It's been 9 days since my son was born via cesarean and I feel like such a failure. I can't share this with my husband (who will read this post anyway and maybe he'll get it) or with my friends because I have a happy, healthy baby and "that's the most important thing."
Every day is full of pain, both physical and emotional. My belly hurts, I can't move around comfortably, despite massive doses of ibuprofen and the occasional Lortab (only have a few left and they are not available here, so trying to space them out). My nipples are chewed up, despite a good latch, Wish Garden nipple cream, and Lansioh. My back is still aching from the pounding it took during labor and the epidural attempt. The only pain meds they'd give me in the hospital were via IM injection, and the nurse apparently hit a nerve on my left hip, because it hurts every time I move (yet another reason why I hate IM injections).
But the worst of it is that I missed out on my son's birth. My body was present, but I was unconscious (general anesthesia). I missed his emergence into the world and his first few hours. I remember so well the feelings of euphoria and otherworldliness that I felt with my daughter--like I had really accomplished a monumental feat. All I feel with my son is defeated. I spend large amounts of each day bawling my eyes out (as I am now) and I know that I'm heading down the pathway of postpartum depression. I've lost 5 pounds in less than a week. Those overwhelming feelings of bonding and love that I had with my first just aren't there this time and I'm pissed.
What did I do wrong? What did I do to deserve this? I know, I know, it's not my fault. But I feel like God is punishing me for my arrogance. I trusted in Him and in my body to do what needed to be done, and it didn't work. I took great care of myself during pregnancy--physically, mentally, and spiritually. I read everything (good) there is to read. I ignored the people who had bad things to say. I took all the "right" vitamins and supplements, I drank RRL tea until I was sick of the stuff and then drank more. So why did it end this way?
The next person who tries to placate me with "But you have a healthy baby and healthy mom, that's the most important thing" is going to get a smack across the face. Sure, that's the most important thing, but it isn't the *only* important thing. Saying that to me denies my deepest feelings. I have been a homebirth supporter for so many years. I've helped so many other women find midwives and have homebirths, why didn't I get mine? It's not fair. ("Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.")
DH and I wanted to have another baby in about 2 years, but I can't do this again.
I'm so sorry about what you're feeling and going through. I don't think you were arrogant. I think you were strong, courageous, intelligent, brave, and the most wonderful mother a newly born boy could ask for.
I can't know what you have lost, but I know that whatever you have lost will be regained tenfold at some point in the future, and that you will have joy and beauty again.
Your feelings matter. Keep working through it and talking about it. Be gentle with yourself.
Me My Blog Mama to 7 babes & four spirit babies
it's totally and completely ok to grieve that. it really is. it's hard to loose dreams, it's hard to loose hopes. and it's hard to grieve them because people always want you to "look at the bright side" but never look at that 'dark side.'
it's ok to look at that. it's ok to be angry, it's ok to be sad, it's ok to be frustrated, it's ok to be any number of emotions that come up. And it's totally ok to share it here.
i suggest that when people say "but the healthy baby. . ." you say to them "that's only half of it. these other feelings are important and valid. i need support while working through them. this isn't just about my son, this is also about me." assert to them that you think it's ok to feel this way (and it is), and then enlist them to support you. if they won't, then tell them the next time they bring up "but the healthy baby. . ." you're going to smack them.
i know you feel robbed. you were robbed of what you wanted.
and with this, look at all the things that you did do--you sacrificed your dream birth for your son's health and safety. you gave him your all at every level. you sacrificed for him. this isn't false. this is real. this is a valuable thing. it wasn't what you wanted, but you were willing to do what was necessary.
and what was necessary seriously stinks. but it was necessary. you absolutely did the right thing all the way through--the right vitamins, the right books, the right mindset--all the way to making the right decision for you both. it was absolutely, positively right.
you can take some comfort in that, and in time you'll completely align with that understanding. but for now, feel angry, feel sad, feel robbed, feel blah, and just scream out loud about how *ARGHHH!* it is.
it will pass. you will come to peace about this. but it comes after the anger, frustration, sadness, etc.
we love you. we're here for you. you go ahead and tell your truth. because it is the truth, and we hear you, and we feel for you. and we want you to heal and to be happy at every level. it's possible, and it's already happening.
hugs, hugs and more hugs. ok?
I don't know when we as a society lost the ability to empathize and acknowledge that grief is a valid emotion. Maybe it's the effect of living in a partriarchal culture -- you know the stereotype of men having to "fix" things -- everyone wants everything to be (or appear) fixed, now, and there's really no other acceptable option for them. Losing someone to death is probably one of the most valid reasons for grieving, yet what do you hear? "Don't be sad, they're in a better place now." It's not just about people being in denial about birth. It's an attitude that underlies our whole society. It makes me wonder if it isn't partly responsible for the epidemic of depression and use of anti-depressants. People aren't allowed to be sad, it's not okay, so it never gets worked through and they can't move beyond it, until either drugs or time helps them forget a little.
I'm not going to tell you what to believe, but I hope that you will come to a place of being able to believe that your misfortune is not a punishment. Personally, I don't believe that the creative force, the source of all that is good, punishes. I believe it's just simple cause and effect -- things that you did or were done to you logically resulted in a certain outcome. On a grander scale, I think that there's a natural law of moral equilibrium that cannot be stopped from maintaining itself, and that that means that if you suffer due to natural causes or someone else's free will that allows them to harm you, you will eventually find yourself with that much more joy and abundance. I do think that it works the other way also, but I suspect (so that free will can have any meaning at all) that outside of natural cause and effect, any payment that needs to be made isn't going to be made until all has played out (and of course if you're a Christian you believe that payment has already been made.)
I wish we could surround you physically with support and love. You have suffered enough, you don't need to keep beating yourself up. Please be kind to yourself. Surround yourself and your baby in a cocoon of love. It's there, and we're sending it to you too, you just have to open yourself to it. Of course you'll still feel pain as you heal, and the healing process may take a long time. But you can still choose to be love and be loved while that's happening, and know that love will prevail.
Midwifery Student and Mama to 2 daughters and 3 sons.
I have given birth a variety of ways and I am thankful for what each one has taught me.
The others have summed it up perfectly, but I just wanted to reiterate:
It is OKAY to be pissed off.
It is OKAY to be depressed.
It is OKAY to grieve.
And anyone who tells you it isn't, and any other number of non supportive statements isn't worthy of your time and energy right now.
I felt very much the same way as you with my DD#1's birth, it didn't end in c/s but it was close. And never the less it was very traumatic for me, and was not the birth I had planned for or dreamed of.
I was a mess after her birth and that is an understatement actually. Anyone I tried to talk to about it gave me the same BS lines that you are getting "oh you have a healthy baby and that is what is important." I felt so belitted and wrong for how I was feeling and then I just started bottling it up, which made matters so much worse. It wasn't until a year or so later, actually when I started coming to MDC more frequently that I realized, ya I do have something to grieve regarding her birth, I am ALLOWED to grieve. And when I allowed myself to go through the emotions and the stages of healing is when I finally started feeling better, slowly but surely.
I'm not saying one morning I woke up and everything was hunky dory, but just that ALLOWING myself to be mad, depressed, to grieve what I had lost made it much easier for me to accept what had happened and eventually, slowly move on. And FWIW I honestly didn't find that much support IRL. I found it here on MDC in these forums.
I just want you to know you are definitely not alone in how you are feeling.
And again, PLEASE don't forget we are all here for you. This is your thread so you fill it up and rant and rave and vent and get it all out as much as you need to okay?
Grieve. Yes you have every right to grieve your son's birth. With DD I transfered in at 9 cm for pain relief and it turned out to be a very bad experience (I've posted about it here before but feel free to pm me...it wasn't a c-section but I wasn't present mentally either). She is almost two years old and I am just now getting to be ok with being angry. It makes a huge difference! Cry, scream, beat a pillow.....tell him how you feel. Sit down and have a moment with your babe and spill all your feelings!
Anyone who tells you a healthy babe is the most important thing deserves to get smacked. A good portion of the time people don't know what else to say. They can see you are upset and not knowing what to do/say (especially if their births were "good" in their mind) they try to offer comfort with that. It's the "obvious" thing to say yk?
There is no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothing.
Know, please KNOW that you aren't a failure. You did the best you could at every moment along this path.
I'm sorry you lost your birth Nothing I can say will take your pain away, but know that you aren't alone--and every woman with you appreciates your pain.
X a gazillion
and planning to eat it again
I didn't even realize that I was traumatized by my c-sections (1st "emergency", 2nd ERCS) until I had a VBA2C. I didn't realize what I was missing. It must be so hard for you because you did know what you were missing when you had your c-section I really think the only way you'll be able to heal from this is by having a VBAC next time to prove to yourself that your body isn't broken.
It's perfectly appropriate to mourn the birth experience you didn't get. I think you may HAVE TO go through the grief process before you'll be able to fully move on.
Just to give you some perspective, I had a "perfect" home birth and no BF problems with my 2nd child and it still took me a while to fully bond with her and I dealt with PPD and all that stuff. So don't blame the horrid birth experience for everything you're feeling right now- some of this might have happened anyway. Lots of men are completely clueless about birthing stuff and PP hormones even in the best of times. It's important to have women around you who understand- even if those women are all online.
Please take care of yourself. You can't care for your baby if you're in bad shape yourself- nurturing BOTH of you is equally important. You're postpartum AND post-surgical, so, just from a physical perspective, you're doing double the healing. You need lots of rest and nutrient-dense foods. If you're not a vegetarian, then I'd suggest lots of bone broths and liver. Getting enough calories and eating consistantly is of primary importance, even if it's not all from nutrient-dense foods.
Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
There is nothing quite like loosing your birth. It affects how I view myself, my body, my husband, my son, my life, and my future. Anyone who discounts it just doesn't know how BIG it really is. I've wondered a million times what I "shoulda" done (at every point from before my cryocautery to after the birth). I had dreams that my body sucked the baby back in so I could birth him again, only better. I've cried. Hell, I'm tearing up right now just as much for my loss as for yours. It just plain SUCKS.
Know, please KNOW that you aren't a failure. You did the best you could at every moment along this path.
: That's exactly how I feel/felt.
I've been through what you've been through twice, Turkish. I know how you feel. It hurts. Hurts hurts hurts. And it's so frustrating, too. My vbac attempt turned cbac baby is 9 months old and I still daily mourn the birth that I lost. I go through it all in my head, wishing I would have made different decisions, wishing wishing wishing.
I hope that you can find someone that is empathetic and understanding of your experience!
Dh, Me , DD 10 , DD 7 , DD 4
We , , , , not in that order
And go right ahead and slap the next person that says that to you. :
J, partner-in-crime to D, mama to 4, including our brand new , missing my 7-wk-er
my first hospital births were a lot to recover from- but I didn't have a contrast.. everything in me jangled -- but I remember when one day one busy painful hecktic day- dd was sleeping in my lap and I touched her little fingers and the feeling of her fingerprints across mine those little ripples -- released something in me let me smell her- opened me to her beyond my pains and disappointments -- there are days and ways to release and heal---- it will come
love to you
I understand a bit what you are feeling. With my DD, I was supposed to have an unmedicated water borth at a birth center. Instead, I was scared into an induction with high levels of pit and then an epidual. Even over 4 years later, I feel like I failed and I regret it, especially since I have learned that there was no true reason for the "emergency' part of the induction, and I should have had a second u/s to determine if I really had low fluid levels.
It is really hard to have plans for something so important to you, and have them lost. It feels like you have failed and that you have missed out on something important.
I do have to say that I read what you went though and from what I have read, I really feel that you made the right decision. I think you gave the birth you wanted the best chance you could and that you needn't have any regrets. I know you probably will. It is hard not to second- third- fourth-guess your decisions.
This was the right place to post this. This is your place
I'd definitely talk to DH (when you can find the strength) and flat out tell him that you need his unconditional support. He doesn't need to fix you; he just needs to support you during your journey (he'll want to fix- like all men do )
Also, talk to your beautiful new baby. Tell him what you had planned, why you're so sad (and angry), how sad you are to not be the mommy you want to be to him YET (I emphasize the YET part), and tell him how you will be the mommy you want to be with his help. Snuggle him, touch him, smell him, cry over him, but find space when you need it- it is normal and healthy. He will be fine- and so will you.
Give it all time. You mentioned your belief in God- pray about this. Let God know in raw and pure words and emotions. He already knows, but actually praying like you are talking to a beloved parent- sobbing, etc- has always been healing for me.
We are all here for you. Feel free to rant and rave, sob and scream- we'll all hear you and support you.
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