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My birth story was very much like the OP. I had a doula, managed to get to 9.5 and baby would not come.

Finally doula who is also homebirth midwife after EVERYTHING we could do -it was time for a section.

I was so terrified. I could feel the start of the incision and I started to hallucinate with the ketamine - the next thing I knew I woke up during shift change with NO one around me I knew - wouldnt let doula or hubbie with me until I was "stable".

Had no idea if my baby was alive or dead or what was wrong with me. Apparent my uterus was paperthin after hours of pushing and tore etc etc etc and it got really awful really quickly. I spent weeks emotionally waiting for my baby to be born despite her being in my arms.

I think in the end rather than the terror leading up to the section and the hallucinations -they would have knocked me out or at least given me drugs that would have calmed me down.

I have a very very complicated medical history and am an abuse survivor and I know my body well enough that I can tell someone what cocktail of medication to give me to achieve a certain effect and they would NOT listen. If they would have given me benedryl and phenegryn before starting the section I would have been sleepy enough to not fight emotionally. In the end I got knocked out and have no idea what happened.

Awful and then at my 6 week check up - my OB fired me.

Im so sorry mamma's we have to deal with this.
 

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I'm so sorry for your experience.

My first son was born at 29 wks via emergency c-section (I was under general). When he was only 1.5 yrs old, I still very much felt traumatized by the whole thing. I felt that way probably until our second son was born just after his 3rd birthday. DS1 is now 4.5 yrs old, and there is still a lot of pain associated w/his birth, and it's definitely magnified by *his* experience. He was and is a "high needs kid", which could certainly have been affected by his birth and prematurity, but also could just be who he is (a high needs kid w/special needs).

Over time, it has gotten easier. One thing that has helped me has been to recognize that ds was just as much a part of his birth as I was--his body worked w/my body and vice-versa. Another factor for me is accepting that sometimes we really are NOT in control at all--even w/the best education and intentions. Yes, it was a bad experience in soo many ways...but it also was an INCREDIBLE experience in just as many ways. It affected my whole family. It has shaped my husband's and my relationship in a different, yet beneficial way. It's not ALL bad, although it was terribly painful for all of us. When my son argues incessantly w/me to the point that other parents would probably smack the daylights out of him, I can truly appreciate that his fiery spirit is how he survived and thrived. I can see past his behavior and appreciate who he is and how our experience has shaped us all. I don't get as upset about the little things as often as others do. I appreciate even his special needs.

In the end, it's probably that appreciation that has helped me get through. We are so grateful to have ds1--we struggled for years to have a baby...and then to have that happen....but still we are so fortunate. That really helps!

It may be quite a while before you really feel better. Honestly, this spirited toddler may be who your little guy is, but that alone doesn't necessarily ease the pain. Time will help. Writing out your story can help, too.

Take care and go easy on yourself! It's okay to let it all out--I cried the first 3 birthdays of ds1's. On the fourth one, I decided not to cry about it anymore--that was my friend's advice to me who had similar issues. She said, "Don't let the trauma of that day override every birthday. I wasted so many years..."

Best wishes!

mrsfru
 

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I just wanted to add that ds1 has brought up his birth--he remembers that I was *asleep* and *sad*. He remembers that he saw "lots of red" and "dark" and then he was "going ahh...ahh....like this (waving arms in air)" and they "put me in the plastic box, and I wanted out". He told me about trying to scream. He remembers me being there. He never really said or expressed that he was sad--just kind of shocked by what happened is how he describes it. He wasn't upset or disappointed about me at all. It was very interesting (and unprompted, except for the fact that I was pregnant w/number at the time).

It was probably the clearest description of anything he's every given (he really struggles w/verbal expression at times).

I just wanted to let you know that if your child could tell you what he experienced, you might be quite surprised to learn that it wasn't as traumatic to him as it was to you....that he's actually okay w/it even though it was a tough time.

Hugs,
mrsfru
 

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Hugs to all of you that had to go through this saddening experience.

I had a c-section under general anesthesia in September of last year and I am still struggling with it today.

My pregnancy was very normal and progressing nicely until the 28 week check up when routine blood work showed my blood platelet levels were very low. After that my "normal" pregnancy turned into being stuck with a needle every week to test my blood and make sure the levels didn't tumble into the dangerous zone. The thing that really got to me though was that when I was referred to a hematologist HE didn't seem too concerned and said that I was well within normal limits, and I shouldn't be too worried.

The entirety of my pregnancy I was planning for a natural labor and delivery. I read "Childbirth without Fear", and "Hypnobirthing" and a whole bunch of other things about natural delivery. I attending all the birthing classes and had an orientation at the hospital's Birthing Center which is were I intended to deliver.

So fast forward to my 39 week appointment. I went in on a Wed, and they did all the usual things. My DS was facing down, but apparently he was not looking the right way. Anyways, they did the usual sticking and drawing of blood and I left thinking the next time I would probably see my doctor would be sometime in the next week in the delivery room. Boy was I shocked when my phone ringed later that night and my doctor was on the other end. You know it's never a good sign when your doctor calls you PERSONALLY. So it turned out that my platelet levels had again dropped to a new low and the Dr. was concerned about me going any further in the pregnancy, so he told me to grab my stuff and head to the hospital.

Well, after a few hours of sitting around, they drew more blood at the hospital and took me for an ultrasound. The tech said they estimated the baby to be 8 lbs 6 oz. Then the blood work came back. Guess what? Platelets were not scary low, they were low but within normal limits. It was up to the on-call doc to determine what would happen. He sent me home.

Come Friday I had a follow-up with my OB and that's when the devastating news hit. Yes, my platelets were low, he was concerned about that... but he was even more concerned with something else. My size.

I am just shy of 5 feet tall. 4'10'' or something like that. My husband is nearly 6 feet tall, so I suppose there was some concern all along that my baby might be big, but it wasn't that prominent in my mind, after all my mother had 4 babies all naturally without any problem, so why should I be concerned? Anyways, on top of it, my Doc starts talking about my "unfavorably shaped pelvis"...WHAT? what does that mean? THAT, coupled with the predicted size of the baby and my blood situation made him suggest a scheduled c-section the following Monday. I was really scared, and I just agreed... I didn't really know what else to do.

WELL DS didn't feel like waiting for Monday morning and my water broke very early Sunday morning. We rushed to the hospital and they did all the preliminary work. I felt calm, I felt at peace that it was time for him to come - but when it came to the c-section, I just didn't really realize what was actually going to happen to me. I had sort of come to terms with not doing it naturally, at least I would still be present.

WELL - cue the anesthesiologist. GUESS WHAT ladies, turns out if you have low platelets they don't recommend sticking a giant needle in your spine for fear of nicking something causing you to bleed in a very inconvenient place. And well, that wouldn't be good. Right? Well, right. I mean, he basically scared the crap out of me, since I didn't want to leave my poor baby without a mother, I agreed.

When they took me into the OR I felt like I was on some kind of medical TV show. They strapped me to the table and I was naked from the chest down and I was cold and I was shaking uncontrollably no matter how much I breathed and tried to calm myself. I felt so scared. It was the most frightening experience I've ever had. And a couple minutes later I was out.

The next thing I knew I was in recovery in excruciating pain. Because of my blood issue I couldn't have some type of local pain meds injected to the incision site due to risk of bleeding, according to my doc. So I could feel everything. The nurses kept coming in a taking turns jabbing me in the gut repeatedly and it hurt so bad. That's all I could focus on. Even when they brought my son in finally I couldn't even focus on him being there I was in so much pain. I literally cared about nothing else.

Luckily they actually let my DH into the operating room after I was already under, so he got to witness our son's birth and even snapped a couple photos. But I feel so cheated, like, I carried him for 9 months and I didn't get to witness his birth into the world. Some times I wonder if that's why it was so difficult for me to feel connected to him right away.

It is just sad. I just feel so sad about it.

So I know how you ladies all feel. And no matter what anyone says, you're right, you don't know how it is until you've experienced it.

I've always wanted a big family and now because of this surgery plus the fact that my blood issues will most likely resurface whenever I am again pregnant, I don't know how many children I will get to have or if I will ever be able to experience a natural birth.

Sorry for hijacking... Just wanted to share with those of you that might understand, and sympathize that it's a hard thing to get over, for sure.
 

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I had my 4th baby under general antesthesia 2.5 weeks ago. Granted, it was truly an emergency, but it still doesn't quite feel real. I feel like I'm obsessed with having another baby so I can have a VBAC and experience birth 'for real'.

I'd gone in b/c I hadn't felt the baby move at all for 2hrs and prior to that I'd noticed a dramatic decrease in movement. I also just knew that something was wrong. It took along time to find his hb and then the decels were alarming and during contractions his heart pretty much stopped. I was not in the hospital I'd intended to birth in, didn't even have anyone there with me. When the OB told me that he didn't know what was wrong but that something was badly wrong and the baby needed to be born now and given that he was not tolerating the contraction at all and that his heartrate kept dropping and staying lower each time, that an emergency c-section was the only option, I said ok, lets do it. There wasn't time for a spinal plus they didn't want the baby to get any of the medicine if at all possible, it was general as soon as they were ready. From the time they knocked me out till they pulled the baby out, it wasn't even 2 minutes and it was about 5 minutes after the decision was made to operate and about 30minutes after I'd walked into L&D. Turned out that the heart decels were due to an almost complete placental abruption. I don't remember a thing until about 2hrs later and that was when I was asking if the baby was ok. Other than the fact that my stomach is still a bit sore and I have a baby in my arms, I don't even feel like I gave birth! The lochia stopped by 2 weeks and it wasn't even that heavy to begin with. Crazy, sad, mixed up, questioning is how I feel about it all.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama2 '05'06 View Post
Other than the fact that my stomach is still a bit sore and I have a baby in my arms, I don't even feel like I gave birth!
I definitely remember that feeling - that I didn´t "give birth" in any sense that I ever expected...like it was something that happened outside of myself - that I had no part in - and I felt robbed of that. I think it´s valid to feel that no matter how justified the General C-section might be - and no matter how thankful one might be to have their baby safely in their arms afterward.

All I can say is that with time (a lot of time) that feeling changed for me. The more I have mothered my DS (3 yrs. old today :) and the more we experience together, the more I feel - when I look at him - that I DID give birth to him - VERY much so - and that his birth was just the beginning of a long and powerful relationship as mother and child.
 

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i am so sorry OP.

it has been almost 17 years since my section under general. the pain goes away, you stop obsessing and feeling guilty for everything your baby has gone through and for all you missed. but this thread brought back how hard it was for me at the time.

i was induced on my due date and after reaching 10 cm, pushing for 2 hours, and an attempted manual and forceps rotation, i was put under. it was hell for me trying to come out of the anesthesia, it took me a good 2-3 days before i wasn't groggy. i remember laying in my hospital bed after, crying, completely devastated and nobody could help me other than to say, at least you have a healthy baby. i remember laying there, unable to move, hearing my baby crying in the nursery and the nurses taking their time to get her to me.

and just the pain and sadness of knowing that i was not the first to hold her, that i missed those precious hours of her life after birth, i struggled so much with that.

anyway, it took me 2 years after that to even consider having another. i am so happy i was able to have home VBAC's after that.

so you are not alone and i hope that time eases the pain
 

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I would love to hear from other C-section mamas who had general anesthesia and have been having a difficult time processing their experience. I continue to struggle with the events surrounding the birth of my son, now 16 months old. I am enormously thankful that in the end, we were both ok, but I can't shake what happened and still have so many questions. My preg/birth story- sorry if this is long. I should start by saying that my partner and I attended a birth class series with every intention of delivering naturally. At 29 weeks, I was hospitalized for 1 week with sudden onset bleeding diagnosed as a marginal placental tear. Sent home on bedrest- bleeding resolved and I continued with a normal pregnancy. I began leaking amniotic fluid at 41w3d with mild contractions and early the next morning my water fully broke. Because I was closing in on the 42w mark and had been leaking for over 24 h , my OB convinced me to go to the hospital and start cervadil. After several hours, the cervadil finally kicked my body into a pattern of regular contractions. I had intense, unrelenting back labor throughout the day- no one realized at the time my baby was posterior (I wish I had had a doula- one of my biggest regrets). I labored in the shower and on the birth ball with my partner by my side but found little relief. 12 hours after my water broke, I was still 2cm and pitocin was started. Things snowballed from there as they usually do and I got an epidural (which I did not want, but consented to out of sheer exhaustion after being up for almost 36 hours straight). The epidural did allow me to relax and I dilated slowly but steadily, finally reaching 10cm and ready to push at 7am the following morning. After about 2 hours of good pushing there was no progress- the baby's head was not coming down. I could 'feel' the contractions, so I don't think the epidural was to blame. OB tried to rotate my son to no avail- and still too high up for forceps/vacuum. After about 2.5 hours of pushing, things became a blur. My epidural stopped working and I was suddenly in agony- it was at that point that I felt like I lost complete control of my birth experience. I continued to push but was making absolutely no progress- I tried pushing on both sides and sitting up in the bed (not a full squat, but as much as they would let me with an epidural line still in). Everyone around me started talking c-section. I started getting very anxious and panicking and the anesthesiologist told me that my anxiety was the cause of my pain, and that the epidural was working just fine (umm.. sure- that's why I could now move my legs, right?). Then at about the 3 hour mark, I felt like my partner gave up too- he was tired, scared and he wanted it to be over. Finally, after about 3.5 hours of pushing, I consented to a c-section. There was some delay in starting due to a C/S already in progress so I continued to push even though they told me not to- by then I had a full blown, uncontrollable urge to push with each contraction and it was the only thing that eased the pain. Finally at 12pm (5 hours after pushing began) I went in for the C/S. Spinal anesthesia was given, but as they began the surgery, I could feel the first incision being made. Not excruciating pain, but enough for me to yell out "ow, ow, this hurts- I can feel this". I saw my OB shoot a very sharp look at the anesthesiologist and the next thing I know, very quickly my partner gets kicked out of the OR and I have a mask put over my face. Next thing after that, I am in recovery, calling out for my baby who thankfully was in the arms of my partner. He had a massive bruise on his forehead from the failed vaginal birth but other than that he was beautiful. I learned later from the pediatrician and my partner (who was waiting outside the OR and saw the commotion) that my son was not breathing at birth and had to be resuscitated- I was told this is common after a gen anesthesia birth. Apgar 3/9. I developed a fever, tachycardia and a uterine infection after birth possibly due to prolonged rupture of membranes- my son also had an elevated white count and so next thing I know, still in the blur of general anesthesia and fever, he was whisked off to the NICU for a spinal tap, urinary catheter (for urine culture) and more bloodwork to rule out meningitis. He also had an IV placed in his head for IV antibiotics because they blew the veins in his arms. My husband and I were scared to death and basically consented to everything the pediatrician suggested- I still wonder if this was all necessary and my heart absolutely breaks when I think about him having these procedures when only a few hours old. His cultures checked out ok but the 2 days of waiting was awful. We had some breastfeeding challenges initially due to all of these complications (lots of thrush and pain due to antibiotics we both were on), but thankfully I was in a very, very pro-bf hospital and had terrific support. I had a very slow recovery from the c-section because I was not allowed out of bed for over 48h after the birth- this was really hard on my body. We are still nursing at 16 months and that has been incredibly healing for me- something my body did "get right". I do think my son has had some lasting effects from his traumatic birth, however. He was a very high needs baby who cried all the time (literally, hours on end) despite on demand nursing and had incredible difficulty sleeping and getting comfortable. We have gotten past most of this and now he is a very spirited toddler, but I still think the birth traumatized him. I feel like no one understand the emotional pain of a traumatic birth and gen anesthesia C-section, unless you've been through it. It was so emotionally painful for my partner and me to miss out on the birth of our child. But at the same time, I know there are others who have gone through far worse than we have, which makes me feel guilty for even having these lingering thoughts. Thank you for listening.
Wow this really resonated with me. Your story makes mine seem a bit better and I thought mine was rough! Honestly 7 months later for me I still feel broke and traumatized from the whole experience. I think my son injured his neck when they pulled him out. I remember screaming and begging them to stop. I reached for the surgeon and my husband held me down. I felt violated in a way, even though I know they had to keep going. I begged them to put me out but they wouldn’t. I struggled to bond with my baby at first because I was so traumatized but luckily we bonded great after a few months. I think my surgery a lot and how I’m about my have another one in 6 months. This will be our last baby because I can’t go through this again. The best I’ve come to describe my emergency c section was the same feeling as the nature videos where the lions are eating the zebra alive, that’s what I felt like it. It was consensual live dissection. I felt like my son was welcomed into this world he was ripped from my body. As time went on I forgot the terrible memories, a women’s curse we never remember the pain. That’s why we got pregnant again because I forgot the horror. Now that I’m the second trimester I feel like I have ptsd and these terrifying flashbacks.
 
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