Traumatic birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 02-24-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,
I am trying to work through the traumatic childbirth of my son. Is anyone else doing the same or has done it? I find myself feeling guilty about how he must have experienced the birth and how scary it i think it was for him. I know I did all I could for us to have the birth I wanted but thats not enough to quell my sadness at the loss of the birth I felt was best for both of us, physically and emotionally.

Also, I find myself thinking "If I had another baby I could have the birth I wanted or at least a better one." I know it's illogical because that birth will be what it'll be and I have no control over it.

I don't want to project my sadness and guilt onto my son. How do I work through this? How do I get to a place where I accept his birth as it was and not all the things it wasn't?!

Any advice, support, or suggestions are welcome. Thanks for reading this.
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#2 of 4 Old 02-24-2010, 02:50 PM
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I don't really know what to say, I've felt very similar to you since my DS was born. At first I wanted another baby RIGHT AWAY. I wanted a chance to "fix" things I guess (although I also really just wanted 2 babies to love! hehe!!) Then sometime in the past several months I realized, no matter how many kids I have in the future, I will never ever be able to "redo" or "fix" DS's birth. That made me feel so sad for him, but at the same time it freed me up a bit. I still want another baby soon but it's not a desperate need & I'm focusing all my attention on my DS & his needs for now. I also look at my DS and though I feel like he had a rough first year, I see how he is growing stronger (physically AND emotionally) and becoming a happier, calmer person. I have dealt with lots of non-birth trauma myself and I've managed to rebound & for the most part put it behind me. I see that same resilience in my son. I also realize I did everything I could with the information & knowledge & experience I had at the time of his birth. Now, I know more & would make different choices, but at the time, I did the best I could with that situation. I still don't feel that I totally "accept" his birth but I don't feel I NEED to accept it. I need to acknowledge it & rechannel my energy elsewhere. I don't know if this is any help to you at all but maybe something I've said will resonate with you.

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#3 of 4 Old 02-25-2010, 03:14 AM
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Hi. I have the same feelings about my son's birth. I keep telling myself that the next birth, even if it ends up in another unwanted c-section, that it could be better because I'm more aware and educated, and most importantly, I've had my ideallic notions of birth utterly destroyed.

Will it be better? Will it be worse? I don't know. It will be different, that's about all I know.

I don't know how to tell you to accept your son's birth. It's a matter of necessity in the end, I suppose -- you have no chance to change it, therefore you must find some way to accept. Some things that helped me were getting whatever answers and explanations I could find, this involved talking to everyone involved in my labor -- my partner, my doula, and my midwife. I also talked to a therapist who was knowledgable in birth trauma which did provide some help. I've talked to my son, as hokey as that may sound, he's only 10 months, but at times when we were alone, usually nursing, I would tell him about what I wanted for our birth experience and apologize for not being able to provide it. More often than not, he's pulled off my breast during these conversations and really looked at me.

A combination of the above and getting some time and distance from the delivery did help. I'm quickly approaching my son's first birthday and experiencing a bit of a relapse, but I think that's to be expected. I don't know how far you are from your son's birth, but time does help, although I don't ever expect the pain of what we lost to disappear.

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#4 of 4 Old 02-25-2010, 08:30 PM
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I'm sorry you are going through this. I am working on it too. I'm not quite sure what to say, or how to tell you to work through it. I would say take a day at a time. Relish in the time with your baby. How old is your lo? How long has it been? My birth experience has really made me aware of how precious life is, especially the life of my son. Allow yourself time to grieve your birth, and the idea of what you wanted it to be for you and your lo. It will take time. It is okay to be sad about it, and get out some good cries. One of the biggest things I did first was to try and rid myself of the guilty feeling. I know for my situation, I did the best with what I knew. Accept that you did the best you could. Again, that will come in time. For me, I better informed myself on pregnancy and birth, and the choices I have in the future. That did help some. Have you ever kept a journal? Can you get some of your feelings out that way? Or, get it out here. Write everything down, there are many Mama's here that could read it and maybe help you work through it better. All of our birth experiences are unique, but I'm sure you aren't the only one going through what you went through. Ya know? I've been thinking about writing my story out and asking for input because I really feel it is time for me to better deal with it.

Just know that you aren't alone Mama. Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to heal, it will all come in time. In the meantime, enjoy every single precious second with your baby.

caffix.gifChristine: Mama to bouncy.gif  DS 04/17/08  *Infant Stroke Survivor*  Always remembering:  brokenheart.gifbrokenheart.gifbrokenheart.gif


Took a 'break' from TTC and look what happened:  2ndtri.gif!!!!    praying.gif  for a healthy, full term baby to be born August 2012!!  Hoping for a vbac.gif!

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