C/S recovery & support thread - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After reading through the 'c/s forum' thread, it was suggested that we start a thread on c/s.

So here it is.

I'd like to keep it open to those who have issues with their c/s and those that don't. Hopefully we can support each other as we heal.

Right now, I'm almost on day 12 post-op. Feel a lot better, physically, after this c/s than with the c/s with ds. No idea why. I have to force myself to take it easy though. There were a few days when I pushed myself too far and things didn't go well, ER visit and all.

Mentally, I am between being okay of having had a failed VBAC since ds was not doing well, but then again, not. I feel, in some big way, broken. I am joking around with people, saying that well, at least my breasts work. Carrying a child to term or birthing them, that's iffy. But the boobs, they works.

Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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#2 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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I'm 17 days post c/s with my son! I don't think I feel broken or that I failed at anything. I tried very hard for a natural med free,intervention free birth. The main goal of my birth though was to have an experience where the nurses and doctor listened to me and respected me and my choices. I went in to the hospital well informed with a great birth plan and a very supportive doula. I felt respected the whole time. I felt empowered the whole time. They gave me as much time as they could before suggesting a c-section. My son was in distress though and the 2nd time they suggested it,they were very firm about it and I knew I had to say yes. I feel I made the right choice.

I read recently on MDC a very good post about how maybe a womans body doesn't let her progress enough to have that natural vaginal birth as a way to protect her and her baby from a danger that no one can see,but the body does. So I'm glad to have the c-section if that's true and I like to think it is. My body knew what it was doing and it knew it needed help from the doctors and modern science.
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#3 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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Congrats to both of you! Hope the rest of your recovery (physically and emotionally) goes well.

My last c-section was 3.5 years ago, so I'm pretty far out from it all by now, but I've had a total of four (2 after laboring - including a vba2c attempt - and 2 scheduled 'elective').

I'd love to have at least one more baby (have been TTC for 2 years now), so I'm subbing to this thread. Thanks for starting it. Hopefully those who have had c-sections or who will be having one feel comfortable sharing and asking questions here.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#4 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I read recently on MDC a very good post about how maybe a womans body doesn't let her progress enough to have that natural vaginal birth as a way to protect her and her baby from a danger that no one can see,but the body does. So I'm glad to have the c-section if that's true and I like to think it is. My body knew what it was doing and it knew it needed help from the doctors and modern science.
I completely feel that this was the case with Elias, my new little one. My first pregnancy ended at 16 weeks when I went into spontaneous labor. Baby was fine, no one knows why I went into labor. Just did. 3.5hrs later, he was born.

With ds2, I had an unnecessarean. Completely. I was dilating, but slowly. It was a darn induction for a first time full term mama, and they tried to c/s me at 8hrs into it. I made it to 22hrs before they took me to the OR.

With Elias, I just felt that something wasn't quite right. I started labor Sunday morning. Took an entire day for contractions to reach 5 min apart. Even then, I only dilated to a 3. Went in, got admitted, 7hrs later, dilated to a 4. Intense back/pelvic pain. Holy moly, I went without pain meds for 10 hrs of my pitocin induced labor--THAT was bearable. Also, even with a bit of a pitocin boost at 40 some odd hours into it, my contractions wouldn't get any closer than 3min apart, and space back out to 5 min. And the closer they got, the worse Elias did. He also couldn't get into position.

I feel like my biggest feelings of being broken/failure is because of the bias against trying for a VBA2C and people's looks of sympathy when hearing I've had yet another c/s. And then the comments about getting dh fixed, of stopping after Elias, etc. I want at least 2 more kids. And the way people talk, it makes me feel like I am so broken, that I should throw away all those desires.

Anyone else get this 'vibe'?

Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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#5 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Ami I don't think you are broken and I don't think you failed. Birth is never completely in your control so you can't really blame yourself for "failing" when it doesn't go as you wanted. You did try. If you'd gone in and said "ok my water broke time for the c/s" then you can't say you tried to have a VBAC or natural birth.

I tired so hard for a natural birth. I waited close to 48 hours after my water broke to visit the hospital. My contractions weren't strong enough and I knew they'd want to give me pit right away if I went that Friday night. I didn't want that or ANY interventions. So I waited until Monday morning. My contractions had been strong,but not to close the night before,but stalled by the time I went,but I knew I had to go in b/c I had serious kidney pain.

They of course tried to get me to take the antibiotics and I kept saying no explaining I knew the risks of not taking them. I had to say yes to the cath though since I tried so hard for about 2 hours to pee and couldn't. Later on they suggested some IV fluids b/c I was dehydrated and my doula agreed that I should take it,but I said no. I later told them it was time for the fluids after getting sick 4 times. So much for the coconut juice I'd just drank to help me out. These 2 interventions seemed pretty natural to me and much needed so I said yes when I was ready for them.

I'd been there quite a while before they offered the pit,a few times and I kept saying no and explained my reasons for not wanting it. They explained my baby was in distress and I needed to move things along and fast,they gave me 30 minutes to start my own contractions,but that didn't help much so I said yes to the pit. They didn't offer me any pain meds though,they knew I'd ask if I wanted them. They knew not to offer them. The contractions got painful,but I handled them well enough. I'll have to ask my doula how long it went on before they talked about a c-section. It felt like forever.

I didn't dilate at all. I arrived at 3 1/2 cm and only got to 4 1/2 close to 24 hours later,even with the pit. They said it was time for the OB to come and talk to me about a s-section,they didn't ask me that time like they had a few hours before. They still didn't force me though,but they were firm and reminded me my baby was in distress and had been for a while. They all said I did well and that it was ok to have the section and if I did it would all be over soon. They all understood how tired I was and how frustrated I was getting.

I don't feel there is anything I could have done to make myself dilate any faster. Maybe I could have waited at home more,but I knew that if I couldn't pee or if I had a kidney infection and stayed home with it things could have been worse for me and the baby. I only went to the hospital b/c I followed my instinct.

I do sorta think that if I birthed vaginally I'd feel different though. I don't know how to explain it. I didn't get to see or feel my son come into the world. I only heard him cry as they pulled him out of me. I miss not being able to reach down and feel the top of his head,the nurses had felt his head during cervical checks though. Maybe I'm a bit envious they did and I didn't. I'm sad I didn't get to see his first mother,the placenta. I really wanted to touch her and take pictures of her. In the OR I didn't even think about that.
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#6 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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Congrats to both MamitaM and JTA mom! I wish very speedy and uneventful recoveries.

I had my c/s almost 4 years ago, for the birth of my 1st child. It was quite unexpected and at the time it was pretty traumatic for me. I did have a VBAC 2 yrs later with the homebirth of my daughter, but needless to say it was pretty traumatic, too. I'd say more so than my c/s. When we have our
3rd and final child, I still am not quite sure if I will attempt another vaginal birth (in the hospital), or just sign up for a cesarean.

Thank you for starting this thread, JTA. I hope it stays here, if you KWIM.

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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#7 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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I had a c-sec after a 65-70 hr active labor at home, and 15 hours of involuntary and voluntary pushing. There wasn't a chance in heck my boy's enormous coconut head was moving even an inch. I was a HB doula and quite cocky in my views of believing in a woman's ability to birth naturally. I had every bit of strength I needed, there was no wimping out... but at the end of my third watching the sun rise and set, I made the decision to transfer. That boy was STUCK and my body was convulsing and going crazy trying to fight against that fact.

The emotional recovery was made that much harder by the natural childbirth community.
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#8 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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Ami I don't think you are broken and I don't think you failed. Birth is never completely in your control so you can't really blame yourself for "failing" when it doesn't go as you wanted. You did try.
YES.

I often called myself "broken" or "a failure" after my c/s. I thought my HBAC would "heal" me... and it did. But in ways I NEVER would have dreamed of.

My VBAC made me realize I really don't have a lot of control over how the birth will go -- even at home away from all the interventions and OB protocols. You just do it and you hope for the best.

If I needed or elected a c/s for my next child, I wouldn't think of myself as a failure. Just a mother who is about to meet her baby. I try not to put too much emphasis on the actual birth anymore. If all goes well next time, I will consider it a bonus.

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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#9 of 319 Old 10-03-2010, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ami I don't think you are broken and I don't think you failed. Birth is never completely in your control so you can't really blame yourself for "failing" when it doesn't go as you wanted. You did try. If you'd gone in and said "ok my water broke time for the c/s" then you can't say you tried to have a VBAC or natural birth.
Thank you for saying this, Mamita. I have tears in my eyes. I think that after the fluke way of losing Joseph, then the pre-eclampsia with ds2 and then 2 c/s, those around me see me as 'broken'. I mean, how many 'bad' side of the stats can one woman be?

I am also a perfectionist. I am not used to giving it my all and then not reaching my goals. Hence the feeling of failure. But you are right, birth is not something we can control. We can only do so much, but then the rest is out of our hands.

It's interesting though, that my Grandmother, who I am named after, also had childbearing issues. Her first child, my aunt, was delivered by c/s (way back in the 50s, in Greece too, so super antiquated stuff). Her second baby was miscarried around Joseph's gestation (16 weeks) and it was a boy. She had a severe scare with a car nearly hitting her, and went into labor. She then had my mother, also a c/s--however, she ruptured and had to be rushed to the mainland hospital. My mother was in an incubator and my Grandmother had to stay in the hospital the entire year afterwards due to the issues with that.

Sometimes I wonder if it's something with this name. Totally stupid and superstitious but still. It's not a common name, even in Greece. So who knows. Maybe it's a way for me to try to explain what is normally just chaos.

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Congrats to both MamitaM and JTA mom! I wish very speedy and uneventful recoveries.

I had my c/s almost 4 years ago, for the birth of my 1st child. It was quite unexpected and at the time it was pretty traumatic for me. I did have a VBAC 2 yrs later with the homebirth of my daughter, but needless to say it was pretty traumatic, too. I'd say more so than my c/s. When we have our
3rd and final child, I still am not quite sure if I will attempt another vaginal birth (in the hospital), or just sign up for a cesarean.

Thank you for starting this thread, JTA. I hope it stays here, if you KWIM.
Thanks for the well wishes! I don't know if it's okay for you to share, but how was your homebirth traumatic?

I am considering having a HBA2C with my next baby. I don't like hospitals at all, and am much more comfy at home. Who knows though.

My issue with the c/s, the main one, is that we want to have at least 2 more kids. And while some women have many c/s, it's not the 'norm'. I guess, I am scared of having someone else tell me when I should stop having kids. This time around, the surgeon said my uterus looked perfect--no issues. But who knows next time. And while this c/s was tons better (got a better anesthesiologist, so was awake this time--apparently I'm a light weight when it comes to that stuff) I still had to breathe through some of it. Just knowing they were cutting me open, moving stuff around, makes me a bit ill just thinking about it right now. At the time, I wanted to get up and run away!

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I had a c-sec after a 65-70 hr active labor at home, and 15 hours of involuntary and voluntary pushing. There wasn't a chance in heck my boy's enormous coconut head was moving even an inch. I was a HB doula and quite cocky in my views of believing in a woman's ability to birth naturally. I had every bit of strength I needed, there was no wimping out... but at the end of my third watching the sun rise and set, I made the decision to transfer. That boy was STUCK and my body was convulsing and going crazy trying to fight against that fact.

The emotional recovery was made that much harder by the natural childbirth community.
I lol'ed at the coconut head comment!

I agree with the last part. Sometimes I wonder if I just wasn't strong enough. But shoot, both of us have had DAYS of labor. Even Mamita had days worth of labor.

I get so mad when others, who have had less than one day's worth of labor, tell me that I just didn't give it enough time. I'm sorry, but after 30hrs + of regular contractions, I was EXHAUSTED. There was no 'sleeping through' those suckers, k?

But then my perfectionist side perks up, and goes 'told ya so'. Didn't give it enough time. Maybe if you had waited until 24hrs after your water broke (so if I had decided to labor for 14 more hours) until given no choice, or if you had waited until Elias had really started to crash, you would have done all you can.

But, then the other part of me, the part that could think still, saw that I only had 2 choices, really. One was an emergency c/s--knock me out and literally rip Elias out. OR I could suck it up, give them enough time to put in a working epidural, get properly sedated and give the surgeon time to do a proper c/s.

And as hard as a c/s is, I remember hating how 'out of it' I was with ds2. And how I hated that I didn't get to see him until 24hrs after the birth. And how about the first 6-8 hrs after surgery, I don't remember much, if anything. I actually REMEMBER the surgery, the recovery room and, the most beautiful part, Elias' cry. I missed hearing ds2's cry. There's no way I was doing that again.

It was odd too. I was instantly bonded to Joseph when he was born vaginally. I was instantly bonded to Elias as soon as dh brought him to me. With Stephen, it took time to be bonded. I don't have the memory of feeling him leave my body, of seeing him withing minutes of that like with my other two sons. I think it's a huge reason why my first c/s was so traumatic. I mentally *knew* I had given birth, but the animalistic side, the 'mama bear' side, couldn't make sense of it for a while.

Sorry for going on and on and on. I just feel like getting this all out is helpful. And it's hard to talk to those around me who haven't btdt. I don't know anyone else who's had a c/s. And I don't think many people get it, with regards to recovery. Even the nurses in the hospital were callous. I mean, the day after surgery, I can't exactly move around well, so getting up out of bed, standing up and taking my crying baby out of the bassinet--I need help with that. Help I wasn't getting. And they didn't allow dh or anyone else to stay overnight. I am torn though--their surgeons are excellent, since it's a HUGE public hospital, so if I need another c/s, I definitely want to go there. Afterwards though, I want a different hospital to recuperate in!

Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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#10 of 319 Old 10-04-2010, 09:06 AM
 
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JTA Mom, we had a shoulder dystocia.

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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#11 of 319 Old 10-04-2010, 09:35 AM
 
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Thread crashing (i know! Rude!) just to nod in agreement about the natural birth community second-guessing and/or judging. I've been very lucky with my births but it does wear me out when people dress that luck up as "good effort" or "skill". I was lucky. I have had 4 miscarriages, so please don't tell me about how my body works perfectly or i was made to birth babies. More of my children have died in this womb than been safely delivered from it. I'm very grateful that i haven't had a c-s, but i was born by c-s and i know my mum didn't fail me, quite the opposite - she loved me so desperately she faced some massive fears and submitted to painful surgery and recovery to get me here. She was made of IRON, her motto was always "have plan B" - she was always the one for "what's the next viable alternative?", sure she didn't always get to do things the easy or "right" (according to other peoples opinions) way, but her flexibility got 6 kids raised (4 of whom she raised as a single mama), meant she was never without a way to earn money, and got her 7 years of life AFTER she was given 6-12months when her cancer was diagnosed.

When i think of the things so many women front up to and bear out, only to be told by others they have failed It makes me so sad and angry.

I'm not wording any of this very well, but i just wanted to tell you that i think you are amazing, not failures. I hate how as women society can fail us, medicine can fail us, plain old LUCK can fail us, and at the end there will be a blame and it will be rested heavily onto the shoulders of the individual. For me a good mother is courageous, a good mother is flexible, a good mother is loving. Arguably many of you were more courageous, flexible and loving on the day your babies were born than i was after a year of motherhood.
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#12 of 319 Old 10-04-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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she loved me so desperately she faced some massive fears and submitted to painful surgery and recovery to get me here.
This made me tear up. This is just how my last birth went. I was really let down when my birth community couldn't recognize what an amazing thing I had just done...even if it wasn't roaring out a baby at home.

shells_n_cheese, yes and yes. Actually my second c/s ended up being very healing. Totally changed my thinking and my focus for this coming birth.

I'm 3 years out from my HBAC transfer. I still had lots to process during this pregnancy.

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#13 of 319 Old 10-04-2010, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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- she loved me so desperately she faced some massive fears and submitted to painful surgery and recovery to get me here.
Thank you for saying this!

I am TERRIFIED of surgery. Always have been. I was sobbing with ds2. SOBBING.

This time around, when I saw Elias' heart rate plummeting, over and over, having to roll around jiggling my belly to keep him above 90, I *knew* what I was facing. And I was still terrified. I didn't tell anyone (you all are the first to hear this) but as they were wheeling me to the OR and prepping me, all I could think of was that I might die on the table. I could just bleed out. Or worse, after surgery, get a huge infection. These thought were constantly running through my head. It doesn't help that my maternal Grandparents had to have surgeries, and it didn't work out well for them. They never got better and my Grandma, at least, died from an embolism due to her last surgery. So, yea, the terror of surgery runs deep. Even my mom, seeing her grandson's heartrate, didn't want me to go in. In fact, during surgery, while they were stitching me up, she was saying that we should stop at the two we have, because of the major surgeries I had to go through.

-----------------------------------------------

Have any of you c/s mamas found that most people brush off how major a surgery a c/s is? I find that I have to remind people I am barely 13 days out of having had major surgery, so my energy/abilities are not in the 'normal' range. It's hard enough for me to take care of my newborn and my toddler (thank goodness for Netflix on demand!), much less make sure I eat/drink enough during the day to keep from passing out at the end of the day.

It's a weird disconnect. Also, those of you with more than one older child, how do you do it? I am having a lot of family help right now, but I'm not sure of having the same amount of help if we are blessed with another one. How do you keep from falling apart?

Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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#14 of 319 Old 10-04-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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Have any of you c/s mamas found that most people brush off how major a surgery a c/s is? I find that I have to remind people I am barely 13 days out of having had major surgery, so my energy/abilities are not in the 'normal' range. It's hard enough for me to take care of my newborn and my toddler (thank goodness for Netflix on demand!), much less make sure I eat/drink enough during the day to keep from passing out at the end of the day.

It's a weird disconnect. Also, those of you with more than one older child, how do you do it? I am having a lot of family help right now, but I'm not sure of having the same amount of help if we are blessed with another one. How do you keep from falling apart?
I am also afraid of surgery. I was really naive going into the induction, and didn't even think a c/s was a real possibility (I know, ridiculous), so when my OB told me, "We need to do a c/s", it was like being hit with a Mac truck. I think I went into shock after that.

YES! People brush off c/s all the time! It's like they simply equate it with the process of having a child--and totally have amnesia about the major surgery part. It is very irritating. Example: a few weeks after my c/s, I was at a get-together at my parents' house. My sister had dental surgery a few days prior, and my father asked her how she was feeling, etc. etc. I was hurt and angry. He NEVER ONCE asked me how I was after the c/s, and it is major surgery! I also had dental surgery before, and it was NOTHING like having and recovering from a c/s. No one (besides DH) asked me how I was. The only thing I was asked by my family was to see my incision, as they had never seen a c/s incision -- I felt like a figgen circus freak!

After I had my c/s, I only had the one child, so I haven't had to take care of multiple children after surgery. It was tough with one though, but I also had NO help. My family was across the state, my DH went back to work a few days after the birth, and we had just moved to the town so we knew no one.

Hang in there Ami. Keep trying to take it easy and taking advantage of Netflix! I can't imagine more than one to care for with no help.

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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#15 of 319 Old 10-04-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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I had a c/s three years ago. I was convinced I was going to have a homebirth, I had been a doula and a midwifery student prior. I planned a hombirth, labored at home for a long time, and my son never descended and ended up getting stuck in a posterior position. I pushed for many hours, off an on throughout a night, before I made the decision to transfer in the early morning hours. Having a c section was emotionally devastating for me, and I did feel like a failure for a long time, although I don't feel that way anymore. I think that my c section may have been avoidable if things had been handled differently during my early labor, but that by the time we got to the hospital it was probably the best choice. However, it has taken me a long time to feel that way, and the c section was traumatic for me. I am planning my HBAC, and trying really hard to have faith in birth again, but as much as I think you can put in effort and be educated and make the right choices for yourself, and that all of those things increase the odds of a good experience, I know ultimately the outcome of labor is not something that can be controlled, and I hope if I have another c/s that I it can be better last time , and I won't feel traumatized.

Maria, wife to DH, mama to DS 09/2007, #2 12/2010 and hoping for a
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#16 of 319 Old 10-04-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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Have any of you c/s mamas found that most people brush off how major a surgery a c/s is?
Yes...almost everybody. When I was getting prepped for my fifth (and last!!) c-section last year, the anesthesiologist came in, and looked at the IV that had been placed. She immediately said it wasn't adequate and needed to be replaced, because it wouldn't take a transfusion fast enough if something went wrong. She then said, "I don't expect anything to go wrong, but this is major surgery, as much as we try to pretend it isn't". I wanted to kiss her. Over the course of five c-sections, with five different medical teams (one OB did two of them, and my family doctor assisted at the same two...but everyone else was different), she's the only medpro to acknowledge that. As for the general public? Forget it. I've been told that I'm lucky I didn't have to push a baby out, that I "got off easy" and and that I "cheated". The fact that this is surgery seems to right past people's heads.

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#17 of 319 Old 10-04-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Thanks for starting this thread! Lots of people on mdc have been talking about how we need a thread like this
I am pretty well healed from my c section 6 months or so ago. Now I am scared of birth though- as my birth did not go as I had thought. So now that is a factor in if I want another child or not (not the main factor though- the main factor is do we want a second child! but it is on my mind) Scared of a c section, scared of a vaginal birth - just scared of it in general after my last experience.
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#18 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by shells_n_cheese View Post
YES! People brush off c/s all the time! It's like they simply equate it with the process of having a child--and totally have amnesia about the major surgery part. It is very irritating.
I am sorry about the shoulder dystocia. Sometimes I feel that we mamas who have had a c/s deserve much calmer, easier births afterwards. I mean, seriously, can't *one* go well?

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I am planning my HBAC, and trying really hard to have faith in birth again, but as much as I think you can put in effort and be educated and make the right choices for yourself, and that all of those things increase the odds of a good experience, I know ultimately the outcome of labor is not something that can be controlled, and I hope if I have another c/s that I it can be better last time , and I won't feel traumatized.
I don't remember where in my journey I've read it, but somewhere someone said birth is like swimming the english channel. Sometimes, it's a clear, sunny day, and you have the wind at your back. Other days, it's dark and stormy, and you get a leg cramp halfway through. For some reason, we've had the dark & stormy days. I hope, for you, that you get a nice clear, sunny day for your HBAC!

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Yes...almost everybody. When I was getting prepped for my fifth (and last!!) c-section last year, the anesthesiologist came in, and looked at the IV that had been placed. She immediately said it wasn't adequate and needed to be replaced, because it wouldn't take a transfusion fast enough if something went wrong. She then said, "I don't expect anything to go wrong, but this is major surgery, as much as we try to pretend it isn't". I wanted to kiss her. Over the course of five c-sections, with five different medical teams (one OB did two of them, and my family doctor assisted at the same two...but everyone else was different), she's the only medpro to acknowledge that. As for the general public? Forget it. I've been told that I'm lucky I didn't have to push a baby out, that I "got off easy" and and that I "cheated". The fact that this is surgery seems to right past people's heads.
Thank goodness she said that! I had a nurse chastise me when I told her how bad I was feeling 2 days post-op and I was angry for feeling that way. She said, and I quote "you've just been through major surgery. Did you just think you'd be like normal the next day? If you had had bladder surgery, no one would have half the expectations of you as they do now".

And it's so true. Even the other nurses there, they didn't really help me. There was no nursery for ds to go back to. Honestly, it was hellish. For the first 2 days I couldn't pick up my son from his bassinet. Or change him. Or do anything other than bf. And the nurses did not help me pick him up at all. In fact, during the night once, he started screaming, and I paged a nurse, asking for help because I couldn't pick him up. NO ONE CAME. Thank God for the mother rooming in with me--she got up and helped me get my baby. The feeling of helplessness, of hearing my baby screaming and not being able to get to him, is horrible. Even now, I feel like I push myself a lot because if I don't, who will take care of my babies? When ds2 is hungry, I have to get him food. When both have poopy diapers, I have to change them. If I don't wash clothes every couple days, we'd be walking around naked.

Oh, and those people saying I 'cheated' or got the easy way out. Honestly, sometimes I want to take a scalpel and cut them open, stitch them up and then 1) sleep deprive them, 2) force them to pump every 30min to 2hrs (randomly too, and sometimes in chunks back to back), 3) make them walk around, changing clothes/diapers/etc. Then ask them how 'easy' it is.

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Now I am scared of birth though- as my birth did not go as I had thought. So now that is a factor in if I want another child or not (not the main factor though- the main factor is do we want a second child! but it is on my mind) Scared of a c section, scared of a vaginal birth - just scared of it in general after my last experience.
As scary as this second c/s is, I too want another baby. It's crazy how even through all that fear, the desire for another baby is still there. If you want to tell more about your birth, just to get it out, feel free to. As you can see, I've been letting it all hang out in this thread. I need to talk about it openly, to others who've btdt, to process it. And it has helped. Knowing I can come here and just lay it out and have women who get it--oh, geez, does that ever help.

Ami

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#19 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 02:57 AM
 
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So I'm 1 month (and 2 days!) post c/s... joining because I feel like it can't hurt and can only help! I am not tooooo emotionally torn up about it because I do think mine was necessary... baby was transverse in active labor with a cord presenting. Not much you can do about that...

re: sympathy expression - people do that to me because I had 5 vaginal deliveries and then this c/s. I don't look at it as something to be "sorry" about, there wasn't really another way about it so I had to take the ride, KWIM?

I don't think I've necessarily had an easy recovery. I still can't do a lot of the stuff I want to do! I'm still taking ibuprofin and other rx meds (which I'm almost out of)... because I still have pain if I do "too much"... but I don't hit "too much" until it's too late!

I'm hoping soon... soon the pain will be completely gone?

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#20 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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Hi everyone, what a great idea I am 24 weeks pregnant and preparing for my second c-section, third birth. My first birth was a drug-free natural birth with few complications until the very end. I had a pretty bad shoulder dystocia which was resolved when the OB reached in twisted (and broke) her collarbone and pulled her out. The alarms were going off, doctors were running into the room, and although she is fine now it was pretty touch and go for awhile, she had an apgar of 1 when she was delivered.

With my second, I was diagnosed with gestational (actually type 1) diabetes at 9 weeks. I was placed with a high risk practice and was told fro the very beginning that I should expect a section. Of course, I fought this the whole pregnancy. The doctor explained that I was at high risk for another dystocia because of my previous dystocia, this time I was diabetic, and this baby was a boy and would likely be heavier and broader in the shoulders. As I got closer to birth I got less and less brave, as I started to remember how terrifying it was during an actual birth emergency. I finally consented to the section. The actual section went much better than I imagined, I had a quick recovery and no complications.

Now I am starting to freak out about the whole process again. I remember how long it took to start feeling "normal" again after the surgery. I remember how scared I was being rolled into surgery. Not looking forward to it!

I do have some questions for those who have recently gone through it. My son had low blood sugar after birth (not shocking since my blood sugar went sky-high during surgery and they really lagged providing me insulin). The had to supplement him with formula at first, but they did not even offer him to me to nurse (presumably because his sugar was quite low). This time I am planning on pre-pumping colostrum prior to delivery. I would of course, rather nurse him right away. Did any c-section mamas get to nurse immediately (i.e. while they were still completing the operation), and was it difficult positioning the baby?

Thanks!
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#21 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I'm actually tearing up reading some of these posts and I'm 5years out from my c/s.

I think for me the c/s "broke" something emotionally/spiritually. The labor was long, the eagle-eye hindsight made it clear that it wouldn't have happened vaginally regardless of how long we waited, the surgery was done by a pro and healed quickly with minimal complications. But I had PPD and PTSD, almost no real world support, and it was a hard slog back to anything approaching normal.

Then my first VBAC resulted in a lot of physical trauma (shoulder dystocia that didn't resolve with position changes, 4th degree tear leading to hundreds of sutures to "rebuild" my pelvic floor/vagina/anus, scary low apgars and possible ongoing nerve damage to dd2 due to oxygen deprivation, pelvic organ prolapse, etc) and while I was buffered from the worst of the emotional distress thanks to the "yay I vbac'd!" energy... well, that energy wears off. And since I was in pain for a solid year and caring for a toddler and a high needs/special needs infant and working out of the home... it was hard. Not the rainbows and butterflies you hear about in most vbac threads. I'm glad I had that birth, glad I was able to heal some of the emotional wounding of my c/s but it left as many wounds as it healed. And left me in the odd position of being a "problem"... people who were against vbac were all "see? you should have had a rc/s" and people who were all yay vbac didn't want to hear that it was anything other than perfect. It left me very few places to process the birth.

I did have a second vbac last year but I was scared the whole time... scared of a rc/s and scared of a repeat shoulder dystocia or 4th degree tear. It went well but the whole time I was worried and sort of trying to balance worse case scenarios. Not exactly a restful pregnancy.

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#22 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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Wombatclay. That does sound like a hard situation. I'm sorry it's been a long time processing.
I am preparing for my 5th C/S. I'm scheduled for 3 weeks from now. 5 days before my EDD.
My first I was determined to have a natural birth. I took all the bradley classes, had my doula, midwife and birth center. After days of posterior labor and 2.5 hrs pushing, my mind and my body gave out, and I had a c/s. They found that my dd's head was "stuck" in my pelvis bone, and all that time I was pushing, I was pushing her into my bone, she had a nice bruise from it. I know logically, there are things I could have done differently, move around more, all those techniques I read about now to help get the baby out of the pelvis and repositioned.
Nonetheless, it is what it is. My 2nd was a "failed" VBAC (never got to the pushing stage). My biggest regret has been this one, not giving it enough time.
3rd one sealed the deal. Planned VBA2C, bleeding placenta previa at 35wks, and placenta problems during surgery (placenta was also anterior).
So 4 and now 5 rc/s.
I think I've pretty much processed through it. I mean I don't feel like any less of a mother or anything. This is just how I birth my babies.
I am terrified of another surgery, always am. Recoveries have been pretty easy though. And I like the hospital I deliver at, they give my baby right to me. Best possible situation if I "have" to deliver this way.

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#23 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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My first c/s was almost 16 years ago after a hellish labor, pitocin, cord prolapse and a baby that just would not cooperate. I dialated to 9 then just 'stopped' I felt like a complete failure, I was barely 21 and what did I know? I beat myself up for that and still do at times. I *know* there was no other way but I was so angry at myself, at my body for failing me. Now I am expecting my DD and every doc I have spoken to automatically wants the repeat c/s. I am "old" "obese" have "chronic high BP" - although it is medically controlled and has not been an issue even once during this pregnancy. DD is breech and expected to be on the big side (9lbs+). I had my heart set on a VBAC but not one doc is willing to go there. Somedays I feel like I have "potential lawsuit" stamped on my forehead, week after week the docs act like they've won the lottery when my test results come back normal or my sonogram looks good. I am now at the place where I can accept that I am going to have to have this repeat section and it is the safest thing for my baby girl but only 1 person IRL can understand how this makes me feel. My SIL has been a HUGE support to me, no one else understands that this impending section is a big disappointment. Others, even other c/s mommas IRL are like "oh, just have it done, no big deal" but as you all know, it is a big deal and not something we would just sign up for to take the easy way out.

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#24 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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I think for me the c/s "broke" something emotionally/spiritually.
This is how I feel. I'm now 2 weeks out, and feel broken emotionally and spiritually. I feel like I'm in part mad at God for making me wrong and not being able to bring my babies into the world peacefully. I want that for them, and I did everything I knew to do to prepare. Ours was a HBAC transfer for relief after 24-36+hrs (I made it a point not to look at the clock) with back pain from hell, and turns out we had a placental abruption.

I feel like every plan I made to make it a gentle experience was taken from me. The hospital staff were quite understanding about my wishes and did everything they could to do skin to skin in the OR, etc, but with a baby that stopped breathing, it wasn't an option.

It's good to read other's struggles as I really feel like I'm the only one who hurts this way.

All of the, 'well at least you are both healthy', 'look at your amazing baby though' 'at least you skipped hemmheroids', etc are all crap, and piss me off, and really, after the person leaves, makes me only want to hit something.

I'm in a pretty dark place now, as BFing is crap right now. We are actually making our own baby formula today because commercial formula causes issues with her (just like my son, who was sick the first 8 months of his life due to formula), and my milk is still 'coming in' as I wait for my Domperidone to get here from Canada. I can't birth my babies, now I feel like I can't even feed my babies, seriously, at times, what good am I, I wish they had a different mother for these things because my kids deserve better.

I think the more you know about risks, options, and decisions, the more you can be disappointed. I wish I were one of those moms who thought a CS was just another way to birth, and no big difference and formula and breastmilk have minimal differences, etc, so I would just be in the dark and not care.

Sadly, after our birth it's really too risky (I feel) to have another. Being a VBA2C for 'failure to progress', with a previous abruption in labor with NO signs of it, it would have to be an ERCS, which I don't want, and I frankly don't want to undergo this crap again. Not even being able to 'try' for a peaceful birth is worse than trying and failing.

I'm thankful for having a CS as it truly did save both our lives, she was cut off from my oxygen supply, and I could have easily hemorrhaged. But, I would have preferred a simply, peaceful birth of my baby, at home, in the water, into my arms, to my breast, etc.

I think it's evident that I still have some working on this to do.
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#25 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Thanks for starting this thread! My DD's 2nd birthday is on Saturday, and I'm realizing both how far I've come in my healing from the c-section, and also how deep & lasting the wounds are (mostly the emotional/spiritual ones at this point).

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Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
I'm actually tearing up reading some of these posts and I'm 5years out from my c/s.

I think for me the c/s "broke" something emotionally/spiritually. The labor was long, the eagle-eye hindsight made it clear that it wouldn't have happened vaginally regardless of how long we waited, the surgery was done by a pro and healed quickly with minimal complications. But I had PPD and PTSD, almost no real world support, and it was a hard slog back to anything approaching normal.
I can so relate to this. 1) I am totally teary eyed as I read this. And 2) I also had a hard slog back to normal. Not sure I'm totally there yet, but it's getting better.

I just worked up the courage to request my medical records and they arrived in the mail two days ago. I've ready through them several times now. If I had any question that c-sec is major surgery, reading the play-by-play account of each part of me they cut, moved, cleaned, stitched, etc took care of that. Holy crap. I would have freaked out if I'd gotten that info any sooner than I did. But--sign of healing--at this point I can read through the whole thing and feel mostly fascinated, not horrified.

At this point in my journey, the hardest part is envy. I want to be a supportive friend who celebrates my friends' joyful birth experiences. Instead, I have this claw of jealousy & self-pity that grabs my chest and makes me feel ill when I read their FB posts. My congratulations have this wan flatness to them. And I have this weird hope (is that the right word?) that someone I know will also have a prolonged, traumatic birth so that I can relate to them for a change. Did I just say that? It's so petty & horrible!!! Of course I don't want anyone to go through what I went through & I am happy for my friends when things go well. Except for this small, dark, heavy troll inside me that hates everyone who has a nice birth. Ug. I just hope that my weirdness is less legible to my friends than it is to me. It's not who I want to be, but there it is. I hope over time this part will get easier.

to everyone.

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#26 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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Aw Austin Mom s.

I had my section after 30 hours of mostly "natural" labor. It was pretty classic failure to progress. I wish I knew why. I think I ended up on the table because the whole thing started with my water breaking, and in a hospital birth you can only hold them off for so long. Plus I had (have) a deep, deep fear of laboring while being strapped to a table. By the end of 30 hours I was given two options: Pump me full of pitocin and strap me to the table or C/S. I chose the latter over the misgivings of my midwife. I honestly can't see how the first option would have led to a vaginal birth anyways given my overwhelming fear of that very senario.

By that time also I was sure that something.was.wrong. I trust my body, and it just wasn't working. I've not yet requested my medical records to see if there are any answers there, but I might do so in the future. Because I had done my research I knew that a section was dangerous and that recovery would not be lightly taken, but nothing prepared me for what it actually was like. I didn't know about adhesions, I had no idea that I would end up with a nasty raised purple scar that will never fade.

Recovery was super crappy. I didn't feel like myself until my son was almost a year old. I still struggle with looking at myself naked because I feel like Frankenmother. I wonder how my husband can still find me beautiful when he actually saw someone cut me open and reach down inside of me .

I do think that women who have a difficult birth (including many C sections) take a dangerous first step towards negleting their needs for those of their child/children. It goes along with what society tells you over and over again: "Well at least your baby is healthy". I am thankful my baby is healthy, but I also want acknowledgement that my health as his mother is just as vital. I mean c'mon!
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#27 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday night and today, mentally, I'm not doing so well. I had put out a question on VBA2C providers on my local ICAN group. Had a very unhelpful reply from a midwife. Apparently my choices were asking doctors from a certain hospital (yea, because apparently they are less strict than a homebirth midwife???) or I could get a 'traveling' midwife. Let me get this straight, I am so 'high risk' she wouldn't take me on, but somehow I'm supposed to be safe with some midwife who doesn't know me/has never met me except in labor?

And then a doctor from said hospital responded with 'sure, as long as she had had a previous vaginal birth'. Which, technically, I do have. Except it's not usually counted since I was 'only' 16 weeks.

Which triggered a panic attack at facing a RCS due to no choice. I literally broke down sobbing and telling dh I didn't know if I could do this again. But that I wasn't done with pregnancy/having babies. But I don't know if I can just go and sign up for a RCS. Everything went fine the last two times, but still, wouldn't I be insane for signing up for major surgery again?

How do/did you mamas with numerous RCS do it?

Ami

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This is how I feel. I'm now 2 weeks out, and feel broken emotionally and spiritually. I feel like I'm in part mad at God for making me wrong and not being able to bring my babies into the world peacefully.
I am here too. And I'm 2 weeks out too--maybe this is normal? I got so mad at God yesterday night. Why did he give me the ability to get pregnant easily and then...

....lose one baby by going into spontaneous labor
....give me a serious pregnancy condition, leading to c/s and NICU time for my next baby
.....and finally, give me the most excruciating labor, then watch and feel as my son started crashing between contractions, leading to another c/s

Seriously, why this messed up bs? Oh, and dh and I are not okay with permanent sterilization or abortion (for ourselves).

I seriously wonder what I did wrong to have to face losing a child and facing this terror of surgery. I mean, at least I could have been blase about surgery. Right? Right?

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At this point in my journey, the hardest part is envy.....And I have this weird hope (is that the right word?) that someone I know will also have a prolonged, traumatic birth so that I can relate to them for a change. Did I just say that? It's so petty & horrible!!! Of course I don't want anyone to go through what I went through & I am happy for my friends when things go well. Except for this small, dark, heavy troll inside me that hates everyone who has a nice birth.
I have that troll too. And she's an evil one.

I sometimes wonder why no one else around me has had to deal with this. I have to keep reminding myself that even those 'glorious' vaginal births aren't always good. That sometimes, there are serious physical issues that crop up too.

But then, I will always wonder if it is the same as recuperating from major surgery. I mean, can it ever really get that bad?

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I don't think I've necessarily had an easy recovery. I still can't do a lot of the stuff I want to do! I'm still taking ibuprofin and other rx meds (which I'm almost out of)... because I still have pain if I do "too much"... but I don't hit "too much" until it's too late!

I'm hoping soon... soon the pain will be completely gone?
Going back to normal takes a while. With ds2, my first c/s, I didn't start getting back to normal, physically, until about 6-9mos post-partum. Definitely didn't feel 100% physically until 1 yr out. Remember, they had to cut your abs completely apart to get to your baby. It's major surgery, and the physical healing takes time.

For the pain, I haven't had to take any meds for a few days--I think that's all individual. According to the OB & anesthesiologist, I have a high pain tolerance since I don't need much to knock me out. Which scares me a bit, because, well, if I have a high pain tolerance AND I was going out of my mind in pain during the last few hours of labor with Elias--how painful must it have really been?

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Now I am starting to freak out about the whole process again. I remember how long it took to start feeling "normal" again after the surgery. I remember how scared I was being rolled into surgery. Not looking forward to it!

Did any c-section mamas get to nurse immediately (i.e. while they were still completing the operation), and was it difficult positioning the baby?

Thanks!
Okay, so freaking out again--normal. Good to know.

I didn't nurse immediately. I think it was a couple hours after surgery? I'm not good with time, but I had to wait in the recovery room for a while before being released to the maternity ward. As soon as I got to my room, I asked for my baby and we started nursing then.

Ami

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#28 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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Thank you so much JTA Mom for starting this thread and everyone who's added to it. I think it's helping a lot of get things out and heal,even those of us who didn't think they needed to heal. I don't feel traumatized,but I do feel sad for the things that I had to give up when I chose to have a c-section.

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I can't birth my babies, now I feel like I can't even feed my babies, seriously, at times, what good am I, I wish they had a different mother for these things because my kids deserve better.

I think the more you know about risks, options, and decisions, the more you can be disappointed. I wish I were one of those moms who thought a CS was just another way to birth, and no big difference and formula and breastmilk have minimal differences, etc, so I would just be in the dark and not care.
I think you're kids have a great mother. Most mothers wouldn't make their own formula or find a way to BF or get breastmilk for their kids if they couldn't provide it themselves. Most would just give whatever formula the doc told them to. I personally think I'd be to lazy to make my own formula if I needed to.


For me I needed to know the risks,options and decisions and I needed a written plan. I think it was how I grew up,in foster care where I never had a choice in much of anything and often had no idea what was going on or why and what would happen next. I think my birth would have been very traumatic,vaginal,natural or c-section if I wasn't informed about birth the way I was.

I was so against me having a c-section that I refused to think about much before I went into labor. I didn't do much research so wasn't to sure exactly what would happen and I needed to know,it made me more scared not knowing what exactly was going on when they put up that sheet so I couldn't see.

The worst part about it,was my fear. The fear that I got from a very stupid woman who told me some garbage about a board that they would put on my belly for days/weeks after my c-section and she convinced me that IF I had one I'd never recover,it would take me forever to recover and I wouldn't be able to take care of my baby or myself after. None of this was true! The "board" she was talking about was something like Belly Band and the hospital doesn't give them to you,they are optional. That is what I have anger about. That stupid woman who had no business telling me this garbage about c-sections and not having any confidence in me at all if I were to have a c-section. I actually think it was dangerous for her to tell me that.

The first few days,it's true I needed help to get out of bed to pee,take my baby out of his bed and hand him to me in my bed and things like that. The nurses helped me though.

I know that some mamas do take a long time to feel better or back to normal. I feel much,much better. Not quite back to normal yet though. I'm a bit slow and tender in my belly. It feels lumpy and looks a bit strange. MY steri strips are still on,but they should come off soon I think. I actually see the doctor for my son tomorrow and will have the nurse look at my incision since today there was a bit of blood and ooze that came out. It may not be anything,but I need it checked.

Emotionally I feel great! I'm so happy and feel so lucky! I've wanted a baby for such a long time and had almost given up on the idea of it ever happening. My pregnancy was fairly easy except a couple very minor problems. My labor was easy enough and I never felt in danger,maybe that's why I don't consider my c-section an emergency or traumatic?

I feel so lucky! I kept having this feeling that my son would be well behaved and and easy baby and so far he is. I feel that I struggled so hard in most of my life with different things and now this beautiful,healthy,happy baby is my reward. So,no I don't feel like I failed.
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#29 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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Oh mamas...I am right there with you. Thanks for starting this thread. My son was born by emergency c-sec in Jan of 09, and I am still not over it. I am expecting again in December and I have soo much anxiety about this birth. I am going for a VBAC, but who knows what will happen.

I have another board I frequent with close friends I've known for years, and two of them are expecting their first. As we were having a csec discussion and I was posting about how hard it was for me both physically and emotionally, another friend asked something to the effect of "why does it matter as long as the baby is healthy?" I adore this person and she truly didn't mean anything by it, but it was like a slap in the face to me. As if I only cared about MY desires and my own birth plan, above even the health of my baby. Again, I know she didn't mean it like that, but it still stung.

K + J = DS Evan 1/26/09 and happily welcoming DS Colin, our 9lb 5oz vbac.gif New Year's Day baby, 1/1/11!
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#30 of 319 Old 10-05-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KayTeeJay View Post
Oh mamas...I am right there with you. Thanks for starting this thread. My son was born by emergency c-sec in Jan of 09, and I am still not over it. I am expecting again in December and I have soo much anxiety about this birth. I am going for a VBAC, but who knows what will happen.

I have another board I frequent with close friends I've known for years, and two of them are expecting their first. As we were having a csec discussion and I was posting about how hard it was for me both physically and emotionally, another friend asked something to the effect of "why does it matter as long as the baby is healthy?" I adore this person and she truly didn't mean anything by it, but it was like a slap in the face to me. As if I only cared about MY desires and my own birth plan, above even the health of my baby. Again, I know she didn't mean it like that, but it still stung.

In response to things like this and 'healthy baby healthy mom is all that matters', I usually say, 'well, you don't get a good birth experience with a dead mom or baby, and after many births the health of the mom and baby are quite debatable.'
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