Cesarean Birth and Recovery SUPPORT Thread 11 (MAY 2004) - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

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#151 of 167 Old 06-23-2004, 02:52 PM
 
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I've been thinking about it and I guess I don't feel that my body let me down. I feel that I let MYSELF down, and (more so) that my birth attendants (everyone involved) let me down. I can recognize that *I* made some poor choices, but that I was not supported AT ALL in trying to avoid those choices. Make sense? I am accepting responsiblity, but at the same time accepting that I was in a tough place with no support.


Of course, I am one of those who adamantly feels that the c/s was unnecessary. So that adds a whole other layer of disgust/disappointment. I feel like if there had been a "problem", making the c/s necessary, I wouldn't have so much resentment about it. On the other hand, then I might feel my body had let me down. I don't know.....


I do feel some jealousy toward women who put NO THOUGHT at all into their births, but somehow traipse through with no problem. Mamas who think, research, plan, WORK for "good" births and get them, I am glad for. Yeah, I wish I'd been able to have that great experience, but I don't begrudge those who've worked for it.

It is really hard for me to hear about mamas who just did what the doc told them, blindly following along, and had it turn out "great". It's not FAIR!! I worked my butt off to try to have the best birth for my babe, and to hear about someone who couldn't even stop smoking during their pregnancy breezing through an intervention-filled labor really gets me.

I think part of it is b/c I'm thinking "Look at XXX, she didn't have any problems, and she didn't even CARE how it turned out". Do I think anyone "deserves" to have a c/s? No. Do I think I "deserved" a vaginal birth more than someone who didn't care one way or the other and didn't prepare at all? Yes. I'll be honest about that. Obviously, I would NEVER tell a new mama that (or anyone IRL, probably), but I do think it briefly.



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#152 of 167 Old 06-23-2004, 03:01 PM
 
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Although I mostly manage to avoid it, I've got some self blame going on too...

I had my c/s because my baby was breech. I know that many babies have been vaginally delivered breech for thousands of years. Heck - my dad was breech. Three of my grandma's four babies were breech. All delivered vaginally.

My midwives were willing to attempt to deliver me at home. Not *eager* mind you - but willing, if I were willing to take on the responsibility of the increased risks to the baby. I did my research, I looked at the dangers, and I *chose* to get a c-section. (Although only after trying every trick in the book to get DS to turn.) So sometimes I kinda go "What right do I have to feel bad about it?"

And then, of course, I get it from both sides - the people who think a c/s is no big deal and don't understand why I even care, and the people who think that I should have gone ahead with a homebirth anyway.
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#153 of 167 Old 06-23-2004, 03:10 PM
 
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OK I have been somewhat skimming lately - Migraine day2 - I feel as if I have accepted my C/b's. I know for a FACT that if I hadn't had it with #1 he wouldn't have made it. However with #2 I should have been more open minded about a VBAC. I amthinking I will talk to my new OB about that option when and if we go for #3
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#154 of 167 Old 06-23-2004, 03:17 PM
 
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I know, it IS hard to have made a choice to have a c/s. In the end, I chose to go ahead with my c/s, too (although it's not like I had much of a choice....GRRRRR). That's something I wrestle with. Just last night, I was laying awake thinking about how much I wished I'd MADE them help me onto hands and knees. Or even in the OR, once I realized my epidural wasn't working, MADE them let me try pushing again.


I just have to keep looking forward to how differently I will do it next time - learn from my mistakes (ie, stay the heck away from a hospital!).


I have also been thinking recently about what is expected of women after a c/s. Hello!! It's major surgery! Yet we're expected to be up and around almost immediately. WTH!! Can you imagine if it were a man being cut open? He'd be chilling on the couch for a while before he even THOUGHT about getting around. Yet, so many people think c/s is not a big deal.


My MIL had a hysterectomy around the same time I had DS. She took great delight in informing me that she knew exactly how I felt, b/c it was the same surgery. Right....except she didn't labor for 41 hours, push for three, go without food for a day and a half, all after using her body to build another person for nine months.

She also reported, in great detail, how she was to "take it easy", b/c her surgery was "major". She then told me that she started doing sit-ups the day after DH was born, and that I needed to "get started immediately" on getting back in shape/losing weight.

So I guess those "identical" surgeries we had came with different after-care instructions, huh? Which doesn't surprise me - after all, MIL's WAS surgery, while mine was "just a different way to give birth". Whatever.


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#155 of 167 Old 06-23-2004, 10:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by its_our_family
Do you think our enviroment here at mdc makes us harder on ourselves?
I know this has not influenced me, because I just joined and have had these feelings since DD was born in May 2001. (In fact I didn't know what there was a real thing called AP until she was a few months old....)

I haven't been here long, but I do feel constrained in what I should and should not share here though. DH and I are very gentle, child-guided parents and I consider us AP, but there are a lot of "typical AP traits" such as CD or non-vax that we did not follow.

I think as women we are hard on ourselves, period. I also think that because I worked so hard during my pregnancy to plan/prepare for a natural birth that my expectations were too high. I believed that I could do it and when I couldn't then I felt like I failed.

I hope someday I come to terms with this.
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#156 of 167 Old 06-24-2004, 01:19 AM
 
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This might sound "not so nice" but think about it. Your child is in your "direct" care for 18 years. Labor and delivery takes up about a week max. Now, I know it takes longer for physical recovery. But there is so much to look forward to in your life and in theirs that I would hope in 18 years it would be something in the past. If it isn't, maybe you need real help. We can't dwell on the things in life that already happened that we didn't like because it will affect the rest of the life we have to live.

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#157 of 167 Old 06-24-2004, 02:03 AM
 
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It's nice to think that one short event (in the grand scheme of things, yes, birth is a "short" event) won't affect us for the rest of our lives--or cast a shadow over the 18 years in which we are raising our kids...but I do believe that everything that happens to us molds us slowly into the people we are becoming. And we never stop becoming--life is a journey, after all, not a destination.

For me, I planned my c/s because I had to. I had a previa that never went away and I had two months to get used to the idea that a fourth homebirth was not to be. I was simultaneously relieved and mortified by the prospect of a straightforward birth with no labor. After my third child's birth--long, hard labor with her in a posterior position for most of it--I honestly wasn't looking forward to laboring again. And yet...my cesarean felt like such a violation of my body. I struggle with the fact that I didn't give birth to my son--somebody else extracted him from me. And this event has changed me. I am not the same person I was before.

Will I get over it? Absolutely. I doubt there are many among us who are so haunted by their birth experiences that their "dwelling" affects the rest of the lives they live with their children. But, I could be wrong. Suffice to say that I look back over my life and see a chain of events--a rape, an abortion, a marriage, three beautiful homebirths, illness, divorce, another marriage and, now, a cesarean--have shaped me into a person I feel rather proud to be.

Of course, I also get "real help" on a regular basis, and have been doing so for the past four years.
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#158 of 167 Old 06-24-2004, 02:32 AM
 
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I've been thinking about what I said this am. I have to say that I don't think my body failed me. I have to agree with kinsey43 that I tend blame myself for her malposition before and during labor. But as AnaNicole mentioned, we are a molded into the people that we become by the events we experience in our lives. Even in the weeks after my c/b I felt like there had to be a reason that I needed to experience a c-section. Other than the reasons that were given for section of course i.e. arrest of dilation.
IOF- I hope that I work through this much faster than 18 years. Your right, if I'm still mourning the loss of my v/birth or blaming myself for not doing enough two decades from now I definately need some help getting past it. It's been a year for me. Some days I feel like I've made some progress and healed a little and other days I feel like I've taken two steps back. Mostly though I feel like I'm making headway. Hashing it out here and with friends and family has really helped me in that process.
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#159 of 167 Old 06-24-2004, 10:14 AM
 
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I agree with Ana and wrensmom ... the c/s has changed me and I have to believe there is some greater purpose for why I needed to experience the c/s and why it needed to change me in a particular way. I often forget both of those things so I appreciate the reminder. I think IOF is correct to the extent that if we are still grieving in 18 years, something is seriously wrong. But I don't think its unreasonable to still be grieving a year or two after. After all, when we grieve the loss of a loved one, it doesn't just go away in a month or two. It is a process of healing. And for many of us, we had pictured our "perfect birth" for months or years before, so in essence, that now lost birth experience (or the idea of it, anyway), had become a part of our lives. We need time to let it go and heal.

I don't even know if what I just said made any sense (I haven't had my coffee yet). But I do know that I am going to try to focus on what it is I am supposed to learn from this experience (the why did this have to happen to me reasons) as there is nothing I can do to change it. With that said, do any of you have a sense of the greater reasons for why you had a c/s (not the failure to progress reasons, the fate-based reasons)?
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#160 of 167 Old 06-24-2004, 10:21 AM
 
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The reason (outside of medical) that I ended up with c-births. Well, I used to be quite judgemental of people who "took the easy way out" with birth, with giving up on BFing, etc. My first child came to me via scheduled c-section, and then we had a horrible time with nursing to boot. This was just part of me becoming a less judgemental person.

Also- I like to be in control, and I have never been so "not in control" as I was during my c-births, so maybe that was another thing I needed to go through.

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#161 of 167 Old 06-25-2004, 12:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Henry's_Mamma
I think IOF is correct to the extent that if we are still grieving in 18 years, something is seriously wrong. But I don't think its unreasonable to still be grieving a year or two after.
I totally agree. I am still grieving the loss of what I wanted and expected but I know that it will pass.

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With that said, do any of you have a sense of the greater reasons for why you had a c/s (not the failure to progress reasons, the fate-based reasons)?
This might sound kind of silly. But I am a woman that does some things just to prove ppl wrong. I was going to have a nautral childbirth no matter what... well, we know that didn't happen.

I believe in the grand scheme of things I learned a couple lessons.
1. I am NOT in control of everything that goes on around me
2. Some times things do NOT go as planned
3. Be prepared for anything!

I believe that there are a couple reasons outside of myself that I had a c/b
1. I think that my c/b has allowed me to reach woman that I would never had reached if I had had a homebirth. Because of the things I have studied and learned from experience I am able to help woman have the most natural childbirth possible even with a c/b.
2. It has opened many doors to talk to woman that are hurting from their experience
3. I'm able to explain to woman what to avoid through my expereince. Just by spouting research and stats isn't as powerful as experience can be.

I know things happen for a reason. The trick is finding it.

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#162 of 167 Old 06-25-2004, 02:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone, I have tried reading all of the pages but can't. I am so glad though to see this thread so active. I am very busy with my work right now but will slow down soon. I also got burned out on MDC a few weeks ago. I am just trying to get my family in a direction I need for it to go in and I know that its not lining up with how I once felt about parenting or that fit in here at MDC. Many times when I come here I feel like I fail at every angle. When I am more with it and have time I will come back as fiesty as ever.

As for some of the things said about recovering, acceptance, and moving past or forward after our csections.

I did feel like a failure after my first csection. I wanted a natural birthing experience and never thought I would ever end up in an OR. However I did, and while the trauma I suffered was beyond what I believe any woman should endure giving birth, I feel that it was all meant to be in a philosophical kind of way. My csection was necessary. I have a uterine deformity that prevented my daughter from being head down. I would have to say if I had to list the top ten events or circumstances that taught me life lessons, it would be number three. First my judgement of others who didnt birth the way I thought they should really came to a screeching halt. I really had to evaluate the way I acted and treated other women. Second, I had to accept some things about myself and that there were things that were not in my control. Third, my csectioned empowered me to educate myself with facts and not propaganda and to speak to other women about their traumatic births.

Looking back, I do not regret that my daughter was born by cesarean. I hate the way it happened. They way I was victimized and tortured.

With Jack, he has been my saving grace. I made choices to have a repeat csection, based on medical history and positioning. I took back some of my power, while at the same time letting go and allowing what was to be, be. My physical healing was remarkable, my emotional recovery was definitely a spiritual experience.

Its hard coming here, surrounded by women who give birth so easily or naturally and with those who seek to dismiss and condemn the medical establishment. I often dont appreciate being treated as if I am some lost cause or uneducated. I think for those, who come here, feeling already hurt, anxious and remorse, then are compounded with guilt, when there often should be none. Many of us here on this thread had necessary surgical births, maybe it wasnt what we wanted, expected, or planned for -- however that is how the goddess/god saw fit for our children to enter the world. I am of the thought that in time, things will reveal themselves to us.

I think about my next baby. Maybe that baby will never happen. I would love to experience having a vaginal birth. It doesnt even have to be natural anymore. I am not even sure I would chose a natural childbirth for many reasons. It is not a part of my reality though. The reality is that with my uterus, most likely a csection is the best course of action. I don't feel like I failed though as a woman. Things were just out of my control. Sh*t happens. I know each journey is different, and I hope for those of you still trying to grieve and question what led you to your surgical birth that you will find peace.

Take care,
Kim
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#163 of 167 Old 06-25-2004, 09:22 AM
 
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In terms of greater reasons, I think my c/s allowed me to allow DH to be more involved with DS. If we'd had a homebirth, I think I would have immediately jumped into caretaker role and hardly let DH take part. Instead, because I was stuck in a bed for the first day after DS was born, DH had to do it all - the diapering, the dressing, the picking up and bringing him to me in bed. And that gave him an immediate confidence that he could do it. More importantly, it gave me an immediate confidence that he could do it too - that my status as mother didn't automatically make me the all-knowing parent in the family. Especially in the early days, I was much more willing to listen to his assessments of what that particular cry might indicate.

These days, since I'm at home and DH is back to work, I'm more in expert mode. But starting in August, DH will be staying at home (for a little while at least) and I'll be working 3 days a week, so his early-learned parenting instincts will come in very handy!
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#164 of 167 Old 06-27-2004, 08:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by its_our_family
This might sound "not so nice" but think about it. Your child is in your "direct" care for 18 years. Labor and delivery takes up about a week max. Now, I know it takes longer for physical recovery. But there is so much to look forward to in your life and in theirs that I would hope in 18 years it would be something in the past. If it isn't, maybe you need real help. We can't dwell on the things in life that already happened that we didn't like because it will affect the rest of the life we have to live.
Okay, I've been chewing on this for a couple of days. I need to get this off my chest....

It DOES sound "not so nice". My grieving over my c/s is MINE. Who are you (generic you, I promise - I'm hearing this sort of thing ALL the time IRL, IOF just happened to put it here where I could respond) to hand down a time limit?

If I was raped, would you (generic you again) tell me that I have to be over it in 18 years? Because, honestly, my c/s was like a rape (to ME). I was violated physically, mentally, and emotionally. I BEGGED for help to avoid it and was bluntly (and rudely) rejected. And now, though I am trying to heal from the trauma, I am repeatedly told that I should "be over it by now", or that "it's no big deal".

Well, I'm NOT over it, and it IS a big deal.

DH and I had planned (sshhhhh, listen -- can you hear the gods laughing? lol) to have 3 or 4 kids, about two years apart. So, assuming we were able to keep on track with that, I have 3-5 years of active reproduction in my immediate future.

Yes, my c/s scar may be "healed", but it will definitely affect my future pregnancies and births. Even if there are no physical repercussions for future births (ie, uterine rupture, placental problems), I will always be a V/HBAC.

I am honestly concerned about my ability to VBAC in the future. It is getting tougher and tougher to find a birth attendant (or hospital - good luck) to allow a VBAC labor to progress on it's own, without excessive monitoring. There is a midwife here in town who runs a birthing center, and she has already told me she will want to induce me at 38 weeks (is she insane?? inducing a VBAC????). Obviously, I won't go for that, but I'll have the added stress at the end of my pregnancy of "fighting" my care provider (or of maybe being dropped from care).


So, assuming DH and I go ahead and have all four children we've discussed, the c/s will be a major part of my life until 2009. Yes, I certainly hope that my anger/pain will fade with each successful birth, but some part of it will still be there - it will HAVE to be. I won't be allowed to put the c/s out of my mind, even if *I* would like to.


So how long after I'm done having kids can I grieve? I don't know. Honestly, I hope I NEVER become "okay" with an unnecessary c/s. There should NEVER be an unnecessary c/s performed! I don't want to give up my indignation on that point - I want to be "out there" in the public, raising awareness, helping other moms to avoid c/s, helping other moms to fight back if they've been a victim of a c/s. Can I do that if I'm no longer angry about my c/s? I don't know.

Oh, and I HAVE sought "real help". I was told that 1) I CAN'T have PPD, as it's been almost a year since DS was born (at the time I sought "help"), and 2) lots of women have c/s, and THEY'RE not having PTSD. Yes, VERY helpful. When I responded that PPD is, in fact, a diagnosis I was eligible for, I was brushed off. When I responded that I am NOT "lots of women", the focus of my "therapy" shifted to the fact that my husband is an ACoA. ????WTH that has to do with my c/s, I don't know. And, no, there are no other options for "help" in my area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by its_our_family
We can't dwell on the things in life that already happened that we didn't like because it will affect the rest of the life we have to live.
I'm repeating this b/c it illustrates my point (though I'm kind of twisting the quote - I'm sorry, IOF). My c/s IS affecting the rest of the life I have to life, just by having happened. So to say that I can't dwell on it, well, I don't know what else to do. I mean, I don't sit around every day bemoaning the fact that I had a c/s. But I DO get angry and sad when I let myself think about it. I wonder what I could have done differently, I plan for what I WILL do differently in the future, sometimes I still cry when I think about the nurse who REFUSED to help me get on hands and knees to push. Not everyday, but sometimes.



I'm not at the point yet (don't know if I will ever be) where I can think that my c/s occurred "for a reason". The reason was that the OB and nurses REFUSED to help me avoid it. What have I learned from it? To stay away from hospitals for birthing. To distrust medical "professionals". That I can't count on anyone but myself to protect myself.

I've seen some say that they learned they can't control everything. Well, I WASN'T trying to control everything - that fell to the OB/nurses. I was trying to let my birth progress naturally.

I've also seen some say they have more compassion for c/s moms. Well, I already had compassion for them. It's the unnecessary c/s I have no tolerance for, and this experience has made this even more so.

Was there a reason for my c/s? I can't find one.


Okay, now that's off my chest. I want to reiterate that this was NOT directed at anyone in particular (though I can see how it may appear to have been, given that I quoted IOF). It is VERY frustrating to me to go through my life (in a mainstream world) and be told that my feelings are unreasonable or even WRONG. How can my feelings be wrong? They're not right or wrong - they just are! I really don't expect the cashier at the grocery store to understand how the c/s will affect the rest of my reproductive life (unless she's had one, and maybe not even then), but I know mamas here DO understand.

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

I have not been very active on this thread b/c I have been questioning whether it's the right place for me. It seems that it's tilted more toward helping mamas prepare for upcoming (scheduled) c/s and to recover (physically) after having a c/s. Let me be clear: I think that's GREAT!! If a mama needs to have a c/s, she also needs some support and help in making it as "natural" as possible.

I just don't feel that either of those two options fit me. I am not planning a c/s, and I'm pretty well physically recovered from DS' birth.

But I haven't seen another thread that fits me, either. I don't know....

I don't want to bring mamas down who have to have a c/s, and I want to help them recover afterward, but sometimes I just feel that I shouldn't be here....Does that make sense?



Wow! After that massive post, you all may be thinking "I hope she doesn't post any more - my eyes can't take it!" lol. Sorry it got so long - like I said, it's stuff I've been thinking about for a while and needed to get out of my head.

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#165 of 167 Old 06-27-2004, 11:02 PM
 
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Kinsey

. How long have you been following these threads? I ask b/c they have a flow to them, there have been lots of times on the many threads that we have talked a lot about what you are going through. It does seem that as of late the focus is on helping people who are facing a necessary c-birth, or recovering from a c-birth (I think helping others through it promotes healing for many of us). Believe me though, 2 of our most active posters (OnTheFence and Ladylee-who I think started this in the beginning) have really been where you are. I can't say that I have, since I have always known my c-births were necessary- but- please keep sharing here, I know there are other mamas feeling very similar things to you.

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#166 of 167 Old 06-27-2004, 11:12 PM
 
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All I'm saying is that there WILL be a point in time where it will not be int he front of your mind. I felt like you are feeling. I've gone through the same emotions.

I'm not belittling how anyone feels about their c/b. I'm really not. I just hate to see ppl feel like the pain will never get better. It will. Yes, you can still experience anger and frustration over it. But there is more to having a baby than giving birth or not giving birth.

It really sucks for all of us. We go through pg doing everything right and being so super careful. There are women out there that abuse there unborn children and have NO problems giving birth even with tons of interventions and such. It isn't fair and it never will be. I just plain sucks!

I was only happy with my second c/b because I knew it was going to happen. I'm not happy with my first one just because I know it was my own stupid fault and the second one was the result of that bad decision.

Is this the place for you?? I don't know. I can tell you that almost every women here feels/felt like you do. I had the SAME feelings when this thread started but here I have found ways to heal. If you stick around you might to.

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#167 of 167 Old 06-27-2004, 11:23 PM
 
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: Karen, wife to my : Mad Scientist and mama to :Emma (10-21-03).
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