birthing experiences have a sort of charmed existence.


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Old 11-10-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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This is going to sound harsh, but I think the majority of people who have 'peaceful, blissful' births are really not exploring their true emotions on it (mainly mainstream women).  I think it takes a VERY strong person to work through the process of birth having happened to them.  For instance, I think back on BOTH my CS and directly after I was fine with everything.  It was the, well, she's here now, everything is great, we had to do what we had to do, I'm glad we did it, everyone was very respectful of what I wanted, etc.  A few days later, it was not.  I was hurting to the core of my being as I realized what just happened to my body and my baby.  I worked through that layer, then a week later, there was another.  Then you work through that, then a month later, there's another, etc.  It doesn't get worse, but it IS a process, and I think the women who say that the way their baby was born didn't matter to them aren't working through that process.  Again, this is not ALL mom's, but I do think it's the vast majority of them. 

Kuddos to US for working through these emotions and this process and yes, our kids and ourselves, and those closest to us will benefit from our work.

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Old 11-10-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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This is going to sound harsh, but I think the majority of people who have 'peaceful, blissful' births are really not exploring their true emotions on it (mainly mainstream women).  I think it takes a VERY strong person to work through the process of birth having happened to them.  For instance, I think back on BOTH my CS and directly after I was fine with everything.  It was the, well, she's here now, everything is great, we had to do what we had to do, I'm glad we did it, everyone was very respectful of what I wanted, etc.  A few days later, it was not.  I was hurting to the core of my being as I realized what just happened to my body and my baby.  I worked through that layer, then a week later, there was another.  Then you work through that, then a month later, there's another, etc.  It doesn't get worse, but it IS a process, and I think the women who say that the way their baby was born didn't matter to them aren't working through that process.  Again, this is not ALL mom's, but I do think it's the vast majority of them. 

Kuddos to US for working through these emotions and this process and yes, our kids and ourselves, and those closest to us will benefit from our work.

This is what I've been talking with my doula about and she has been fanstatic in just letting me work through each layer and even acknowledge that one day I can be fine & proud how I handled my 2nd c/s" and then the next day an utter wreck emotionally.  

 

I remember  when I decided to consent to my 2nd c/s - I had the lines of the serenity "prayer" running through my mind. 

God/Goddess, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

 

Not trying to proselytize , but I find it interesting as we work through these emotions how true some of this "prayer" resonates whatever your beliefs.  


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