Too traumatized to have more? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-08-2010, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else feeling that way?

I don't even know how to talk about my failed homebirth (I never even had the opportunity to go into labor) and the subsequent hospital stay for both my DD and myself.... ... but prior to her birth I always said I wanted 3 children. Now I can't do it again...I just can't risk having the same thing happen.

Anyone else change their mind (about how many children they would have) strictly because of the trauma of birth/hospital stay?

Carrie~ wife to Ryan, and finally mama to Emmery (1/15/09) via IVF after 3 1/2 years TTC!
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#2 of 13 Old 02-08-2010, 10:19 AM
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Yes, but in the opposite way, I think it made me want to have more. My older DD is adopted and my DS was conceived and carried by me. I had a very miserable pregnancy and the whole way through I told everyone who would listen that this would be my first and last pregnancy. Although we definitely wanted more, we were ready to do it through adoption only.

I was totally ready to rock the birth and be done with the pregnancy. I did not go into labor on my own, my MW had to artificially rupture my membranes in order to start active labor and while I did fully dialate and push, he did not descend because of a poor position. While I was still sitting in recovery following the resulting c-section, I needed to do it again. For a while I joked with people that I was going to get pregnant again just so I could do the birth part "the right way", and at that point that was probably a large part of my thought process. But we're really ready for more children now and so that's the direction we're heading. I do hope that my next birth is healing, however it happens, whether it's the HBAC I'm hoping for or the CBAC which I realize is not the worst thing in the world, although not ideal.

Have you talked with a therapist about your experiences? My son is just a few weeks younger than your daughter, born 03/30/09, and I made a lot of progess in a short time talking to a therapist who was knowledgable in birth trauma and postpartum mood disorders. I found talking to other professionals who weren't familiar with these topics to be pretty useless as they were unable to understand why I was so upset.

It may be that you're forced to deal with these issues if you have an unplanned pregnancy, I don't know if that's possible for you or not as I see you conceived via IVF, but there are women who have infertility issues that go on to conceive second (and subsequent) naturally and quite by accident. There are women who experience birth trauma and alter their family planning accordingly. I can't say I blame them. But for me, I know that a subseqent birth is very unlikely to be as bad as the last one if for no other reason than because we're going into it knowledge and our eyes open.

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#3 of 13 Old 02-13-2010, 08:40 PM
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For me it had the opposite effect.
I was determined to try again, the sooner the better, and determined to have a better birth experience. My midwife highly recommended 18 months minimum between births so I'd have a better chance of a successful VBAC.
My boys are 18 months to the day apart

But over the course of conceiving again, experiencing another great pregnancy and an empowering birth experience, it really healed a lot of the issues I had been carrying after my first birth experience.

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#4 of 13 Old 02-13-2010, 09:05 PM
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Our pregnancy and birth experience was very stressful for me. I know I can't handle another medical pregnancy and I would have no choice about it being that way again.

We had the vasectomy consult last week and will be scheduling the procedure next week.

I was sure I wanted at least 2 children, but it just isn't meant to be.

Mom to Kira March 2009
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#5 of 13 Old 02-20-2010, 02:12 AM
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Yes, I feel the same way you do, DD is 8 mo old, and I just can't imagine going through all of this again. I felt guilty right from the beginning about her being an only child, as I never imagined having an only child. Who knows- a child may come into our home through a different path someday- and that may happen to you too! For now, I'm trying not to entertain the negative thoughts related to her birth and our subsequent challenges. I don't have any advice for you...all I can say is that I definitely relate to the feelings that you shared.
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#6 of 13 Old 02-21-2010, 05:01 PM
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It has taken me 18 months to finally feel good about trying for another. Up until just a few months ago I wasn't sure if, or how long it might be. A lot of the hurt and fear and anxiety have begun to fade. we aren't ttc yet, but if the timing is right, maybe later this year. be gentle with yourself and allow healing to come in it's own time. seek out help from a therapist if you feel like that might be appropriate.

Claire, mommy to Robbie (8/23/08) and Brena (4-22-11) and wifey to Joe
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#7 of 13 Old 02-21-2010, 05:45 PM
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I found therapy and time to be very helpful with the healing process after my first son's birth. It seems that carrying the pain you continue to feel deserves attention, whether you have another child biologically or not.

Do I still feel some sadness when I think back on the experience? Yes. I don't know that this will ever go away. But I am also so full of love and joy that these emotions overshadow the others. I am enormously blessed, and not a day goes by that I don't remember this fact. For me, this is how life unfolds sometimes. Not how you planned, as we all know too well.

FWIW, my sunsequent two pregnancies and births were as natural as could be, and worth all the work and courage it took us to get there.

Gift yourself with the time and support to heal. Take good care, and best wishes--
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#8 of 13 Old 02-21-2010, 06:07 PM
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Time really does help to heal the heart. When your LO gets older, you may find that you start entertaining the thought of another. Allow yourself to grieve, and don't worry about making such a huge decision right now in the heart of it.

FWIW, I'm scared...but I believe it is worth it.

Cindy, loving wife of 15 years
homeschooling mama to 4 wonderful girls, and 1 boy!  praying for #6, sch, due 4/14/2013!



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#9 of 13 Old 03-22-2010, 01:13 PM
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I am pregnant with my 2nd due in July and for a long time I thought if I knew that I would have to have a c-section this time, I wouldn't ttc. I waited awhile before ttc, my son was already 2.5 when we got pregnant, he just turned 3. I talked a lot and started a journal, drawing out my fears ,fantasies etc. I think the main thing besides working through unresolved issues is to make changes in how you will birth. If you are doubtful of the real reasons behind your c-section, make sure this birth won't be a medical birth. I am planning for a HBAC in July and just by knowing that the women who are with me will be 100% supportive makes me feel much more relaxed. Just to know that I won't have to fight all those interventions and if an intervention or transfer does happen I know that it will be as a last resort rather than a first resort (which is the opposite in the hospital) I think I can go into it knowing I can have a normal birth but much more relaxed about any outcome.

Canadian mom of Myron born in Japan, March 2007. Our second son born at home, wonderful HBAC in July 2010. I am a jeweller, I love creating things!

1***5****10****15****20****25****30****35**coolshine.gif*40****45, Due June 10th, 2014

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#10 of 13 Old 03-22-2010, 05:37 PM
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I completely know how you feel. I always thought I wanted at least 2 kids but after DD's birth I wasn't so sure. Oddly, for me, the fear got worse as time went by rather than better. Originally we thought we might start TTC last fall but as the time got close I kept pushing the time further and further out. Ultimately, I found out I was pregnant at the end of October anyway so that made my/our choice. I don't have any great suggestions for getting over it. I can just say that you are not alone in your feelings. I have had lots of tears and plenty of full-on FREAKING OUT. We are doing our best to avoid a repeat of last time by planning an HBAC but I know that anything can happen. DH would love to have a third but he knows that if this time doesn't go well that I am done. At that point we have agreed to start looking into adoption.

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and Decker the Wrecker (May'13)
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#11 of 13 Old 03-22-2010, 11:27 PM
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Well I thought I wanted 4 but then reality hit! I didn't have a traumatic birth, but I had really bad tearing that wasn't repaired properly. I've been told I should have a c-section for the next one. But instead I'm planning a home like 4 or 5 years. I never knew how much my body would be damaged by birth. I really had no idea. I figure with time I'll be ready for 1 more.

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#12 of 13 Old 03-29-2010, 12:56 AM
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kind of. i had planned a homebirth and ended up with an induction because of suspected HELLPS. i had no pain meds for labor and delivery, however after i had severe 3rd almost 4th degree tears and consented to stadol for the stitching. then about 12 hours after my sons birth i suffered a pulmonary embolism and was separated from him for two days. it was pretty hellish. i'm sometimes terrified of having another birth.
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#13 of 13 Old 03-30-2010, 04:06 PM
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Yes, I can definitely relate to you. My youngest was born via c-section after a planned homebirth. I never really labored either, unless you count a few piddly contractions that happened before my water broke at 33 weeks and was blood-streaked. My husband and I have always been open to having many children but now it's just scary. That isn't to say we won't have more - it will take a lot of bravery on my part because I am still very open to having more, but I also have a lot of fear about what might happen.

I love reading stories of mothers who have had a bad birth experience who went on to have a great birth because I'm sure it helps them heal, and I feel like I would feel a lot of relief to have another homebirth or even a natural hospital birth. But I don't know if I can handle that kind of birth again. I keep thinking of how it went and honestly, even with all that I've read and my own personal experience, I cannot find a way that the birth could have gone better. As far as a cesarean birth goes, it was probably pretty good, and it was an actual emergency situation at that point. You'd think it would help me to know that I was one of the actual emergencies and that I didn't do anything wrong, but it just makes it worse because it really opened my eyes to the scary side of birth. If I had gotten a c-section because I had consented to an induction and things went downhill from there, I'd learn not to consent to an induction next time and hope that things went better. I can't exactly decide not to have a medical emergency.

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