trauma from painful homebirth? anyone? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 10-05-2008, 02:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mom2baldie View Post
Is there anyone here who has had a very traumatic homebirth and then went on to have a better experience with the next homebirth? If so, did you do anything differently or prepare differently during your subsequent pregnancy that you feel might have contributed to having a better outcome?

And for anyone who became pregnant after having a traumatic homebirth how did you deal with knowing that you can't control what kind of labor/birth you end up with and that it could be just as bad as your previous one?

I am 33 weeks pregnant and basically doing okay, but my PLANNED pregnancy has been a total emotional rollercoaster. I have went from planning a homebirth, to deciding to have another cesarean (I had one with my 1st child because of breech pres.), to wanting to have an abortion, back to planning a homebirth again and finally deciding on a birth center. I am not even joking either. It has been horrid. I would really like to believe that this birth will be better than the others because the others have been pretty bad, but reading this thread doesn't give me a lot of hope...


My 4th was footling breech, and although I had a successful homebirth it was still a little traumatic. The labor and birth was quick and without problems, but the what ifs really scared me afterwards. I constantly worried during my next pregnancy about a breech presentation, since the baby before hadn't turned breech till 2 days before delivery. What helped me tremendously was taking Hypnobirthing classes. It ended up being a very easy and beautiful birth and was very healing.

Happily married, busy mom to a houseful :-)

Expecting again early Oct 2014!

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#32 of 51 Old 10-12-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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Haven't posted on MDC in months, but I wanted to check in on this thread. Heya.

Yes, I had a terribly, horribly, traumatically painful homebirth. In retrospect, it seems very likely that we had a malpresentation issue, based on the pain, the delivery, and his appearance after birth. I'm really glad he was born at home, though.

I spent a month after the birth convinced I was a failure and apologizing to everyone around me.
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#33 of 51 Old 10-13-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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Haven't posted on MDC in months, but I wanted to check in on this thread. Heya.

Yes, I had a terribly, horribly, traumatically painful homebirth. In retrospect, it seems very likely that we had a malpresentation issue, based on the pain, the delivery, and his appearance after birth. I'm really glad he was born at home, though.

I spent a month after the birth convinced I was a failure and apologizing to everyone around me.
hugs and welcome. feel free to post as you feel comfortable. Definitely know you are not alone and not a failure.

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#34 of 51 Old 10-21-2008, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I haven't checked in on MDC in awhile but I did want to keep in touch with this thread. I still haven't had a chance to reply to all of the posts. Currently I'm considering getting some therapy for my unresolved issues surrounding my birth. It's hard because I have two kids and no childcare. I've been doing lots of Calms Forte/ Rescue Remedy etc.

I've thought about approaching my midwife again to talk about this. But I don't want her to think that she's done something wrong or to feel any way responsible. I think back to a doula client and friend whose birth I attended a few years ago. She had a hospital birth but basically arrived pushing and had a very easy, simple birth (from my perspective anyway). Later she told me that her birth was horribly painful, and I didn't know what to say to her. Now I realize that she might have had a similar experience as I did, but didn't know how to articulate it, or maybe she was afraid to.

I brought it up to my husband a little, and he said something like "well, you're entitled to your feelings". I guess that wasn't very validating.

SugarMama to Chatterbox Zoe (almost 4) and Locomotive Miles (2)
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#35 of 51 Old 10-23-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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I to had a VERY long, hard 42 hr. labor w/ 6 hours of pushing. My baby was 9 lbs. and his hands were in a bad position wrapped around his face. I NEVER EVER in a million years thought my birth would be so long and hurt SO SO much. I felt a sense of trauma and resentment for a good few months after - I couldn't even talk about it w/out sobbing or go into the room I birthed in w/out freaking out. The images haunting me, the wailing, the pain, my family crying from all the hours of listening to me in agony, the thought of what my husband went through. All of it.

But, what has helped me 'recover' in a sense, is knowing I was still in control of my own process. My MW never made me feel like she was doing things TO me, she was so supportive and never left my side. I did the hardest thing I will prob ever do in my life that day I gave birth. Aside from it not being the birth I wanted, it was the birth I got. I did it. My son and I did it, and I know I avoided a c-section my staying home. That to me would have been a hundred times more traumatizing. So ... yes, you have to somewhat morn your birth, but know you did it and you did it onw your own terms is the important thing. What is more empowering than that?!
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#36 of 51 Old 10-23-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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Well I haven't checked in on MDC in awhile but I did want to keep in touch with this thread. I still haven't had a chance to reply to all of the posts. Currently I'm considering getting some therapy for my unresolved issues surrounding my birth. It's hard because I have two kids and no childcare. I've been doing lots of Calms Forte/ Rescue Remedy etc.

I've thought about approaching my midwife again to talk about this. But I don't want her to think that she's done something wrong or to feel any way responsible. I think back to a doula client and friend whose birth I attended a few years ago. She had a hospital birth but basically arrived pushing and had a very easy, simple birth (from my perspective anyway). Later she told me that her birth was horribly painful, and I didn't know what to say to her. Now I realize that she might have had a similar experience as I did, but didn't know how to articulate it, or maybe she was afraid to.

I brought it up to my husband a little, and he said something like "well, you're entitled to your feelings". I guess that wasn't very validating.
You might think about reiki for healing your unresolved issues surrounding your birth also ... I have had reiki several times (even during my labor) and it is really helpful and healing.

Good luck to you and you head down your path of healing...
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#37 of 51 Old 10-28-2008, 01:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by balancedmama
I hardly know anyone who has had this kind of experience at a homebirth. I feel uncomfortable even talking about it.
I live in an area that is relatively homebirth friendly, I know a lot of women who have had homebirths. The funny thing is, nobody really talks about them. It's all "homebirth is great!" but that's pretty much it, no details. The mistake I made was in thinking that meant that there *were* no negatives to any of their births. Because here I am, eleven years and four homebirths later, with plenty of regrets, but I don't think anyone in my social group has a clue as to any of it. We just don't talk about it.
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It is not supposed to be this way. I thought my endorphins were supposed to kick in and help.
The only time I was aware of the endorphins was in my one totally unobserved birth, but only once the pain was gone.
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Originally Posted by bobandjess99
what i have found out as well, is that a LOT of women experience EXTERME pain in labor..(not all by any means, but WAY more than I used to think), but the difference seems to be that somehow, some of these women, despite the extreme pain, they are able to put a positive "spin" on it, and for some reason, they remember their births as wonderful, despite the pain.
I think the reason they're able to put a positive spin on it is that they forget to some extent. I mean they remember that it was horrible, but the actual feeling of how horrible it was gets erased. I don't know if it's chemical or psychological, but I lean toward chemical. My mom was telling me about having a painful medical procedure done, they gave her some kind of "amnesiac drug" (in her words,) and she says she she was screaming and begging "please, no" (ugh, sounds like rape) and for them to stop, but she has no actual memory of what the pain was like. The drug did not erase the knowledge that she experienced it, but it did erase the experience of the pain itself.
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Originally Posted by lisabeeprague
What I don't like is the inference from a lot of the NCB group that it only hurts because you're afraid, or because you don't trust your body, etc. That's just blaming the victim - like "It's your fault you got raped for walking there/wearing that.."
This makes me furious. I'm all for educating women about painless/pleasurable birth and about environmental and psychological causes of pain that can be avoided, but some birth just is painful, even when you do everything right.
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Is there anyone here who has had a very traumatic homebirth and then went on to have a better experience with the next homebirth? If so, did you do anything differently or prepare differently during your subsequent pregnancy that you feel might have contributed to having a better outcome?
I feel like all my births were equally (excruciatingly) painful, but there's only one that was traumatic for me, and the difference was all in the context. For me, I've found that the pain itself I can get over. The pain + being mistreated during the birth however was devastating and took a long time to recover from. I have to get off of here, but I'll try to remember to come back and go into more detail about that.
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#38 of 51 Old 11-09-2008, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to give another update. Things have gotten so bad with my PTSD from my birth that yesterday I decided to start an antidepressant. I was becoming unable to function in my daily life. Seeing pregnant women makes me physically ill and I have panic attacks looking at photos of my labor. This sucks.

SugarMama to Chatterbox Zoe (almost 4) and Locomotive Miles (2)
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#39 of 51 Old 11-09-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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Do what you need to do to get stable. Continue to look for the right therapy/alternative medicine (TAPAS, EFT, acupuncture, flower essences, energy medicine, homeopathy, bodywork are some that come to mind) that might help as well. Eventually you can wean off the meds. Sometimes a ceremony to mourn and let go can be helpful.
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#40 of 51 Old 11-12-2008, 01:36 AM
 
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I'm so glad to find this thread. My fourth birth was my first homebirth. My third birth was unmedicated in the hospital, and I called all the shots. It was amazing, and I just assumed I'd have an even better birth at home because I was at home.

It didn't turn out the way I expected, though it's hard for me to describe. My baby was trying to be born in the caul and I couldn't....I don't know. I couldn't wrap my head around that idea. My mw eventually had to break my water to force me to finish, so to speak.

I have IBS and had gotten constipated towards the end, so I pooped A TON during labor. I was completely ashamed of it. I am Type A.

Luckily, it was a rented house and we'd already closed on our new one. We moved there when ds3 was 11 days old. I don't have to look at that room or that toilet anymore. And I'm not afraid of my bed, because my bed is where I finished the d--- job and got that baby OUT. And it's where I made a warm little cave and nursed and slept afterwards.

We are planning one more baby and I will take hypobabies. I think I will need it.

But again...I can't totally describe it. MW and her apprentice were helpful, and yet I skipped my 6 week pp appointment. I wish I could talk more about it with both of them and yet the idea repels me, too.

And yes, it hurt. Not badly until it was time to push, but that pain...I kept apologizing for being a wimp.

We are six: Me : Dh : Ds1('00) Dd('02) Ds2('05) Ds3('08) and, wow! Soon to be seven, Dd2 due 4/23.
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#41 of 51 Old 11-20-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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I'm so glad to have found this thread. I am still really trying to process exactly what happened and why I feel like birth was so traumatic. I knew going into labor that my dd was OP, (despite accupuncture, accupressure, moxibustion, chiro, lots of time on hands and knees, etc) so that did help me through the pain, knowing the reason for its intensity. I did not prepare myself for the possibility that I would not have my babe on my bare chest. I had a completely intervention-free birth at a freestanding birth center but I bled A LOT and needed pitocin after dd was born to help my uterus contract. DD was not breathing right away. . . she is beautiful and healthy but I still have trouble writing and talking about the first hours after birth.
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#42 of 51 Old 11-21-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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I think it is very understandable that you would feel it was traumatic pp with a threatening situation going on for yourself and the baby.
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#43 of 51 Old 11-21-2008, 09:39 PM
 
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I belong here!!

I had an awesome homebirth with my 2 year old old. it was only natural to want to do it again. I was ambivalent about using the midwife again, but, felt I had to. During the pregnancy things were far from normal but I was always assured everything was fine. At 34 weeks when I started losing my plug and having loose bowels, she only worried about me staying hydrated and I didn't worry too much. The day I went into labor, I kept her posted. At 4:10am she was called and told to get here asap. At 4:40am my husband had to deliver our baby. Mind you, my dh called medics as he did not want to deliver our baby himself. He had to anyways! Around 5:30/5:45 in walks my midwife. She helps me get settled into bed and does the newborn exam.

Why is our baby making that weird noise??
It's mucus but will clear when she eats.
Why does she have spots??
It's bruising.
Why won't she latch or show any interest in eating???
Oh, she's just tired.
She's jaundiced.
Put her by a window.
Why does she seem so tired??
It was the long labor.
Keep her close to you or bundled up because being a PREEMIE she will have trouble regulating her body temperature.

My daughter passed in her daddy's arms a few hours later. This woman stuck around for one hour that morning. My midwife is why my daughter is dead. Had my daughter at least been transferred, she would be alive. It is difficult to really grasp the whole thing. I wish so bad that I could have a do-over.

I am planning another child but do not trust a midwife unless she is a CNM, with training. I plan on using an OB and have a huge list of questions/birth plan ideas to talk to one about. I am so scared to do this again.

Mommy to ds12, dd11, ds8, ds6, dd4, ^dd^ HB Loss, and dd 1
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#44 of 51 Old 11-22-2008, 02:34 AM
 
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I am so sorry for your loss.....
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#45 of 51 Old 01-19-2009, 01:24 AM
 
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I belong here. I didn't have a homebirth, I was at a freestanding birth center...but the experience was much the same as many of you have described.

I'm still trying to process why I feel the birth of my 2nd DC was so traumatic. I got everything I wanted in my pregnancy and birth -- great chiro care, competent and friendly midwives, supportive doula, optimally positioned baby, short labor, successful VBAC, healthy baby, no hemorrhaging, etc. YET I really cannot fathom for the life of me how I can ever go through that again. My DH and I want a large family but after this birth I shudder to think of doing it naturally again. It embarrasses and confuses me to say that I'd much rather have an epidural, or yes even a C-section, than go through this again...

I was only in labor with our 9 lb 4 oz son a total of 2.5 hours. Pushed for 20 minutes. Only minor tearing. Like others said, "on paper" it looks like a great birth. My midwife described it as "textbook." My doula said she was on cloud nine for days after my birth. It's hard to hear all that when inside I just can't get over how terrible the pain was and how I never want to give birth again.

The part that I can't handle was the crowning stage and then how I felt for the first few hours after the birth. Even though the contractions were pretty excruciating, it wasn't until the 'ring of fire' that I just lost it. I felt like I was going to go insane, really. I was panicky and shaking and on the verge of tears...I just couldn't handle it. I still don't know how women do it...and how so many of them make it sound so insignificant! I had a bit of an endorphin rush immediately after our DS was delivered and I got to hold him immediately, nurse him, etc., but it feels like it went away within 10 or 20 minutes. After that all I felt was pain, pain, pain. My tailbone and pubis symphsysis were killing me and I could not even walk around on my own, much less move my legs or turn over in bed. It was actually a relief to hand my son over to my husband and just curl up and try to cope with my own body. And then having to go through the stitching up...getting the shots to numb me was just such an awful experience. I was literally dripping sweat from my hands and underarms -- something I don't even do after a hard workout.

I feel guilty because I never felt that post-birth "high" or intense bond with my DS, yet I totally had it with my DD and that was after an unplanned C-section following 3 hours of terribly painful but unproductive pushing. I just don't understand.
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#46 of 51 Old 01-19-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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I. YET I really cannot fathom for the life of me how I can ever go through that again. My DH and I want a large family but after this birth I shudder to think of doing it naturally again. It embarrasses and confuses me to say that I'd much rather have an epidural, or yes even a C-section, than go through this again...

I just can't get over how terrible the pain was and how I never want to give birth again.

The part that I can't handle was the crowning stage and then how I felt for the first few hours after the birth. Even though the contractions were pretty excruciating, it wasn't until the 'ring of fire' that I just lost it. I felt like I was going to go insane, really. I was panicky and shaking and on the verge of tears...I just couldn't handle it. I still don't know how women do it...and how so many of them make it sound so insignificant! I

.
I just wanted to let you know I too could have written everything here...I absolutely understand.

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#47 of 51 Old 01-19-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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Me too. Just wanted to let you know I feel/have felt the same way (not about a c-section, as I haven't had one, but certainly about birth). We also want a large family. It is a long, slow process to try to figure out what to do about that. Sometimes it feels kind of hopeless. I'm trying to give it a lot of time, and hope that eventually I'll find a sense of peace with something.

That's rambly but it is just an awkward psychological space to be in. Boxed in, maybe. :

ETA: I wanted to add, too, that I had a bad experience with the midwife's assistant insisting it was a "wonderful home waterbirth" when to me it was absolutely the worst physical experience of my life. It was very unpleasant to have her positive impression of the birth be superimposed over my feelings about the birth. It was awful. I'm grateful we were healthy at the end, but it was an awful experience and physically the worst moments of my life. I did not want to hear how much better it was than a hospital birth or epidural would have been, or how great she thought it was. (My midwife was great about it - it was just her assistant that was a problem.)
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#48 of 51 Old 01-19-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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(((hugs))) mamas

My last homebirth turned hospital transfer was FAR different than my other two unmedicated out of hospital births. The first two births were painful, yes, but manageable. Very manageable. The pain was bad, but there were always breaks. I got the huge endorphin rush after the births and I was very excited and looking forward to this 3rd and last birth.

Well, it did not go at ALL the way the other two went. Right from the getgo the contractions felt different and none of my coping measures that I'd used before were helping. They were sporadic. 20 minutes apart then 4 minutes apart, 30 seconds long, then 90 seconds long. But, I labored along and things were progressing fine. I had my midwife check me after about 5 hours of things starting and I was almost complete which sounded about right compared to my last birth. I started having pushing urges that I worked with. I felt really powerful pushing this time too, which was different because I'd had not pleasant second stages with the first two births, that was actually the most pain I was ever in and found it really agonizing. I had worked on visualizing a good second stage and I have fond memories of sitting on the toilet pushing and talking to my midwife between. we were trying to fill the birth tub but the fittings on our faucet got jacked up and we ended up abandoning the waterbirth idea because things appeared to be going so quickly.

Then my water broke. Again, just a beautiful moment because it was crystal clear and LOTS of it and I was a postdates pregnancy. It was one of my main sources of anxiety going overdue. Everyone thought the baby would be there within the hour. But then...my contractions started spacing out. They weren't strong or effective when I was having them. M/W checked and found I had a lip of cervix. So we decided to have me rest in an attempt to get the contractions back up and let the lip calm down. I did get a decent rest but then the contractions were just too painful. I tried a shower. Still...this is when I started feeling panicky. My m/w gave me some homeopathics that helped for a bit. I couldn't stop talking. My doula friend was there with me and she said she's never seen someone be so cerebral during labor. I was analyzing every bit of pain I was in and I was asking if anyone else was worried and asking why it hurt like this. I was asking what we could do differently, if something might HELP. I know now all of this was intuition speaking. I've never been like this in other births. I was always able to check out and surrender.

Anyway they checked me again and the lip was back, and the baby's head asynclitic and transverse. We tried a few more things including the tub but then a pain started that ran across the front of my belly and burning, and constantly, not just with contractions. It was horrible. I was in excruciating, agonizing pain, and having unproductive contractions. We decided to transfer to the hospital where I got an IV dose of fentanyl and pushed her out 15 minutes later. We had barely been at the hospital for an hour before she was born. My midwife caught her because no one else made it in time. All in all it wasn't that bad of a birth, I didn't tear, our hospitals here are pretty progressive and other than some postpartum baby issues with the ped, we were treated really well. Reading your stories, I know that had we not transferred my homebirth would have been horrific, because it would have been that much pain that much longer. But I'm still unbelievably sad that my birth didn't happen at home the way we'd wanted.

I had a point and it was that this much pain ISN'T normal for birth. I had two beautiful painful but doable births before this, and I'm grateful that I know I'm not just a sissy for transferring for pain relief. And all of you should know that too. There's nothing wrong with YOU or your bodies or your babies. Sometimes things happen like wonky positioning or whatever else and it causes birth to run out of the realm of normal, workable pain to the extreme. I'm glad I knew that from my previous births but it also has made it really hard to accept how different this birth was. It was scary and I have never felt fear during labor. It was traumatic to give birth on narcotics. I didn't have the endorphin rush I had after my other births. All I felt was relief that it was over. I was thrilled that my baby was safe and healthy, but not euphoric like with the others.

The other thing that bugs me is that I am a doula/educator too. My midwife brought up in the last weeks of my pregnancy as I got more and more overdue that my knowledge was probably not helping me surrender to labor. Hearing other people say that being a professional causes a rough labor hurts and feels like blame too. I have devoted a huge part of my life and soul to this work, and it sucks to think that it somehow screwed up my chances of having another normal birth, and I don't think it's true.

As for the rest...we are done having children and simultaneously I have a lot of grief about this being our last birth and totally and utterly relieved I never have to do that again because I think I would be potentially terrified.

ahhh...I could type more, but mainly I just want to offer love, hugs, and support to everyone dealing with this. I have honestly never delved into this forum or thought much about birth trauma besides the obvious and before this experience would have been firmly in the "homebirth is beautiful and natural and all that jazz" camp without thinking of all those women who have been traumatized somehow by the experience.

mama to 3 girls: Abigail 2.12.05, Eliana 8.26.06, Willa 1.9.09
RN-BSN 5/11, CBE, former doula
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#49 of 51 Old 01-20-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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My first birth was a traumatic hospital birth, was supposed to be a homebirth but I caved to an unnecessary induction.

Second baby, I decided definitely on the homebirth, I was scared because of how painful the first birth had been (I did have an epidural but it wasn't sited well and I ended up in absolute agony on the bed). Second birth began well but the pain was amazing, I wanted something but apparently, if I wanted to have the pethedine, I had to get out the pool and I really wasn't physically capable at that point, I just didn't know what to do so I just kept with it.

The reason I can put a positive spin on it is this:

Despite the pain, it was still a much better experience than the hospital birth. Apparently the MWs at my second birth found it traumatic too.

I haven't forgotten the pain, every time I get a bout of IBS I am taken back to that pain, flash backs etc.

However, I went on to have third baby at home, unexpectedly UC. I was terrified of the pain again BUT I couldn't bring myself to go to hospital. The third birth was pretty ok pain wise. Yeah it hurt but not like my previous two.

I think the difference though, was that DD3 was not posterior, DD1 and DD2 started out posterior but turned at some point before being born, I dunno, I just know those labours really, really, really hurt whereas the third one just really hurt.
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#50 of 51 Old 01-20-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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I had what I consider to be a traumatic homebirth. I didn't think my MW listened to my concerns at all during labor. I am a vbac and I kept saying to her that I thought something was wrong b/c of all the pain I was having before, during, after, and between contractions. All she kept saying was "Everything's OK". I wanted to say "How would you know, you're sitting halfway across the room!" Obviously, there are more details, but there were a few moments when I looked over at the phone and thought "I should get out of the tub and dial 911".

The MWs apprentice seemed to sit on a chair and knit the whole time I was in labor. I guess she was useful during the pushing stage, but I seem to remember her knitting the rest of the time. The MW did nothing to help me through most of my contactions. I had a doula, but she was gone during a few contractions and all I remember the MW saying was "You can do this contraction without her. You'll be fine" and then sat there and looked at me. I don't know what I would have done without my doula. I guess I thought a MW would be more involved in my labor. I got more help and encouragement from the OB who was at my second birth than I did from her. Not to mention more personal attention and quicker answers to my questions (the MW is almost impossible to get in touch with).

This last labor has left me scared to have another child. It's mostly b/c of the pain. I now have a fear of rupture that I never had before. The pain between contractions is what scares me the most. As much as I said I thought something was wrong, she never seemed to take me seriously. Even my doula said she wasn't sure at what point the MW would have taken me seriously. Everyone else speaks to highly of this MW so I'm not sure why I had such a different experience. I guess a lot of people wouldn't think I had a traumatic birth and there are definitely a lot more details that I've put here, but maybe I was just expecting different things.

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#51 of 51 Old 01-21-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AmieV View Post
mainly I just want to offer love, hugs, and support to everyone dealing with this. I have honestly never delved into this forum or thought much about birth trauma besides the obvious and before this experience would have been firmly in the "homebirth is beautiful and natural and all that jazz" camp without thinking of all those women who have been traumatized somehow by the experience.
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