Hey, everyone. On Saturday, I helped a client give birth at our local hospital. I did two prenatals in advance, discussing pro's and con's of interventions, why epidurals should be used cautiously (if at all), etc. etc. Her whole stance was, "Yes, I agree natural is best, but I may end up wanting the epidural..." so she wasn't very convinced of a drug-free birth.
Well, she screamed for the epi at five cm. After she got it, she laid on her side 'til it was time to push. They turned the epi off, and babe was posterior. I had her on all fours, knee-chest, squatting, you name it. After two hours, she was calling it quits. The doctor said he could "help her out". The baby's head was on the perenium; the doc got the anesthiologist and they tried getting her numb again, at which point babe passed thick thick meconium. They gave her a big episiotomy - which she felt, 100% - and yanked and pulled that baby so hard with forceps I felt like vomiting. Babe came out, pink and yelling. Totally fine. However, mom was so shocky and traumatized she did not even want to hold her baby or talk to her. I helped the babe nuzzle at her chest after they stitched mom up, and she took a couple quick suckles. Then the nurse took the babe and said, "You really need to rest... blah blah blah..." and took the little girl to the nursery.
Well, mom called today. She's home from the hospital, nursing is going well, and I'm visiting her on Friday for a postpartum visit. How can I help her process this freightening, traumatic experience? What sorts of questions do you ask, and how much do you tell them? That if it wasn't for the epi, the baby probably could have turned, avoiding all the trauma in the first place? What sort of things should I say, how should I comfort her and enhance the bonding between her and her new baby?