Tuesday Talk: How did you handle your c-section emotionally?

Community Leader
Registered: 01-19-2008
Tuesday Talk: How did you handle your c-section emotionally?
14
Tue, 07-26-2011 - 11:32am

Whether surprised or planned, c-sections can very emotional for us.

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-19-2008

Even though I was the one who actually chose to have the c-section, I was still disappointed that I ended up in a position where I felt that was my only choice.

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-19-2008
I should also mention that I feel a lot of guilt too that my c-section did go so well when I know lots of others have not had the same experience. And I do feel guilty that I got to make the choice about what type of delivery I wanted, when I know a lot of women have c-sections forced on them without a choice in the matter at all.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
I had a hard time dealing with the first one. I felt so much like the day had gone so out of control. The second time, it was my choice to decline an induction (waiting for natural labor, my actual choice, was no longer an option) so I felt much better about the actual c-section.

That said, I was on magnesium sulfate for both of my deliveries due to pre-e, and so there was nothing peaceful or happy about them. There are no pics of me smiling on the operating table next to a wrapped baby, no pics of me at all. In fact, I don't remember seeing F for the first time, or the first few hours after he came back from the nursery.




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Community Leader
Registered: 01-19-2008
And there is a prime example of why I feel so guilty! :(

I've never had to do the mag sulfate, but I have heard it's no fun!! I'm sorry you had to go through that.

I was surprised at how coherent I was after my c-section. I didn't really feel out of it at all. I was tired, but I had been having non-stop contractions for a full day already. But, I had expected the meds to really make me out-of-it for at least that first day. But, that wasn't my experience at all.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2007

I'm glad you ladies are here, and so sensitive in your posts. My first child was a cesarean, and I felt I had been duped into it, after the dust settled. I thought I had done my homework and had wanted natural childbirth, and thought natural was still supported in hospitals, when if I had looked into it, I would have seen that the women who labored and delivered unmedicated were almost all ones who arrived at the hospital with a head practically between their legs already. There were almost no unmedicated, non-induced, in-hospital labors, and if I had known that or demanded that information, I would have found an alternative.

But I thought that by choosing CNMs I would be supported in natural (because they said so!), and thought that the reasons they gave me for inducing at 38 weeks were valid, and was NOT told that inducing at 38 weeks stood a very very good chance of winding up cesarean.

But having been through that and then come full circle, then having two more babies unmedicated at home (vaginally, of course, but sometimes people do ask!), I've arrived at a point where I know that the cultural consensus weighs heavily in our decisions, and we all make decisions based on what information we have at the time, and that cesarean mamas, like all mamas, need a choice and a voice.

I still carry with me an awareness, that I hope makes me more able and willing to act in accordance with loving kindness, that either expressing sympathy as if for a loss, when a woman is trying to celebrate her new status as a mother, and the arrival of her child, is hurtful (the "Oh, I'm so sorry!" repsonse) and on the other hand, the attempt at cheerful dismissal (the dreaded "Oh, but it doesn't matter how your baby came into the world" response) is also hurtful, because it disregards the mother's need and right to have feelings about birthing.

Cesarean mamas often get the short end of the stick from both types of response, and that's well before they face the decision of where to go from there with a next child, and the opinions only get more polarized from there.

But talking about one's own feelings and past (and hopes/fears for the future), without treading on another's feelings, can be tricky. I'm really glad this board is here, as well as other places where cesarean mothers can go to be heard, where they aren't castigated for expressing their feelings.

 

-Meg

Loving life as an 0ver-35 mom and Postal Wife, homeschooling, urban homesteading, relaxed crunchy/geek hybrid housewife, trying to live consciously in an age of media hypnosis

<a href="http://lilypie.com

Community Leader
Registered: 01-19-2008
WELCOME MEG, and THANK YOU for sharing!!

I had to laugh that you said people seriously ask you if your home births were vaginal! LOL Oh my!! I don't even want to think what it would mean if your answer was NO!! :)

But, yeah, everyone's feelings about their births are so different and personal, and it's really hard to know what the right thing to say is.

I'll be honest, my last vaginal delivery went so horrible for me that I was really offended when people would say, "Well, at least you didn't have to have a c-section." I was like, "Are you serious?! You don't even know the half of what I went through." And definitely my c-section this time compared to that birth was MUCH easier for me.

However, I do agree that probably a lot of what went wrong with my other births did probably come from the type of interventions that happened.

And I am always so envious of people who are able to get up and move around during labor because all of mine were laid on my back. But, I knew how bad it hurt with my epi's, and I was terrified of feeling anything worse. So, I wasn't even brave enough to try a purely natural delivery.

But, one sentiment I read in your post that I totally agree with is "cesarean mamas, like all mamas, need a choice and a voice."

I wish there was more information, support, and encouragement provided by the doctors, and society in general, to let these women know that once a c-section doesn't always mean a c-section.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing your perspective!! I love having lots of different viewpoints to learn from!!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2009

I really neeed to change my ticker because my twins are here and have been since 38.0 weeks.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-19-2008
Awwww!! CONGRATULATIONS on your twins!!! How special!! They were actually both pretty good sizes, considering that it WAS 2 babies inside of you!!

I'm glad your c-section has gone so well, and the recovery is going pretty easy on you too. And, I'm with your dh though, no more laundry for a while, girlie!! LOL I gave myself a full 2 weeks of doing nothing other than taking care of the baby (even though I did feel fairly well). I just wanted to make sure that I did heal properly from the start so I didn't have to spend even longer time trying to "re-heal". :)

But, I understand your emotions about the c-section too. It sounds like you had some pretty wonderful vaginal deliveries, all things considered. And obviously, that's what any of us would want, right? So, I understand why you would be sad to not get to experience that this time too.

Maybe God will bless you one more time without all the effort too. But, for now, love and squeeze those new babies as much as you can!! It's so crazy how fast it goes!! My newest is about to be 5 mos old!!!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007

As someone who is a veteran of the surgical floor (both as a patient and as care provider for my husband during his surgeries), I can say that I don't think you should have to feel guilty that things didn't go worse for you. My husband has had eight surgeries, he'll have the ninth in January and his recoveries have always been faster than the doctors expected. On his last knee surgery in Jan 2009 (he's had five now), the doctors and nurses were telling him he'd need to stay home from his desk job for at least four weeks. But he was walking without crutches in a week, and back to work in two. With his ear surgeries (he's had three, the fourth is next year), he's been off pain meds in less than a day and is up helping me around the house the next morning. He's never felt bad that he recovers faster than others, except when he says he wishes c-sections weren't so difficult.

Oh, I don't think I'd brag about how easy it was (not that you have). But I think we have a tendency to feel guilty as moms when things go easily for us, be it the pregnancy, the birth, bf, sleeping, etc, because we see others struggling with the same issues. I used to feel bad that conception was so easy for me, well, until I wanted to prevent it and found that terribly difficult. But I didn't feel bad at all that my last c-section had a fairly straight-forward recovery. After going through the last four weeks of my pregnancy with pre-e, in the hospital 500 zillion times for my bp, four appts a week, getting the flu a week before he was born, having a baby born five weeks early, and then having to be admitted back into the hospital at a week pp because of the pre-e, I think I deserved a break. Considering I actively campaigned to have the c-section instead of a very likely failed induction, I think it would have just added insult to injury to have had a horrible c-section or horrible recovery.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003

Oh boy, does this open a can of worms! I'll try to be brief...

At first, disbelief. My midwife came in the room with a very apprehensive look on her face and said the baby needed to be delivered very soon. I thought that meant more pitocin. She said no, it meant I needed a c-section. Now.

I guess I was kind of in denial too because when she asked if I had any questions about what that meant, I asked if I could go pee because I'd been waiting for a while. Before I could get back out of the bathroom, I broke down.

I was pretty hysterical

Manda :)

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