Not sure if this is the right place for this, but I'm wondering if there are other mamas who are still trying to "get over" having a c/s (unwanted or unnecessary).
Will is a little over a year now, and I'm still not quite "okay" w/his birth. I have seen a counselor (I have seasonal depression, and it combined w/my guilt/resentment/negativity about the c/s to inspire me to seek counseling). I'm feeling better about his birth now than I have before, but I'm still angry and frustrated about it.
One of the most frustrating aspects is other people's reaction to my c/s (Will was twelve pounds, so I get the "Oh, well of COURSE, you HAD to have a c/s - he's too big!" type of response). Even my counselor, while not being quite so insensitive, hinted around and tried to get me to explore the possibility that Will was just "too big" for a vaginal birth. While I understand that in some cases it is physically impossible for a vaginal birth to occur, I feel very strongly that mine is not one of them.
Although I wanted a very non-interventionist birth (and my OB SAID he agreed), I ended up having a cascade of interventions which I believe led to the c/s. A lot of my guilt is that I agreed to the interventions, and a lot of the anger is b/c I was pushed into them (repeated hassling by nurses/docs) and DH was not a strong support for me in resisting the interventions.
I woke up Wednesday morning at 5AM, having contractions five minutes apart. I timed them for quite a while and they didn't get any closer together. They weren't very strong or painful, however, so I went about my day. At 9, we went in to the OB's office - I wanted to make sure they were "real" contractions, not having BH throughout my pregnancy I didn't really have anything to compare them with. OB confirmed I was in labor and recommended I go home and then head over to the hospital later that afternoon. We did some shopping and the contractions didn't get any stronger or closer together. Late in the afternoon, the contractions stopped for a couple hours. Will wasn't moving around, either. I wasn't TOO concerned about that, as Mom had told me that when she went in to labor w/me, I "battened down the hatches" and didn't move at all.
However, after two hours of no contractions and no movement, I started to wonder about Will (not urgent "something's wrong" concern, I just wanted to be certain he was fine). After we ate dinner, I went to the hospital, intending simply to check Will's heartbeat and confirm that he was okay. On the way to the hospital, the contractions started again, a bit stronger. We had to check in to OB in order for them to even listen to the heartbeat. Of course, Will was fine, but DH talked me into staying.
I wasn't very dilated at that point (about 3 cms), and the contractions weren't bad, but got stronger. I walked and got in a tub, which helped. The OB asked if I wanted him to break my water and I declined (Hello! It's in my birthplan, which I went over ad nauseum, that I don't even want to be asked!). That was around 9, I think. I continued laboring, and the nurse kept asking if I wanted the doc to break my water. Kept saying no (it was a hard situation for me - the nurse was the same one who had taught our pre-natal class, so I didn't feel like I could be as b!tchy as I would have been otherwise since I "knew" and liked her. Looking back, it p!sses me off, b/c she KNEW how important it was to me to have a non-intervention birth. What was she thinking?).
She KEPT asking, even saying (at around eleven, I think) that if I wanted my water broken I should have it done now, b/c the doc was going to go to sleep until 5 the next morning. (So what?) Finally, at around 2 or 3, the doc came back in and asked again. I had been feeling like I wasn't making much progress (contractions weren't getting faster or much stronger), and he said ROM would probably help "speed things along". I asked him to leave the room so I could talk about it w/DH, hoping (and expecting) he would shore up my resistance. He said "go ahead", so we did.
My contractions immediately became stronger and painful, which I had expected. I also started having back labor, which I did not expect. I tried walking again, bath again, having DH rub my back, hands and knees, birthing ball, everything I could think of. Finally, I had the nurse check my dilation. When I had the ROM, I had been dilated to a good "easy" five and completely effaced. Now I was back to four (could be stretched to five, yeah, that's pleasant) and was back down to only 50 percent effaced. I really wasn't too shocked to hear this, b/c my body's reaction to pain is to tense and resist, no matter how much I try to relax. I could feel myself tensing and pushing a bit w/the contractions.
I struggled on for a while, but finally around 9 or 10 AM Thursday (after repeated suggestions/hassling from the nurses) got an epidural (and, of course, pit, but I couldn't feel it anyway). I continued laboring, sleeping (finally - over 24 hours since labor had started, and no sleep!) occasionally and dry-heaving. I asked for something to eat (nothing since 6 the previous evening) and nurses refused. I insisted and was finally given a few Saltines.
This continued all day. Shifts changed, and I really wasn't making much progress (of course not - I couldn't walk around thanks to the epidural, and was stuck in bed laying on my side). A new doc came on and threatened three or four different times to call a c/s (she'd say "okay, if you haven't progressed to xxxxx by yyyyy time, we may have to do it. However, she let me slide through - I didn't quite it to whatever dilation she wanted, so she'd let me go another hour, etc). She went off duty and a new doc came on. He checked and I was at 8 (woo-hoo! I was surprised). It wasn't too much longer before I REALLY had to push.
Finally, at 6 or so Thursday evening, I started pushing. Pushing and pushing and pushing. After (maybe) an hour, the doc said Will wasn't really descending much anymore and I should start preparing myself in case of c/s. I FREAKED out. Started crying, almost hyperventilating (remember, we're looking at over 36 hours of labor, intervention after intervention, w/me feeling pushed into it). Doc said, "okay, we'll give it some more time". I pushed Will so far down that we were able to touch his head. And then he was "stuck". I couldn't push him further. I asked the nurses to help (hold) me onto hands and knees so I could get him further out. They told me if I could get myself onto hands and knees, they'd help hold me there. (Hello! I'm freaking nine months pregnant! I can't turn myself over w/out help, even when I don't have an epidural) I tried, and couldn't even sit up (Duh! Ab muscles are not at their best after nine months of pregnancy). So I laid there and tried to push more.
Finally, at 9 or 9:30, the doc brings up the c/s again. I just gave up and said okay. I looked at DH and my mom, and could see the relief on their faces. (OMG, I am so angry about that right now, I'm crying).
Will was born at 10:02 PM Thursday, April 10, 2003.
Whoa! It feels good to get that all out. I haven't been able to write a birth story for him yet - it's still too much of a hot button for me, and I don't want my anger to leach into Will's birth story.
If I could change anything, I'd turn around and go home once I heard Will's heartbeat and knew he was okay. If I could undo a procedure, I'd kick anyone out of my room who even thought about ROM. I can't do either one.
I feel guilt b/c, in the end, I was the one who agreed to all the interventions and the c/s. I am extremely angry b/c I felt pushed into all those decisions by the hospital staff and not supported at all by DH or my mom.
Sorry if this is not the right place for this. I don't want to make anyone who's choosing a c/s or recovering from one uncomfortable. I'm just frustrated by my unnecessary c/s. You know, if only they'd helped me onto hands and knees. If only DH had reminded me why I didn't want ROM. If only I'd been able to stand that back labor better. If only we'd turned around and gone home Wednesday evening. If only, if only, if only. I KNOW I can't turn back the clock, but it still hurts to think "what if".