My birth left me in pieces, I'm broken and I can't fix me - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-23-2008, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was a strong, empowered woman. I believed in my body, I had no fear of birth. I planned a home waterbirth. I had the best midwives I could find. My spouse was 200% supportive and enthusiastic. I was fastidious about my diet and supplements. I was healthy and active during my pregnancy. My baby was active and joyful.

I had prodromal labor for days on end, almost two weeks. After a visit to the chiro I felt a change in my contractions. Twelve hours later my membranes ruptured. I was hypnobirthing, trying to remain peaceful and calm during my labor pains, which were significant. I tried many positions to move my stubbornly posterior baby. Eighteen hours after that I had a vaginal exam, and I was shown to have dilated to barely 4cm. Six hours after trying everything we could, my wonderful, amazing midwives recommended I transfer. I was in a cloud of disbelief.

I, who had never, ever, ever thought in my wildest dreams that I could possibly transfer to a hospital, had to pack a bag and tearfully make the journey to the maternity ward. I was treated like a freak and almost like a child abuser for making the choices I had made. My husband and my midwives supported me, but they couldn't shield me from the all the comments, the looks, the judgement, and most of all, the brutality of the medical model. I was strapped to a table by various monitors and cords. They put an IV in me, and would not let me urinate, since my bag of waters had broken. they tried to cathetarize me, but I was having contractions two minutes apart and the student nurses were hurting me more than accomplishing anything.

The back labor I had borne so well at home became unbearable, as they forced me to lie on my back, to keep the fetal monitor in place. I began shaking uncontrollably from the hormones and the adrenaline. I was sobbing and not in control of my emotions. I didn't want the epidural, but they were going to start the pitocin, and even my midwife told me to get the epidural. She knew that I was going to end up with one anyway, since she knew that a surgical birth was immenent. I didn't know what she knew, and I sobbed and felt like a failure as the needle stuck into my spine. After two hours of pitocin, I still had not progressed.

They wheeled me to the operating room, and I felt something break inside of me. For the first time in my life, I had failed at something. Always always before, no matter what I put my mind to, I could do it. I have done many hard things in my life, simply because I put my mind to it, and would not allow myself to fail. This time, this most important of times, I failed. I failed me, I failed my child, I failed my husband who held my hand and cried silent tears with me.

I didn't get to hold my child until he was two hours old. I didn't hold him to my breast until he was eight hours old. I didn't even get to unwrap him and discover him for myself, his precious little toes, perfect fingers. Someone else did that when they changed his first diaper, and I was forced to watch, because I could not get out of bed. It was the last thing I had left, and they took it from me.

I feel violated. I feel broken. I feel like part of me died.

><> I'm a Christian, knitting, sewing, cooking SAHM to the fearless adventurer Jack born 11/08, and  a  USCG wife
And we are joyfully awaiting a new addition in April 2011! <><
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:54 AM
 
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I can relate to much of what you are feeling right now. I think it's wonderful that you are talking about this.. it helps to process everything. The pain will not go away (I still often think about the way things happened when ds was born and he will be 7 in February) but you will eventually think about it a little less frequently. It does help to talk to other women who have been there before, though, so if you have some time, check out ICAN:
http://www.ican-online.org/

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:20 AM
 
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I can understand a lot of how you feel. I too never, ever, ever thought in a million years that I would end up with a hospital transfer and c/s, but I did. I also experienced rude treatment by the hospital health care providers. I understand, the grief, the mourning, the disbelief and the loss of the birth experience that was dreamed about. I also can relate to the sense of failure. Be gentle with yourself, try to concentrate on loving and bonding with your baby now. It does get better with time, at least it has for me, my pain over the c/s has lessened, but it is still there. I wish healing for you in time, it's possible and if you choose to have any more children in the future you may have a totally different experience. I don't say that to negate this birth, as you should grieve your loss, but to give you hope. If you would like support and other women who understand birth trauma you could head on over the the solace forums. They have helped me a lot.

Maria, wife to DH, mama to DS 09/2007, #2 12/2010 and hoping for a
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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Oh nerdymom... I am so sorry. I just found this forum hoping to find some solace as well. I feel like I am the only one in our DDC with any trauma, but I guess not. I can hardly read any of the birth stories and feel bad that I can not support the other mom's in our DDC.

I am struggling with DS's birth. I had such a perfect water birth with DD although it was a rough afterbirth and DS's was completely opposite. I got an epi at 9cm. I felt like such a failure. My dr. said to think of it as a strategy. And it really was, I could relax more and within minutes I was at 10cm, +2 station and pushing. After his birth, I was bleeding and my placenta had to be manually removed. I was so thankful that I had the epi.

It is hard to accept that sometimes things are out of our control. Try to focus on the end result. (I know that doesn't always help, actually, I hate it when people say that to me. So,nix that thought a bit) As a LLL leader, I am hoping my experiences will help me be more sympathic with mom's who did not have the birth they want. It will give me some perspective.

Mindfully parenting DD 8/04 & DS 11/08, Human beings are the only mammals who do not nurse their offspring to full term.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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This is how my first birth made me feel. I did not plan a homebirth, and I was much less informed than you were, but I still felt robbed, and broken, and mistreated. I'm so sorry that it happened to you too.

You are still a strong, empowered woman. In fact, you are even more so. Bad things can happen to strong people, but it does not mean they aren't strong anymore. You are strong because you are acknowledging your grief and letting it be a real part of you, not stuffing it down inside and smiling for all the people who say "at least you have a healthy baby."

For everything, there is a greater purpose. I know this and believe it to be true. My hospital birth changed me forever and I am so proud of the person I am today. I have learned so much and I am part of something very impressive. Who would I be if I had not had that awful experience? Someone different, I don't know who. It's similar to the abuse I suffered as a child - it made me who I am, even though it sucked.

Feel your rage and sorrow. Air it out. Let it boil over, then simmer it, slowly. In time, its purpose will come to you.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:44 AM
 
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I, too, can relate to so much of your story. I'm so sorry the birth did not go as you had intended. It seems so unfair to end up with a c section after doing everything right.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:00 AM
 
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Me too mamma.

You can fix you. Not this second. Time heals you. Baby boyo heals you.

For me it did get better. way better.

J+B = Little G (1/08) and baby S (1/10)
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:14 AM
 
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Oh my god. I'm sobbing for you right now. What happened to you is my worst nightmare. My heart absolutely brakes for you!!!!!! I cannot imagine the devistation you must be feeling. It hurts to read that you feel you failed. You absolutley did not!! You're intentions were pure so you could not possibly have failed! Disappointment but not failure. Kiss that sweet cheek baby for me!
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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Hugs, nerdymom (from your DDC). I totally understand what you mean when you say that part of you died. I felt like that after DS's birth. I, too, was strong and empowered...just KNEW that I could give birth naturally. I never planned for a c/s. Skipped those chapters in books and paid no attention to the naysayers that assured me that I would at least end up with an epidural. A breech, preterm birth changed my life in a matter of hours. I was so happy for a healthy baby, but I was scarred for life, literally. I spent many hours crying and "talking" about it on here. I told DH that I was broken...that despite my want for more children, I just didn't trust my body anymore : Eventually I decided that I just had to have more children and that to do that I would have to trust my body again. Time helped in the healing, and my most recent birth gave back to me what my first on took away. I don't know if you're planning to have more children or not, but I feel like a new woman, despite the CBAC. Not saying that you have to have another birth to heal, but I feel 98% healed from my first birth...I don't think it'll ever go away completely, but I'm ok with that now.

Know that your healing will take time. We are here whenever you need to talk, vent, or cry.

Wife to J, SAHM to W (03/06) ribboncesarean.gif at 32w4d, C (10/08) ribboncesarean.gif, and H (02/11) ribboncesarean.gif

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Old 11-24-2008, 08:19 PM
 
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It's so hard when you do everything 'right' and still end up with all the crappy interventions you were trying to avoid. I've been there too.
I still beat myself up every day for having failed my baby and myself, but at the same time I'm not sure what else I could have done in the circumstances. Guilt is strange that way.
I am healing - but it's a very slow process. For months I cried for hours a day. Now I cry a bit less. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful birth

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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I didn't want to read and say nothing. I'm sorry for what happened to you. And I'm sorry most of all that they treated you with such disrespect and robbed you of the first moments with your son.

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:56 PM
 
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(((hugs))) I'm so sorry. I too had planned my wonderful birth (waterbirth in a birth center) and ended up with a transfer and emergency c/s under general anesth. The loss of that beautiful experience I had been planning is what crushes me the most, along with the fact I didn't get to hear my sons first cries, see him for 4 hours, etc. Lots of (((hugs))) to you, and I hope you will find a way to heal from your experience.

Kara mommy to Jason 9/27/04 ribboncesarean.gif, Jacob 6/1/06 vbac.gif, Nathan 11/13/08 ribboncesarean.gif, and twin boys Isaac and Caleb born 1/10/11 vbac.gif
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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Nerdymom, I too am grieving a beautiful home birth turned transfer. It's a process and you've been given much good advice.

I wanted to add something about the meanness of the medical staff that you experienced. Maybe if you generalized your situation in this way:
Understand that most likely they treated you as such because they feared you. You took the chance to do this completely empowering yet sometimes dangerous experience at home where you were without sufficient medical assistance should it be needed. I think that is how most nurses/docs in the profession for long think. I know there are also many progressive docs in traditional hospitals, it just doesn't sound like you had one. Also, I know I'm making generalizations, but I do have a point. Basically, they would never try such an amazing feat on their own. They have no trust in themselves anymore with regard to their bodies ability to birth. Seeing someone who does is scary, it makes them uncomfortable cuz you aren't following what they see as the established rules of the game. So they insult you and try to beat you down. "We'll show her! You can't do this alone! You'll be sure to come to us first next time cuz we're gonna make this hard." They want you to be like them, in fear. Heck, if nothing else it's good for job security.

Best wishes. You are strong enough to fix yourself. Choose for this experience to be one that brings you tremendous growth. And let go of the thoughts of those negative ppl you encountered. They don't deserve your attention any longer.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peace_laughing;
: I wanted to add something about the meanness of the medical staff that you experienced. Maybe if you generalized your situation in this way:
Understand that most likely they treated you as such because they feared you. You took the chance to do this completely empowering yet sometimes dangerous experience at home where you were without sufficient medical assistance should it be needed. I think that is how most nurses/docs in the profession for long think. I know there are also many progressive docs in traditional hospitals, it just doesn't sound like you had one. Also, I know I'm making generalizations, but I do have a point. Basically, they would never try such an amazing feat on their own. They have no trust in themselves anymore with regard to their bodies ability to birth. Seeing someone who does is scary, it makes them uncomfortable cuz you aren't following what they see as the established rules of the game. So they insult you and try to beat you down. "We'll show her! You can't do this alone! You'll be sure to come to us first next time cuz we're gonna make this hard." They want you to be like them, in fear. Heck, if nothing else it's good for job security.
Very well said. I appreciate your perspective on this!
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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mama. Doesn't seem fair does it? I had a similar experience and it took me a long time to not resent the perfect vaginal births of mamas that I knew didn't really care about their birth experience and just "lucked out" on a good one. Time does heal this wound both physically and emotionally and the future is bright with potential. I tell myself everyday with this new pregnancy that I can do it. I can have a VBAC and I will. If anything, you now know that with babies and children- expect the unexpected! Its a wild ride of emotions!

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the comments. I feel pulled in so many directions. Anyone familiar with Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs? I feel like my "birth" experience knocked me from the top of the hierarchy, to the very bottom, my most primal needs, the physiological. I am only beginning, nearly two weeks later, to approach the emotional level. I had a dream last night that has haunted me all day. I dreamt of Pj's birth, a real birth, like I visualzed it. His head came out (posterior still) and he opened his eyes and he smiled at me and said "see, that wasn't so hard, was it?" and I awoke crying.

><> I'm a Christian, knitting, sewing, cooking SAHM to the fearless adventurer Jack born 11/08, and  a  USCG wife
And we are joyfully awaiting a new addition in April 2011! <><
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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I also feel your pain. My birth went much the same way - hours of back labor at home, checked at the birth center and only 3 cm, sent home for some more back labor, back to the birth center and I'm still 3 cm - after 18-ish hours of bad back labor with a 10lb baby. MW recommends a transfer - I am too tired at this point so I go. Same progression as yours - lines, monitors, epi, and a bed sentence. Another 14 hours and I'm 7 cm and miserable, crying, tired, and broken. I call for a c/s.

I cried to myself in the shower everyday for 8 months, I apologized to my DS while BF'ing him at night, and it took me a year before I could speak of my birth without tears. Healing will come - maybe not soon, but it will come with time. You have to make the best decisions you can with the information you have, that's all you can do.

Cry, talk about it, and heal my friend.

: Allen James 2/06 : Thomas Foster 12/08 :
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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Sorry double post
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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You didn't fail.The "system" failed you.You have survived.Healing takes time.
I'm sorry for what you had to endure.Instead of being criticized you should have been treated like the stong brave woman you are.Brave enough to think outside the box,strong enough to endure the most difficult of births.My hats off to you mamma.Hugs.
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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I had a similar experience. It just doesn't seem fair to work so friggin' hard to just end up with a traumatic experience when some women don't do anything and don't care and end up with a normal birth.

+ = and .
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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I am so sorry this happened to you. It does take time to heal, and I hope that someday you will start to shake that feeling of failure.

One thing I wanted to add: My first surgical birth crushed me, but it motivated me to have a drug free VBAC (and I wasn't really the type to go drug free). The gift of my second birth is SO much more poignant because I know what I missed the first time.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:28 AM
 
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I am so, so sorry for you. I have been where you are, as far as the feelings of crushing, suffocating failure. It sucks. Time is the only thing that has lessened it any.

The best I can do most days is to think: I did the best I could. I NEVER meant for any of this to happen. My partner does care, and she also did the best she could. She didn't know any better. My midwife could not intervene without getting kicked out of the hospital. And the hospital staff need to be $%^%^&$%^&$%, and told to go and reeducate themselves, the ignorant blind uncaring practitioners that they are.

That is the only way I can stop myself from spiraling down down down. I don't believe it, but I tell myself that, and then I force myself to think of something else.

I don't know if you were looking for advice at all, but I know I needed some when I was in the dark depths of Post-Traumatic-Birth disorder.

I send you love and caring and complete acceptance of all of your sadness and pain. I hope it helps some.

I DO know that I am a better mother than I might have been otherwise...I am WAY more ferocious.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:54 PM
 
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oh, mama. i am so sorry. i do know what it feels like to think you failed yourself, your baby, and your husband. i felt the same way after my c-section; i was stunned and saddened beyond belief. the year after my DD's birth was one of the darkest of my life...and yet.

you are NOT broken. you WILL heal. maybe part of you will never be the same, but you will grow and change and come to terms with this. like any grieving process (and it IS a grieving process when you feel like this after giving birth), it takes time. but you will come out of this dark place, and when you do, you will know so much more about yourself, who you are meant to be, what matters in your life, and what you need to let go. i don't know what those things will be in your case, but you will learn from this, i promise.



please don't hesitate to get help--therapy has made a world of difference for me. and please remember that it's okay to feel HOWEVER you feel about your son's birth, and it doesn't mean you love him any less, and it doesn't mean you are any less his mother.

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaCaveBear View Post
I send you love and caring and complete acceptance of all of your sadness and pain. I hope it helps some.

I DO know that I am a better mother than I might have been otherwise...I am WAY more ferocious.
thanks. I have noticed feeling immensely more aggressive without fully understanding why. I have wondered if this is me trying to regain control, or just typical new-mother tigress feelings.

><> I'm a Christian, knitting, sewing, cooking SAHM to the fearless adventurer Jack born 11/08, and  a  USCG wife
And we are joyfully awaiting a new addition in April 2011! <><
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