Csection Support Thread April 2005 (cont discussion from March) - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-09-2005, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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SKK,

Thank you for sharing your story. OMG, two labors that long, you must be super woman. What is the medical reason for your csection if you don't mind sharing?

Now let me get my jaw off the floor while I await your answer.
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Old 04-09-2005, 12:21 AM
 
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Wow SKK, that is some major leak laboring!! Also, feel free to join us on the Feb thread in life with a babe, we're a fairly active group.
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Old 04-09-2005, 12:28 AM
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Well, really, it was malpositioned babies (heads, mainly) that would not be moved into a better position!

My first was asynclinic. My second was facing up. I used all the fetal positioning exercises and tips I could find, both during the last months of pregnancy, as well as during labor, but nothing worked, ultimately. I dliated to 9-1/2 both times, but babies would not drop due to the positioning.

Glad to be here!

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Old 04-09-2005, 12:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Did nobody say it to you? It seemed as though everyone dismissed my feelings about my sections with "at least the baby's healthy - that's what really counts". What - I don't count? I'm not an incubator!

I'm trying for a VBA2C now. And, I've once again had people say "why does it matter? As long as the baby's healthy, who cares how it's born?". Newflash! I care how it's born!. I admire you women who have come to terms with your sections and had positive experiences. I just don't feel as though a section is given birth at all.

hi! i'm new here. this really resonated with me. Of course i'm glad my son is healthy, but I really feel like *I* missed out on one of the fundamental experiences of womanhood. I feel funny even saying the phrase "gave birth" because what I did was have surgery. I'm going to try for a vbac next time, too, and hopefully it will work out, but if it doesn't, any one who tells me that at least my child is healthy is going to get something nasty tossed in their general direction. :LOL
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Old 04-09-2005, 03:32 AM
 
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It's really the "that's what counts" part that gets to me, I think...

Kim: I get angry about the sections, but I don't really blame the doctors. And, I never looked down on women who had c-sections (although I think the trend to choose them for the "convenience of scheduling" with no medical indications is...bizarre.) I do have issues with myself. But, it's not only about the sections. There are other things that I wouldn't get into here, and there are the miscarriages. I've had three - every one of them was complete - no D&C required, and they were over with in a single night. It's hard to describe, but it completely creeps me out and depresses me that my body can repeatedly deliver dead babies at 12 weeks with no problem at all, yet I need a surgeon with a scalpel to deliver the live ones. Maybe it would be different if my labour with my son had been really rough, but it wasn't at all. It all just blew up at the end.

Well...we'll see how I do if it happens this time. I'm feeling better about the whole thing than I did a few months ago.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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Old 04-09-2005, 10:30 AM
 
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Storm Bride, first I'm really sorry about your miscarriages, I too have had 3 (although only the very early one happened without help) I guess the thing that you need to keep in mind regarding that your body is able to deliver a 12 week fetus with no problems is that at that stage there are no issues with positioning, or babies in distress or any of the other multitudes of reasons women end up with required c-sections. I remember my first miscarriage-back when I thought I'd have a homebirth with a midwife (just in case anyone thinks the "how" they get here was never a concern for me) When I got my dh to take me to the hospital, my reasoning was for the pain-I'd never in my life been in so much pain (and I live with chronic pain every day because of my rhuematoid arthritis) I wanted pain meds and I wanted them immediately. By the time I arrived at hospital I was also hemmoraging and had a barely registerable blood pressure and slipping in and out of consiousness. After it was over I remember being so angry at myself--that I couldn't take the pain--that I was passing this tiny little bit of a fetus and the pain won--how the heck did I think I was going to deliver a full term baby at home with no drugs. I've since then realized and forgiven myself, afterall, pain is a whole lot easier to take when the outcome is your perfect baby--that's why I was able to have my c-section even though my spinal didn't take--I just kept my eye on the prize so to speak. So please don't beat yourself up, or be mad at your body the fact that it can birth a 12 week old fetus but not a full term labor. I do understand what you're saying though with that, for a long time I hated my body (not the way it looked--but the way it worked) and it took me a long time (and I'm still working on it) to trust my body again to do what's right. It's such a feeling of helplessness when you realize (right or wrong) that you can't trust your body to do what it was intended to do.

Now the tougher part :LOL Maybe you can help me understand something-because I do appear to be really missing an emotion that is common among women who have c-sections. (and yes, now I'm specifically asking for opinions) I said in a previous post that I have no problem with the "At least the baby is healthy" Primarily because I feel that when "at least" is said that it does acknowledge that things didn't go as planned, I don't find it in any way dismissive. I do totally "get" how having your feelings regarding the way your baby is born dismissed would be infuriating, like the pp who was angry over a co-worker saying a c-section is no big deal-that part I get completely, but I as I explained before, when I hear or when I say "at least" in my opinion that does acknowledge that things did not go the way they should have-but in the end, baby is healthy and that's the big goal. So to me "at least the baby is healthy" and "c-sections are no big deal" are in NO WAY alike. I agree, c-sections are a big deal-anything that involves the birth of a child is by it's very nature a big deal-add to that a major abdominal surgery and the loss of your ability to have the birth you want and yeah, it's a huge big deal. But..... again, with the "that's what counts" being a problem, this is where I think I'm really missing things and I would like to better understand the way some mama's feel about this--why is "that's what counts" so wrong or hurtfull to say--isn't bringing the baby home healthy what counts?? I'm not saying it's all that counts, but in the grand scheme of things--is it not the most important thing?? Does anyone actually get pregnant for the soul purpose of giving birth vaginally?? Again, I look at it much like a car accident, or a house fire--horrible and hurtfull and devastating as they are isn't the most important thing that everyone is alright and healthy at the end of it? I guess I'm asking, would you be offended or bothered if say, your house burned down, you've lost everything, you'll have to start over---but your family escaped without injury and you will all be fine, would it be offensive if I then said to you "at least you are all ok, that's what counts" I'm asking this because I'll be honest, I spent years as a volunteer fire fighter and I handle a search and rescue dog and am just generally very involved with rescue on a whole--and you know, I can't even begin to count the number of times I've said those very words--adn I can assure you, it never crossed my mind that someone may be offended by them, but they were certainly never said with the intention to cause pain (as by the way I firmly believe nobody ever says these things to a mom after a section to cause pain--even the woman who claimed they were no big deal--I don't know her, but I'm guessing her intentions were good)

So, if you can, help me understand-as I said, I've said these words and I'd hate to think anyone had been offended by them and I'd hate even more to think they figure I said them with malice.
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Old 04-09-2005, 01:57 PM
 
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My SIL delivered her first child at 24 weeks, and he lived for 10 excruciating days with the help of much medical intervention. I was at 28 weeks at the time, and spent the next three months in fear of what might happen to my baby.

When it came time to deliver, and I was told that I'd be having a c-section (water had broken, chance of prolapsed cord because he'd popped out of the birth canal and his shoulder was presenting), I was not at all freaked out.

The worst had already happened to my family -- losing a baby. I didn't care what I had to go through to make sure that I had a healthy, living child.

So Shannon, "at least the baby is healthy" wouldn't have been words that would have offended me at all. My mantra was, "healthy baby, healthy mama." And we got both.
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Old 04-09-2005, 02:37 PM
 
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Wenat: That's actually part of it right there - "healthy baby, healthy mama" - who says? I fortunately only want four kids, but if they're all c-section, the doctors here wouldn't be willing to provide care for another pregnancy, because my uterus is too damaged. I'm healthy, in the sense that my activities aren't limited, etc. But, I'm not healthy in the sense that the surgery damaged me...the whole "VBAC vs. ERCS" debate just proves that c-sections damage your body. I don't feel healthy or whole since that first surgery back in '93. And, the fact that a doctor will even say "your next one will have to be a c-section" just because they've already cut me open twice (even though I didn't want them to) just underlines that. My uterus is damaged. There's great concern about a uterine rupture, but it was the fact that I was cut open in the first place that increases my risk.

shannon: It's a hard line to draw, emotionally. For me, at least, the tag about "that's what counts" is emotionally equivalent to saying "that's all that counts" - and it's not. As you've said, of course it's the most important thing, but it's not the only thing. During my first trimester of this pregnancy, I was having nightmares every night about terrible things happening to Emma (my 2-year-old) because I simply couldn't move fast enough post-op to rescue her. I can remember being stuck on my couch for half an hour with my son - how can I possibly look after a very active toddler like that? (I know I can, because I know women have done it.) Aside from my own emotional issues about the c-sections, that's another factor. I'm basically being told that rendering me incapable of caring for my older children doesn't matter as long as the newborn is healthy.

As for saying that to people in a fire or rescue situation, I don't know how I'd react. I think that the fact that my whole family was okay would be most important initially, and I'd certainly understand what you were saying. But, the comment might (having never been in that situation, I really don't know) strike me as saying that it didn't matter that I'd just lost everything (including photos, mementos, items with sentimental value). IF it struck me like that, I'd probably find the comment hurtful, but I certainly wouldn't think you meant it that way!

I don't know if any of this makes any more sense than my previous posts. The entire subject of having children has had me more emotionally messed up than anything else in my life, and it's been like that for over a decade. (I had a near-perfect first pregnancy - I had other women tell me they hated me because it so problem-free, followed by a completely unforeseen c-section, then 3.5 years of unsuccessfully TTC, then the miscarriages, then another c-section...it doesn't seem to me to be an area where my body does anything right.) In my more idiotic moments, I wonder if I'm being punished for being so smug about my first pregnancy - then I think that's probably a bit stupid...

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Old 04-09-2005, 03:27 PM
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You know, in some sense, I agree -

Although I believe it to be true ("at least I got a healthy baby and healthy mama"), I really don't like people saying it to me, because in doing so, it belittles my experience, and it almost implies that I was somehow stupid - or at least shallow - in the first place for caring about how the births of my children were accomplished. That being said, I think, in truth, most people don't make this (or similar) statements to new moms to belittle them or discount their experiences. I actually think people are coming from a good place when they say things like this, and that they are actually trying to make us feel better by saying this. Most people who make these statements have never had babies themselves, or, have done so but have not been informed/educated about different ways of birthing, etc., and thus, did not care. So, they just don't know any better.

In my own case, I do mourn not so much the loss of the birth experience (I did have extensive labors both times, so in a way, I feel I've had the experience of "natural labor", although I never pushed a baby out) but the loss of those first few moments with my babies. Such a special moment in life that you can never get back.

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Mamma of 2 ds - #1 (3 yo) and #2 (8 weeks) boy:
and one old : and one old :
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Old 04-09-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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to share their csection experiances? I read this thread often. I may have even formed a few phrases and posted them... I cannot remember. But, for the most part, I find myself unable to express the dire anxiety and sense of failure left inside of me from my csection. The absolute terror of not seeing my own child for his first 3 days of life. Not being the one to change his first diaper. The sense I have of HIS terror at not having a mama with him. Of being tubed someone elses milk (but, thankgoodness for that someone else!). The hatred I have for my own body... it failed me. It failed my son and my husband. My husband doesn't trust me to have another baby and not die or kill the baby in the process of growing it. argh... I wish I could get it all out. But, I cannot. WHy??? And, I'm embarrassed to say... my son is 2years old!
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Old 04-09-2005, 04:50 PM
 
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edamommy: I've posted quite a few times on this thread, and still don't feel as though I've expressed my feelings well at all. I do feel as though some women here understand me, but that's because of some commonality of experience, not because I have the right words to discuss all the feelings I've had and continue to have. Don't feel badly about not feeling able to express yourself well after two years...I still can't, and it's been 12!

SKK: Thank you for "I really don't like people saying it to me, because in doing so, it belittles my experience, and it almost implies that I was somehow stupid - or at least shallow - in the first place for caring about how the births of my children were accomplished." I think you've put your finger on a big part of why this bothers me so much. I feel as though I'm being criticized for not being happy about the surgery.

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Old 04-09-2005, 06:37 PM
 
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Storm Bride - I don't mean this to be rude but have you considered getting counselling? I have had two c-sections myself, both horrible experiences. My son is now 4 and my daughter is almost 2.5 and I can honestly say at this point that even though there is a little twang of pain when I think about it I DO feel that the most important thing is a healthy baby and I have moved on. I find it very sad that you have let this consume you for so many years. I don't know you but I bet you are an awesome mama to your kids. You can do so many other wonderful things, to let this one thing consume you to such an extent is very sad. I hope you can find some closure and sense of peace about this. I am planning to try for another baby this summer and I will be planning a 3rd c-section. I just want my baby here safely, that IS all that matters to me.

In regards to the discussion about "that's what matters" I would like to ask one question - have the people who are offended by that lost a child at birth or known someone who has? I am shocked that people find this offensive. My son was born prematurely by emerg c-section. We both almost died, he was born dead and I was very ill with full-blown eclampsia. I didn't see my son for 5 days because he was airlifted to a big city hospital where he struggled for life in the NICU. That experience was horrible and the baby being healthy IS all that matters to me. My son could very well have died and with that experience I can't imagine anyone being so consumed with how the baby came out. My daughter was an emerg c-section again after 25 hours of labour at a homebirth. She was born blue as well after aspirating meconium and it took them 2 minutes to get her breathing. Luckily except for that she didn't suffer any ill-effects and was happily at the breast at an hour old. My children are here and alive and I'm happy about that!

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Old 04-09-2005, 07:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly
Storm Bride - I don't mean this to be rude but have you considered getting counselling? I have had two c-sections myself, both horrible experiences. My son is now 4 and my daughter is almost 2.5 and I can honestly say at this point that even though there is a little twang of pain when I think about it I DO feel that the most important thing is a healthy baby and I have moved on. I find it very sad that you have let this consume you for so many years. I don't know you but I bet you are an awesome mama to your kids. You can do so many other wonderful things, to let this one thing consume you to such an extent is very sad. I hope you can find some closure and sense of peace about this. I am planning to try for another baby this summer and I will be planning a 3rd c-section. I just want my baby here safely, that IS all that matters to me.

In regards to the discussion about "that's what matters" I would like to ask one question - have the people who are offended by that lost a child at birth or known someone who has? I am shocked that people find this offensive. My son was born prematurely by emerg c-section. We both almost died, he was born dead and I was very ill with full-blown eclampsia. I didn't see my son for 5 days because he was airlifted to a big city hospital where he struggled for life in the NICU. That experience was horrible and the baby being healthy IS all that matters to me. My son could very well have died and with that experience I can't imagine anyone being so consumed with how the baby came out. My daughter was an emerg c-section again after 25 hours of labour at a homebirth. She was born blue as well after aspirating meconium and it took them 2 minutes to get her breathing. Luckily except for that she didn't suffer any ill-effects and was happily at the breast at an hour old. My children are here and alive and I'm happy about that!
**hmmmm.......... my son almost died. I almost died. I labored for 3 days. Everything, including the last trimester of my pregancy- was a failure. I didn't even see him for 3 days after him being cut out of me. I'm a little offended by your post. and I'm sorry as I'm sure you didn't intend to offend anyone BUT... none the less. I am happy that my son is alive. But I grieve so much for my failure as a mother. I couldn't carry him. I couldn't birth him. In the end I don't think I could even speak for him or myself. I cannot imagine being without this pain I feel inside due to the failure of my body, etc. Yet I cannot imagine having to carry it for 12 years... but believe I will. I guess we are all different. Some of us can move on and get over the whole "need" to birth. others cannot.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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Ok, I am seeing one thing here and I really hope that nobody takes this the wrong way-however, I can certainly see it being taken the wrong way. The people who are offended, you are attaching an unbelievable amount of emotions--that are from you onto a statement someone else makes. Now please know, I'm in no way saying you shouldn't feel these feelings--that's not even remotely what I'm saying--but think about it--when someone says to me after knowing what I went through to get her here and seeing me through a hellish pregnancy--when they look at her laughing and smiling and say with a tear in their eye "at least she's here-and she's perfect"--I just find it a really huge jump to take that as them feeling I'm stupid, or ill informed, or silly for having wanted a vaginal birth--sure I wanted a vaginal birth--but what I REALLY wanted was a healthy little girl. If someone had told me that there was a 1% better chance of her surviving to term if every morning I shoved flaming bamboo shoots under my nails--I'd have done it--I wouldn't have even had to think about it. I think the statement when made by a stranger or a close friend/relative means exactly what it says--"she's here, she's healthy and that's what counts" I don't think strangers or even our close friends and relatives would ever think to take that deeper. I think that is something that you are reading into a very innocent statement--because of YOUR hurt--that you are entitled to have--but how can someone know those deep hurts before you tell them and share it all--and if you aren't even at the point yet of expressing it yourself, then you can be assured, they probably don't know.
I'm going to be honest, a lot of the hurt I feel on this board more likely comes from the other side of this very same coin--I sometimes feel I'm being belittled because I didn't make the choice to birth my baby vaginally against ALL the odds--sure there was that 5% chance it could have worked--I've felt from a few mothers on these boards that I am a lesser mother for not taking that chance--if I really loved my baby--if I knew better or were better educated, I wouldn't have chosen the "easy way out" and that hurts--it hurts me that it isn't recognized that all that was important was her being alive and healthy--and the best chance of that, for me, was with a c-section--and yeah, that was all that mattered, my discomfort didn't matter, my adhesions I have now-don't matter--all that mattered was her.

Now, Storm Bride, I can see what you're talking about in feeling like you are somehow incapacitated to take care of your other children because of your c-sections. That said-I was up and walking 6 hrs after surgery, I required no pain meds for my actual surgery by 48 hrs after surgery--I was released from hospital in slightly less than 48 hrs after my surgery--and had I pushed for it--I could have been released the day before. MANY doctors will do more than 3 c-sections--possibly more than won't do more than 3 c-sections. Policy and risk assessment on VBACS is very much dependant on the individual hospital. If you were to plan it and work with a doctor, I'm sure you could have another child--there is someone on these boards who has had 6 c-sections. For instance at my hospital, their c-section rate is 10%, their VBAC failure rate is 14%--not that big a difference--so it depends on the OB you work with.

Honestly, like Heavenly said, I am sad, for both you and Kimberly that you feel such sadness about the experience that brought your child into the world. I so hope that you both will find some peace, I don't have a clue how to suggest you go about finding that peace, but I'm certain you are both wonderful mommies and that you are beating yourselves up--for something you had no control over is sad to me and I really do feel for you--I don't pity you, but I hurt for you that you can't move on and love yourself for the mama you are now and in the future.

Now, that said, if you were a mama who was simply uneducated or didn't care about what was best for the baby--that would upset me. I was unable to breast feed, I knew going in I likely wouldn't be able to. I tried, I used a lact aid, I had a lactation consultant, but I didn't produce a drop and I think my depression over that was leaking into the entire relationship and it was just bad. So I did give it up and chose to use lots of skin to skin contact instead. I do know I beat myself up for that for a good 5 weeks--especially when she was sick--wow boy, I might as well have used a whip on myself--I told my dh that I was irresponsible to have a child if I was unable to give her what she needed. I don't think that way anymore--but one really scary thing is--I KNOW for a fact that there are women on this board who think just that--that I had NO right to have a child if I couldn't breastfeed her (I know because this person was so kind as to PM me the message)

It's so difficult, sometimes I think having the knowledge of the ideal makes it worse--we're harder on ourselves than anyone else would ever be. In this community, one is certainly made to feel like "less of a mom" if she was unable to birth her baby squatting in the woods atop a bed of moss. But so much more goes into being a good parent than a good birth.
Just my humble and jumbled opinion.
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Old 04-09-2005, 11:14 PM
 
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... Taking a deep breath and jumping in ...

Here's my take on the whole "at least everyone is healthy" issue, FWIW.

For some women (not everyone, but I think perhaps for most AP/NFL/crunchy mama types), the birth experience is placed on a really high pedestal. There is SO MUCH PRESSURE to have a natural birth, and when you don't, somehow you are no longer a full dues paying member of the club, regardless of the reason for the c/s. I think for all of us, at the moment we consented to our c/s, it really seemed like the best decision we could make under the circumstances with all the information we had available at that particular moment. I know for me that after a long labor (not nearly as long as some of you ladies -- wow!), after being scared into staying in bed on my back (with back labor no less) b/c "they" were scared of cord prolapse, after getting an epidural b/c I couldn't handle the above, after pushing for 2 hours with little progress, after being told ds was having decels, after having no sleep for 36+ hours and no food for 20+ hours, I was just beat tired and wanted everything to be over and done with and more than anything, I wanted a healthy baby. As the hours and days and weeks and months passed after my ds's birth, as I re-educated myself about birth, as I asked questions of knowledgeable women and drs. and midwives (thank you doctorjen and pamamidwife, if you're reading) regarding my labor, I began to understand that all the stuff I was fed while in labor, when I was at my most vulnerable, was a lot of litigation-based medicine. That angered me (and still does, depending on the day). I had educated myself thoroughly, so how could this have happened to me? Moreover, my ds had a bad presentation, so had none of the interventions/coercions happened, would I still have had a c/s or would he have corrected his position and come out vaginally? I will never know, and that uncertainty is hard to deal with sometimes.

What I'm getting at is that when we are, with the exception of our birth experience (and I mean that in a c/s vs. v/b kind of way, not in a choice kind of way), a part of a community that values natural birth so highly, when we place enormous pressure on ourselves to birth vaginally, and then we "fail" for whatever reason (our bodies have anamolies, our babies are positioned poorly, our health or our baby's health has deteriorated, or we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time), we crash emotionally. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that if, while in labor under the circumstances of my ds's labor, someone told me that my right arm needed to be severed to save my ds from certain death, I'd ask for the saw myself. Yes, a healthy, happy baby is the goal. But the process is also important too for a variety of reasons. And when expectation and reality don't even come close, there is a world of disappointment there that manifests itself. And when someone says "well at least you and baby are healthy & alive" you feel angry b/c they are dismissing the whole process for you by only focusing on the end result.

I think people mean well when they say this. I really do. But I also think most people don't give two hoots about the birthing experience. They just don't value it in the same way we do. Either they really don't care about the birthing experience (most mainstream folks), they never had a choice about it themselves (our mothers, sisters, aunts, etc.), they are of the drs. are gods belief, or they just don't have any experience with birth (childless friends and most men). And then we turn around to the AP/NFL/crunchy community and we are outcasts b/c we've failed. I think the "healthy & alive" statement just reinforces that for us, while at the same time, we are perpetually bombarded with messages here that we must've been stupid b/c it happened to us.

Honestly, I think we all can agree that the most important thing is that we have our babies in our arms. I don't think a single mama here would say that the perfect birth would be better than a dead or severely compromised child. So in that respect, I think we're all on the same page.

However, I think where we disagree is the role of the birth experience. Some of us placed a HUGE weight on that experience in our minds. For others of us, it wasn't as important. For those for whom it was hugely important, we wanted something specific, and we were probably willing to compromise a little with respect to it, but somehow we ended up in an entirely different place than we expected, and we are now in a position where no one gets what our problem is. Our "problem" is that we are grieving the experience we lost. Some of us grieved quickly. Some of us will grieve forever. We are different people with vastly different personas and experiences. Some of us probably were "violated" during their births far more greatly than others. Some of us might have been betrayed by those we trusted a lot more. Some of us might have just been the victims of bad circumstances. But the best we can do is take each woman where she is at, respect where she has come from, and help her move forward toward a place of healing and acceptance -- at a pace that is respectful of her and her experience. And for some of us, statements like "healthy and alive" are hurtful simply b/c they remind us of what we lost (even though we are simultaneously so happy to have what we have).

I'm not sure if all this babbling has made a lick of sense, so I'll stop now. But ladies, can't we all just get along?
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Old 04-09-2005, 11:29 PM
 
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Now, Storm Bride, I can see what you're talking about in feeling like you are somehow incapacitated to take care of your other children because of your c-sections. That said-I was up and walking 6 hrs after surgery, I required no pain meds for my actual surgery by 48 hrs after surgery--I was released from hospital in slightly less than 48 hrs after my surgery--and had I pushed for it--I could have been released the day before.
I've heard this before, too. It doesn't help - if anything, it makes me feel like even more of a failure. After each of my surgeries, it's taken me at least two days to be able to walk any further than to the bathroom in my hospital room. After Emma, I needed pain medication at least once a day for over two weeks, which is very foreign to me, as I rarely take anything for pain. Knowing that some women bounce back better than that just makes the whole thing even more frustrating. (My SIL, for example, was doing situps three weeks after her section!)

I don't really attach my emotions to other people's statements in that I don't think they're trying to say anything offensive or to upset me. I'm aware that my emotions are the issue. But, I do still feel as if my bad experience is being dismissed by the people making the statement. I've known women who've gone into labour hoping that they will require a section, because they don't want to labour at all, so I don't expect everyone to feel the same way about the surgery that I do. I just wish people would understand that I don't necessarily feel the way they do about it, either.

My doctor will do up to four sections with no problem, and could probably be talked into more than that. As I'm now ten years behind on having my babies when I wanted to, and only wanted four to start with, I'm not too concerned about that aspect of things. My husband isn't sure he wants anymore after the one that's under construction, so three may be all there is, anyway. That's another one I'll have a hard time with, but c'est la vie...before Emma, I'd about given up on ever having even a second one.

I know what you mean about some of the women on these boards, but I don't really pay attention to that. When you've had someone in your family spend her entire labour begging the doctors to give her a c-section (she didn't seem to grasp that labour pains hurt), then call you pathetic for having had one after she was able to birth vaginally, the opinions of people you don't know lose some of their power to wound...

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Old 04-09-2005, 11:47 PM
 
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Heavenly: I wouldn't say that the c-section I had with my son has "consumed" me for 12 years. There have certainly been many other things going on in my life during that time - my inability to conceive for several years, and my miscarriages certainly "trumped" the fact that my son had been a surgical delivery. When I say I'm not over it, I don't mean that it's consumed my life...just that I can't ever imagine seeing it as anything but a horrible experience. Also, despite knowing that the surgery and my son's existence are linked, I don't feel that emotionally at all. I didn't see him for more than a few seconds (while still out of it from a general) until the next day, and the screaming pain in my stomach and all the rest didn't really seem to have anything to do with his presence in my life. The section was simply a horrible, painful violation of my body and has no emotional connection with my son. My second section (May '03) was a little better that way, because I was conscious. But, that was also the single creepiest experience of my life.

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Old 04-09-2005, 11:47 PM
 
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When someone says that, to me it REALLY seems like a way for them to not have to think about it more than that. For them to leave it at that and not acknowledge that the birth was a compulation of MUCH MUCH more than that "healthy baby". It's THERE easy way out
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Old 04-09-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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[QUOTE=shannon0218]Ok, Kimberly that you feel such sadness about the experience that brought your child into the world. I so hope that you both will find some peace, I don't have a clue how to suggest you go about finding that peace, but I'm certain you are both wonderful mommies and that you are beating yourselves up--for something you had no control over is sad to me and I really do feel for you--I don't pity you, but I hurt for you that you can't move on and love yourself for the mama you are now and in the future.

**Thank you. Actually I think I COULD HAVE HAD more control over the situation and the outcome. But I became numbed by the medical "smarts" of it over my own knowledge. And that very fact is what I mostly beat myself up about. I am working very hard at moving on and appreciating the mama I really am.

In this community, one is certainly made to feel like "less of a mom" if she was unable to birth her baby squatting in the woods atop a bed of moss. But so much more goes into being a good parent than a good birth.
Just my humble and jumbled opinion

**I disagree. I knew NOTHING of this community during my pregnancy and for the first year or so of my ds's life! It's finding this very community that has validated me as a woman and a mother and a wife and allowed me consider growing and moving on from that painful time. Reading the posts (on all subjects) by the mama's here at mmc has been quite a growing experiance for me.
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Old 04-09-2005, 11:57 PM
 
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I think for all of us, at the moment we consented to our c/s, it really seemed like the best decision we could make under the circumstances with all the information we had available at that particular moment.
I never consented to my first section. Looking back, I probably should have looked into the paperwork side of things better than I did. I suspect my hosptial admission contained some kind of rider about "emergency treatment". The last thing I remember before they wheeled me into OR was screaming at my ex that I didn't want a section and this couldn't be happening to me. Since I didn't know much about breech births and the doctors probably weren't able to deliver a breech, anyway, the section was probably inevitable. But, I certainly never consented to it. After labouring quite happily at home for 20+ hours, it was definitely a "twist ending".I desperately wish I had educated myself better about breech babies, but my son was in a great position until I went into labour, and I was also unaware that a breech was always consider cause for a cesarean.

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Some of us will grieve forever. We are different people with vastly different personas and experiences.
Thank you. This is one of the reasons I've been reading and posting here lately. I don't know anybody in "real life" who even understands that this is something I've grieved about...let alone understands that it doesn't just go away because I have great kids.

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Old 04-10-2005, 12:01 AM
 
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**I disagree. I knew NOTHING of this community during my pregnancy and for the first year or so of my ds's life! It's finding this very community that has validated me as a woman and a mother and a wife and allowed me consider growing and moving on from that painful time. Reading the posts (on all subjects) by the mama's here at mmc has been quite a growing experiance for me.
I know exactly what you mean! I went searching for a forum where I could talk about this stuff, because this pregnancy has been emotionally brutal. I had no reason to expect my sections with either of my other kids, so the pregnancies themselves were great. But, with this one, I went into it "knowing" I'd have to have another c/s, and it's been awful. This forum helped me find the courage to talk to my OB about a VBA2C, instead of just accepting the surgery. And, even if I do have another of the damed things, I don't think I'll feel quite as much like life just bulldozed me.

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Old 04-10-2005, 03:53 AM
 
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Ok, so I think I'm starting to understand this all better. Storm Bride-I gotta say, I'm really glad you found this forum and you're feeling stronger about your ability to advocate for yourself.
I have one more question for you all though
Like I said before, I can understand all the emotions you have when that is said, but the people who are saying it--do they know that you were emotionally traumatized? For instance, when Molly was first born, some lady came up to me in the grocery store, she complimented and said Molly was beautiful, and how old is she? I told her whatever it was-probably less than a week and she said, ohhhh my, I thought she was older--her head is so perfectly round! I respond with "Yes, unfortunately we needed to have a c-section" adn she replied with "at least everybody is healthy and it was so worth it" Now this was just some lil old lady. For all she knew maybe I "needed" a c-section because I somehow thought the recovery would be easier (or however many other excuses people use when they have unnecc sections. She didn't know I had originally wanted a home birth, none of that--now because of that--I can't see taking offence--she doesn't knwo what I wanted--and I'm highly unlikely to stand in the cereal aisle and explain it to her-so from her viewpoint--as not knowing me or my ideals, I feel it's appropriate. Sometimes actually when I say to someone that I had a section (or even worse, wehn I was pregnant and told them I was having a section!) I feel the need to defend myself--I guess thinking right now about it-I have the same fears someone else mentioned-that they will think I'm just stupid, that I didn't know any better-they may figure I won't bond as well because she wasn't born vaginally--so I guess (and yeah, I'm just figuring this out now) I actually DO take comfort in "at least she's healthy, that's all that matters" mainly because I don't feel that comment will be followed with "you mean you didn't even TRY???" or worse (for me anyway) "you know if you'd had a midwife instead of an OB, she'd have been able to get your through a vaginal birth" or, "so you haven't actually given birth, you just had surgery"

Also Storm Bride, don't let stories of good recovery get you down, I strongly believe my lack of pain and quick recovery had to do with measured I requested adn solutions my OB and I came up with together. You've still got time, thats why I was saying earlier-do a plan A and a plan B birth plan so your'e ready adn know which points are most important. I think it helps knowing and accepting to a point what to expect from your section-and to have it done YOUR way. I jsut trusted my doc on pain relief, but OTF has a great surgical birth birth plan that described pain relief in detail.
I so hope you get your VBAC, I really do, but it's worth it to be prepared for worst case scenario just in case.
And thank you as well for helping me understand better where you're coming from. I really do think much of the difference between you and say myself or Kim--I came to terms with it all BEFORE it happened--so for me at least--the event really wasn't remotely traumatic--I'd already done that part--but in a non-urgent and relaxed state-at home talking to my tummy
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:36 AM
 
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Ok, so I think I'm starting to understand this all better. Storm Bride-I gotta say, I'm really glad you found this forum and you're feeling stronger about your ability to advocate for yourself.
I have one more question for you all though
Like I said before, I can understand all the emotions you have when that is said, but the people who are saying it--do they know that you were emotionally traumatized? For instance, when Molly was first born, some lady came up to me in the grocery store, she complimented and said Molly was beautiful, and how old is she? I told her whatever it was-probably less than a week and she said, ohhhh my, I thought she was older--her head is so perfectly round! I respond with "Yes, unfortunately we needed to have a c-section" adn she replied with "at least everybody is healthy and it was so worth it" Now this was just some lil old lady. For all she knew maybe I "needed" a c-section because I somehow thought the recovery would be easier (or however many other excuses people use when they have unnecc sections. She didn't know I had originally wanted a home birth, none of that--now because of that--I can't see taking offence--she doesn't knwo what I wanted--and I'm highly unlikely to stand in the cereal aisle and explain it to her-so from her viewpoint--as not knowing me or my ideals, I feel it's appropriate. Sometimes actually when I say to someone that I had a section (or even worse, wehn I was pregnant and told them I was having a section!) I feel the need to defend myself--I guess thinking right now about it-I have the same fears someone else mentioned-that they will think I'm just stupid, that I didn't know any better-they may figure I won't bond as well because she wasn't born vaginally--so I guess (and yeah, I'm just figuring this out now) I actually DO take comfort in "at least she's healthy, that's all that matters" mainly because I don't feel that comment will be followed with "you mean you didn't even TRY???" or worse (for me anyway) "you know if you'd had a midwife instead of an OB, she'd have been able to get your through a vaginal birth" or, "so you haven't actually given birth, you just had surgery"

Also Storm Bride, don't let stories of good recovery get you down, I strongly believe my lack of pain and quick recovery had to do with measured I requested adn solutions my OB and I came up with together. You've still got time, thats why I was saying earlier-do a plan A and a plan B birth plan so your'e ready adn know which points are most important. I think it helps knowing and accepting to a point what to expect from your section-and to have it done YOUR way. I jsut trusted my doc on pain relief, but OTF has a great surgical birth birth plan that described pain relief in detail.
I so hope you get your VBAC, I really do, but it's worth it to be prepared for worst case scenario just in case.
And thank you as well for helping me understand better where you're coming from. I really do think much of the difference between you and say myself or Kim--I came to terms with it all BEFORE it happened--so for me at least--the event really wasn't remotely traumatic--I'd already done that part--but in a non-urgent and relaxed state-at home talking to my tummy
*you didn't respond to my post so I hope it's okay that I'm answering your respponse to stormbride... but I think that the fact tha tfolks DON'T realize that a victom of csection would be an emotional wreck IS A SOCIETAL PROBLEM. It just shows how acceptable folks think csections are/should be. Just my 2cents.

*Also, I hate it when people ask when he was "born". I know that no on would be able to know that... but the truth is he WASN'T born. He was induced WAY early. He didn't want to come out. My body didn't want to let him out... then he was cut from uterus. There was no birthing going on. The word born in a double-edged sword to me. His first "birthday" was very hard for me. His second... a bit easier.. on March 7th. But, as I sit here on April 10th.... we're still not at his actual due date... the day he should have been "born". ugh. ANyway.
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:39 PM
 
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I see what you mean Kimberly, but you also have to accept (well you don't have to accept anything) that for MANY people a c-section IS NOT traumatic. There are many of us who were prepared or even if we weren't simply don't see it that way (Heavenly for instance) So why should the fact that people don't realize that YOU had a traumatic event mean that this is a societal problem.
Honestly, I really find what you're saying about a c-section not being a birth really offensive. My daughter was born and she was born the way I want in a beautiful and loving environment. While I may be able to think of a more beautiful birth, I made my birth what I needed it to be and my daughter was in deed born to me.
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:51 PM
 
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I'm really not sure what you found offensive.
I'm sorry I wasn't clear - I didn't mean I found what *you* wrote offensive - just that I found all the people saying to me "well at least you had a healthy baby - why are you upset" offensive.

I'm always really happy to hear about people for whom "I had a healthy baby and that's all that matters" is true.

Sorry for the confusion!!!
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:58 PM
 
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I see what you mean Kimberly, but you also have to accept (well you don't have to accept anything) that for MANY people a c-section IS NOT traumatic. There are many of us who were prepared or even if we weren't simply don't see it that way (Heavenly for instance) So why should the fact that people don't realize that YOU had a traumatic event mean that this is a societal problem.
Honestly, I really find what you're saying about a c-section not being a birth really offensive. My daughter was born and she was born the way I want in a beautiful and loving environment. While I may be able to think of a more beautiful birth, I made my birth what I needed it to be and my daughter was in deed born to me.

I consider it a "societal" issue because csections SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TRAUMATIC. Not every day. not an "alternative" to an actual birth. They should be considered on emergency basis. YES, women should be prepared and educated on csections, but they're so laxidasical (I'm SURE that's not the correct spelling! LOL) these days... that's why I consider it a societal issue. There's no pre-counseling for an emergency csection (and there could be... even five minutes of attention on my obs part could have helped me...) and no post counseling either. I sat in the hospital for a month and not one person asked me if I was doing okay emotionally after having my son ripped from my uterus. This is NOT okay.
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Old 04-10-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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But Kimberly have you considered that may not be the case everywhere??? My hospital has a support group for people who've undergone a c-section. My community offers the support of a community nurse once a day once you go home. I was thoroughly councelled on what would be occuring. YOUR experience is not necessary the experience of everyone and therefore why should society have to assume that every mother who gave birth by c-section is pissed about it and still an emotional wreck 2 yrs later. For your own health and happyness you need to take responsibility for you and seek out coucelling or help, it certainly appears that you are still emotionally paralysed by this--and that's NOT right! I spoke to MANY people before having my c-section, many were very well educated, but none as upset as you. That you sat in the hospital a month and nobody worried about your emotional health is the sign of a very lousy hospital-especially since symptoms of PPD I'm sure were blaring.

Women being prepared and educated on c-sections is the responsibility of both the patient AND the woman--that cannot be ignored--I read posts here every day where people mention the "stupid" OB started talking about c-sections and I tuned him out. Yes, it's major surgery and we need to be prepared--I had back surgery too, that was major--should people have not said at least you're ok--afterall--now I'm missing my L5 disc--that played a role in my having HUGE difficulty in pregnancy adn it was an element of why a section was best for me. Is it a societal problem that people didn't recognize adn don't continue to recognize that I'm not happy about having my spine cut open??
I have rhuematiod arthritis, every day I walk around in pain--some days agony--demerol and percocet no longer have much of an effect on me--that's how bad my pain is. My left hand is completely deformed--but you know, I don't expect society as a whole to understand what I am going through. I don't even expect my dh to understand the shear exhaustion. When people tell me to go home and have a warm bath--I don't get all offended because they should know damn well that even if I actually made it into a tub, I'd never be able to safely get up again. Perhaps it should be a societal issue that nobody understands the pain I experience EVERY day. Yeah people make comparisons that blow my mind--they look at my wrist, deformed, crooked, twisted and unable to move without horrid agony and they tell me that yeah, they broke their wrist when they were a kid--and you know, sometimes it still hurts when it rains--and yes, society things that's just hunky dorey.
All I'm saying is that instead of trying to change societal impressions--which you won't do, work instead on maybe changing the hospital policy where you gave birth, perhaps you could spear head a surgical birth support group. Perhaps you could write your OB and tell him that you still feel emotional pain and tell him the things he could have reasonably done to make your experience better. Next time you have a child you can make sure that you've educated yourself on what doctors are the best to prevent what happened to you before.

And still, above all, frankly--when I hear "that's what counts" what I get from that is-if you could choose to change the negative by giving up the subject of "that's what counts" would you? If you say no--well then--that is what counts. I'm not saying I don't understand the other emotions of pain and hurt--but those are not emotions that society as a whole is going to understand--why--because your situation is NOT the norm--and that's good, cause it shouldn't be the norm.
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Old 04-10-2005, 02:44 PM
 
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Shannon: I'm certainly not trying to downplay the pain of your arthritis. I've only ever seen one or two cases that bad, and I can recall thinking that I can't imagine what it would be like to get through a single day, let alone a whole life, with that much pain. But, I think I understand what edamommy is saying. C-sections are an invasive surgical procedure that our society is now treating as a "better" alternative to birth...more convenient, less painful, etc., etc. I have no problem with women choosing sections because they've assessed their alternatives think that a section is less risky for themselves and/or the baby. But, our culture has gone way beyond that. It's very difficult to be one of the women who have such a bad time with it (and there are many of us) and pick up magazines that contain articles about the "convenient alternative" of given birth surgically. I've actually had one woman comment (with my son) that I was so lucky to have avoided labour (which was an odd comment after I'd laboured for 20+ hours!). I think that's probably part of what edamommy is talking about.

Also, I have to say that I'd never considered that the situation here might not be the case everywhere. This is the first time I'd ever even heard of a c-section support group at a hospital. I certainly didn't stay in the hospital a month (I'd have probably killed myself if I had!!), but there was absolutely no concern about my emotional health. I've been hassled by nurses for taking too long to turn over, I've been badgered about what I'm doing wrong with b/f, even though their "solutions" were almost all impossible for me to achieve with the incision, etc., etc. The entire attitude with both babies was like I'd just had a comparatively easy labour was just being lazy. Most of the people I know who've had sections have had them in that hospital...it's the only one in the region, and their experiences are all quite similar. (Well, except for my SIL who would have just scheduled a section in the first place if they'd have let her, and who also bounced back so fast, she was doing sit-ups in two weeks!)

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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Old 04-10-2005, 02:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shannon0218
But Kimberly have you considered that may not be the case everywhere??? My hospital has a support group for people who've undergone a c-section. My community offers the support of a community nurse once a day once you go home. I was thoroughly councelled on what would be occuring. YOUR experience is not necessary the experience of everyone and therefore why should society have to assume that every mother who gave birth by c-section is pissed about it and still an emotional wreck 2 yrs later. For your own health and happyness you need to take responsibility for you and seek out coucelling or help, it certainly appears that you are still emotionally paralysed by this--and that's NOT right! I spoke to MANY people before having my c-section, many were very well educated, but none as upset as you. That you sat in the hospital a month and nobody worried about your emotional health is the sign of a very lousy hospital-especially since symptoms of PPD I'm sure were blaring.

Women being prepared and educated on c-sections is the responsibility of both the patient AND the woman--that cannot be ignored--I read posts here every day where people mention the "stupid" OB started talking about c-sections and I tuned him out. Yes, it's major surgery and we need to be prepared--I had back surgery too, that was major--should people have not said at least you're ok--afterall--now I'm missing my L5 disc--that played a role in my having HUGE difficulty in pregnancy adn it was an element of why a section was best for me. Is it a societal problem that people didn't recognize adn don't continue to recognize that I'm not happy about having my spine cut open??
I have rhuematiod arthritis, every day I walk around in pain--some days agony--demerol and percocet no longer have much of an effect on me--that's how bad my pain is. My left hand is completely deformed--but you know, I don't expect society as a whole to understand what I am going through. I don't even expect my dh to understand the shear exhaustion. When people tell me to go home and have a warm bath--I don't get all offended because they should know damn well that even if I actually made it into a tub, I'd never be able to safely get up again. Perhaps it should be a societal issue that nobody understands the pain I experience EVERY day. Yeah people make comparisons that blow my mind--they look at my wrist, deformed, crooked, twisted and unable to move without horrid agony and they tell me that yeah, they broke their wrist when they were a kid--and you know, sometimes it still hurts when it rains--and yes, society things that's just hunky dorey.
All I'm saying is that instead of trying to change societal impressions--which you won't do, work instead on maybe changing the hospital policy where you gave birth, perhaps you could spear head a surgical birth support group. Perhaps you could write your OB and tell him that you still feel emotional pain and tell him the things he could have reasonably done to make your experience better. Next time you have a child you can make sure that you've educated yourself on what doctors are the best to prevent what happened to you before.

And still, above all, frankly--when I hear "that's what counts" what I get from that is-if you could choose to change the negative by giving up the subject of "that's what counts" would you? If you say no--well then--that is what counts. I'm not saying I don't understand the other emotions of pain and hurt--but those are not emotions that society as a whole is going to understand--why--because your situation is NOT the norm--and that's good, cause it shouldn't be the norm.

*I knew I was going to have a section about 6 minutes before having one. Guess I should have been more prepared in that 6 minutes... hmmmm

also, just so you're aware... I believe this thread is for csection support.... and it seems like you really don't need any support. thumbs up to you.

I somehow knew I should not have posted in this thread.
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Old 04-10-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Henry's_Mamma
Honestly, I think we all can agree that the most important thing is that we have our babies in our arms. I don't think a single mama here would say that the perfect birth would be better than a dead or severely compromised child. So in that respect, I think we're all on the same page.

However, I think where we disagree is the role of the birth experience. Some of us placed a HUGE weight on that experience in our minds. For others of us, it wasn't as important. For those for whom it was hugely important, we wanted something specific, and we were probably willing to compromise a little with respect to it, but somehow we ended up in an entirely different place than we expected, and we are now in a position where no one gets what our problem is. Our "problem" is that we are grieving the experience we lost. Some of us grieved quickly. Some of us will grieve forever. We are different people with vastly different personas and experiences. Some of us probably were "violated" during their births far more greatly than others. Some of us might have been betrayed by those we trusted a lot more. Some of us might have just been the victims of bad circumstances. But the best we can do is take each woman where she is at, respect where she has come from, and help her move forward toward a place of healing and acceptance -- at a pace that is respectful of her and her experience. And for some of us, statements like "healthy and alive" are hurtful simply b/c they remind us of what we lost (even though we are simultaneously so happy to have what we have).

I'm not sure if all this babbling has made a lick of sense, so I'll stop now. But ladies, can't we all just get along?
Excellent post, Henry's Mama. Sums up my feelings pretty much exactly.
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