Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
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oh my gosh that horrible. I'm so sorry you went through that.
I'm so sorry you and your baby went through that.
I had a similar experience in a Czech hospital, though I think they were deliberately punishing me too, as I had transferred from a homebirth (FTP - failure to be patient on my midwife's behalf). I was forced onto the bed, given a huge medio-lateral episiotomy (that still hurts 14 months later), had my cervix manually dilated and my baby pulled out with high forceps (a very dangerous procedure that is now almost universally discouraged). And of course sewn up without any pain medication. Though they didn't even bother to give me any, because I deserved it.
We broke the bank to get me a private room so I could have DD with me and DH could visit (because the 'normal' system is like what you're describing) but it didn't make a lot of difference. DD was taken immediately away from me after she was born - I got to hold her and try to nurse her briefly for a few minutes about an hour later, then she was taken away again and I didn't see her for hours. They finally brought her to my room, but insisted that I could only feed her for 10 minutes on each side, while they stood there watching us and criticising me, then she was whisked off to be weighed, naked on a cold metal fish scale, deemed not to have taken in enough milk and taken off to be given formula. They kept her from me most of the time we were there, despite me spending a large portion of the time outside the nursery begging to be given my daughter. I just wanted to make everything right for her..
I had a lot of trouble bonding with her in the early days too, as by the time I got to take her home (after 4 very long days) I felt like she was 'hospital property'. That was certainly their attitude. And of course she was a constant reminder of the trauma I had been through, as well as being the reason why I couldn't just go to sleep and heal and forget about it all. But we gradually bonded - partly because she's a very high needs baby, and just needed me 24/7. I couldn't be that involved with her and not end up bonding. But it was a long process, still on-going, and I still live with the guilt of her entry into the world and her first few days being so utterly dreadful because I didn't protect myself and her better.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I've also gone through something similar. You are not crazy to be traumatised. Just because something is common practice doesn't mean that it's good, or harmless. In both our countries it seems to be common practice to routinely demean, degrade, physically batter and abuse birthing women, most likely in order to 'teach us our place'. You are right to be upset and traumatised by what happened to you and your daughter because it was wrong. Wrong on so many levels.
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