Tuesday Talk: Do you have many friends who had c-sections?

Community Leader
Registered: 01-19-2008
Tuesday Talk: Do you have many friends who had c-sections?
10
Tue, 02-21-2012 - 3:52pm

Prior to your c-section had you discussed c-section birth experiences with friends or family?

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-19-2008
I did have several close friends that had only had c-section experiences. Three close friends, in particular, had each had 3 c-sections a piece. And I had several other friends who had had c-sections as well. So, there was a wealth of people around me to help give it to me straight about what their experiences were like and what I might could expect for myself too.

Oddly, no one in my family had experienced a c-section though. My mom had 4 kids, my sis had 5, my aunts, grandmothers (one who had 9 children), In Laws. None had yet experience a c-section.

I used this board as a reference for information as well. I read through many of the firsthand experiences shared here cause THAT was what I felt was going to give me the best sense of reality for what a c-section delivery would be like.

I was so glad to have my close friends, though, to ask questions to, cause sometimes I was too embarrassed to ask my doc about it, and I didn't think the answer would really give me a good feel for what really to expect anyway. (Like that whole pain vs. pressure thing we discussed on another thread! LOL)
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
I took a Bradley class and planned a natural birth. My family was totally supportive as that is the norm for us. Most friends were skeptically and encouraged getting an epidiral. One friend actually told me to "just do it the easy way and get a c section." Anyway, I was unprepared for my section.

Afterwards, my mom was very sympathetic as she'd had 2 c sections and was supportive but I didn't feel comfortable really talking about my feelings for a long time, so she didn't know how I really felt (besides the physical pain). One mom from the birth class that I took also ended up with an emergency section, but moved away soon after, so we didn't really connect. I just really didn't talk to people about my recover for many months. It was hard to be honest about it when everybody around me said a healthy baby is all that mattered, thank God they were able to do the c section... those commments made me feel selfish for worrying about my own recovery and I didn't agree that the drs did something heroic because I felt that in a way, they had CAUSED the c section in the first place. I am still friends with some other moms from that class but they all got the births that they wanted. A couple are pregnant again, or in some stage of planning another baby. In that respect I do feel a little isolated because I wish I could feel excited to have another, but I'm too worried about another section, fighting for a vbac, the trauma afterwards, etc, to be excited about another baby.

Manda :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Jennifer, you are right about asking friends for their experiences. I love hearing from REAL people about their experiences, because, like the whole pain vs pressure thing, drs don't always give it to you straight. You also get to know what a wide range of normal there is. There are women who walk away from a c section feeling fine and others crawl away looking for a hole to die in! Its good to know what you might be able to expect though. That way you aren't left wondering "is this normal?"

Manda :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
My mom had three c-sections. But my sister and my SIL had nary a one in all nine of their kids, total. I felt comfortable with the idea and, having already had abdominal surgery once, the recovery wasn't incredibly shocking to me.

Almost all of my friends at the time didn't have kids, so I couldn't compare to their experiences. I'd say maybe 1/4-1/3 of my new mom friends from my bf support group had had c-sections. So I definitely didn't feel alone in my experience.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
It's so hard to know! I have a good friend who was facing a second c/s only a few weeks after mine. We had gone through our pregnancies (she was due a month after me) hoping for VBACs. I told her how much easier my second one was and how quickly I bounced back (apart from the pre-e, but she didn't have that so it's a different story). So she was comforted by the idea that she would have to have another. Only then it turned out horrible for her, much worse than the first. Of course it can always go differently than you might expect, but I felt bad that I tried to make her feel better and then it ended up being so difficult. Oh, well.

On that subject, I was telling my mom some months ago that the doctor had recommended strongly against me having a rcs without trying an induction first because it wouldn't be safe to have more children, all by rcs. My mom got indignant, saying that having three c-sections was obviously just fine. Well, except for the fact that she had to have a hysterectomy a year after I was born because her uterus never shrank back down. But it makes me think about how having had similar experiences doesn't always lead to similar opinions or perspectives.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-1998

A few friends, no family, and none within 5 years of mine, so there wasn't really any discussion. In my mother's case, that may have been all to the good, because she was perhaps even more sympathetic for the strangeness of it all to her. But what really was isolating was the fact that I hardly ever found anyone, even on the forums who had both a c-section and a preemie at the same time. (And nobody with a c-section, a preemie, and a family crisis at the same time)

Cthulu Crochet

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-1998

Hugs. I spent most of the VBAC pregnancy with my emotions tied down, such that the main feeling at the birth was relief more than anything else.

Cthulu Crochet

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
I'm really trying to be more open and honest, with myself, my care providers, and with my family, about how I felt then and how I feel now. Iremember the mw who taught our Bradley class saying that any hang-ups and unresolved fears or hurt feelings or resentments can stall labor, so its best to get it all out long before the birth. I totally agree, so I'm trying to he honest about how hurt I felt then as well as opening up about my fears of getting pregnant, losing even more sleep with two LOs, and fear of a rcs and challenges of getting a vbac.

I'm glad your birth was relieving. I can see how it would be. You must be one tough cookie to come through all that. ;)

Manda :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-1998

One thing I didn't have to deal with -- on the VBAC board a lot of people were saying that their husbands thought they were too frail to withstand labor. After all the stuff that happened with and around the c-section, nobody (even those with only part of the story) was trying to tell me any garbage like that.

If it helps, I don't think you have to have it ALL together to do a VBAC, despite what the Bradley teachers say (I did Bradley, too; the TEACHER was pooh-poohing about c-secctions being the "easy way out". After that, I certainly wasn't going to hire her as a doula. )

The story I tell was about taking a Tai Kwan Do class, long before I had kids. One night, the teacher says, "You're going to break a board". We worked all evening on the exact technique to use and practiced hitting a glove that was something like a flat catcher's mitt. Finally, it was my turn to do the real thing. Midway through, at full speed, I positively knew that it couldn't be done. I also knew it was too late to stop, and giving up was likely to hurt me even more, so my best bet was to continue to do it as right as I could. The board broke. That's what my VBAC was like.

Cthulu Crochet

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
The board broke. I like that. I do feel that if I just keep hammering away at something, it will eventually work. I'm trying to arm myself with all the knowledge I can so next time I can do things the best way I can and pray it all works out.

Manda :)