Anyone ever had traumatic experience w/ UC? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 11-02-2007, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How did you get past it? I've felt very raw and freaked out over some of Thomas' birth. Specifically, the speed of things from pushing to birth. I could not get control or focus with those ctx and it scared the ever-loving crap right out of me.

The afterpains have been so strong that most give me the shakes and I freak out some more.

I know I need to write down the birth story in it's entirety, start to finish, but haven't been able to yet. I'm so fearful and I don't understand why I had such a hard time.

Can anyone relate?

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#2 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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you just had a baby. relax, and sit down with a nice cup of tea, hopefully fetched by your hubby. There are months for you to write out your birth story.

I didn't feel like my UC was traumatic, but I did feel like that with my MW assisted birth. I had PPD, and was pretty upset for a few months. Hope you don't have PPD, cause that sucks.

love,
jazzy
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#3 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 01:17 AM
 
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Hey Carrie! It's Cyndi!

Yeah.............it's so fresh I would say sit with it longer. Process it. I would say to you "Is it truly traumatic or just unexpected?"

xoxoxo

C
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#4 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Carrie! It's Cyndi!

Yeah.............it's so fresh I would say sit with it longer. Process it. I would say to you "Is it truly traumatic or just unexpected?"

xoxoxo

C
Hmm. This is a good question. I feel like traumatic is too harsh, but couldn't think of a better word. I will ponder this...

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#5 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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Good points. Do you have any postapartum tea to calm your nerves? Extra help with baby and around the house? I had killer afterpains after having dd#2 (in the hospital), and was seriously worried about the severity for awhile. A heating pad helped, and warm tea.

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#6 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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Hmm. This is a good question. I feel like traumatic is too harsh, but couldn't think of a better word. I will ponder this...
I would agree with the unexpected part exascerbating the feeling. I was warned about the afterbirth contractions kicking your butt to the extent that I was told to be prepared for the intensity to pick up at #3. So, keep that in mind...the shaking is normal for some women, too. Again, knowing it before hand helps take the edge off.
As far as being freaked about the intensity, it was your first UC, right? Process the details of the birth and then see how you feel. Relax for now. Happy babymoon
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#7 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 01:54 AM
 
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afterpains are the WORST!!! the intensity you feel now will pass with time, for sure.

JENNY, 38~ preschool teacher, birth activist, sun worshiper, singer, married for 17 years and mom to

Karan 15, Fiona 12, Bodhi 10, Bjorn 6, Devon 3, and Robin Taylor born January 16th!

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#8 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 01:57 AM
 
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I was sidelined by my afterpains with #3. Seriously incapacitated, and I had never been before.

I think you should write what you want to now, but don't worry about it being complete or even coherent. Later, it can jog your memory to write the full story.

You sure do make pretty kids!
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#9 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 02:47 AM
 
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mama! COngrats and welcome to baby Thomas!
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#10 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 05:39 AM
 
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There was a thread a while ago (maybe a year ago? not sure) about how unsettling such a fast labor can be for mamma's as they felt they weren't able to mentally come to terms that the baby was on its way, because the baby was already born by the point they realized baby was on its way!

The intensity and quickness of it all can be mind blowing. I hope you can find that other thread, it may help you process it as they talked a lot about just this situaiton.

*hugs*

as for the afterpains, maybe some homeopathy could help? (also if you can find something homeopathic that treats shock, i think it may help you as well).

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=542636 -- is the thread talking about the shock they went through with their short/fast labors

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#11 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 06:11 AM
 
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It wasn't a UC: but yeah, totally. Skye's birth story Both the reason I'm planning on UCing this time, and the reason I'm terrified. I literally felt my cervix dilate from 4cm to wide open in one contraction, waters went on the next and she slid out whilst I was trying to hold her in and get my : husband off the phone and up the stairs. And yes, feeling your cervix dilate like that would feel better than an orgasm if your head is in a different space, but mine wasn't. I was just stressed and down and pissed off and cranky and despondent. (transition, huh?)
It can be really shocking when a labour goes fast, especially the second stage, because your mind doesn't have time to catch up with the reality of what your body is doing. It's OK to use the word traumatic, if you want to and that describes your reality.

Have you got some homoeopathic arnica on hand? I'd really recommend using it- or rescue remedy, or star of bethlehem flower remedy, anything shock-specific.

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#12 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 10:24 AM
 
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>

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#13 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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I had a perfectly lovely birth that traumatized me for several days afterward. I remember feeling so USED. I felt badly that I felt traumatized--there was nothing better that could have happened!

Let some time pass.
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#14 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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I think this can be a very common feeling and there is a reason why the "trauma" of it wears off at some point, usually just in time for us to think we are ready for another baby. My fifth birth was the most painful birth out of all of them. My back felt like it was going to break apart. After each contraction i kept thinking, if my back didn't hurt i could do this. On top of the back pain my husband and i were in the middle of breaking up and the day i went into labor he told me he didn't believe me that i was in labor and he left. He had court the next day and going to see his new girlfriend was more important. I was alone with 4 kids and in labor. I waited a long time to call the midwife because nothing got consistent and all the sudden i had to push. I birthed by myself at the bottom of the stairs. The entire experience was overshadowed by the back pain and my husband deserting me. Last week was my son's first birthday and i was very emotional and sad. Mostly because his dad was upset that he wasn't there and took it out on me and i personally feel like that day was my day and he choose to not be a part of the baby's life at that moment.

Anyhow, it will wear off, give it time. It isn't so much trauma, but shock. Not every birth is the same and the best thing is that you did it! You made it! And the baby is there in your arms.
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#15 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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Aconite and Arnica for shock. Afterease for afterpains. I loved Afterease- those afterpains can be BAD!! Sometimes worse than labor IMO.

I had one UC where I hemorrhaged right after. I never felt traumatized by that- not sure why, except that I was so grateful to not have to go to the hospital for it! My last birth I did feel traumatized. It was unbelievably, horrifically, unbearably painful and I was really upset about that. He was my 6th baby and I didn't feel like it should have been so painful, considering none of my others were. I guess I was angry about it for a while.

I think it's important to process and talk about the birth in order to get through the emotions.

Congratulations on your new baby!!
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#16 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate getting feedback from you all. Thank you!

I'm taking Aconite & Arnica for the shock and bruising/swelling as well as motherwort for the afterpains. They're still pretty intense but seem to be less so than the first day.

I also have ignatia but haven't taken it yet. I think today might be the day that I need to. I feel on edge and extra sensitive today.

I feel like the birth itself was very trying for both of us (me & Thomas). He came out with burst capillaries all over his head & face and I have a wide open tear on the episiotomy scar. The episiotomy from when my first was born which left me w/ PTSD. Yeah. That was fun. :

I did too much yesterday (cleaned up living room while dh had all 3 kids at a neighbors to show off baby and then I rearranged location of 2 medium size pieces of furniture) so today I'm going to relax, stay holed up in my room w/ Thomas, and just not think too much of the certain disaster in the living room to meet my eyes tomorrow morning.

If I feel up to writing, I can write but this day has to be about rest and taking care of me and Thomas mentally and physically.

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#17 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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Yes, I can relate very much. The birth story is in my sig line.



It's been almost a year and I have fully processed what happened and I'm good. I have no doubts that what happened did so because that's what she needed. Didn't make it a whole lot easier on me though!
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#18 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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I was actually using the word "traumatized" after my UC. I had a very painful labor and I just couldn't handle those contractions. I felt like I was in transition for several hours and I couldn't get out of the birth tub but it wasn't helping much, either-- I threw my body around, contorting, trying to find a comfortable position with every contraction, and there wasn't one. I told my partner that it felt like I was being attacked from inside every 60-90 seconds. The afterpains were much stronger than I expected, and I took 3 ibuprofen every 4-6 hours for the first few days just to take the edge off.

It took a few months before I started thinking of my birth as a good experience, and now (almost 2 years later), I'd love to have another someday. I can do it. I did it! After all that pain, my gorgeous, fat little baby was born asleep, in water, in our cozy little bedroom surrounded only by family. I couldn't have given him a more peaceful birth. I'm proud of myself and I'm not traumatized anymore.

We don't expect UC to be so incredibly painful and hard and violent, but sometimes it is. But IMO, there isn't a better way.
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#19 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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We don't expect UC to be so incredibly painful and hard and violent, but sometimes it is. But IMO, there isn't a better way.

I agree!

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#20 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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Im having a hard time writing my birth story this time too, and I do think that part of it is the traumatic aspect of it, pushing was really long and difficult. Just wanted to commiserate.
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#21 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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I've been reading with mixed feelings this thread and some other recent threads on 'trauma' and 'post-traumatic stress' associated with normal births.

To put in a disclaimer/buffer first: I realize that birth can be truly traumatic for some who suffer loss of dignity, respect for wishes, loss of control over events, decision-making, and possibly including physically traumatic acts done to their bodies (whether deemed 'necessary for safety' or not; whether experienced in the present, or not until later, as traumatic/harmful). I also know that the best thing we can do for ourselves or anyone in helping to process difficult things is affirm our own/another's actual feelings and experiences from the individual's point of view--what I find painful or insulting might be a cake walk for another, and so forth, and neither is more 'right'. So in the following comments I do not intend to minimize anyone's feelings about, or perceptions of, their own experiences. I do, however, intend to issue what I hope is a thought-provoking and potentially life-altering (for the better) challenge to the use of words we apply to our experiences.

For clarity's sake, I also reiterate that here I am referring to 'normal birth'--where choices were basically mama's own, where no emergencies occurred and no artificial meds/procedures were employed, where the natural birth process worked just fine and mother and baby came through in health.

To finally jump right in: I submit that it is very important to choose words carefully when describing our experiences. Words do not just represent simple concrete things--objects, feelings, people; words represent ideas, values and beliefs on a personal *and* cultural/mass basis--therefore, words have an enormous amount of power, potentially, in our lives and ongoing experiences. This is because we humans are so fully 'intellectual'--which here means, as best I can say it, that we think about stuff, we choose beliefs and values, we have numerous options of how to feel about events--we are not JUST instinct driven. In fact, how we 'feel' about something has EVERYTHING to do with what we believe about it. And what we believe about something is very much impacted by the words we use to describe it...and the words others use, and the variety of meanings attached to particular words. We can and do shape our own/others' perceptions and feelings about something...we shape our own and help shape others' realities...through our word-choices.

So, I submit to you that in a very real way, to say you feel 'traumatized' about your birth is a way to avoid talking straightforwardly about how you felt, and instead to define the experience with a word that is going to lead to beliefs and feelings. It is also a way to most definitely focus on what was 'wrong' and leave out what was 'right'--if you say it was traumatic, how can you or anyone believe there coulda been any good in it at all? Instead of the beliefs and feelings being stated more simply and down to earth, a potent and highly negative word is used that actually helps to shape the word-user's beliefs and feelings. To me, traumatized is not a feeling word...it is a word that might sum up a group of feelings and mental/physical processes; a word that can act as a single-word descriptor for a constellation of emotions/mind-and-body reactions that are shattering and injurious to one's sense of reality/identity/ and even to one's physical health. And I'm not saying this *couldn't* occur for a woman who'd had a horribly painful normal birth...what I'm saying is, from all else said, I'm not hearing what sounds to me like 'trauma' in the truest sense of what that word means. Sure, you can say that you're using the word trauma according to another connotation (because we do that quite legitimately with words all the time) BUT--I submit that in using a word, we might think we mean 'one thing' yet we are subliminally dragging in all the meanings and especially the original meaning of that word, with it's whole history, cultural context, and weight. Trauma is a very heavy word! And with it's use we are actually impacting our perceptions of our own experiences.

I am indeed hearing that these birth experiences were more intense than you imagined possible, that they blew away your expectations of how birth would be, and your previous understanding of birth and yourself, and that the experience was highly unwelcome and hard to integrate emotionally and intellectually! I am hearing that the pain--and in some cases, the rapidness of events/changes--- interfered with your sense of the birth occurring perfectly--that the pain and/or speed of things was a 'bad part' of your birth for sure. A very bad part of things, even.

To those who say their birthing pain was traumatic, I say, what *were* the actual feelings--and what *are* they now? Ok, I know, it hurt, it hurt a LOT, way too much. What were your emotions about that? Were you afraid that you couldn't take it, or afraid you might lose all control or even die? Did this make you angry, to be forced to feel so much pain? Were you sad to lose your hoped-for painless birth? Frustrated at how little you were able to reduce your experience of pain through learned birthing techniques? Did you feel resentment that your efforts to prepare had failed? I offer up these feeling words and possible explanations...believing that they are all quite valid and normal emotional responses by the way...not saying I know, just trying to imagine. And just trying to show what I mean by talking about the actual feelings involved instead of making use of a blanket term like 'traumatic'. I really am wondering what you felt about it, what was going on for you. And in asking this, I am also saying that you might help yourself process the experience, work through the negative emotions and lay firmer claim to the power and positive emotions of the experience, by acknowledging what you felt for what it really is.

Well, this is long and I'll try not to go on all day. It gets down to this: you get to define your experience, and how to feel about it. I submit that if you talk a lot about trauma, you will focus more on what was 'wrong' and less on what was 'right', and essentially deprive yourself of the true power and victory and bliss of your birth. You can say--the pain was traumatic, I feel traumatized, I am having post traumatic stress now...and using those words, and subjecting yourself to their meanings over and over, you can talk yourself right out of victory and health and right into ppd or other unpleasant experiences.

You can also say, DAMN!!! That hurt!!! OMYFREAKINGGAWD I cannot BELIEVE how much that hurt!!! I was scared I woudn't make it through! I thought I was being torn apart!!!! You just don't KNOW how close I came to going for an epidural or whatever else the hospital wanted to do to me. Hell with those 'painless birth' LIARS, as IF! But I DID IT!!! I got through, I am AN AMAZON!!!! Who knew birth could hurt so much but I did it and I am a GODDESS! I am SO glad that is over now, I think I'll go get a heating pad and breathe through these afterpains cuz they hurt like a B**** too and you'd think I'd get a break by now but DAMN I'M GOOD! And wouldja LOOK at this gorgeous perfect baby and my breasts and all this MILK! I can do ANYTHING now...JEEEZO, I never even had a moment to think about it, did you SEE how fast that hellish labor became pushing and then the BABY was there!!!! WHeeeoooo! THought I was gonna lose it for SURE, but I DIDN'T! Oh my, give me a warm cuppa tea, more ibuprofin, another blanket --and go away now, I need some time to deal with this and besides there's this cute baby to love on right now....wow...

And so forth.

Sometimes when I see these discussions, I think that maybe we have developed way too much expectation of control over life and everything in it. And then, when life turns out to be life, and we find out that life is far bigger and a far more determining factor in the course of our lives than any of our plans and preparations--we just freak out and start to think there is something wrong with that. We start to think we've been deprived or victimized or were stupid or something...when it was just life at work, as ever. Sometimes our preparations for birth do us in good stead, but we never know when. Birth is ALWAYS in charge, and we ALWAYS have to just keep up as best we can. Nothing 'wrong' with that, really...if life, and birth, being bigger than we are can be ok with us, then our definition of events can be softer and more positive.

We can't change events. We sure can choose how to deal with em, though. Part of that choice is made through our words.

ramble, ramble, ramble...
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#22 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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MsBlack, I respect that you have big feelings about the use of the word traumatic. I've read your post twice, and I still get the feeling that you are making assumptions. When I say my last birth was traumatic, I mean it. It WAS traumatizing.

trau·ma
(trô'mə, trou'-)
n. pl. trau·mas or trau·ma·ta (-mə-tə)

1. A serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident.
2. An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis.
3. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.

adjective
1. of or relating to a physical injury or wound to the body
2. psychologically painful;"few experiences are more traumatic than losing a child";

Main Entry: trau·mat·ic
Pronunciation: tr&-'mat-ik, tro-, trau-
Function: adjective
: of, relating to, resulting from, or causing a trauma <cases of traumatic rupture —Journal of the American Medical Association> <a traumatic experience> —trau·mat·i·cal·ly /-i-k(&-)lE/ adverb

My last birth was very challenging and did cause psychological stress to my way of thinking. I was sent reeling. I can use LOTS of "better" words but when someone comes along and says "this is how my birth made me feel" and they use the word traumatic I nod.

However, I also felt empowered. Challenged. Transcendent.

I don't think it's all or nothing.

ETA: By the way, the feeling of trauma has nothing to do with pain for me. I had very little pain. It was sort of like being forced to run a marathon when you were primed for a nice long walk in the park. I was not prepared for what happened and mentally it took me several months to come to terms and call it a "good" birth.
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#23 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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I really like your post there Ms Black I agree with alot of it.
As to what happened with the OP(my sil) birth. You didnt have pph for the first time ever with a birth and I am so so happy for you with that. I am sorry that the rest of the birth was not what you expected. But I believe it was probably what both of you needed for one reason or another.
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#24 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im having a hard time writing my birth story this time too, and I do think that part of it is the traumatic aspect of it, pushing was really long and difficult. Just wanted to commiserate.
Yeah, and you and I were both past dates, frustrated because we had the prodromal labor for so long and then ended up birthing toddlers.

All of those things were completely unexpected for me. I'd never gone over 40 wks, never had ctx daily for a month and a half, and never had such a short, fast birth when the time came. I kept comparing it to Rachel's birth and trying to remind myself NOT to because they're all different.

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#25 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really like your post there Ms Black I agree with alot of it.
As to what happened with the OP(my sil) birth. You didnt have pph for the first time ever with a birth and I am so so happy for you with that. I am sorry that the rest of the birth was not what you expected. But I believe it was probably what both of you needed for one reason or another.


Yeah, I'm coming around to that conclusion myself. I think I need to wrap my head around the fact that it was so much quicker than I thought. Overall I've been having good, positive feelings and thoughts about it and I'm feeling happier and more excited. So I think that's pretty cool.

The speed of the birth really threw me off. I think that's my biggest stress about it at this point. I wish I could have managed to find a way to get some kind of mental control and worked through those pushing ctx a little better! Oh well.

I think the tear being on an episiotomy scar is a bit triggering for me, too. The worst part of Max's birth was the healing from that episiotomy. This time I'm feeling much less anxious and stressed about it, but while that tear is healing it's also reminding me of the episiotomy I got 7.5 yrs ago.

Interesting to note for myself: I feel more clear headed regarding the other births I've had. Less anxious, less angry, less stressed. I also feel very private about it. (Like, I can share details with a bunch of virtual strangers on the net but refuse to tell my mil or aunts. Odd. )

I think as my body heals (all over) my mind will be able to process things some more and I will be ok. I don't get all freaked out and shaky when discussing Thomas' birth the way I would get freaked out and shaky when I discussed Max's birth.

The afterpains are getting better, too, finally!

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#26 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Chantel--

Just to be clear with you before making a response--did you have a normal birth in the ways I described at the beginning of my post?

Justthat--

good, it's so good when the afterpains ease up! Seems mine were worse with each baby (hurt more, tho didn't last any longer).
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#27 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
Justthat--

good, it's so good when the afterpains ease up! Seems mine were worse with each baby (hurt more, tho didn't last any longer).
Yes! And I suspect that has been a big part of feeling so raw about the birth in general. Does that make sense?

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#28 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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To comment on the use of the word trauma. I DID feel traumatized. That's a wonderful word for how I felt. Why can I not use that word?

I had been severely emotionally traumatized immediately prior to my last birth. I have no doubt that's why I had the incredible pain I had (link to birth story in my sig- Max). My feelings about my birth are not invalid. I no longer feel that way, but I had to work through it. If I had been told by someone my birth was not traumatic or that I should not think of it that way, I would have been extremely upset and offended.

He was my 6th baby and the only UC or home birth that I felt traumatized about. I'm not just throwing that word around.
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#29 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
Chantel--

Just to be clear with you before making a response--did you have a normal birth in the ways I described at the beginning of my post?
Yes, the birth was a UC. I made all decisions and labored the way I wanted/needed to. Babe was healthy and safe. No transport. No contact with medical personnel.

I felt like I was knocked over by a truck. After experiencing a previous home birth of 3.5 hours (more intense, but manageable) I never, ever in my wildest dreams expected the birth I had with Isabella. For a long while afterward I just felt.....shell shocked. :

And I do *get* what you are saying. I just don't like when others try to dictate *how* I process something. If I feel the need to use the word trauma then that's what I need to do.

Sorry to the OP for going OT!
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#30 of 51 Old 11-03-2007, 11:32 PM
 
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Oooh, afterpains. I hate hate hate them! I think they hurt more than labor sometimes! Eeeeow! I'm so glad they're easing up for you.

I second the AfterEase. I always keep it in my birth kit. It helps a lot, but I have a hard time finding it locally.

I think after those fast-hit-by-a-truck labors, it takes a while to feel level again. All that prodromal labor... it just makes for fast labors usually!

Please, be gentle to yourself. You just had a baby. no furniture moving. Just cuddle, nurse & wear your nightgown for the next week only taking it off for a daily bath.

Spark and her four firecrackers.
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