working on coming to terms with my baby's birth... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-30-2010, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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this is going to be long & probably rambly, so please bear with me. i'm going to start with my feelings & stuff and follow that with the birth story that i wrote when my baby was just a day old.

so, i'm working on trying to get through what happened during my baby's birth 5 months ago. it was a planned homebirth with my midwife who i absolutely love. it was my second pregnancy (m/c a few months previous to getting pregnant with this baby) & i totally thought it would all be well...i thought i would have my dreamy homebirth. i did the research, watched the videos, read all the books, took an awesome birthing from within-based birthing class with my midwife's apprentice, was prepared with pain management ideas & affirmations. i did ALL of my homework! i spent years preparing for this!

despite all of that my birth was absolutely what i did not want, and i feel like i have nobody to blame but myself. i feel like i just gave up...i feel like despite all of my hard work on research that maybe i just had unreasonable expectations of what pain during birthing should be. i also am disappointed in myself for not being in better physical shape for the baby's birth. i feel like my stamina could've been better & maybe i wouldn't have given up if it was.

i just am still so disappointed in myself. i wish every single day that i could go back & redo it. i didn't want to give up! i wanted to birth my baby vaginally, even if it wasn't at home and without drugs. i gave up on the homebirth, i gave up on the drug-free birth, i gave up on vaginal birth. i feel like the biggest birthing failure alive right now. i am so mad that i did this to myself. i am disappointed that i did this during my first birth. it is going to make the decision to have a hbac or a vbac so hard! i feel like i just did myself in by doing this to myself with my first child. despite wanting 2 or 3 kids previous to this, i'm not even certain i will ever want another baby now, because it will either be so hard to have a vbac/hbac or i'm afraid i will hate myself for not trying to vbac/hbac.

i also ask my baby for my head, i'm certain that he doesn't feel any animosity towards me for the way his birth ended up, but my heart feels that way. i hope he doesn't think i am a failure when he grows up & learns about his birth. i do think about that, tbh. :cry:

some days i think i'm okay with it & that it was the way that it was meant to be. but, then there are the rare days i am so disappointed in myself & want to curl up in a ball and sleep until i forget about it. usually i want to hurt myself when i think about it; i feel so much frustration with myself for giving up. i just tell myself "why did you do that?! why?!! you didn't need to do that. you could've done it." but, i never know what to reply to that in my own mind. i truly do not know what i can tell myself to make it feel better. it's not like the feelings about this take over my life or are making me feel that i'm in a depressed state. it's just annoying to think about & live over in my head often.

birth story...
the birth in a nutshell...after being up since thursday evening with ROM & working through contractions (10 mins MAX sleep i got at one sitting friday & saturday nights) nights...basically none at all!), i was still at 1 CM, -3 (maybe -2, can't recall for certain) on sunday at noon when. midwife & apprentice had been at my home friday, saturday & sunday, since the contrax were getting stronger & at times 4 mins apart. but, NO progress on station or dilation, little progress on effacement. decided to go to hospital on sunday when midwife & apprentice were there.

we go to hospital...get pit to increase dilation, after a couple hours got some fentanyl for pain. fentanyl stopped working after awhile, went for epidural, got to 8-9 cm. feeling fine...was told to stop pushing the "button" for the extra epi, but that the epi drip would continue to work, ok no problem. then all of a sudden i'm at 10, fully effaced ready to push (waiting on doc), contrax start crashing upon me NONSTOP! doc gets there, tells me basically "max 10 mins & baby wil be out". i push & push & push, telling everyone that my legs are burning, i'm HURTING, i'm in PAIN", there's just so much chaos in the room that nobody is thinking that the freaking epi wore off & the pit is still turned up because i would lose centimeters when it wasn't on. everyone's all push, push, push...for over a freaking HOUR, prob an 1.5 hours & the head isn't even close to out.

at this point, i'm exhausted, and finally in a fit, threw the oxygen mask off, screamed at everyone that i was fucking done & wanted a c-sec. get into O.R. and anesthesiologist is finally like "why are you in pain? why are your legs and back burning?"..."the epidural catheter isn't even in you anymore!" so apparently, towards the time i was about to start pushing at the end, when they rolled me from side to back, the catheter for the epi nudged itself out. i knew it wasn't working, but just thought it was because i wasn't getting that extra "button" of epi! anesthesiologist ended up giving me a spinal tap for the c-sec, because i kept feeling pain through the epi

anyway, had c-sec, sweet-talked doc into doing a double suture, which she doesn't normally do, but my reasoning actually convinced her though she disagrees with women having vbacs. i kicked ASS at advocating that for myself under the craxy stress. midwife was full of pride for me.

anyway, section went good & i'm healing very well wound & pain wise. doctor was very good to me. the first cry that i heard was sound i've ever heard in my life. DH looked over, as they held up the baby & was like "yep, it's a boy! we knew it!!!!!!". DH teared up, it seemed like forever until they brought him over, he was incredibly gorgeous...he looked absolutely perfect. then, we were parted for recovery (DH w/ baby, me on my own making record-time recovery from the spinal tap :haha i had babby motivation!). he was born about 80 hours after ROM and the beginning of labor/contractions.


so, that's where i'm at. any thoughts, ideas, commiseration welcome. i'm just a work in progress & i know this. i think it's just going to help to get it out and get some feedback. thanks so much for reading this!

baby arlo is now earthside! 11.23.2009
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#2 of 7 Old 04-30-2010, 10:32 PM
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I can relate SO much. First off, I know what it is like to plan a natural birth (we were planning through a Birthing Center), end up at hospital, (after 27 hrs with 3 min apart contractions 1 min long, and only dilation from 4 to 6 cm), and ending up with CS. Feeling like you failed, feeling like you gave up on waiting and toughing it out, and working through exhaustion, feeling like you let everyone down, especially your baby, your body, etc. I know what it feels like to live with that MONTHS after and hate yourself and want to hurt yourself and want it to all be over and just escape from it. I went through that.

It took me 6 months to start getting help. I held HUGE resentment towards my husband because he didn't want a doula, and he didn't support me the way I needed, neither did the MW for that matter. So, we went through 6 months of marriage counseling for it, I was on prozac for 6 months, and it took A LOT of healing.

The one book that really helped me was Rebounding From Childbirth Towards Emotional Recovery. I cried, I cringed, I understood, I forgave, and I healed. I would HIGHLY recommend that. Don't worry about more kids yet, that's a decision to make much further down the road on your journey. Either way, more kids or not, you have to heal from this, that's what I didn't understand, but now do. But to let you know, a VBAC IS possible, you can get support and you can do it by being your own advocate like you were in the OR.

It's ok to ask for help. Ask for it until you find it. I did a lot of writing, blogging, etc, and that helped sort through everything.

Join ICAN. That is what they are there for, to help mom's heal from births like this, and then if your path leads you to further advocacy, or future births, they are there for that too.

It may also help to hire a postpartum Doula, not for the newborn stuff, but to work through the birth, they are good at that, and can help you further to heal.

Much Love to you, feel free to email me if you want to talk more, I'm ALL ears.
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#3 of 7 Old 04-30-2010, 11:30 PM
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I empathize too. I had a 60 hour labor before my hospital transfer and eventual c-section, and I've spent so much time this past year asking myself over and over why I didn't stay home longer. We just don't know what would have happened in any situation. For some reason, our babies took a LOT more to come out than most others. No one else I know had a labor as long as we did. Not many other women were tested for that long.

I can't say I'm over it, but it gets better little by little. Have you read the threads in Birth and Beyond recently-- some on Humble Beginnings, and C-section moms being more vocal in the NCB community. It has helped me heal to read from all those other wise women.

You have nothing to be ashamed of, or sorry for. My partner told my baby after he was born "Your mom went through hell and back to get you here, you better be nice to her the rest of your life." Believe me, c-section or no, we had to give a heck of a lot more than most birthing women ever had to put up with!
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#4 of 7 Old 05-01-2010, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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wow, thank you both so much. as much as i have read, i've never read about any experiences that seemed like mine. until you two posted. and, just knowing that others have been through this & have grown positively makes the battle easier. i gather a lot of my strength from just knowing that i share experiences with other human beings (espeically women...that's actually where i pulled a lot of my strength & affirmations from when i was laboring and birthing)...knowing others have been through the same thing. empathy really speaks to me & reading your two posts helps me to see that this happens sometimes & that my birth really was LONG and difficult and those are things that i often question/deny in my own head.

thankfully, my husband has been very wonderful & has assured me over and over that i did labor very hard & very long. he remembers things more clearly than i do & he tells me that there were a lot of factors that led up to me asking for the c/s. he says that nobody can say that i didn't tough it out for a very long time, longer than most other women do. i mean, i labored at home for 3 days on my own & i kicked ass at it...i don't know why i tend to forget that little factoid.

thank you, Austin Mom, for addressing the fact that i need to heal from this before worrying about future children. that is something i just need to not have on my plate at the moment...heal first, then think about kids. one step at a time. and, thank you for the vote of confidence in vbac. i think i get more scared by the idea of it than the actuality of it, if that makes sense...maybe i'm building it up to be scarier in my head than it needs to be.

thank you both so much for the suggestions on the stuff to read. i love to read, so i will definitely be finding a copy of that book and checking out the forums suggested. i appreciate those recommendations! i did register at the ican forums, but i haven't received an approval of my account yet. i look forward to participating there when i do, though. the postpartum doula is also a good recommendation...i will talk to my husband about that.

wow, i already feel so much better just getting this out and hearing about your two births. thank you so much for sharing with me. i appreciate you both taking the time to reply in such depth. reading your words feels very soothing and it makes me feel hopeful for the future.

baby arlo is now earthside! 11.23.2009
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#5 of 7 Old 05-02-2010, 05:29 PM
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My story shares some similiarities with yours...a labor that felt like it would never end (only dialated 1.5 cm after 18 hours of regular contractions & repeat vomiting, which my doula said was 'good' because it meant progress was being made) and an eventual c-section.

It was about 5 months after my DD's birth that it really hit me what I'd been through. I think I was just so tired & shell shocked up until that point, I couldn't really process the whole thing. Plus a good friend had a "perfect home birth" around that time, and it just triggered this huge PTSD-like wave of self-recrimination.

I spent months feeling like hell. I was sure I hadn't tried hard enough, hadn't "wanted" it enough, had damaged my daughter, would never be the same again myself, etc.

That was about a year ago, and it is really good to realize that I've come a long way. I don't look at my experience the same way I did then. A lot of things helped me...time, a great dance therapist, a lot of searching on the web, finding ways to feel better in my own body.

I guess I just want to offer the perspective that things change over time. Even the most traumatic experience isn't fixed forever. Your story about the experience can keep changing, softening, shifting. Gentleness with yourself is possible...

Big hugs to you...

Living in Wisconsin with my partner of 20+ years and our DDenergy.gif(Born 10/09/08 ribboncesarean.gif). Why CI Mama? Because I love contact improvisation!

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#6 of 7 Old 05-04-2010, 05:18 PM
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For me, putting it all out there helped, and it sounds like you're doing that now.

Healing is so individual--I needed to work through the disappointment, the feeling that I let my baby down because I wasn't strong enough, etc. I tell my baby I'm sorry, that I wanted to give her a more peaceful birth, etc.

15 months PP, I don't know if I'll be strong enough to attempt a VBAC in the future. I don't know if I could stand the disappointment if it failed. I do believe I made the best choices I could make at the time. It sounds like you had a lot of hard, unexpected choices to make, and you did the best you could. And you made sure you were double stitched! I certainly didn't think to do that.

Take time, process all of the emotions. Time doesn't change the past but it does soften it.

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#7 of 7 Old 05-04-2010, 05:28 PM
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coming over to offer s and let you know you are certainly not alone and you did not fail!! I would like to extend a virtual high five to you for advocating for your double suture!! woo-hoo!

Like Altair mentioned - there are several threads now started up for c-section moms, and how we all fit into this crazy birth picture.

I agree with other posters who talk about time, and talking about it more openly. I just finally got up the courage to write up my 2nd (1st vbac attempt) c-section because of many of the stories (see the humble beginnings thread) and the support here. I am not ready to discuss my first one though, not yet....

again s to you warrior mama for being so strong in your birthing experience, you should be very proud, no matter the outcome.

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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