all the things i wish i'd known - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 08-04-2009, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I wasn't afraid of giving birth. I'm an almost compulsive worrier, but when it comes to things that I feel I have no control over, I tend not to worry. I've always believed that those things would take care of themselves no matter what I did or didn't do. I really, and truly believed that birth was a natural process that would happen, one way or another. I didn't understand the epidemic of c-sections and epidurals, and I was shocked when my (hospital-based) birth class taught that 94% of women received and epi. I was confident in my ability to handle the pain and focus on delivering a healthy baby without resorting to either. I thought that by going to class I was educated. I thought that by having midwives as primary care I was doing the right thing. I thought that the hospital was the only place where babies were delivered, and that all of the routine care given was done for a good reason. I thought that DH was the only person I needed by my side at birth, and that with him I could manage any amount of pain. I thought that if complications happened, they wouldn't be because I had done something wrong. I thought that if complications happened, nothing I did would resolve them and that's why women deliver babies in hospitals. I thought that by going to practice with a low(er) c-section and epidural rate meant I was getting the best possible care I could have. I thought that going to a practice with many midwives and doctors would mean I would never have to wait to be seen, that I would not have to worry about my OB making it to the hospital in time, and that I would always have someone by my side when I labored.

I was stupid.

I wish I'd known that prenatal care CAN be personal, and I can be more than just a name on a chart (my charts were lost a few times, so they didn't even have that much). I wish when I realized I disliked several of the doctors, I'd understood that changing docs WAS an option. I never thought about the fact that I wouldn't get to choose who would be in the hospital at delivery time.

I wish someone had recognized I was experiencing depression during my 1st trimester and done something to alleviate it, and that my lack of activity was the main cause of my weight gain.

I wish I hadn't gained so much weight and been lectured about it by an OB who didn't even ask about my eating habits and just made (incorrect) assumptions that made me cry.

I wish I'd found MDC while pregnant.

I wish I'd never gone to the hospital.

I wish I hadn't circ'd my son.

I wish I hadn't agreed to AROM after 17 hours of drug-free labor with an OP baby. I wish I'd known my baby was OP and that the midwives had checked and that SOMEONE would have helped me turn him around.

I wish I'd had more information on transition and someone with experience there to recognize what I was going through. I wish DH hadn't been so upset by the pain I was going through that he badgered the L&D nurses into getting me an epidural RIGHT NOW.

I wish they'd never given me pitocin because my contractions "weren't regular enough."

I wish I hadn't dealt with the shaking fits and itching caused by all the medications coursing through my system, which of course required more medication.

I wish I hadn't tried to push for 45 minutes flat on my back as DS decelerated and an OB popped in once to cluck about c-sections.

I wish I remembered agreeing to the c-section.

I wish I could have seen my son after he was cut out of me, instead of only hearing him cry for 10 agonizing minutes and wondering what was going on. I wish I could have held him as they wheeled me away from the OR, but I was shaking so badly I would have dropped him so they propped him on my legs.

I wish I hadn't gotten a fever from all of the medications that I passed on to DS, which caused the nurses to test his blood for infection every few hours for the next 3 days.

I wish I could have held my son every waking AND sleeping second for the next several days, but DH and MIL and the nurses all took him away because I "needed to rest." I wish I hadn't been in so much pain that I couldn't even get out of bed or sit up when he started to cry, which made me cry because I couldn't get to him.

I wish breastfeeding had gone smoothly and that it hadn't made me a crying wreck for the next several weeks.

I wish my surgery had gone well, like they told me it did. But they also told me they needed to leave the staples in for a week and I had to visit my OB to have them removed.

I wish I'd never gone to the pediatrician's office, who criticized me for not giving DS a pacifier (he was crying) and gave me formula and told me to supplement.

I wish I hadn't gone to my OB's office two days early because I was in so much pain, only to have the OB tell me I needed to stop taking the drugs and just go home. And that I wasn't eating or drinking enough, but to stay in bed and do nothing. And that my incision "looked great" as she took out the staples and put on steri strips.

I wish that after I had the steri strips removed a week later, I hadn't woken up to see puss and fluid oozing from the incision.

I wish I hadn't returned to the OB's office only to have the midwife I was scheduled to see turn around and leave, ushering in an OB I'd never met (he didn't feel the need to stop by and see me while I was laboring and he was on duty in the hospital) who reopened my incision, drained and packed it without warning, and left me in the room without instructions except "come back tomorrow."

I wish I hadn't needed a home-visit nursing service to come every day for the next 2 months, and I wish I'd asked someone if insurance was really going to pay for each of those visits.

I wish my incision didn't still hurt and itch 5 months PP, and that I wasn't afraid to get intimate with DH for fear of reopening it again.

I wish that DH and my family understood what I'm going through.

I wish that I was with DS right now, instead of sitting at my desk at work, PAK.

Thanks for reading.

Lisa mama to Adrian born 3/09 by unnecessarean
#2 is coming in May 2011! planning for a home vbac.gif
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#2 of 13 Old 08-04-2009, 06:43 PM
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I am sorry you didn't get the support you needed - from your OBs, from the Pediatrician, from your DH - in your birth and your recovery.

I am sorry you are feeling so much guilt over decisions in the past.

I am sorry you are still in physical pain, months later.

I'm glad you've found MDC now, where other mamas can support you and know EXACTLY how you are feeling

I'm glad you are writing things out so you can start to process everything.

I'm glad time is passing, your body is healing slowly but surely, and your emotions will may take longer than you wish, but you'll get there.

I HOPE that you can find peace. Be gentle with yourself. Forgive.
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#3 of 13 Old 08-04-2009, 06:44 PM
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PS - I had a vaginal birth and didn't have sex get back to normal until 7 months later. I know there's all these people supposedly jumping into the sack in their post-partum rooms at the hospital, but there are lots of us who have the other experience, so don't get too worried. Time, patience and love...and persistence...should do it. Don't give up. But go easy.
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#4 of 13 Old 08-05-2009, 12:53 AM
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hugs to you honey!!

next time you will be armed with knowledge and you will be empowered by that knowledge. let it all out and vent away!!
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#5 of 13 Old 08-05-2009, 09:25 AM
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Just want to say I experienced alot of what you did - though my ending was different ( was csec after 20 hr, but no wound issues). I wrote a blog about it and when the insult of bills started comming in I told the "birthing center" they ought to read about what two of their midwives put me through. I got word six months later that both were gone... and I recieve tremendous satisfaction from that... and from warning other women that the title midwife can be meaningless.

I still struggle. today I am 39 weeks pregnant... and with a doula, a real doula, and an MD who is a true "midwife in disguise" I will try again. I'm also on my second counselor still working through the crushing affects to my self worth that my first "birthing experience" had on me. I have found many layers, I have weeped and mourned it again and again... and it will be three years this month.

As for your dh... mine wanted to be supportive but after about 4 months told me that talking about it made it worse... it hurt me, it hurt us... He shut me down. My first counselor (2 yrs later) helped me see something important... being male he dealt with his trauma differently, but he was traumatized too, because he couldn't help me. I went home and explained that insight to my husband... and I told him that I recognized that all that had happened was legitimate pain for me AND him. Perhaps it was having a professionals point of view relayed... but he changed his mind and the next time I heard him speak about it to a friend/family member he talked about the bad situation that had happened to US. After all, he is my man, my friend, my rock, and HE COULDN"T save me ...and now I know he was wounded too... and I feel relief in knowing HE KNOWS that now too. We are better now.

Tea drinking Momma::: Grady 8/06 and : Coralynn 8/09
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#6 of 13 Old 08-05-2009, 11:04 PM
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I'm so sorry you went through all of this. I too thought I was armed with what I needed to know, with an OB that would do everything *right,* and that all babies were born in the hospital. Mine didnt end nearly as badly-I actually refused a cesarean, the only really right thing I did (at 18, with very little real knowledge of birth, even I knew that it was idiotic to do a cesarean when the baby's head was already crowning...grrr)-but I still understand thinking that you're doing the right thing and then finding out that what you thought you knew wasnt true.

I hope you find healing. Hugs to you.

Cari-mama to Eriq, Lile, Paikea, Kaidyn, and Mieke is here!! 2/9/10
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#7 of 13 Old 09-11-2009, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sh0rtchica View Post
I wish I hadn't been in so much pain that I couldn't even get out of bed or sit up when he started to cry, which made me cry because I couldn't get to him.
I cried when I read this part, because I felt exactly the same way.

Mama to my little social butterfly 6/13/09

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#8 of 13 Old 09-14-2009, 04:55 PM
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*hug* I feel your pain. Sounds like my first birth experience. While time doesn't always heal these emotional wounds, it does make them less raw.

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#9 of 13 Old 09-18-2009, 05:48 PM
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Tears streaming. Oh my. I read your words and all of the posts. I am SO sorry that happened to you. I related to the part about regretting letting the nurses and others to hold the baby so you could rest. I also regret this. I guessed it was right, that I should rest. Next baby, I'm not letting go. Family gets 5 mins, tops. I hold ds as much as I can now.

I have boys! My first baby boy was born 10/08 and my second baby boy was born 7/12

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#10 of 13 Old 09-18-2009, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks mamas all of your kind words have been super-helpful, and i've been going to ICAN meetings which is also great therapy. i think we all cry every time, though, especially when we tell our stories!

now that i'm coming from a calmer place, i hold tight to what I feel is right and just smile and ignore the "advice" from everyone else.

and next time around, which will def. be an HBAC, i'm not letting my LO go!!

Lisa mama to Adrian born 3/09 by unnecessarean
#2 is coming in May 2011! planning for a home vbac.gif
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#11 of 13 Old 02-10-2010, 02:55 PM
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Wow your post is so articulate! First time I have shed a tear on MDC. I can relate to your experience 100%. Only difference is I had an episiotomy & tear that like yourself, did not heal well at all and will probably need reconstructive surgery one day.

What still saddens me the most is -

Trusting my MW with my life and MY BIRTH. Who did not honor my birth plan and only good thing? she did was avoid a near hysterectomy.

Trusting my MW would coach me effectively during pushing. I ended up being coached to push too early and purple pushing... (I asked her earlier about pushing techniques and she said not to worry she will help me through it. Stupid me should have done my own research)

Listening to everyone that putting my child in nursery for a night to get rest was a good idea.

If I could do it again I would -

not bother with those stupid childbirth classes, but consider attending breastfeeding and caring for newborn classes.

Read up on MDC or anything similar of post by women whole have gone through childbirth to learn from others who are honest enough to share what can really happen, instead of forums and articles about now in hindsight, irrelevant pregnancy issues.

Not be so hung up on pain management but spend MUCH more time researching on avoiding short and long term physical damage.

I have read so many posts and so many women are robbed of what should be the most physically demanding yet amazing time of their life. Like a marathon - it is sheer exhaustion but that crossing line feels great with a sense of achievement.
With our marathons we ran, it feels like we had people undo our shoelaces and made us carry sacks of potatoes just to see us stumble, crawl into their van and cross that finishing line hours earlier on 4 wheels dehydrated and disappointed.
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#12 of 13 Old 02-12-2010, 12:57 AM
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Thanks for sharing mama. s I hope you're doing better since when you wrote this post. I share a lot of your wishes and a bunch of my own. I hope we both get to correct some of those wrongs the next time around.

Shades of Blue, support and resources for postpartum mood disorders. You are not alone.
Mommy to J (5) and S (03/2009) . Hoping for a .... in 2010?
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#13 of 13 Old 02-12-2010, 01:04 AM
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