General Anesthesia C-section - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 02-10-2010, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love to hear from other C-section mamas who had general anesthesia and have been having a difficult time processing their experience. I continue to struggle with the events surrounding the birth of my son, now 16 months old. I am enormously thankful that in the end, we were both ok, but I can’t shake what happened and still have so many questions.

My preg/birth story- sorry if this is long. I should start by saying that my partner and I attended a birth class series with every intention of delivering naturally. At 29 weeks, I was hospitalized for 1 week with sudden onset bleeding diagnosed as a marginal placental tear. Sent home on bedrest- bleeding resolved and I continued with a normal pregnancy. I began leaking amniotic fluid at 41w3d with mild contractions and early the next morning my water fully broke. Because I was closing in on the 42w mark and had been leaking for over 24 h , my OB convinced me to go to the hospital and start cervadil. After several hours, the cervadil finally kicked my body into a pattern of regular contractions. I had intense, unrelenting back labor throughout the day- no one realized at the time my baby was posterior (I wish I had had a doula- one of my biggest regrets). I labored in the shower and on the birth ball with my partner by my side but found little relief. 12 hours after my water broke, I was still 2cm and pitocin was started. Things snowballed from there as they usually do and I got an epidural (which I did not want, but consented to out of sheer exhaustion after being up for almost 36 hours straight). The epidural did allow me to relax and I dilated slowly but steadily, finally reaching 10cm and ready to push at 7am the following morning. After about 2 hours of good pushing there was no progress- the baby’s head was not coming down. I could ‘feel’ the contractions, so I don’t think the epidural was to blame. OB tried to rotate my son to no avail- and still too high up for forceps/vacuum. After about 2.5 hours of pushing, things became a blur. My epidural stopped working and I was suddenly in agony- it was at that point that I felt like I lost complete control of my birth experience. I continued to push but was making absolutely no progress- I tried pushing on both sides and sitting up in the bed (not a full squat, but as much as they would let me with an epidural line still in). Everyone around me started talking c-section. I started getting very anxious and panicking and the anesthesiologist told me that my anxiety was the cause of my pain, and that the epidural was working just fine (umm.. sure- that’s why I could now move my legs, right?). Then at about the 3 hour mark, I felt like my partner gave up too- he was tired, scared and he wanted it to be over. Finally, after about 3.5 hours of pushing, I consented to a c-section. There was some delay in starting due to a C/S already in progress so I continued to push even though they told me not to- by then I had a full blown, uncontrollable urge to push with each contraction and it was the only thing that eased the pain. Finally at 12pm (5 hours after pushing began) I went in for the C/S. Spinal anesthesia was given, but as they began the surgery, I could feel the first incision being made. Not excruciating pain, but enough for me to yell out "ow, ow, this hurts- I can feel this". I saw my OB shoot a very sharp look at the anesthesiologist and the next thing I know, very quickly my partner gets kicked out of the OR and I have a mask put over my face. Next thing after that, I am in recovery, calling out for my baby who thankfully was in the arms of my partner. He had a massive bruise on his forehead from the failed vaginal birth but other than that he was beautiful.

I learned later from the pediatrician and my partner (who was waiting outside the OR and saw the commotion) that my son was not breathing at birth and had to be resuscitated- I was told this is common after a gen anesthesia birth. Apgar 3/9. I developed a fever, tachycardia and a uterine infection after birth possibly due to prolonged rupture of membranes- my son also had an elevated white count and so next thing I know, still in the blur of general anesthesia and fever, he was whisked off to the NICU for a spinal tap, urinary catheter (for urine culture) and more bloodwork to rule out meningitis. He also had an IV placed in his head for IV antibiotics because they blew the veins in his arms. My husband and I were scared to death and basically consented to everything the pediatrician suggested- I still wonder if this was all necessary and my heart absolutely breaks when I think about him having these procedures when only a few hours old. His cultures checked out ok but the 2 days of waiting was awful. We had some breastfeeding challenges initially due to all of these complications (lots of thrush and pain due to antibiotics we both were on), but thankfully I was in a very, very pro-bf hospital and had terrific support. I had a very slow recovery from the c-section because I was not allowed out of bed for over 48h after the birth- this was really hard on my body.

We are still nursing at 16 months and that has been incredibly healing for me- something my body did “get right”. I do think my son has had some lasting effects from his traumatic birth, however. He was a *very* high needs baby who cried all the time (literally, hours on end) despite on demand nursing and had incredible difficulty sleeping and getting comfortable. We have gotten past most of this and now he is a very spirited toddler, but I still think the birth traumatized him.

I feel like no one understand the emotional pain of a traumatic birth and gen anesthesia C-section, unless you've been through it. It was so emotionally painful for my partner and me to miss out on the birth of our child. But at the same time, I know there are others who have gone through far worse than we have, which makes me feel guilty for even having these lingering thoughts.

Thank you for listening.
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#2 of 27 Old 02-10-2010, 10:23 PM
 
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I also had a General Anesthesia C-section - and of all the scenarios I thought might occur during the birth of my son, that was something that we did not expect. I live in Lima, Peru and although my OB said he was very much in favor of natural birth, he clearly was not truly in favor of doing all that was necessary (mostly being patient) to make sure that happened.

I can´t go into all the details, but it was a forced labor from the beginning and didn´t progress the way it should have. Although I was dilating steadily at first, after 15 hours, I caved and took the epidural, which basically slowed everything down and the baby just wasn´t descending- OB didn´t wait long at all to call for the C-section and by the time I got down to the OR, I was so sensitive to the pain (they had let my epidural run out just beforehand) that I could also feel the incision - I know the exact look you wrote about - the OB to the anesthesiologist - the mask being slapped on my face and knowing they were putting me out - my husband never made it in, but could look through the OR window, at least...

We, thankfully, had no complications, but I woke up in the recovery room not having any idea as to what had happened - I didn´t even trust everything was o.k. until they brought me up to the room and I saw my husband - and then within a few minutes, my baby, who I nursed within what I guessed was about 2 hours after the birth.

It was, and is, very sad for me to think I was not able to see my own son being born - and I will never know if that C-section should have ever occured - in my situation, a lot of it was cultural difference and lack of communication and understanding. At first, I though I would never get past it, but I think I have...

the more time goes on and the more I am able to enjoy my son growing, the easier it is to think about it - it´s not nearly as painful or angering as it used to be. Nothing about my son´s birth was anything that I wanted, but now that he´s almost 3 years old, it just doesn´t have the same negative resonance that it did before - I think I was also still feeling very down about it at 16 months - i also think it had to do with the time it took to heal physically - it took me a LONG time - a couple years, I think, to really feel like my body was back (more or less).

And we are still nursing, through many difficulties at the beginning - i think i was more determined to persevere with the nursing because I didn´t want that to be "taken away" from me/us too (the same OB suggested I stop after a month-and-a-half).

It was a BIG learning experience for me/us - one I probably could have done without, but as you said - and I think even more for me - it wasn´t nearly as bad as it could have been (I never had any hospitalizations or complications at all)- but that doesn´t make it any easier for you when you´ve been through it and you have every right to feel the way you do.

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#3 of 27 Old 02-10-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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I had a general anesthesia c-section almost 14 years ago. I think what helped in my case is that it was my second child and my first was a pretty uncomplicated hospital birth with no drugs. I think what was the hardest for me to process for years were the flashbacks of watching my ds's (did not know gender at the time) heart rate plummet to the 20's and really not going up much, a resident constantly telling me "if I would just push we could end it all now" and the last thing I remember is hearing my OB saying "we don't have time to count the instruments". He screamed as soon as he came out and had great APGAR scores though. There were no further complications with him or me. And I had an awesome RN at night who gave back massages with a trult healing touch.

Now almost 14 years later while still a pretty scary experience if we are having a particular noxious teenager day we tell him that we're not absolutely sure he's ours since neither one of us was "there" when he was born. And he just gives us his evil grin. He has bright red hair just like his older sister and younger brother and neither parent
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#4 of 27 Old 02-10-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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i had an epidural with my 1st csec, almost got put out bc one side didnt take too fast. 7 yrs later i was a vbac'er who got birthraped (pardon the term). i was told i needed a general bc the ob didtn "trust me to behave on the table". a$$hole. just my btdt, the actual experience was less stressful for me bc i wasnt really present to be stressed, but later on, after it was over, i really wished i had been awake. the pp made me smile...i was expecting a white-haired baby, but he came out with fire red hair. i happen to LOVE red hair, but i was still surprised and we all made jokes about checking the other rooms to look for a redheaded mama holding a blonde baby, so we could switch back.

Bring back the old MDC
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#5 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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i had an epi with my c/s. my story isn't as traumatic as some of yours, but it was pretty traumatic to me, especially when i go over and over and over it in my head as i mentally prepare for the next one.

we started off with a complicated start to the pregnancy. by DH's and my calculations, we were due the middle-end of April 09, after our first prenatal visit the MW gave us April 15 and EDD, but still wanted an ultrasound to be sure. THAT said we were due March 31, not April 15. our mw warned us that even though the u/s says March 31, it could very well be April 15, and then the doctors/nurses would push us to get induced, etc before the baby's actually ready. and low-and-behold, 9 months later thats exactly what happened.

by April 9th we were scheduled to get induced in the hospital. started with cervital overnight, then woke up april 10th and started pitocin. we were (and still are) very very pro-natural birth, anti c/s. after 7-8 hours, the pit made my contractions rough, but not yet unbearable. while the mw was doing internal exams she was unhappy with the way the baby was positioned. after a lot of very painful internal exams, they broke the water and determined she was presenting face-first. they wanted the surgon on call to check and make sure, but they started preparing us for a c/s, since it was hospital policy that a baby born in this position would have to be c/s, no more laboring. the suregon came in, did the exam and immeadily said "yep, she's getting surgery." no bargining, no if's and's or but's, we had to get a c/s. the surgery itself was fine, they were wonderful about respecting our wishes and there were no complications. recovery was a breeze, and DD nursed right away with no problem.

reflecting on all of that, i'm still quite a bit bitter. we should have fought the due date, we never should have gotten induced, we shouldn't of had them break my water to allow her to turn more... all these things run through my head. i'm so paranoid that something will go wrong with the next pregnancy, too, and the same thing will result. i canNOT have another c/s. i desire so passionatly to have a V-birth i would do anything to make it come true. i so wish things hadn't happend the way they did, and i am so MAD at myself for just letting the medical professionals tell us what to do and how things were going to be. but i guess it all happened for a reason, and now i am wiser. and i still have the most beauitful little girl in the world. i guess that's good enough.

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#6 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sadie's Mom View Post
I feel like no one understand the emotional pain of a traumatic birth and gen anesthesia C-section, unless you've been through it. It was so emotionally painful for my partner and me to miss out on the birth of our child. But at the same time, I know there are others who have gone through far worse than we have, which makes me feel guilty for even having these lingering thoughts.
I hear you. Our son was born at 31 weeks in a crash c-section due to a placental abruption. DH was there but no one spoke to him. Not even a quick "Its a boy!"
I joke that "I had a baby like in the 50's...knocked out cold" just to make others feel better when they ask what Izaac's birth was like. I figure no one wants to hear a horror story, right?
I also understand the feelings of guilt when I get sad about his birth. Because, in the end, we are here and healthy. But what I wouldn't give to have those 5 minutes back...*sigh*

Mama to "The Pud" - 4 years.
We both have todder onset Charcot Marie Tooth 1A.
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#7 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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I think after having gone through the experience, I/we will definitely be wiser about my choices if and when we have another child...

I think the whole thing would have been a lot easier to take if I had simply been treated better throughout the whole process...I probably wouldn´t have needed the general anesthesia if i hadn´t been so stressed out and felt so alone and frightened...and because the labor - and health of me and the baby were really fine all the way through - and it was just a question of things not progressing (supposedly), there was no need for me to be in such a state...

but as I mentioned, that had a lot to do with my being naive and in another country where a lot of the norms are just not the same...but I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn´t find out things I didn´t know I needed to find out beforehand...

if there is a next time, I will have more conviction in my choices and know I need to be much more careful about choosing a birth practitioner who is on the same page and who I can trust to follow a birth plan - and if a C-section is truly necessary, hopefully it won´t be so traumatic

madre de Mathias http://www.primaryimmune.org http://www.michaeljfox.org
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#8 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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Mama. You had a rough time. When was your son born? My CS baby is 16 months too.

My 3rd baby was delivered by c-section under general anesthesia. I'd had two uncomplicated vaginal deliveries and was planning another one. But at 38 weeks, I got up in the night to use the bathroom and my water broke and there was just too much blood. We rushed to the hospital. I had a hypteronic (contracted with no let-up) uterus and baby had a 'flat' strip (not much heart rate variability, sort of a pre-distress). They took me back and knocked me out. When they got in there, they found a 50% abruption.

My situation was so sudden. I had no risk factors, no symptoms that I recognized (looking back I had a few minor things that I attributed to 'late pregnancy discomfort'--nothing I even considered calling the doc about though). So I don't really look back and think, "What if I'd done X instead of Y."

I'm also SO grateful that my husband was allowed to be there for the delivery. He's a physician, so they let him come in and stand outside the sterile field. My daughter went to him and stayed with him. He went with her to the nursery (per my request before they put me under) and stayed with her until they brought her to me in recovery. That's always been such a comfort to me--how heartbreaking for you and your DH that you had to miss your baby's entry into the world.

I had sort of a post-traumatic stress response about two weeks after she was born where I just freaked out and cried for a few days. The whole weight of what had happened and what a big, scary situation it all was just came crashing down on me. For the most part, I really feel like I'm past it now, but every once in a while I'll hear or see something that triggers a memory that I'd forgotten about and all those feelings come rushing back. We'd like to have a 4th baby and I'm pretty concerned about what will happen next time.

Wife to a great DH, SAHM to 3 great kids
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#9 of 27 Old 02-12-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sadie's Mom View Post
We are still nursing at 16 months and that has been incredibly healing for me- something my body did “get right”. I do think my son has had some lasting effects from his traumatic birth, however. He was a *very* high needs baby who cried all the time (literally, hours on end) despite on demand nursing and had incredible difficulty sleeping and getting comfortable. We have gotten past most of this and now he is a very spirited toddler, but I still think the birth traumatized him.
Some kids are just high needs.

I had a general with my emergency c-section with my second child. He also had pyloric stenosis and surgery at 3 weeks. Despite that, he was a super mellow baby.

I had an all natural, vaginal birth with my first child, and he was a super high needs baby who was very demanding and didn't sleep for 17 months.
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#10 of 27 Old 02-12-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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I had my son at 33 weeks: I had, basically, out-of-nowhere eclampsia. I remember waking up with blurry vision, and then nothing for two days. I had gone into tonic-clonic seizures and had to have a crash c-section. My husband wasn't there (they thought I might die), which really bothered me at first, that nobody in our family had witnessed our son's entrance into the world. And it was completely bizarre to wake up in the ICU un-pregnant two days later. I didn't understand what had happened for some time. When they took me to the NICU to meet my boy, I kind of thought they were pulling my leg- I was so totally out of it that I didn't really remember having been pregnant.

My son is totally healthy. He was born at under 4 pounds and now, three months later, is 13 pounds+. He nurses like a champ and is developing very nearly on par with his actual age. I know we are all very lucky. Like many of you, I feel kind of guilty for sometimes dwelling on what happened. Because the outcome was a living mom and a living baby, it seems petty to still feel cheated.

I have somewhat consciously not started to process this yet. In the first few weeks it was all I could think about, and I feel like it was literally driving me nuts. So I put it away so I could be a healthy mama for my little one. I think my husband and I will deal with it in little bits as we go. We've just started to talk a tiny bit about if we ever want to think about having another baby: at first, I was like "Yes, of course, I MUST HAVE A BIRTH EXPERIENCE I CAN REMEMBER!" (which honestly felt kind of compulsive and weird), whereas my husband was like "I almost lost you. We're absolutely not risking this happening again. No more babies ever."

Therapy has been really helpful to me in the past, so in future I may want to talk about this with someone. I'm not sure yet.

Science-loving mama to one little guy (11/09).
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#11 of 27 Old 02-13-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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I had a general anesthesia with my 31 weeker, who will be 5 next month. I still struggle with it, although it's definitely gotten easier over time.

I needed a c-section, and due to the fact that I had some sort of infection the anesthesiologist didn't want to do a spinal (his explanation was for fear of introducing bacteria into my spine). I remember being rolled into the OR, strapped to the table and the nurses inserting a catheter. THAT was hard, I think I almost broke the nurse's finger I was holding onto it so tightly. I distinctly remember my heart rate going up really high and the nurse mentioning it to the anesthetist, while telling me the "Breathe deeply, it's good for you, good for your baby" - she had the O2 mask on me at that point.

I remember waking up in a daze, with the resident in the room and my husband telling me that "it's a girl"...he kept going back and forth between the recovery room and the NICU, and every single time he came in to see me I asked the same questions: "Are you sure it's a girl?" and "What were her Apgars?"

The answers were always "Yes, I'm sure it's a girl", and " 9 and 9".

I remember the pain - I had a really hard time with pain control, the narcotics gave me really bad constipations so my incision was being pressed on from the inside.

The biggest thing for me was that I missed the birth of my child. DH was very lucky and was allowed into the OR, so we did have video of it. I always say that I was glad someone was there for it, because I certainly wasn't.

I"m there with you. I don't know what to say as far as how things get better, but for me they just did slightly. I could cry about it every day if I let myself, and have had counseling but it's really something that will always be there.

The trauma for me was so bad that the fear of having to have another emergency c-section under general anesthesia made me go for an elective repeat the second time around. I wanted a trial of labour up until 36 weeks, but the fear inside me was so intense and the feelings I had afterwards came back so severely that I felt that I had to book my c-section. It makes me sad that my previous experience affected me to the point where I needed to have yet another surgery.

I also have to add that I had a really hard time last week when someone somewhere else had said that a "c-section with a general really isn't that bad, and I'd never tell anyone it's the end of the world". I had a visceral reaction to that.

I'm sorry you've had to go through what you did. Please know that there really are other women out there who have gone through a similar thing and have felt the same feelings as you.
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#12 of 27 Old 02-13-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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[QUOTE=lalemma;15061942]We've just started to talk a tiny bit about if we ever want to think about having another baby: at first, I was like "Yes, of course, I MUST HAVE A BIRTH EXPERIENCE I CAN REMEMBER!" (which honestly felt kind of compulsive and weird)

As horribly difficult and painful as my recovery was from the C-section (I, too, had a really horrific time with pain afterward - coupled with not being able to tolerate much medication - not a great combo.) - and as sensitive our situation is at home (my husband has Parkinson´s) - we found ourselves to be having that conversation around 4 months...I think it´s a natural reaction - like, "we can do it better next time" - but we both quickly came to the conclusion that that, alone, was not a good enough reason to bring another child into the world and that we needed a good amount of time before we would be able to decide if we wanted to have another - and because we want to bring another child into the family - not to try to correct a previous birth experience...and now, almost 3 years later, the jury´s still out - but thankfully it doesn´t have anything to do with the C-section

but everybody´s situation is unique - I can´t imagine someone saying "having a general isn´t that bad"- it seems incredibly insensitive and unappreciative of what the effect an experience like that could have on another person...

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#13 of 27 Old 02-14-2010, 08:57 AM
 
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I just had a c-section under general anesthesia 2 weeks ago. Birth story is here:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1191205

Am typing 1 handed (gassy baby in arms), but I am struggling with so many emotions. I will say I felt very cared for and I do think the c-section was necessary, but I am so sad not to have the memories of his birth, and I never had the hormone rush I had with my 1st.

I don't know if we'll have a 3rd baby or not. Can't even think about that yet.
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#14 of 27 Old 02-14-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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Just wanted to lend my support...... I am not entirely sure if I went under general or not (the surgical report makes no mention of it, and it even said epidural anesthesia was adequate) but I also went through a rough labor with my first that ended up in a birth center transfer/c-section. My epidural didn't take on one side and at the first cut I too was yelling about it. After numerous attempts to explain to them that i was feeling all the tests they were doing on me to make sure that the epi worked.

I woke up in recovery very dazed with a baby nursing on me. And all I have are pictures to fill in the gap between labor and this moment. Its hard. Nobody can really understand it if they haven't been through it. Especially someone who doesn't have that desire to have a natural birth. I just wanted to tell you that time does heal in a way. I hardly think about my ds1's birth anymore. (It has been replaced by my failed homebirth and second c/s unfortunately....but thats another story)

I guess I don't have much advice for you except for a virtual . Sometimes it just helps to know that you're not alone.

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#15 of 27 Old 02-15-2010, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These stories are all very helpful to read- thank you! I agree that sometimes it's just nice to know that you are not alone in your experiences.

Like some of the other posters, we also struggle with the idea of trying for #2. At first, I thought "no way" because of the overwhelming fear of another complicated delivery (or worse). Then I went to "maybe, but it would have to be a scheduled C-section because at least then I'll be able to remember it". More recently, I've been thinking "yes! and I want to try for a VBAC!". The jury's still out- we are not TTC anytime soon- and I think I have a little more healing to do (emotionally) before we get to that point.
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#16 of 27 Old 02-23-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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Saidie's mom, thank you so much for posting this thread. I'll admit, I'm terrified to actually read your post. I have such a hard time even thinking about my section.

But it helps to know that it happened to someone else, and that they are not ok with it!

I also think so much, that next time I"ll have a scheduled c-section. At least I"ll be able to see my baby being born.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#17 of 27 Old 03-10-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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I had a general anesthesia c-sec for occult cord prolapse. It was very traumatic, more-so for my DH because he was shoved out of the room then harassed by the nurses. (it was a homebirth transfer in a homebirth unfriendly state) The worst for me was that i was not the first or second or third person to hold my baby. I wish our families would have realized that it would have an impact on me to not only not be the first to see my baby, but also the last to hold him.

Over time the trauma fades and you stop thinking about it every day. Just remember that although it wasn't the outcome you wanted, it sounds as though it was necessary and that can bring some consolation. C-secs are miracles for those rare situations when they are really needed.

Wife to Doug, mom to Hank and Logan !!!
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#18 of 27 Old 03-10-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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I have boys! My first baby boy was born 10/08 and my second baby boy was born 7/12

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#19 of 27 Old 03-13-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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Sadie's mom, you are definitely not alone! Thanks, mamas, for all you've had to share.

I had my general anes. cs 13 mo ago with ds, my first. I really felt that I had "done everything right": midwife in an in-hospital birth center that has a 6% cs rate, hypnobirthing, yoga during pregnancy, educated about natural birth up to my eyeballs, believing in birth, and truly, really looking forward to the whole labor and delivery experience. Ours was a kind of perfect storm, prodromal labor for about 22 hours, got stuck at 5 cm, I spiked a fever, mec in his water, his heartrate became unresponsive, then was elevated, still no further dilation. So, there we were. They couldn't find the right spot for the spinal, so under I went. I remember being so out of it, that I happily agreed to the general, not realizing at the moment what that was going to mean.

Not being "present" for my son's birth was a very difficult thing, for me and my husband. Have you considered birth trauma counseling? It helped me tremendously. i think I'll probably even go back once I'm pregnant again wtih number 2, just to work through any residual stuff.

One other thing that has helped: in his baby book, when I write about his birth, I talk about him being a "very brave boy to be born all on his own!" It's helped to kind of reframe it, and put it in a way that is positive, even if that's not completely the way I feel about it. Obviously, I'm sad that he was born that way, but I don't want all of his story to be about sadness and loss.

I think all your feelings are very, very normal. Especially the breastfeeding stuff, I feel the same way - so thankful that we've been able to do it.

Anyway, just wanted to send a and tell you that I get it.

Married to my best friend for 9 years. Loving being at home with my busy boy. Praying for a vbac.gif next time around!
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#20 of 27 Old 03-14-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Hi,
I just came on to this forum to write about the birth exp. I just had on 3/5, which was NOT how I hoped it to be...and then I saw your post. Five years ago, I also had an emergency c-section using general, and I felt so much of the same agony (emotionally) as you express in your post. I just wanted to quick write to you and let you knowyou're not alone. That birth was my 2nd baby, following a great natural birth for my first baby. I expected evrything was going to be great for labor #2- great doula, water birth planned, etc. But as I was pushing, my son suddenly went into sharp fetal distress- like no heart rate. I had a 2nd bag of water that explosively broke and jammed him into the face presentation position, kinking his neck and cutting off O2. There was no time to decide what I wanted- I saw the staff code blue us and w/in seconds we were in the OR and I was also pushing like you said- involuntarily and I was frantic! My son also had huge bruising, but thankfully no other problems. I'm so sorry you had to suffer through all of that. I can also add that my last birth, the one I was going to write about here (baby #4) resulted in another cesarean and terrible interventions afterwards. I'm not so sure this c-section was warranted and my heart breaks every day thinking about it, esp. what happened afterwards- the IV's, meds, etc for this little guy. I agree- it just kills me to wonder if it was all necessary and the amount of pain and separation from me after this last birth. So although my gen. c-section was scarier from 5 years ago, the after part was better. I feel like this c-section delivery was far worse in terms of how we were handled postpartum. I am so thankful I also have had 2 natural births and I hope you are able to come to peace soon with your experience. Have you talked to anyone at your dr/midwife/hospital office for some closure?
Heather D
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#21 of 27 Old 04-04-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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My birth story was very much like the OP. I had a doula, managed to get to 9.5 and baby would not come.

Finally doula who is also homebirth midwife after EVERYTHING we could do -it was time for a section.

I was so terrified. I could feel the start of the incision and I started to hallucinate with the ketamine - the next thing I knew I woke up during shift change with NO one around me I knew - wouldnt let doula or hubbie with me until I was "stable".

Had no idea if my baby was alive or dead or what was wrong with me. Apparent my uterus was paperthin after hours of pushing and tore etc etc etc and it got really awful really quickly. I spent weeks emotionally waiting for my baby to be born despite her being in my arms.

I think in the end rather than the terror leading up to the section and the hallucinations -they would have knocked me out or at least given me drugs that would have calmed me down.

I have a very very complicated medical history and am an abuse survivor and I know my body well enough that I can tell someone what cocktail of medication to give me to achieve a certain effect and they would NOT listen. If they would have given me benedryl and phenegryn before starting the section I would have been sleepy enough to not fight emotionally. In the end I got knocked out and have no idea what happened.

Awful and then at my 6 week check up - my OB fired me.

Im so sorry mamma's we have to deal with this.

Former Special Ed Teacher  now SAHM mamma to 2 girls autismribbon.gif(4/06) and thumbsuck.gif (5/08) EBF via donor milk. Wife DH : Fur mamma to 2 pugs and 1 grey kitty - its a zoo around here!  pos.gif Feb 2013..Will you help feed our new blessing?winner.jpg

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#22 of 27 Old 04-05-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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I'm so sorry for your experience.

My first son was born at 29 wks via emergency c-section (I was under general). When he was only 1.5 yrs old, I still very much felt traumatized by the whole thing. I felt that way probably until our second son was born just after his 3rd birthday. DS1 is now 4.5 yrs old, and there is still a lot of pain associated w/his birth, and it's definitely magnified by *his* experience. He was and is a "high needs kid", which could certainly have been affected by his birth and prematurity, but also could just be who he is (a high needs kid w/special needs).

Over time, it has gotten easier. One thing that has helped me has been to recognize that ds was just as much a part of his birth as I was--his body worked w/my body and vice-versa. Another factor for me is accepting that sometimes we really are NOT in control at all--even w/the best education and intentions. Yes, it was a bad experience in soo many ways...but it also was an INCREDIBLE experience in just as many ways. It affected my whole family. It has shaped my husband's and my relationship in a different, yet beneficial way. It's not ALL bad, although it was terribly painful for all of us. When my son argues incessantly w/me to the point that other parents would probably smack the daylights out of him, I can truly appreciate that his fiery spirit is how he survived and thrived. I can see past his behavior and appreciate who he is and how our experience has shaped us all. I don't get as upset about the little things as often as others do. I appreciate even his special needs.

In the end, it's probably that appreciation that has helped me get through. We are so grateful to have ds1--we struggled for years to have a baby...and then to have that happen....but still we are so fortunate. That really helps!

It may be quite a while before you really feel better. Honestly, this spirited toddler may be who your little guy is, but that alone doesn't necessarily ease the pain. Time will help. Writing out your story can help, too.

Take care and go easy on yourself! It's okay to let it all out--I cried the first 3 birthdays of ds1's. On the fourth one, I decided not to cry about it anymore--that was my friend's advice to me who had similar issues. She said, "Don't let the trauma of that day override every birthday. I wasted so many years..."

Best wishes!

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#23 of 27 Old 04-05-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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I just wanted to add that ds1 has brought up his birth--he remembers that I was *asleep* and *sad*. He remembers that he saw "lots of red" and "dark" and then he was "going ahh...ahh....like this (waving arms in air)" and they "put me in the plastic box, and I wanted out". He told me about trying to scream. He remembers me being there. He never really said or expressed that he was sad--just kind of shocked by what happened is how he describes it. He wasn't upset or disappointed about me at all. It was very interesting (and unprompted, except for the fact that I was pregnant w/number at the time).

It was probably the clearest description of anything he's every given (he really struggles w/verbal expression at times).

I just wanted to let you know that if your child could tell you what he experienced, you might be quite surprised to learn that it wasn't as traumatic to him as it was to you....that he's actually okay w/it even though it was a tough time.

Hugs,
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#24 of 27 Old 04-09-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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Hugs to all of you that had to go through this saddening experience.

I had a c-section under general anesthesia in September of last year and I am still struggling with it today.

My pregnancy was very normal and progressing nicely until the 28 week check up when routine blood work showed my blood platelet levels were very low. After that my "normal" pregnancy turned into being stuck with a needle every week to test my blood and make sure the levels didn't tumble into the dangerous zone. The thing that really got to me though was that when I was referred to a hematologist HE didn't seem too concerned and said that I was well within normal limits, and I shouldn't be too worried.

The entirety of my pregnancy I was planning for a natural labor and delivery. I read "Childbirth without Fear", and "Hypnobirthing" and a whole bunch of other things about natural delivery. I attending all the birthing classes and had an orientation at the hospital's Birthing Center which is were I intended to deliver.

So fast forward to my 39 week appointment. I went in on a Wed, and they did all the usual things. My DS was facing down, but apparently he was not looking the right way. Anyways, they did the usual sticking and drawing of blood and I left thinking the next time I would probably see my doctor would be sometime in the next week in the delivery room. Boy was I shocked when my phone ringed later that night and my doctor was on the other end. You know it's never a good sign when your doctor calls you PERSONALLY. So it turned out that my platelet levels had again dropped to a new low and the Dr. was concerned about me going any further in the pregnancy, so he told me to grab my stuff and head to the hospital.

Well, after a few hours of sitting around, they drew more blood at the hospital and took me for an ultrasound. The tech said they estimated the baby to be 8 lbs 6 oz. Then the blood work came back. Guess what? Platelets were not scary low, they were low but within normal limits. It was up to the on-call doc to determine what would happen. He sent me home.

Come Friday I had a follow-up with my OB and that's when the devastating news hit. Yes, my platelets were low, he was concerned about that... but he was even more concerned with something else. My size.

I am just shy of 5 feet tall. 4'10'' or something like that. My husband is nearly 6 feet tall, so I suppose there was some concern all along that my baby might be big, but it wasn't that prominent in my mind, after all my mother had 4 babies all naturally without any problem, so why should I be concerned? Anyways, on top of it, my Doc starts talking about my "unfavorably shaped pelvis"...WHAT? what does that mean? THAT, coupled with the predicted size of the baby and my blood situation made him suggest a scheduled c-section the following Monday. I was really scared, and I just agreed... I didn't really know what else to do.

WELL DS didn't feel like waiting for Monday morning and my water broke very early Sunday morning. We rushed to the hospital and they did all the preliminary work. I felt calm, I felt at peace that it was time for him to come - but when it came to the c-section, I just didn't really realize what was actually going to happen to me. I had sort of come to terms with not doing it naturally, at least I would still be present.

WELL - cue the anesthesiologist. GUESS WHAT ladies, turns out if you have low platelets they don't recommend sticking a giant needle in your spine for fear of nicking something causing you to bleed in a very inconvenient place. And well, that wouldn't be good. Right? Well, right. I mean, he basically scared the crap out of me, since I didn't want to leave my poor baby without a mother, I agreed.

When they took me into the OR I felt like I was on some kind of medical TV show. They strapped me to the table and I was naked from the chest down and I was cold and I was shaking uncontrollably no matter how much I breathed and tried to calm myself. I felt so scared. It was the most frightening experience I've ever had. And a couple minutes later I was out.

The next thing I knew I was in recovery in excruciating pain. Because of my blood issue I couldn't have some type of local pain meds injected to the incision site due to risk of bleeding, according to my doc. So I could feel everything. The nurses kept coming in a taking turns jabbing me in the gut repeatedly and it hurt so bad. That's all I could focus on. Even when they brought my son in finally I couldn't even focus on him being there I was in so much pain. I literally cared about nothing else.

Luckily they actually let my DH into the operating room after I was already under, so he got to witness our son's birth and even snapped a couple photos. But I feel so cheated, like, I carried him for 9 months and I didn't get to witness his birth into the world. Some times I wonder if that's why it was so difficult for me to feel connected to him right away.

It is just sad. I just feel so sad about it.

So I know how you ladies all feel. And no matter what anyone says, you're right, you don't know how it is until you've experienced it.

I've always wanted a big family and now because of this surgery plus the fact that my blood issues will most likely resurface whenever I am again pregnant, I don't know how many children I will get to have or if I will ever be able to experience a natural birth.

Sorry for hijacking... Just wanted to share with those of you that might understand, and sympathize that it's a hard thing to get over, for sure.
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#25 of 27 Old 04-10-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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I had my 4th baby under general antesthesia 2.5 weeks ago. Granted, it was truly an emergency, but it still doesn't quite feel real. I feel like I'm obsessed with having another baby so I can have a VBAC and experience birth 'for real'.
I'd gone in b/c I hadn't felt the baby move at all for 2hrs and prior to that I'd noticed a dramatic decrease in movement. I also just knew that something was wrong. It took along time to find his hb and then the decels were alarming and during contractions his heart pretty much stopped. I was not in the hospital I'd intended to birth in, didn't even have anyone there with me. When the OB told me that he didn't know what was wrong but that something was badly wrong and the baby needed to be born now and given that he was not tolerating the contraction at all and that his heartrate kept dropping and staying lower each time, that an emergency c-section was the only option, I said ok, lets do it. There wasn't time for a spinal plus they didn't want the baby to get any of the medicine if at all possible, it was general as soon as they were ready. From the time they knocked me out till they pulled the baby out, it wasn't even 2 minutes and it was about 5 minutes after the decision was made to operate and about 30minutes after I'd walked into L&D. Turned out that the heart decels were due to an almost complete placental abruption. I don't remember a thing until about 2hrs later and that was when I was asking if the baby was ok. Other than the fact that my stomach is still a bit sore and I have a baby in my arms, I don't even feel like I gave birth! The lochia stopped by 2 weeks and it wasn't even that heavy to begin with. Crazy, sad, mixed up, questioning is how I feel about it all.

Me : DD 5/05: DS1 7/06 : DS2 11/07: DS3 3/10
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#26 of 27 Old 04-10-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama2 '05'06 View Post
Other than the fact that my stomach is still a bit sore and I have a baby in my arms, I don't even feel like I gave birth!
I definitely remember that feeling - that I didn´t "give birth" in any sense that I ever expected...like it was something that happened outside of myself - that I had no part in - and I felt robbed of that. I think it´s valid to feel that no matter how justified the General C-section might be - and no matter how thankful one might be to have their baby safely in their arms afterward.

All I can say is that with time (a lot of time) that feeling changed for me. The more I have mothered my DS (3 yrs. old today :-) and the more we experience together, the more I feel - when I look at him - that I DID give birth to him - VERY much so - and that his birth was just the beginning of a long and powerful relationship as mother and child.

madre de Mathias http://www.primaryimmune.org http://www.michaeljfox.org
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#27 of 27 Old 04-11-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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i am so sorry OP.

it has been almost 17 years since my section under general. the pain goes away, you stop obsessing and feeling guilty for everything your baby has gone through and for all you missed. but this thread brought back how hard it was for me at the time.

i was induced on my due date and after reaching 10 cm, pushing for 2 hours, and an attempted manual and forceps rotation, i was put under. it was hell for me trying to come out of the anesthesia, it took me a good 2-3 days before i wasn't groggy. i remember laying in my hospital bed after, crying, completely devastated and nobody could help me other than to say, at least you have a healthy baby. i remember laying there, unable to move, hearing my baby crying in the nursery and the nurses taking their time to get her to me.

and just the pain and sadness of knowing that i was not the first to hold her, that i missed those precious hours of her life after birth, i struggled so much with that.

anyway, it took me 2 years after that to even consider having another. i am so happy i was able to have home VBAC's after that.

so you are not alone and i hope that time eases the pain

Midwifery student , Mama to my 4 amazing kids. treehugger.gif

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