new mama recovering from Csection - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 9 Old 06-25-2004, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,
I am sitting with my five week old Ella sleeping in her sling on my chest. I am finally starting to feel like a mother and like myself since she has been born.

I had an unplanned C-Section on May 19th which brought my sweet baby into the world. I had an amazing unmedicated labor and I went from 5-10 cm in like 2 hours. I felt so strong and good as I worked through my contractions. However my sweet baby was Occiput posterior position which was not allowing for her decent. Additionally, she was holding onto her cord which was making her heart rate drop. Quickly I was having more interventions than I had wanted, mainly for the welfare of my baby. They needed to use an internal fetal monitor to closely track her heart rate as I pushed. Ultimately, I pushed for 4 hours and then needed to have an epidural to try and rest and see if my uterus would slip her under my pelvic bone without my pushing. I still had to breath thru my contractions after the epidural in order to not push. After 2 hours of that, she still hadn't moved, and I knew that we were going to have to have a c-section. I felt so conflicted because I, obviously, wanted what was best for my child but I was so scared of the unknown of what this birth would be like.

My husband was great, the MD's and my midwife were fantastic. I really felt like everyone did their best to try and avoid surgery. I just had no idea what I was in for with my emotions and recovery.

Baby and I had an extremely difficult start to breastfeeding. She was amazingly strong for a csection baby. when they put her on my chest, she lifted her head up! She was hungry and ready to nurse and I was just so weak to try and hold this strong little woman! By the time I left the hospital four days later my nipples were brused, cracked, and bloodied. I cried every time I had to nurse her because I hurt soooooo very much . Thankfully, my husband is amazing and was very supportive and helpful . He had to go back to work almost immediately and I felt like a complete basket case. I found it so hard and overwhelming to care for my so very loved and wanted baby when I felt like I needed someone to care for me. I felt guilty for feeling so selfish, but in retrospect (the short amount of it I have) it is damn near impossible to exclusively care for a newborn when you are expirencing so much pain yourself...not only from the scar tissue but from the poor latching as well.

Anyway, I never felt like I failed per se...I was disapointed because I really hadn't considered that i would end up with a surgical birth. Im not sure why i was so sure, but I was. As a new birth doula I KNEW better than to set myself up that way, but I really didn't think it would happen.

In addition, I am scared that I will not be able to have a vbac if I want one becasue my baby was only 7lbs 5oz. I know that it has more to do with the positioning and her cord issues but I just felt like I got so far into labor, I am just scared to do all of that hard work again with hours of pushing and end up in the same boat.

Anyway I am sort of ranting, but I am just not really physically or mentally healed from the experience yet. I am feeling much much much more attached to my baby now, and I am proud to report that breastfeeding is going much better now as well. I just still wish things had gone differently.

I would like to know when I am going to feel physically better and when my pouchy stomach will start to go down!


Thanks for allowing the space for me to rant!
Sarah
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#2 of 9 Old 07-04-2004, 09:06 AM
 
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Moving this to Birth and Beyond where you should get some supportive words of advice and experience.

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#3 of 9 Old 07-04-2004, 12:52 PM
 
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Sarah,

Congratulations on your little one ! I am sorry that her arrival was so challenging and unlike you had hoped for. It sounds like you did so well and worked so hard. I think, for me at least, the most challenging thing is when inspite of our best laid plans and hard work and preparation - life throws out detours/curve balls, etc.

And it sounds perfectly sane and reasonable to me that you wanted someone to help take care of you!! Gheesh - new momma's in the best of circumstances need lots of support, let alone when there have been challenges like surgery and b/f problems! Give yourself a huge pat on the back for finding your way through those first five weeks - what tremendous courage and strength, bravo!!

As for questions about future births - I would give yourself time and space to heal and be present with your experience. You've been through a lot and it makes sense that you would have concerns for future births. But for right now, take a breath and be with your healing. There are many options available to you (even though it might not feel like it) and only you will know which one is right for you when the time comes. Many women on this board have walked in similar shoes and made a variety of choices. I'm sure they will be more than willing to offer you their experiences so you can see what feels right for you.

May you be well cared for during your recovery and congratulations on your little one!

LisaG

Lisa , married to Dan, mama to IVF miracle Natalie 5/20/09 :
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#4 of 9 Old 07-04-2004, 08:22 PM
 
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I think it sounds like you did an amazing job! You worked so so hard to push your little one out. I can understand how hard those feelings would be - especially when you had not prepared yourself for that possibility.

As for future births, I think the odds are in your favor that it will go easier next time around. The pushing stage with my first birth was very difficult for me. I pushed for 4 hours (although after reading your story that sounds like nothing!). I HATED pushing. It really really hurt. It was not the feeling I had anticipated based on what others had said, so I would have gladly labored on for a few more hours if it would have meant that I only had to push for an hour or so. Anyway, that baby was also posterior and had her hand up to her face. She also had her head slightly cocked to the side, so the top left side of her head presented vs. the very tippie top of it (which caused a hemotoma and jaundice). I was petrified of going through all that again. My midwifes assured me that my body now knew how to push and it would remember for future births - that it wouldn't be that hard again. I know logically there's just no way to know that and honestly I didn't believe it would go much easier (maybe 2 hours vs. 4). Much to my surprise, my next labor went super fast (90 minutes start to finish) and I spent maybe only 10 to 15 minutes of that pushing. I didn't even have to try to push either - my body just kind of expelled her for me. So have faith - you CAN do it next time around. The most important thing is to believe in yourself.

I'm also assuming, since you're a birth doula, that you're aware of positions that can be used to help turn a posterior baby??? You didn't mention what positions you tried. Let me know if you need some info. Oh, and I super sympathize with the cracked & bleeding nipples. I had that super bad after my 2nd dd was born. That coupled with severe post-labor contractions (for the next 3 days) made me not only cry while nursing but want to vomit! It was horrible. I feel your pain and I'm so glad that you're finally at a point where life is beginning to really feel good. Congratulations!!! s

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#5 of 9 Old 07-04-2004, 10:45 PM
 
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Your birth story is almost identical to mine -- I mean scarily similar. Mine is posted over in the June 2004 birth announcements thread. I've also had similar problems with nursing, and my babe was the same size as yours and is also very strong.

All I can say is "hang in there." My baby is only 3 weeks old, so I haven't even made it as far as you yet. If you need to talk about anything, please feel free to PM me. I bet we'd have lots to discuss.
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#6 of 9 Old 07-04-2004, 10:53 PM
 
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Very similiar here too. I want to say congratulations and much love to you and your new family!!!

I too had a very similair experience birthing my dd who is now almost three. I had a very smooth labour up until the pushing where I pushed for 5 1/2 hours and then finally gave in to the demands of the delivery doc to either do a forcep birth or csection. We opted for the section and I really had a hard time dealing with that for many many months after the birth.

The pain and disapointment passes with time but really do make sure to discuss your feelings and process them.

Nursing was also very challenging for me, but I sought out the help I needed to succeed. We are still nursing strong today!

Please ask any questions or just vent and tell your story, it is the best way to becomes empowered by the birth of your child. You are a strong mama!
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#7 of 9 Old 07-05-2004, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone!
I couldn't find the post for a while as I am new to this community. Things are going much much better for me now. I am feeling stronger physically which really makes for a stronger mental state as well. Thanks for all the encouragement! As for the positions for turning the babe...While I was laboring I didn't know she was OP. In my little brain I felt tension in my lower back but it felt like I just was unable to relax my lower back muscles. From being with other women with back laber due to a 'sunny side up baby' I really thought it would hurt more to me. So I remember feeling back tension and I wondered if maybe she was OP, but i dismissed it because it didn't hurt me as much as I thought it would. Silly huh?! I literally never knew she was OP until after she was born. That is really my only "what if " in my brain. I know the accupressure points and some positions for turning...what if I had tried...bla bla bla. I do try not to go there too much in my brain because I still have no way of knowing if it would have worked.
On the positive side of all of this....I did feel like the staff gave me time. No one rushed me and no one pushed me or forced me to do anything. I really felt like everyone really respected my wishes and were all genuinely sad with me when things turned a different direction than we all anticipated. So, that being said, I do feel that Ella's entry into the world was as close to what I wanted for her as it could have been, and that is really all one can ask for. My little one had her own ideas swinging from her cord as she was!

Anyway, thanks!
Sarah
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#8 of 9 Old 07-05-2004, 02:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saritabeth
So I remember feeling back tension and I wondered if maybe she was OP, but i dismissed it because it didn't hurt me as much as I thought it would. Silly huh?! I literally never knew she was OP until after she was born. That is really my only "what if " in my brain.
If it makes you feel any better, I didn't know my dd was posterior either - in fact not until I was preg with dd2 (then my midwifes told me that she had been). I just thought the severe back labor I felt (w/no contrax pain in my abdomen) was just the way I experience labor! No one ever said anything to me during labor that that might be the case. It wasn't until I actually experience labor again that I realized for sure that it wasn't a "just me" thing. LOL

Congrats again on your new little one!

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#9 of 9 Old 07-05-2004, 02:31 PM
 
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Wow, That "what if" train of though, in my opinion, is so harmful to recovery on a spiritual level.

I totally went through a stage where I questioned all my choices until one day where I made a comment to my BIL about not having birthed dd. He replied quite strongly You DID birth her, you need to accept the way in which you birthed her and feel good about that!

That was a turning point for me, I am glad you are feeling better.
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