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?