Anger at support people...anyone else? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-21-2009, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I just wrote an abreviated version of my birth story for another post and realized I still have a lot of anger in me about the lack of support I received from the natural childbirth community around me. This is long and I left out the details of the section its self as it isn't relevant to my issues.

I was planning a VBAC, drug free, with a midwife and a doula. I had been doing all the "right" things, taking good care of myself, eating right, exercising, bouncing on a birth ball, etc. I'm a trained post partum doula, had read all the right books (Gaskin, etc.) and was feeling so positive. I passed my GD test with flying colors. Around 36 weeks I started having small sessions of painful Braxton Hicks contractions and knew I was gearing up for labor. By 37 weeks I was having nightly episodes of contractions. By 39 weeks, I was in constant pain. My belly ached, I had constant menstrual like cramps, and a few intense contractions. One night at around 38 weeks I had an intense 8 hours of constant contractions and thought for sure that was "it". The contractions stopped, but I never felt right after that. I was dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced at 38 weeks, the same at 39. My midwife had all the confidence in the world in me and I left every appointment feeling like I would get my VBAC. I started swelling up around 38 weeks, my feet looking like sausages and were aching. 3 days before my "due date" I took castor oil (2 ounces in a shake) in an attempt to get things started. I went into labor at 9pm that night, nearly 12 hours after taking it and labored until 6 am. Just as I was getting ready to call the midwife to let her know, it all stopped. The only thing that kept up was the constant pain I had in my belly all this time.

At my next appointment, on my due date, I told the midwife what had happened. I had also gained 7 lbs in less than a week. They ordered an ultrasound and after having my levels checked 4 times that day they diagnosed me with polyhdramnios. The levels came back at 29 and higher each time the u/s tech checked it. The midwife consulted with the OBs and everyone became panicked. They wanted me to go straight to L&D, but I put them off to go home and consult with DP and my doula.

I thought long and hard, and asked the baby what he thought we should do. DP was on his way home from the city, so I had a few hours to think by myself. I came to terms with the fact that the baby needed to come out ASAP before something went wrong, and I truly feel in my heart that something bad would have happened if I had waited. DS was no longer engaged, he had floated back up and was pushing into my lungs, if my water had broken there was a good chance the cord would have come out first. I live over 30 minutes from the hospital. It would not have been good. I am at peace with the c-section and have no regrets and no doubts about its necessity.

My disappointment lies with those who surrounded me. I had been complaining of the severe pains for almost 2 weeks and was just told it was normal. It was NOT normal. I will never have another child because I can't bear to go through that again. It broke me down to the point that I was almost crazed. I screamed at everyone, including my poor DD for those 2 weeks. There was no relief, no let up. It only got worse and worse. My swelling was discounted as normal as well, even though my toes were actually numb from the swelling. I was terrified those two weeks and had nightmares of something going wrong. I don't blame my midwife, she supported me by even coming into the OR for the c-section to be there for us and visiting me in the hospital the next day, on her day off. I don't know who I blame for it really.

To top it off, the doula I had hired and fully paid for was apparently disappointed in my decision to fall for the medical community's obvious attempt at forcing a c-section on me and never bothered to see if I was all right. I *think* she called and spoke to DP the next day or so, but she never called me at the hospital or came to visit. I got an email from her a week later, I told her of all the trouble I was having with breastfeeding and pumping, and the scary stuff that happened in the OR and she never even offered to come for a home visit to help me out. She gave me the number of a lactation consultant over 2 hours away from me and she made no other comments or anything. I paid a lot of money I didn't have and got one prenatal visit and an email. The natural birth friends I had been making all disappeared on me.

Not a single person offered to come and help us. The only support we had was my brother and his wife who took DD for us for 2 days. What happened to women rallying around each other to help out? Is it because I had a c-section? Am I really that much of a disappointment to them? Even the person I HIRED and PAID to help me, bailed on me.

I'm bitter about all of this. I feel hurt and betrayed by a community that professed to love women and children and to be committed to healthy and happy mothers and babies. And now I'm an outcast because of a stupid c-section and because I couldn't breastfeed DS anymore.

Loving WAHM/Student Mommy to DD (6.5) and DS (2.5)  

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#2 of 5 Old 09-22-2009, 10:31 AM
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I'm sorry your birth experience was so frightening. The way your doula treated you was unfair and unkind. It is essential for the birth community, both medical and natural, to trust women. You know what is best for yourself and your baby and you made the best decision for your circumstance.

And the fact that she dropped the ball on breastfeeding support for you and your son is indefensible.

Did you ever find out what happened in those last few weeks of your pregnancy?

me, my man, and our boys (1/08 and 3/11)

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#3 of 5 Old 09-22-2009, 10:45 AM
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wow, that is a terrible tragic story and i am sorry that you went through it.

i cannot speak to the "friends" that you made that abandoned you, but that doula was in the wrong. so wrong in fact, that you should write a legal letter demanding some of your fee back. a doula is supposed to help post-partum, and she failed to honor her commitment/contract (if you had one).

Mama to a 3 year old awesome kid, Rowan (aka Mister Boopy) and TTC another at 43!

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#4 of 5 Old 09-22-2009, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Lillitu View Post
wow, that is a terrible tragic story and i am sorry that you went through it.

i cannot speak to the "friends" that you made that abandoned you, but that doula was in the wrong. so wrong in fact, that you should write a legal letter demanding some of your fee back. a doula is supposed to help post-partum, and she failed to honor her commitment/contract (if you had one).
That might be beneficial to your healing to do something like that, or even just writing a letter. The way people treated you was not right.

I don't have any wise words or anything, but here's some
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#5 of 5 Old 09-27-2009, 06:48 PM
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I know exactly how you feel. I had my baby 3 weeks and 6 days ago. I had no one supporting me, except people online, like here. And even then, I felt like a burden to them so I stopped calling and emailing and such. There were just a couple anyway (Delilah and Camryn, I don't know their posting names anymore, I forgot). They did not make me feel like a burden, I just felt that way. After all, I was just a stranger from some internet board, who kept calling to complain about things.

I turned to my dh, who was no support. My doctor kept warning me of the dangers of a vbac. She kept ordering sonogram after sonogram after sonogram. She claimed the baby's head was so big that I would not go in to labor as he would not drop. I finally gave in and consented to a csect. I knew better. I knew they could not tell CPD from a sonogram. The baby came out much smaller than they thought. In fact, he came out about the same size as my daughter who was a vbac. Right away, the anxiety and panic set in. I could not sleep. Every time I fell asleep that first night, I would wake up paniced and upset. I cannot believe I fell for it.

I came in to look at the boards and saw your post. I came to look because I am so upset and just so angry at myself. I feel like even when I had no one else, I should have been there for myself. To add to it, a few days after my csect, everything came crashing down and I got very sick. I ended up in the hospital for a week. This set back the breastfeeding and we had a difficult time with it.

So I am sitting in my room crying over it. ((((hugs)))) So I know how you feel. I hope we can both feel better eventually, better sooner than later.
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