Getting over Birth Trauma - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-04-2010, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you ever really get over your birth trauma? My daughter is 11 weeks old and we had a great birth but I had bad tearing and had to transfer to the hospital and have tons of stitches internally. I am still achy down there to this day. I watched my birth video yesterday my doula brought over and I have to say it brought back alot of feelings. Now Im terrified when I think of having another baby. Do you ever get over it? I realize Im only a few months pp and i have to give it time but will I ever not get anxiety when i think about giving birth again? It almost makes me wonder if I should try homebirth again since I think it was so scary after the birth. I had bad bleeding cause of the tear and could have had bad affects if my midwife hadnt acted fast and made me go to the ER. Have you ever had a bad homebirth experience and had a homebirth again? My actual birth wasnt bad, i mean it was intense and i was very vocal but It wasnt painful, it was just childbirth. . .
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#2 of 11 Old 01-04-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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i sort of waver back and forth about wanting to give birth again. i too had an easy birth, but bad tearing. i still feel different down there after 12 months . i think that tearing is especially difficult to get over, from an emotional stand point, because no one warns you about it, or talks about it. i thought that tearing was sort of like a cut, not a deep wound that goes through muscles. physically, i think i've healed very well. even right after the birth i was cleaning and cooking and pretty active. the hardest part for me is the emotional healing. our sexual organs are really sacred, yk? when our vaginas are ripped open it can cause great emotional upset. i think that most women who've torn during childbirth feel this way. it's just not discussed. i know that one of the biggest reasons my mom stopped having children was because she couldn't face another birth or pregnancy, and she's a really tough cookie. she's an event riding, farm woman.
i think the best thing for you to do is accept that your emotions and fears are normal and let time help you heal. you may also want to seek counseling for a while. i hope you can find some sort of peace.

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#3 of 11 Old 01-04-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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The injuries of birth are traumatic and deserve our full attention. I highly recommend both counseling and physical therapy to help. I'm a huge propronent of Tami Kent's work (book: Wild Feminine), which addresses the sacred nature of our pelvic bowl and helps you find healing there, emotionally, and physically.

I had a 3rd degree tear, and had pretty much crammed down my feelings about it, because I didn't plan to have any more births. Now that I'm pregnant again (SURPRISE...IUD!!!) I've made an effort to face my trauma and give it the respect it deserves. Birth was scary and some stuff happened that I need to acknowledge. Just recognizing that has been a huge relief.

Co-sleeping, Breastfeeding, EC'ing, Baby-wearing, Homebirthing mama to two fabulous girls 6/2007 and 8/2010
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#4 of 11 Old 01-06-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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In answer to your question.... yes, I think you do get over it. I had a 3rd degree tear following a ventouse with my daughter, 40hrs natural labour ended with a spinal block and 2 and a half hours of stitching to put me back together. I was scarred massively, both physically and emotionally, and I didn't know single other person to whom this had also happened. Actually, it's the reason I found MDC, for which I'm forever grateful.

I needed then to know there were others who had been through this same trauma.

Now, I'm 3.5 years on, and 8 months pregnant (eek!). I would say physically I was close to healed within 6 months. Mentally, I had come a long way by then. I truly believe that, with time, the body heals, and the mind forgets.

Of course, much of it has come back to the forefront of my mind now. I'm now VERY nervous about delivering this little one, but I am doing all I can to prepare and will take my chances.... That said, if I end up with another 3rd degree tear, I have been told the chances are it will be a less successful fix and I am likely to end up with permenant consequences. If that happens, I know I will struggle massively to cope emotionally. But I have to give it a try.

Engaged to my sweetheart, Mammy to two beautiful girls
Eden Jade 18.08.06 & Saffron Jo 13.02.10
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#5 of 11 Old 01-06-2010, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh keep me updated on what happens with #2 as thats what Im worried about is having another baby and tearing as bad again. It terrifies me!!
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#6 of 11 Old 01-08-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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Have a read of this thread (book yourself a good hour though!) - it has lots and lots of success stories. It really helped me

Engaged to my sweetheart, Mammy to two beautiful girls
Eden Jade 18.08.06 & Saffron Jo 13.02.10
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#7 of 11 Old 01-11-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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Thanks for this thread link! IT's great!

Co-sleeping, Breastfeeding, EC'ing, Baby-wearing, Homebirthing mama to two fabulous girls 6/2007 and 8/2010
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#8 of 11 Old 01-27-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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You do heal. It is slow. It takes time. But it gets better. I had a homebirth and my son was born with the cord around his neck...in utero it had been so tight that his apgars were 3 and 2 and he was bleeding out his nose at birth, completely blue and limp...in spite of excellent response to stimuli, heart rate and everything else that had been monitored during pregnancy and delivery by two midwives with over 35 combined years of experience, in and out of hospital...(after 21 days in the nicu and a year of follow ups, he is declared "normal" and we move forward)--my trauma is from the drastic change in plans, the horrid stay in the nicu, and the year of harassment afterward, just to start

We got a sooner than expected surprise pregnancy and I'm planning another home birth with my baby girl in May. I'm using the same midwifes simply because they saved my baby's life last time, that's why i hired them, that's what they are there for, to guard my sacred home birth...I would trust no one else.

Am I scared? A little bit yes. I have already had two ultrasounds this pregnancy and sometimes it's a daily battle for me to remind myself that every pregnancy is different, every baby is different, and this little one deserves a beautiful home birth too. She has a right to her own story. I cannot allow my fears of the past rip her off from what she deserves.

Give yourself time mama. You don't have to commit to anything, now or later. Allow your feelings to be exactly what they are and keep talking about it, even if you tell the same story five hundred times, sometimes that's what it takes to finally allow it to sink in and make progress towards healing to wholeness again.

Midwife. Mama to five. Love is still the greatest.
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#9 of 11 Old 07-01-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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I know this thread is a little old, but wanted to reply.

I had a homebirth for my 2nd child, after what I thought was a traumatic hospital birth with my 1st. My homebirth baby is 14 months old, but I still have these not-so-good feelings about our homebirth.

I was in SHOCK at how much the contractions hurt! I wanted to go to the hospital to get an epidural SO BAD, but the thought of getting in the car and going made me cry. It was awful and I just wanted it to end. I thought it was just awful. I never wanted to feel that pain again, and still don't.

Then, DD got stuck. We had a pretty bad shoulder dystocia, which required resuscitation and transfer. She's fine now, but it was so scary, physically painful, and DH and I thought she was dying before our eyes.

After the birth, in the hospital when I was being stitched up from a tear, I looked over at DH and said, "Go ahead and get that vasectomy. I don't ever want to go through this again." Well, he didn't, and I'm glad, because we may still want at least one more, but still, that's how traumatic it was.

If we ever have #3, it will be a hospital birth. Not only do I want to be there in case of another SD, but also it would be nice to be there in case I wanted an epidural.

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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#10 of 11 Old 07-05-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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I am also adding my two cents to this older thread because reading all of these stories was encouraging to me, and I know to others as well who have been through this.
I am not quite sure how to put in a link on this message, but check out my birth story on the thread named "Lost Chance for Home Birth" that was posted a few weeks ago. We thought I was going to have a normal home birth, but boy were we all in for a surprise (including my midwife who had years of experience). After 64 hours of labor, a transfer to the hospital, pitocin, and an episiotomy that turned into a 4th degree tear, I was much relieved when the birth was over.
Emotionally, I do not want to go through labor and birth again because it was so scary and so long. Physically, I healed really well due to a good stitching job and a midwife who is very caring. Still, I have not given thought to tearing again and what that might mean. I remember my legs shaking in the stirrups while the doctor put the stitches in. It took so long, there was so many bloody gauzes everywhere. I remember that after they were done, they had to count every single bloody gauze in this huge bowl to make sure that they were all accounted for. They couldn't find one, so they had to start over and count them all again.
That being said, I was very grateful for the episiotomy due to the fact that my labor was so long and tiring. I was at the end of my rope and wanted the baby out. It is hard to admit this, but if someone had handed me a knife, I would have done it myself; that is how painful it was!
Perhaps I would feel differently about the 4th degree tear if it hadn't healed so well. The doctor felt bad that it tore all the way. She said she would have cut a different way if she had known how large the baby was (9 lbs. 4.5 oz).

I have to agree with shells_n_cheese about not wanting to try another homebirth. I was dead set against hospitals before this birth, now I wouldn't even consider one. I was a firm believer that most pregnancies are normal and that all of the interventions were unnecessary at hospitals. Then, I became one of the "un"normal cases. I wonder now why I risked the life of my child and my own life just so I could give birth at home. As beautiful and wonderful as home birth can be, I just can't see taking those risks again.
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#11 of 11 Old 07-06-2010, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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tankmom and shellsncheese- Ok that was not comforting!
I admit I sometimes wonder if Ill do another homebirth, The thought of having a hospital birth has crossed my mind. But ours hospital looks at you like you have horns on your head when you say anything about no drugs,etc. . . Seriously its the most un natural friendly town ever!!
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