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  1. #1
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    Default How long after unplanned c-section / traumatic birth did it take you to heal emotiona

    So, I used to think people who got all caught up in the "birth experience" not being what they wanted or expected as being a bit self indulgent. As someone who had trouble conceiving I would think to myself "yeah that sounds like you had a bad time but hey, healthy baby = happy".

    I get it now.

    I was all planned and prepared for a natural water birth for DS1 until I started to mention a slight change in movements - not less overall but some quieter periods during the day and I wasn't confident whether this was just him running out of room, or my high levels of anxiety or something more serious.

    Up to 41 weeks the midwives mostly said it sounds ok just call us if you're "really" worried.

    At 41+6 though a midwife took me to speak to a registrar who took me very seriously and said lets induce tonight.

    I was totally shocked - I thought if they were worried they'd suggest increased monitoring and watch and wait for a few days but the dr started throwing the word stillbirth around..

    I declined the induction that night and came back the next morning to start with the pessary.

    At that point I was feeling pretty bad that I had to consider any intervention but hopeful that the pessary would kick off a normal labor and everything would be ok.

    12 hours later of some very convincing and painful contractions and my cervix hadn't dilated at all and was still posterior.

    I felt dumbfounded - how could all that pain lead to nothing. Note that o did heaps of walking as well - all for nothing.

    At this point it was 10pm and a fairly cowboy young registrar said - let's give the balloon catheter a go anyway we might be able to see more with the speculum.

    So, considering myself pretty up for things to get going I consented, not knowing at this point I had a Bishops Score of zero which I know now would never indicate proceeding to a balloon catheter.

    The first attempt they tried three different speculums to get to the biggest one which they reefed around inside me trying to visualise my cervix.

    I was gasping in pain on the gas but when they couldn't do it and said they'd like to have one more go and they thought it would work I said ok, only so I wouldn't have to do it again the next day.

    They called in another doctor (never a good sign) who had another go. More excruciating pain and no success.

    They asked if they could have one more go and I was sobbing with the pain but I said yes because they said they were sure some other method would work.

    My husband later said it was like watching me be raped and unable to stop it. His words, not mine.

    Third time was also unlucky so they sent me to bed.

    Next morning it was six hours of the other induction gel which produced constant unrelenting contraction pain, and at the end there was no change. So we repeated the gel and after another six hours a doctor with very small hands said she could get a tiny pinkie into my cervix.

    She asked me to consent to the balloon again, this time knowing what I'd been through and I said yes because at this point they were starting to talk c-section.

    She had two goes and managed to get the balloon in but couldn't get it to stay there and eventually gave up.

    So, shattered and in pain the main doctor came to talk to me to book in a Caesarian.

    The next morning from waking through to 1pm when the Caesarian was scheduled I had these gentle contractions and was so hopeful they'd turn into a normal labour on their own but they didn't form a pattern and at 1 a c-section was performed. I cried the whole time, out of fear and regret and the feeling that if I'd said something different or tracked my baby's movements more or been more educated and less anxious or done something different I wouldn't have ended up there after such a normal healthy pregnancy.

    Through the whole process midwives and doctors kept saying to me "well this is what you wanted - you said he had decreased feral movement" and I would try to explain it was just a small change, but they made me feel like I asked for it.

    My baby was born super healthy and I'm absolutely besotted with him but I feel so much grief for what happened to my healthy body and I'm worried this will affect future IVF cycles success...

    I'm wondering now how long before I stop feeling this way? How do I manage the guilt I'm feeling?

    I know intellectually how I ended up on the table but emotionally I still feel like I let my body and my baby down and potentially my future babies.

    Did anyone else have a similar experience and go on to have a successful VBAC down the track?

    Was the next pregnancy filled with fear?

  2. #2
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    Hi Scuba, yeah, birth trauma is really one of those situations where you don't really "get it" until it happens to you and then you do.

    My first DS' birth story is similar to yours in terms of failed inductions, waters breaking, nothing happening, they made a mistake in that they said they were going to do an emergency c/section because the baby was in distress and his heart beat was lowering (they took blood and put a monitor from the top of his head while he was still inside) but then they forgot about me and never came back. Anyway - in the end, after a 68 hour inducement which included ARM, he finally came, and by that time he wasn't breathing and had to be rescuced and taken away to SCN. The whole thing was like a really long and painful dream.

    It took me years, and I ended up developing PTSD because of it, but after 18 months on anti Ds and 3 years in therapy. I was ok again. I did have 3 more kids (twins and another single) and yep, I was pretty terrified both times, the twins required a c/section and after the horrid Vag birth with the first we decided on a c/section for my last. It was all pretty horrid. I am not one of those women who have lovely, calm births I've realised.

    Maybe a little bit of counselling would help, just to have someone to listen and bounce ideas off etc? I can't speak highly enough about therapy - it really saved me. Good luck, I hope you feel better soon.

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    ScubaGal  (03-06-2015)

  4. #3
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    I had a vb with my first but it was complicated. It happened on the 19/08/10 and my daughter was born around 1am on the 20th.

    I still have nightmares about that day. One year of therapy and a subsequent perfectly normal vb prep years later helped.

    Even now I pretend that 19/8 doesn't exist. I'm currently pg with my third and this baby is supposed to be bigger than my first. It's freaking me out but my ob is being absolutely bloody wonderful.

    It truly just takes time.

    wifey of hubby who is always away. mother of two girls who are always amusing.

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    ScubaGal  (03-06-2015)

  6. #4
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    After 7 months and some counselling, I don't think about my traumatic birth every day. Sometimes I'll remember, and get caught in the cycle of "what did I do wrong, what could I have changed, it was my fault". I'm at a point now where I mostly feel ripped off by DD's birth and want a do-over. I think when it comes to baby no 2, I'll need a lot of support as part of my problem was anxiety (I think). But I've not been put off more children, or trying for another vaginal birth. I'd highly recommend some counselling. If you're in Melbourne I can recommend someone who specialises in birth trauma.

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    ScubaGal  (03-06-2015)

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    I had a unplanned c section with my first. I still feel mad and believe if I was better supported by my mw it would not have happened. It took 2 more pregnancies and lots of listening from my mw's for me to feel better and stop blaming myself.

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    ScubaGal  (03-06-2015)

  10. #6
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    I'm an IVF'er too. I had a 33hr long horrendous labour and birth with ds1. I had gel twice, I was having contractions but wasn't dilating. I had the epidural which my body didn't respond to well, 2 failed suctions finally a forcep delivery as babies heart rate was dropping and I was told this baby needed to come out now or I would be having a cs. I had a large episiotomy. I was really sick afterwards and had really low blood pressure. Definately not the experience I hoped for but with good aftercare and healing well I wasn't worried about doing it again. Second ds, easy 4 hour and quick labour, ds3 was an intense 9 hour uncomfortable labour, he was delivered sideways with the cord around his neck. I think very few labours/births go to plan and you can't continue to beat yourself up. Get some councelling if you need too, talk to your dr about what you weren't happy with and your preferences for next time.

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    ScubaGal  (03-06-2015)

  12. #7
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    Default How long after unplanned c-section / traumatic birth did it take you to heal ...

    Sorry just realised your post asked about subsequent pregnancies. My comment was about my final one so deleted x
    Last edited by Mmumm; 03-06-2015 at 17:48.

  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaGal View Post
    ... the feeling that if I'd said something different or tracked my baby's movements more or been more educated and less anxious or done something different I wouldn't have ended up there after such a normal healthy pregnancy.
    I too had an unplanned CS after much intervention, however I don't believe that anything that I had done during the pregnancy would have prevented this. If you had a normal healthy pregnancy, were fit and strong and did all that you could to prepare for your options for the birth, what more could you have done? I think you might be pointing the blame for the intervention at yourself, when it could be perhaps directed at the staff at the hospital and they way that they handled it? Perhaps the hospital could provide you with your records and go through with you (or you go through with an independent person) and talk you through the whats and whys?

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    ScubaGal  (03-06-2015)

  15. #9
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    Emergency c-sec with DS1, hurts a bit still. He's almost 5. Failed VBAC and another emergency c-sec with DS2. I can't talk about it and even responding to this is difficult. That's all I can say.

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    ScubaGal  (03-06-2015)

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    Enormous hugs to all the women who are working through their birth trauma.

    My first birth was quite traumatic and was a major contributing factor to my PND and inability to bond with my daughter. It was really only my next birth that helped me heal.

    My last birth was an emergency c-section at 31+5 weeks and I found it very difficult to process. There was a real sense of grief and it probably took two years to come to terms with how things turned out.

    I found having a de brief with a counsellor that specialised in birth trauma was important, as was requesting my medical records.

    Go gently, OP xx

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    ScubaGal  (03-06-2015)


 

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