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#1 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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This is probably not the right forum for this, but I figure that if anyone can understand where I'm coming from, it's the ladies here.

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.
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#2 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 09:20 AM
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You still belong here.
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#3 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 09:27 AM
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#4 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 10:02 AM
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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.

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#5 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 10:47 AM
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My last child was a planned homebirth turned cesarean... I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I grieved the loss of my birth with him, and grieved that he never had that birth for himself. It took me a long time to get over it, but it does eventually heal. You may always still be somewhat disappointed that it didn't go according to plan, but the heart will heal...

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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#6 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 10:58 AM
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Lots of for you.
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#7 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 11:06 AM
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Kate, your feelings matter so very much. What you went through to bring your son into the world was traumatic. You made some really hard decisions, give yourself just a little lee-way. Healing takes time.

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#8 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 12:18 PM
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you totally deserve to feel this way. you didn't get what you'd wanted, worked for, planned on. you did loose out on something. you only got half of what you wanted--a healthy baby. you didn't get the other half--the birth you wanted.

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?
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#9 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 01:41 PM
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I understand how you feel. I haven't been through it, but I know I would feel the same way if it happened to me. And it's not just about not getting what you desired, it's also about the very real negative effects of what you did get.

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.
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#10 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 01:53 PM
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I couldn't read this and not post. You will hear no "all that matters is a healthy baby" from me... i have been there. I know that i would look at my beautiful and perfect little boy and be so sad that i couldn't give him the birth that i wanted for us. He was so good, so pure and it hurt me that he didn't get to enter into this world in the gentle and loving way that i had planned. And that i didn't get to enter my mothering-Isaac relationship in a gentle, loving or peaceful way. Grieve it, it is good, it is noble to grieve the loss of that dream for you and your little one. Turn to your son in this time and go through this with him. You'll be in my thoughts, Mama, because i know that this is a hard time.

Midwifery Student and Mama to 2 daughters and 3 sons.     
ribboncesarean.gif vbac.gifhomebirth.jpg I have given birth a variety of ways and I am thankful for what each one has taught me.

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#11 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 02:25 PM
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I couldn't read and not reply. You do still belong here, and for as long as it takes and whatever it takes we will all be here to help you through this, so feel free to post and vent as much as you need to.

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?
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#12 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 02:52 PM
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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?

Give more**Expect Less
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#13 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 03:11 PM
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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.

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
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#14 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 03:16 PM
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Saffron was a planned UC but I ended up transferring after 10 hours of active labor with no dilation. That wouldn't have worried me if I had a perfect uterus, but mine's been through 2 c-sections and I started to freak out a little. I did get to have my VBA2C in the hospital with a doctor I really like, but it just wasn't the same. Overall, I'm really happy with the experience despite that but if I'd ended up with another c-section I'd feel differently.

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.
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#15 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 03:51 PM
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(((Turkish Kate))) I cannot imagine what you're feeling right now and I won't even try. When I hear about mamas who've had c-sections and they're told that all that should matter is the healthy baby it makes me really angry too beacuse I believe that birth is a huge part of it all when people try to make it out to be not that big of deal. I just wish I could make you feel better with my words. I hear you when you speak of maybe being punished for arrogance. When I was pregnant with my son I was so arrogant about childbirth and raising babies because I had done all the reading and felt like I had done everything right and then he was born with health problems and that was all out the window and I felt like I was being punished for my arrogance. It felt so awful. I'm so sorry for what you're going through and I'm sending you lots of love and healing vibes. I just wish I could make you feel better...
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#16 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 04:09 PM
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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
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#17 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 04:45 PM
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my friend. It's totally OK to grieve the loss of the birth you didn't get and be mad about the birth you got. Please listen to the ladies here!! I haven't been through what you went through, but I do consider you a friend and I care about you a lot!! Email me if you just want to talk, ok?
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#18 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 05:12 PM
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Offering you love & support for your process.

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#19 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 07:00 PM
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No real answers - I felt that way after my first birth. I felt that way a little after my second. I've struggled with God too. But I realized God does want me to have good births. God does want my babies to have good births. And God is mourning right along with me. But God is going to let the world bear the consequences of it's actions so we can all learn what we need to learn. It's not all about me and what choices I've made - it's about my husband, my family, my country, my society - all of these choices being made affect me and my births. So we do our very best, and trust that God will not give us more than we can handle. And take comfort in the fact that God cares and is crying too. And I do believe that God rewards the faithful in the end. Blessings for a speedy recovery!
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#20 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Synchro246 View Post
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.

Mama to 3 kids. We live in a yurt!
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#21 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 08:17 PM
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I am sorry people aren't supportive of your feelings! I know how you feel and I even tried to convince myself of the fairly tale ideal that everyone kept telling me "but she is perfect and that is what matters", and then I found someone who understood and was empathetic to how I felt about the birth and that finally helped me heal.

I hope that you can find someone that is empathetic and understanding of your experience!


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#22 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 08:25 PM
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I didn't end up with a C-section, but the birth of my dd was very different from what I had planned. The pain does lessen with time.
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#23 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 09:29 PM
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Your post brought every sad memory of ds's birth flooding back. It's over 2 years and sometimes still, the pain is so poignant I can barely take a deep breath to keep from crying at the grocery store or somewhere else goofy like that. I feel so sad in my heart for you, Kate. Just know that everything you did, right up to and including the birth, was inspiring to me. Your bravery and the ability to know when enough was enough is just the levity I need to cultivate in myself for my next little one. So feel absolutely free to feel sad, and angry, and cry.

And go right ahead and slap the next person that says that to you. :

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#24 of 42 Old 03-25-2007, 10:04 PM
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you are so far away-- but here is a big hug--------and a shoulder.

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
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#25 of 42 Old 03-26-2007, 03:15 PM
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mommy daddy son daughter = our family
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#26 of 42 Old 03-26-2007, 04:07 PM
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just wanted to send a hug and prayers
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#27 of 42 Old 03-26-2007, 06:45 PM
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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
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#28 of 42 Old 03-26-2007, 08:24 PM
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i know how you feel know you are not alone not all of us have C's but us that know about having a horrible birth feel your pain and send lots of love and all i can say is it will get better the physical wounds will heal and in time the emotional ones will fade with time it will always hurt when you look back this is my story i had a perfect pg with #1 perfect birth i chose to have her in the hospital with my midwives she had a non normal heart beat 8 normal beats then 2 really fast she was fine and healthy so was i then i got pg with my son from morning sickness all the time, migraines to swelling everywhere not only my feet and the list goes on when i went in to labor i started a fever my midwife came and all was well till she talked to another midwife and she started to second guess herself she tried to convince me to go to the hospital but i refused to go so she tried to scare me in to going by saying that the baby would not be able to breath and that child protective services would get involved if i had the baby at home then went to the hospital it didn't work i still wanted to stay so they went out of the room came back and started to pack up at that point i had no choice but to go with them went to the hospital i had to go in their car alone i had my son with 3 midwifes there no family my dd still hates me for it she got cut out of it my mother feels the pain she had to stay with my dd couldn't come do to her job dp was not able to attend either place once at the hospital i got pumped full of IV drugs for the fever, started to push the forced me with knees to chest with a midwife on each side holding me there even tho i begged them to let my legs go (there was no rush there was no danger it was not needed) i ended up with multiple tears refused stitches the worse one were 2 tears on my clit and hood still 5 months later having shooting and on going pain...that midwife refused to speak to me again due to me not being happy with "having a healthy baby" she didn't care about my pain physical and emotional pain i know my story is not as bad as your's but you are not alone there is other moms that feel the way you do sending much love to you good luck
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#29 of 42 Old 03-26-2007, 09:03 PM
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Your feelings are normal and anchored deep inside you. They are rooted in the way you view the world and your place in it- such emotions are primal and need to be heeded. Listen to yourself; GRIEVE YOUR LOSS. To hell with those that offer the "healthy baby" thing- they don't know what to say and fill the silence with babble. When you allow yourself time to go through the entire grief process, you will then find healing. The only way through this is THROUGH this- it is a journey. You will find yourself on the other side

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.


Jen- married to best friend DH and mom to DS (8) , DD (5): 3 goldfish.gif, 3 chicken3.gif, and one great dog2.gif
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#30 of 42 Old 03-26-2007, 09:37 PM
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I'm really sorry things went the way they did, Kate.

Rebecca, mama to M (08/06) and E (04/09)
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