Getting over bad birth experience - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you get over your experience in order to do a vbac. I wanted so badly to have a homebirth with this baby. How were you able to get over the trauma and trust your body enough to have a vbac. I'm scared that because I never progressed until I had an epi, that I won't be able to next time either. My water was broken for 24 hours and even though I was in labor, I never dilated. I was put on pitocin and still I didn't dilate. It wasn't until the epi that I did dilate. So, I just feel like my body isn't normal. I feel like there is something really wrong, that I can't labor normally. I really want a hb next time, but I can't go through that again. I guess the other issue was that my dh wasn't much support for me because he was in major pain from a back injury the day I went into labor. I had no one else there to support me. Anyway.. if any of you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Wife to awesome Army guy, mommy to DD1 lady.gif 7/11/07 and bellycast.gif one on the way this October!  Planning for a  hbac.gif

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#2 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 11:50 AM
 
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Your feelings are conpletely understandable but I am sure you have heard over and over that "every pregnancy and every baby is different"... every labor is also different. I am not a professional ofcourse, but I have been studying a lot. I think that experienced labor support is a must this time around. I would recommend speaking with some birth doulas about your first experience and I am sure that they can reassure you better than I can. When you do get pregnant again, hire a doula that you trust. She will work with you to resolve issues that could have hindered you last time and help you to trust your body again. Then, during labor, she'll be there to reassure you. I think it will make a huge difference.

A lot of women are able to go it alone the second time around, but for me the doula makes a world of difference for my confidence level.

Good Luck and Congratulations on your July Baby. It's great that despite a rough beginning you are breastfeeding. It was the greatest joy in my life after my cesarean also.

-Iris
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#3 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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Have you contacted ICAN? There are 2 chapters in North Carolina. They may have support group meetings so you can talk to others who have been through similar situations.

After 2 c/s, I felt like my body was broken too. I took a hypnobirthing class, and that helped a lot.

You also might want to hire a doula the next time around. No matter how supportive your husband is, it might be helpful to have some extra support from someone who has a lot of experience with births.

Good luck to you!
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#4 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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I didn't have a c-section with my first baby but it was a horrible and traumatic experience. I have since had two very successful and very empowering homebirths. While preparing for my first homebirth, I read every book possible about birthing. I tried to make sure that I read books that focused on natural childbirth. Stay away from any and all overly medicalized books because they just undermine your confidence (at least they did for me). I wish I could remember the title of the book but there is a book that I had that helped me overcome a lot of distrust that I had in myself and my own body. Find somebody (midwife, doula, freind) to talk to and discuss things with to help you gain the knowledge and trust that you need.
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#5 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much ladies! I think you're right about the doula. I should have done it this time, but I thought I wouldn't need much help.

Wife to awesome Army guy, mommy to DD1 lady.gif 7/11/07 and bellycast.gif one on the way this October!  Planning for a  hbac.gif

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#6 of 12 Old 09-15-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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Another thing to remember is that labour is long. Long long long for most women and it is hard on your first labour to realize, things could be normal - this is normal for me.

You did your best with the information you had, and I agree that it is a long healing process. Be gentle with yourself.

Kate: fumbling through the best years with W, L, F & V...newest arrival coming Jan '11
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#7 of 12 Old 09-15-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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I felt this way too. You CAN do this. Your body WILL work. Believe it, and surround yourself with others that do.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#8 of 12 Old 09-17-2007, 12:12 PM
 
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I met with my doula this weekend and one of the things she does for all her moms is process the previous labor(s) in order to get a feel for what the mom expects but also to slay demons so that they don't resurface in subsequent labor(s). Honestly, there are things that have come out that I didn't remember until I talked it over with her. My husband remembers things that I didn't and vice versa... it is a really helpful exercise. I think this is especially important for VBAC moms.

I strongly recommend that you hire an experienced doula for your next birth.

-Iris
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#9 of 12 Old 09-17-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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It took me a year to get over my traumatic HBAC gone awry. But you know what. I had to stop and really allow my self to both mourn my loss and allow myself to heal. Once I did that-and looking into future pregnancies I am left with similar feelings. But...your body DOES work. It just didn't do it in the time that the doctors wanted it to. You have to give yourself permission for whatever happens that you will be ok with it. Only then can you heal and move forward. Your body works. As did mine. I just got interrupted when it wasn't finished yet.

Jennie: Working mother to 3 and loving wife to my hubby for over 12 years
Emily 10 Taylor 8 Logan 6
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#10 of 12 Old 09-19-2007, 10:34 AM
 
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When I felt similarly to you, that my body just "didn't work" because of an induction and "failure to progress", someone once reminded me of the things that my body did so well and did "right". It didn't take away the pain, but it did help me to start trusting in my body again. It was something similar to this...

What an amazing thing that your body was able to conceive! Your body was able to carry your baby inside it, to grow a new life in it from such tiny beginnings into a fully formed new human being! What a blessing and joy! What an amazing acheivement that you and your body went through together for 9 months to bring your healthy baby into the world!

I could imagine that deciding to VBAC can be scary if your 1st labour was traumatic. I can relate to your feelings still, as I"m not pregnant yet, but sort of feel like I owe it to myself and my body to give it a second chance...we all deserve one, right?! Or if I have a repeat C, I'd always be wondering what would have happened if I tried a VBAC. Most of the women I've spoken to who've attempted VBAC but had a C-section have said they were happy that they tried.

I would second the idea of having a doula, I"m planning the same for my next pregnancy, and surrounding myself with people who are positive about VBAC and labour. It sounds like the timing was against you with your husband's injury the 1st time, and you and your body had no control over that. Our bodies definitely work differently when in states of mental and physical stress, esp if not prepared for it, and not everything goes within our control, so lack of support was probably a big factor. Next time could easily be different.
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#11 of 12 Old 09-22-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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Hugs mama and congrats on your new babe!

Even before pregnancy, find a copy of Birthing From Within and read the section on birth trauma. Some mamas find it a bit to "cloying" but there are some great exercises that may help you work through your past experience and your concerns for the future. I'd also suggest the book Open Season... it is a bit painful to read, but I found it to be very healing for mamas who have had a c/s and are trying to move forward into a vbac or even just trying to find healing. My super crunchy vbac care providers have it as almost "required reading" for vbac mamas.

I'd also suggest trying something like the Hypnobabies home study course for a future pregnancy, or meeting with a hypnotherapist trained in birth and birth trauma either before or during your pregnancy. The home study course includes a session called "fear release" that helps you process and release negative associations from past births to prepare for the new birth and a trained therapist should be able to help you do the same thing. Actually, any therapist trained in women's issues or PTSD can be helpful.

ICAN and natural birth supportive groups (a local midwife might be able to point the way to one) can be great as well. I know ICAN was especially helpful for me at the beginning since I could look around and say "each and every one of these women has had a c/s and look at them now". Later on I have to admit ICAN wasn't as helpful since I was moving on in the healing process and in a large group like ICAN there are always mamas (unfortunately, given the state of modern obstetrics) who are just starting to work through their painful birth experiences and I found it was too hard to stay focused on the positive side of my vbac. But your milage may vary!

Anyway, in person or online BTDT support can help. A supportive women's group can help. Journaling or meditating or writing a letter to the laboring mama you were or to the people involved in the birth (not to send, just to write) can help. Time can help. Learning a new skill that you mentally associate with strength or female ability can help (my care provider usually suggests that mamas learn to belly dance, at least a little, since the movements generate healing blood flow in the pelvic area, it's good gentle exercise, it helps with future births, and it can help a mama regain a sense of female power/the strength of the female body). Hugging your babe and realizing just how much you are doing each and every day to give life to this little person can help.

There's a mama here at mdc with a sig that really speaks to me. I can't remember it word for word right now, but it basically says something about learning not to reject the experiences that have made you the powerful woman you are today. A traumatic birth is painful and difficult and so very hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced that sense of total failure... but my c/s is part of what has created the woman/mother I am now. I'm still finding healing and learning to trust my body (my vbac took me a long way down that path!) but every time I see that mama's sig line I think about how my experiences have added to my strength. Give yourself time and space and permission to mourn the birth you deserved but didn't have and then give yourself the same time and space and permission to own the strength that came with the birth you did have.

Hugs mama...I'm so sorry you've found yourself on this journey, but healing really can and does happen.

Be pretty! Be practical! Be Pagan! Visit Pagan Hearth & Home!
 mama to lady.gif(4/05), hearts.gif(6/07vbac), diaper.gif(8/09vbac), and babygirl.gif (9/11vbac)

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#12 of 12 Old 09-22-2007, 08:10 AM
 
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nicely put, Wombatclay.
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