To ask DP to forgive me for DS's birth?

(248 Posts)
CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 10:32:08

Have posted a few times about moderately crap DS birth.

Nutshell - waters broke, on drip 40 hours later, needed forceps/episiotomy, later abandoned on recovery ward (with naked baby) by hospital staff and DP for 4-5hours. DS largely fine, I was largely fine.

A year and a bit on, and it still bothers me.

Someone IRL recently told me the usual 'all that matters' is that DS is fine and I need to let it go - and asked what I needed to do that.

It occurred to me around DS's first birthday that I need DP to forgive me. He has never given me any praise or credit around the birth or year since - never said well done or that he's proud of me, or that I'm a good mum or even thank you for the things I do - all normal things a dad might say to his partner.

He is basically Spock when it comes to feelings - he logics the shit out of them so they don't trouble him.

But I believe that him not saying these things implies he feels ashamed of me. I think that if I could get him to express forgiveness for screwing up or letting him/DS down, then I might be able to let go this over-riding sense of failure I've had since.

For the record, I 100% do not judge the way that anyone else gives birth - it's bloody hard work and requires a huge amount of effort however it happens - I just wish I, personally, had done better. I have never been given a reason for needing the interventions other than 'he was a bit stuck'.

Ideally DS would tell me he forgives me - but I'm not sure I could wait 18+ years!

Would I be unreasonable to ask DP to forgive me? If not, how do I go about it?

Mrsjayy Thu 31-Jul-14 10:38:11

Oh dear what do you want forgiveness for what do you think you did wrong you are not in control of your body when you give birth it does what it wants.
I think what you are suffering is birth trauma you did nothing wrong please speak to your gp or hv ask for some councilling

Casmama Thu 31-Jul-14 10:38:22

I don't know what you feel you need forgiveness for. I think your DP is being unsupportive and you should address this directly with him.

I can't see why it is your fault that your DS got stuck- I had a similar first birth and certainly don't blame myself.

sezamcgregor Thu 31-Jul-14 10:38:55

Hello Pombear - I'm not sure why you feel like you need him to tell you you're forgiven. Would you mind telling me a bit more about it?

I feel like you need cuddles rather than forgiveness xxx

Notagainmun Thu 31-Jul-14 10:39:10

WHAT! He should be begging your forgiveness not him forgiving you. You had a traumatic delivery and substandard care following the birth and your DP fucked off and left you to it. LTB.

sezamcgregor Thu 31-Jul-14 10:39:32

*cough - very unMN kisses, sorry

Oh OP your post made me so sad sad I don't think your DP needs to forgive you for anything and I would hope that if you indeed did ask his forgiveness he would be shocked and tell you that there was nothing to forgive.

Maybe he doesn't talk about the birth full stop because he's afraid it would upset you? Or maybe if he's so in control of his feelings the majority of the time he's scared that talking about it would show he's upset and maybe he thinks that's a personal weakness and he'd like to be strong for you?

Whatever the outcome I hope you find some peace thanks

EatShitDerek Thu 31-Jul-14 10:40:41

You dont need to ask for forgiveness for giving birth.

How have you screwed up or let Ds or DP down? You had a human inside you and you got that human out by pushing him through a tiny little hole.

However that happens you did fucking great!

Is there more issues then him just not saying well done? My ex never said it to me and I haven't thought twice about it. A human came out of me so I think, personally, I did a great fucking job getting him out should that be vaginal or C-Section, with help or not.

Fixitagaintomorrow Thu 31-Jul-14 10:40:58

You aren't being unreasonable to feel that way but you need to get that out of your head. You did NOTHING wrong. I had a very traumatic birth that required a lot of intervention. There wasn't any particular reason, she just didn't seem to want to come out despite my body saying it was time. These things happen, I don't see how you could've done any better when you can't control anything that happens in a delivery suite.

I think instead of asking for forgiveness you need to talk to your partner and let him know you're feeling a bit vulnerable and need some reassurance.

EarthWindFire Thu 31-Jul-14 10:41:52

DP fucked off and left you to it. LTB.

Where does it say that in the OP?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 31-Jul-14 10:41:58

What on earth do you need forgiveness for?

If anything your DH needs to be more supportive. Sometimes birth doesn't go to plan, it's not your fault, there wasn't anything you could have done about it. It happens.

Have you ever had a debrief about the birth? It sounds like you need some counselling if I'm honest OP.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 31-Jul-14 10:42:47

You don't need forgiveness. I'm sorry that you feel you do. What happened was out of your control. Have you thought to seek counselling about the birth?

On the other side of the coin, my sister and her baby almost died during childbirth (both now thankfully fine after an emcs, caused by baby getting stuck and sister's blood pressure dropping dramatically)

When she came round enough she made her partner apologise to her for getting her pregnant with a baby so big it almost killed her grin She wouldn't talk to him until he went to buy her some chocolate. She felt chocolate was the least she deserved after almost dying. She's hoping her child will be rich and successful so that he can send her to Australia for a holiday as an apology for almost killing her before he was even born grin

sezamcgregor Thu 31-Jul-14 10:42:56

EarthWindFire - "later abandoned on recovery ward (with naked baby) by hospital staff and DP for 4-5hours"

KERALA1 Thu 31-Jul-14 10:43:36

You have a very unusual take on this - how is how your birth went your fault? You wouldn't feel guilty if you needed your appendix out. I had similar dd1 got stuck had c section didn't occur to me to feel guilty about it totally out of my control. Sils baby died during labour she (rightly) doesn't feel guilty.

BookABooSue Thu 31-Jul-14 10:43:45

Write two letters - one to DP and one to you. DP's letter can be the same as your opening post. Make it clear what you are asking ie for him to say that you didn't let him down.

As for the letter for you - put in it all the detail about what happened and why it upset you. Then either burn the letter or rip it up. It's like the written equivalent of a worry doll. You're acknowledging the hurt but letting it go.

The reason I'm suggesting both is because I'm not entirely sure that your DP forgiving you will be enough. There isn't anything to forgive. It's your emotions that you need to work a way through.

Alternatively, have a session with a counsellor and try to get to the bottom of why it's still upsetting you. It may just be that you haven't had the chance to process all the emotions properly yet. Once we give birth, there is a whirl of activity and a well-meaning but sometimes mistaken belief that you only focus on the good. It means that any negative feelings can get suppressed rather than dealt with. A counsellor could just give you the opportunity to acknowledge it all.

FannyFifer Thu 31-Jul-14 10:43:49

Oh love, you have nothing to be forgiven for, nothing at all.

Giving birth doesn't go to plan, things happen, baby was stuck & you needed intervention it's not anything you need forgiven for.

Is there anyone else you can speak to?

magpiegin Thu 31-Jul-14 10:44:12

Have you tried to speak to him about the birth? He probably doesn't want to upset you by bringing it up.

You didn't do anything wrong.
If your DP thinks you did, then he is the one who is in the wrong.
He should be ashamed of his own behaviour, not yours.

You need to come to terms with what happened to you - can you contact the hospital and have them take you through it, explain what's in your notes, listen to you? Once you recognise that you are not in the wrong here, maybe you will feel string enough to confront your husband about his lack of support for you.

FWIW - my DS was also stuck, also needed forceps, and it took me a long while to feel that I understood the sequence of events, and really took on board the fact that there was nothing that I could have done differently that would have affected the end result. I needed to let go of the guilt that I'd been struggling with - and that was something that had to come from inside myself, not from anyone else 'forgiving' me for not being perfect.

DiaDuit Thu 31-Jul-14 10:46:02

OP i dont think you need any forgiveness at all. But to your point, i think you want your own forgiveness but for some reason you need your DH to okay it. Your DH hasnt 'forgiven' you (vocally) because he doesnt see anything to forgive. And there isnt. Forgiveness probably has never occurred to him. I think you are holding him responsible for your own feelings about your son's birth. That isnt fair. You need to let go of this idea that you need to be forgiven for anything. There is nothing. You are torturing yourself an if you look to others (DH or DS) to provide closure for this then you will always be waiting because this is something only you can give yourself. Make peace with what has happened and give yourself permission to move on from it guilt free.

EarthWindFire Thu 31-Jul-14 10:46:40

Maybe DP had to leave?

OP you need to talk to your DP. He isn't a mind reader and unless you talk to him he won't know how you feel.

You have nothing to appologise for though thanks

FannyFifer Thu 31-Jul-14 10:47:22

Why were abandoned for hours afterwards though, where was your husband?

CoffeeTea103 Thu 31-Jul-14 10:47:43

Op you doing very low at the moment thanks. You don't need his forgiveness, you gave birth to his child. He should be seeking forgiveness from you for leaving you during the traumatic birth.
Please be king to yourself, you've done nothing wrong.

beccajoh Thu 31-Jul-14 10:48:03

I don't understand how any of it was your fault?

CoffeeTea103 Thu 31-Jul-14 10:48:08

Sound not doing

Fixitagaintomorrow Thu 31-Jul-14 10:48:19

EarthWindFire - "later abandoned on recovery ward (with naked baby) by hospital staff and DP for 4-5hours"

After dd was born I was rushed straight to surgery and spent 4 hours in recovery completely alone because family weren't allowed in, not because they had fucked off. Although the staff did have to decency not to leave me alone with the baby.

Squitten Thu 31-Jul-14 10:48:27

Your thinking about the whole thing is utterly wrong OP. Your birth experience was beyond your control. There is nothing you could have done to change it. Lots of women have difficult births every day. You seem to be taking on a huge burden that simply doesn't exist outside your own mind.

You don't need forgiveness from anyone. You might need some counselling to make your peace with what did happen and move on.

WipsGlitter Thu 31-Jul-14 10:48:38

Well I was also "abandoned" ie DP went home to get some sleep and the staff were busy with other stuff. There is obviously going to be some point when you're left alone after having a baby.

I think you need to 'forgive' yourself for whatever you think went wrong. Maybe seek out some counselling.

My DP doesn't really do emotion either, he's never said 'well done' or anything. If he's a logic person then you are projecting a lot of emotions on to him.

mommy2ash Thu 31-Jul-14 10:49:59

it sounds to me like you aren't sure how to deal with your feelings around the birth and are trying to push the responsibility to others to make you feel better. you didn't do anything wrong and I very highly doubt your partner or your son blame you for anything. In fact I bet he would think the very idea of forgiving you is ridiculous.

I tend to only worry about things I have the ability to change. the birth is over, you are all healthy what will worrying about it now achieve?

I don't think you need forgiving for anything, but I do understand that on a personal level YOU feel you do. Mummy guilt is crap and hits us all in different ways thanks

To play devils advocate: have you considered that he may be of the same mind as us here, there's nothing to need to forgive you for? (Therefore he doesn't) DS dad has never praised or thanked me for giving birth, it wouldn't cross his mind (or mine)

I think the way childbirth goes is far more important to the woman doing it than the man. I ended with an EMCS after DS got stuck, I don't blame myself. I wouldn't expect thanking if id been able to and done anything to prevent that happening.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Thu 31-Jul-14 10:51:15

I wonder if you just need to forgive yourself...?

During my first birth I felt I totally lost control and really could have done a "better" job. When the second came along I told myself I knew what to expect and that I'd prove to myself what a good job I could do.

Needless to say, it didn't quite work out like that, dc2 got stuck and I found myself in a world of pain and tanked up on gas and air, swearing the place down again.

Dc2 is a month old and I feel a bit embarrassed that I totally lost it during labour again. It's something I have to come to terms with...

How you get the baby out bears no relation to how good a mum you are.

And I don't think your DH's issues are anything to do with how you gave birth.

So there are two things here... How you feel about your birth experience and how your DH is treating you. They probably need to be dealt with separately.

Mrsjayy Thu 31-Jul-14 10:51:17

Did your husband go home to eat or shower I think the hospital may have let you down I feel you need to work through this did you have a birth plqn and expectations of what you should be able to do ?

icklekid Thu 31-Jul-14 10:53:52

I had a similar birth vontouse and episiotomy following induction, it was traumatic. If dh hadn't told me he was proud I can imagine feeling I let him down. To be honest he is just as traumatised as I am by it. Midwives have told me to have counselling if and when I feel ready to have another baby and I plan to do that. Just wanted to say totally understand why you feel like you do and wonder if dh was just so upset seeing you go through it he struggles to express these feelings?

What on Earth do you need forgiveness for? None of this is your fault! Your DH is the one who needs forgiving! After the trauma you've been through, (I was there myself with pre-eclampsia and an emergency c-section with a 6 week early baby who was in SCBU for 2 weeks), I'm not surprised you have these throughts of putting yourself down. There is a good chance you have PND, like I had and battled with it for 3 years! Go and have a chat with someone outside of your family unit, and be kind to yourself. He's been un-supportive and you had a trauma, no wonder you feel like this! That's the nature of PND, you feel like it's all your fault and you are some kind of failure! Have a chat with your GP, they won't judge you.

Tinkerball Thu 31-Jul-14 10:54:24

You haven't done anything wrong, although I suspect us telling you this will make no difference whatsoever if gnats what you believe, you maybe should access help to understand these feelings.

Mrsjayy Thu 31-Jul-14 10:54:25

I dont think my husband thanked me for giving birth he never spoke about the labours tbh its pretty grim so its not something he wanted to talk about.

lljkk Thu 31-Jul-14 10:55:34

Where was your DP while you were labouring alone on the ward?

Pinkrose1 Thu 31-Jul-14 10:55:54

You don't need to be forgiven for anything. You have a healthy baby, you recovered physically. You did great!

You do need to address DPs lack of emotional support, but that's an entirely different matter. Try not to link the two things but talk things through with DP. As someone said, he's not a mind reader so needs you to explain your feelings.

JassyRadlett Thu 31-Jul-14 10:57:21

I think you need to let him know what your feelings are, rather than searching for a solution to improve the way he interacts with you - particularly when there is nothing to forgive.

My DS nearly died being born because there was a true knot in his cord, and because he had an enormous head. Whose fault? His, for doing somersaults in utero? Mine, for growing an enormous baby who took longer than anyone was really comfortable with to extricate? Or, no one's.

The reality is that our bodies aren't necessarily built very well to do childbirth. That why, before medical intervention starting saving lives, countless women and babies died in childbirth. That wasn't the fault of those women, or those babies.

I doubt your husband is 'punishing' or 'blaming' you for this - but you need him to know that his behvaiour is making you feel that way, so that he can understand the impact and decide what to do about it - including sharing his feelings with you.

PunkHedgehog Thu 31-Jul-14 10:57:35

Contact the hospital and ask them to arrange a post-birth debriefing. Someone will sit down with you and go through your notes, and you can ask as many questions as you like about what happened, why it happened, why they chose the treatments they did, what the alternatives were, and anything you aren't clear about.

I hope a better understanding of what went on will show you that none of what happened was your fault, and that there is nothing that you did that anybody needs to forgive you for.

The one thing it won't explain was why your DP wasn't there for several hours - that is something you will need to ask him about, and perhaps forgive him for.

After that, if you still feel the same, see you GP and ask about counselling. You have been through a trauma, and that often needs a bit of professional help to get you through to the other side.

Picklepest Thu 31-Jul-14 11:02:35

Op I don't understand tbh. A birth is not in your control. It's not something you have power over. Bit like sneezing. Body needs to sneeze it just does it. Body has grown baby it expels it. It is NOT a decision like shall I do this or this today? At best or worst it's the professionals job.

You should make an appointment to discuss your notes with a midwife. There is counselling available for traumatic births.

You don't need dh forgiveness simply because it isn't something he can give over this instance. He wasn't in control either. Doctors/nurses/midwives were. Stop blaming him. The emotion is misdirected.

I had a tough first birth too. I'm sorry it's proving so hard to move forwards. Took me ages too. A mtg like I describe could really help.

hesterton Thu 31-Jul-14 11:02:41

I wonder if you are really very angry with you dp but are turning that on its head because you can't face that anger. Maybe you need to explore your true feelings as you do probably know really that that he has nothing to forgive you for. Really.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Thu 31-Jul-14 11:03:03

OP - speak to your doctor about getting some counselling. Traumatic births really do haunt you but a few sessions really helped a friend of mine.

It is highly likely that your DH is also traumatised. You are your DS are his most important people. I know you want to discuss it but he might not be there yet. He needs to try to do this for you but in return you need to try and understand.

SalemsCity Thu 31-Jul-14 11:03:20

I thought it was a typo in your post at first. He does.not need to forgive you for anything! He needs to be grateful. And appreciative of what you went through, what you did so that you and him could have a baby. My baby also got stuck but it's not a casr of "ooh he's stuck, better get him out then" ' baby being stuck is life threatening for both you and the baby. My labout ended in an emergency c section with the babies heart rate dipping so low the medical staff (and me) were really worried. I don't feel guilty at all. I'd planned a natural birth but I had no control over my body - there will br many times over the course of someone's life that they don't have control of their body. Your husband sounds useless in that he hasn't praised you for what you did - because a birth deserves praising regardless of how long/hard/traumatic it was - in fact more so in my opinion. But I doubt, unless he's a complete shit, that he feels ashamed of you. He's probably just useless at feelings. If he is the former though and does feel ashamed he is a desperate excuse for a human being and I don't think I could stay in a relationship with someone who loved and valued me so little, because how can he love you if he feels ashamed by the way you gave birth?

I think it might be time to open up the lines of communication with your dh. What do you think? Would you be more comfortable discussing it with a medical professional first?

hesterton Thu 31-Jul-14 11:04:15

Does he know you would like ro hear how proud he is ofyou? Have you opened up totally to him about this? Does he realise how badly he let you down, even I it was unintentional?

lljkk Thu 31-Jul-14 11:07:38

That's what I'm thinking, Hesterton. He's an unemotional guy & it may be he was absent for much of labour because he couldn't deal with seeing his beloved in painful distress.

Op has nothing to apologise for (obviously!). He may not be able to understand that she needs his emotional support. He may not even know how to give emotional support (without that making a bad guy, just bad at dealing with feelings).

MiaowTheCat Thu 31-Jul-14 11:08:29

You need some form of counselling or something to sort it all out in your head. The comment about needing to let it go and how your son is here now - it's well-intentioned but it really doesn't work like that.

I do get how you're feeling though in terms of needing some kind of "forgiveness" for what went on... I've posted before about DD1's birth which had the horrific combination of some of the most uncaring monsters of staff I've ever met, unexpected prematurity, forceps, cuts, tears, back to back pirouettes on behalf of small stroppy madam, no pain relief and being yelled at, SPD and my mother-in-law rocking up in the delivery room as well to add to the whole shebang... DH was fucking useless throughout it all, sat in a corner of the room playing on his mobile phone and complaining he was tired! I ended up so distressed, terrified and bullied that they did a fucking social services referral on me as a resistant patient, DH ranted that he hated me because I'd been harsh on him when he'd had a bad day - all sorts of stuff. If there was some kind of good childbirth GCSE - I'd definitely have failed the fucker.

For a while I did feel like I'd failed everyone desperately - but then I realised (and I have to say - for how shite he was at the birth DH backed me up on this) that I'd been awfully treated, DH had handled himself appallingly, and that everything that had gone on was utterly fucked up and bang out of order - and that the only person who needed to do any forgiving of me - was me because events, human anatomy and the system failed... not me.

Taken me over a couple of years, one course of counselling, one course of CBT and another about to start to get to that point though!

I'm not diagnosing OP here, but maybe she is suffering from PND..this is why maybe she is thinking irrationally..that it is her fault! I can't understand why she would think like this otherwise.

sillymillyb Thu 31-Jul-14 11:25:25

Sweetheart, listen to what everyone is saying:

You do not need forgiving. You did an amazing job! You grew a whole other person, and they are now safely in the world!

I had a similar birth to you, but I was single so no partner - I kept apologising to my mum for scaring her by screaming, but she told me not to be so stupid and I had nothing to apologise for.

Please talk to your partner - maybe you could write things down if easier? My local hospital do birth debriefs too, it would maybe be useful to talk to them?

I'm wishing you all the best, be kind to yourself x

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 11:27:21

I had a debriefing when DS was 17 weeks old - it helped with some things, but not with others. The reason for needing intervention was not recorded - they said at the time 'his head was stuck' but no-one has been able to confirm that or elaborate on it - ie maybe I'm incapable of delivering any baby naturally as DS wasn't that big (7 14 with 35.4cm head). Maybe I simply wasn't trying hard enough.

The debrief also confirmed to me that DP hadn't been charged with looking after me in recovery, which I'd assumed he had based on the comments by another midwife at the time. He had nearly fainted in theatre (twice) and ended up being sent out.

When I was in recovery he was grumpy and tired - he was dropping off in the chair - and asked if he could go home to sleep after about an hour. I said yes because it seemed daft us both not sleeping (had no crib so couldn't put DS down) plus I expected to be moved to postnatal ward imminently and he would be kicked out then anyway. Wasn't til I was moved to the postnatal ward 4 hours later that I realised he could have stayed there all night but no-one told us.

Being alone with a new baby isn't the problem in itself, it was that I'd had a spinal and couldn't move, couldn't reach call button, couldn't reach the squash etc oh and my baby was totally naked apart from a towel until I managed to get someone to pass me my bag - I then propped my legs up a bit so I had somewhere to put him and managed to get him nappied and dressed on my own.

I think one of the big issues is that assisted births are often portrayed in the media as a weak mother's way out - how many times on OBEM is a mother 'threatened' with assistance and suddenly she manages to push the baby out? Or on here, people mention it too 'as soon as they mentioned forceps I gave an almighty push and s/he was here within two pushes' etc.

I've tried to talk to him about it, but he doesn't want to - he says 'sometimes shit happens' and that's it, end of subject. He doesn't see the point in discussing it.

I value his opinion/feelings because one he is, ultimately, the closest thing I have to a best friend. And two, he was there at the time.

Roundedbuttocks90 Thu 31-Jul-14 11:30:03

How do you mean you could've done better? You bought a healthy little baby boy into this world! Childbirth is bloody hard work and some need a little extra help which is dependant on a lot of different factors!

At the end of the day you are squeezing something rather large through a comparatively tiny hole! It isn't always going to go perfectly. My STBXH never praised me either or told me I was doing a good job. I remember coming home on the Saturday - the day after I have birth and him leaving me with this tiny newborn whom I was really struggling to breast feed and his 3 YO DD. I just remember being so DH shocked and upset that despite the fact is just given birth to my first baby I had to struggle on with his DD too!

But then that's partly why I'm divorcing him!

Thumbwitch Thu 31-Jul-14 11:32:11

Oh my lovely - I'm so so sad that you think he needs to forgive you. What for? No no no.

It sounds like, if anyone let the side down, it was him, not you. Perhaps you should tell him that you forgive him, not the other way around. In fact, he let your DS down as well by leaving you while you weren't able to look after him properly.

PLease please please do NOT take on the responsibility for this - it is NOT yours.

(((hugs))) thanks

Altinkum Thu 31-Jul-14 11:33:36


So your "d"h doesn't support you emotionally or praise you in anything, and YOU think YOU should be apologising to him...

you do realise how screwed up that sounds

sillymillyb Thu 31-Jul-14 11:33:58

I may be interpreting his comment "sometimes shit happens" wrong, but I read it as, it's not your fault - sometimes shit does happen, you just have to go with it. It's nothing that you did or didn't do!

I know what you mean about people being threatened with forceps, but I honestly couldn't have done it without them. I remember the force of the doctor pulling, they braced and really yanked (sorry for tmi) there is no way I could have recreated that force at that point myself, let alone moved ds into the correct position for it to be effective.

It sounds like the hospital cocked up massively in the lack of care you were given - have you considered asking them for an apology? They were responsible for you and your baby, and they failed, and as such you are trying to take on the responsibly for that.

Please talk to someone, I know this is words on a screen, I wish I could hug you!

sezamcgregor Thu 31-Jul-14 11:37:52

It isn't your fault that you needed intervention.

It also isn't your fault that you were left on your own like that. I do hope that you made a complaint to the hospital.

You did your best. I'm surprised that in a year, he's not told you he's proud etc of you. It's a shame that so many women have such horrendous experiences of labour, and having experienced such trauma like you did - it's going to take you some time to get over it.

The first thing that I'd do is stop watching OBEM and reading labour threads.

Can you look at some positives from having your baby boy? Think about holding him for the first time and feeding him, how sweet his little nipples were etc?

I would suggest counselling or speaking to other parents who have had intervention? I think that you also need to tell your DP that you feel that you let him down because you couldn't have a normal vaginal birth and let him know that even a year on. He should then give you all of the reassurance that I can't from a computer screen - and hopefully lots of cuddles too.

It wasn't your fault - it could have happened to any of us.

Mrsjayy Thu 31-Jul-14 11:38:55

How could you have tried harder do you think if youbhad pushed that bit more it would have helped I had intervention with under 5lb babies it just the way it was as I said earlier the hospital staff left you to manage I can imagine that would leave any woman feeling scared and vulnerable. you did nothing wrong your body didnt let you down you were in labour for bloody days you do not need forgiveness. Just because we are equipped to have babies doesnt mean we can just plop them out.

FromagePlease Thu 31-Jul-14 11:40:16

Your post really resonates with me.

I have had all the same feelings of letting people down, 'failing' etc at the birth of my DD.

I have recently started counselling (NHS funded) for this. Turns out I have PTSD and it's only now that I realise these feelings and thoughts aren't normal.

Obviously you need to talk to your DH. Of course you don't need to be forgiven anything! But if also suggest an honest discussion with your GP. Mine was wonderful and I honestly don't regret it at all. I also don't think I could have faced another birth (hypothetically only at the moment) without the treatment I am having now.

Please take care of yourself. I hope you can find the help you need.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 31-Jul-14 11:44:31

Oh love, please stop thinking that you "didn't try hard enough" sad.

Giving birth is bloody difficult sometimes. You allowed intervention when intervention was needed - that will have been the very best thing for your baby. You delivered a lovely, healthy, little boy and you (and your DH) should be very proud of that.

When bad things happen in childbirth, it is never because the mother didn't try hard enough.

Of course you have no need to apologise to DH for anything - but do you think you are hoping that by doing so, he will also apologise to you?

Do you think that actually you need an apology from him?

motherinferior Thu 31-Jul-14 11:47:54

Adding to what everyone else has said:

I had a dreadful first birth. Really awful. My care was great but my birth was just shitty and I felt dreadful and guilty afterwards.

And now, 13 on years onwards, I have a different take on it. I didn't fail anything. OK, I asked for intervention when I was in pain and yes that is possibly why everything went pear-shaped but ultimately, you know, it just was awful. Birth quite often is. But on the other hand my glorious daughter shows absolutely no signs of the trauma of her birth. She is just as unscathed as her sister, born in a pool in my front room two years later.

Your DH doesn't need to forgive you for anything. angry and neither does your son.

Chippednailvarnish Thu 31-Jul-14 11:51:15

You aren't the problem, your "D"H is.

JassyRadlett Thu 31-Jul-14 11:52:06

From that, if anyone needs forgiving, it is you to him.

I get that he doesn't see the point in talking about it - but you are just as important as he is, and your needs and wishes matter just as much.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 11:52:15

It has occurred to me I may have PND. But I don't have time to get to the doctors (working full-time - already missing lots of days because DS keeps getting nursery bugs) and I really don't think there's anything that can be done to help. I have a friend with actual PND who is on ADs - and that's not an option for me at all.

I feel responsible because of various things, including comments by HCPs, but added to that is every time DS is hot, or upset, the forceps mark on his face (that only really faded around 7 months) comes back. It's a big reminder that because of a failing on my part - my body, my mind, my genes, whatever - he was dragged out of me. In my mind, I didn't give birth - he was delivered.

Rationally, I know there's not much I could have done - but no-one can absolve me of the suspicion that maybe I could have. And I am incredibly grateful that he's fine (apart from the marks) - especially when so many other people have a really shit time.

OneDreamOnly Thu 31-Jul-14 11:53:10

First thing first.
maybe I wasn't trying hard enough [to deliver my baby]
No no and no! It here us little you can do in that one. You couldn't have tried harder. If your baby was stuck, he was. And if there is no reason about it in the notes, it's the hospital who hasn't done it's job properly. Everything is suppose to be recorded, esp essential stuff such as 'the baby was stick because...'

Then your DH was tired and needed to go to sleep so ... Your DH leaves you on your own with your ds still naked? He didn't try and propose to dress him himself or at least to give you the bag so you could dress him and get dressed too?
But somehow you want him to forgive you? For what? Not having had a natural birth that you couldn't avoid? That he was tired after the birth even though clearly you would have been even more tired? To have put him through an emotional roller coster and he struggled with?

I think you need to talk through what has happened but maybe this time with a counsellor. You seem to be feeling guilty that things didn't go to plan even though there was nothing you could have done 'better'.

And that's what your DH should be doing too. Giving you a lot of hugs and a lot of support.

OneDreamOnly Thu 31-Jul-14 11:55:41


After your last post, I'm even more convinced you need to see a counsellor. There is NOTHING wrong with you and you didn't fail because you had an assisted delivery.

What sort if things did the HCP say to you? some of them are just twats

Booboostoo Thu 31-Jul-14 11:56:20

This thread is very very sad, I really feel for you OP. Please ask for help, I appreciate you are sceptical about whether it would help but I think you need counselling to start seeing yourself in a more positive light. You did nothing wrong, no one can control their body or the birth of their child but I think you need someone to help you understand that and work through your feelings.

OneDreamOnly Thu 31-Jul-14 11:57:40

And btw, if so many months later, you are still feeling so crap about the birth, the you DID have a really crap birth.
Don't minimise what you have gone through and the effects it had on you.

NatashaBee Thu 31-Jul-14 11:57:57

You have done nothing wrong, and you don't need 'forgiving' for anything. Your DP sounds like he's being insensitive, but then again maybe he's just as traumatized as you are by the whole thing.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 12:01:56

DP isn't open to discussing anything where he feels criticised. He doesn't even apologise when he stands on my foot, for example, he says 'well you shouldn't get in the way' hmm

I realise this makes him sound like a c-bomb but he does have positive features, honest. He's an excellent dad (now!) and we have a lot of fun together (when we get the chance). It may be that he's aware that he stuffed up and is ashamed of himself. I'll never know.

I've asked him about how he felt around the birth a number of times - the most I've ever got was 'I don't understand why it took them so long' to decide on intervention. I had been pushing for 45 minutes officially, another 40 unofficially prior. He is also annoyed that the induction was delayed so long. But that's as far as he'll discuss it.

JackieBrambles Thu 31-Jul-14 12:02:58

You poor thing. You don’t need forgiveness from your DP, there is absolutely nothing to forgive for!

Your aftercare sounds awful too.

I had an EMCS after a 16 hour labour and only getting to 7cm dilated. My DS was back to back (though nobody told me that, I just thought I wasn’t coping with the pain and was pathetic!), the epidural I asked for didn’t work (sited wrong I think) and then DS started getting distressed.
There literally wasn’t anything I could have done differently. There was nothing you could have done either!
(Maybe I could have made DS move to a better position in the womb but nobody told me he was the wrong way round!!).

captainproton Thu 31-Jul-14 12:03:12

Is your DH like this about everything or just this issue? Does he muck in with childcare, does he take time off work to look after your sick child? How was he during paternity leave and before you went back to work? If you are shouldering all the responsibility of looking after your child and the home, then I would take a step back and think about how healthy your relationship is. I am just wodnering why he would put himself first before his newborn by disappearing to sleep rather than making sure someone came in and helped you, or god forbid he actually got the baby get dressed and warm himself. My father is spock too, but even he knows how to be compassionate and put others first from time-to-time.

My DH was absolutely useless during my first birth, I tore badly and also had a haemorrhage. DH couldnt cope at all and acted totally out of character. But he is not like that in other situations and I accept and forgive him that instead of being supportive he was actually a hindrance and made things worse.

I think you have potentially 2 problems here, you seem to think of yourself as some kind of failure for not having a textbook birth and possibly a problem with communications and expectations in your relationship?

Delphiniumsblue Thu 31-Jul-14 12:05:06

I think you have lost perspective because the birth didn't go as planned. There is nothing to forgive . Your DS won't be bothered. I would rather my mother had a pleasant birth,but it is all in the past and doesn't matter to me!

Delphiniumsblue Thu 31-Jul-14 12:06:10

Leave the past- the here and now is the important.

SalemsCity Thu 31-Jul-14 12:06:35

Oh, bless you. Please listen to what we are saying. You did give birth. In a really stressful and traumatic way. It's not your fault the hcps didn't record the details in your notes. They were obviously worried enough to use the forceps - as I said above, it is life threatening for to for baby to be stuck (for both you and baby). God, in no way have you failed. Having said that I do know how you feel in a way. Although I don't feel guilty for having c sections with my dc I did feel a little cross with myself as though my body let me down, as though I'm too weak. It didn't help that I was unable to breastfeed as wasn't producing enough milk and developed infections in my boobs. I felt like a complete failure. But part of that was hormones and tiredness and as time went on I realised that it's not my fault. My body did a wonderful thing. It made two amazing babies and delivered them safely and soundly and I have, and always will, do the best I can for them.

Many, many women need assistance with their births. And to be left alone for that amount of time with a naked baby, unable to reach anything is absolutely disgusting. You have done well not to be fuming with rage. I would be.

flowers I want you to feel proud about the amazing thing your body has achieved and how well you coped having been left in such a shit situation after an already traumatic experience. I want you to look at your ds and think "I made you".

Please be kind to yourself.

Delphiniumsblue Thu 31-Jul-14 12:09:42

As the mother of sons I can tell you they have never asked about their births and their eyes would glaze over if I tried to tell them!
Be kind to yourself.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 12:12:30

The consultant in theatre said let's see how well you can push to see if we can just use ventouse, straight after I'd been given a spinal and had zero sensation. I guessed at a push (without feeling it, was very difficult to direct it). And he tutted and said 'well that's not going to be good enough, it'll have to be forceps'.

Delphiniumsblue Thu 31-Jul-14 12:14:49

You were very unfortunate but it is gone now- you can't change it. Being a good mother is a lot more than physically giving birth.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 12:21:10

Can I just say, I'm overwhelmed by your kindness everyone.

You're right - it wasn't my fault - but I can't shake the feeling that it was. I would love it if DP stepped up and told me something - anything - nice about what happened or the time since.

He's upped his game a lot - especially since I went back to work, and we are working together much better as a team now. Eg every evening, one of us will cook (usually him) while the other gets DS bathed and ready for bed. He now allows DS to co-sleep with us (I think he actually secretly likes it) if he is unsettled in the night, too.

But the first few months were shit - I think my anger towards him was ill-concealed by hormones and tiredness, and that created a hundred more problems.

I have very little confidence in my GP surgery - the (female) one I saw at my 8-week check was very dismissive of my feelings (physical and otherwise) and said it takes a year to get over childbirth. The really good one recently left to form a new practice too far away for me to reach - the rest are - or seem to be - non-permanent locums. I am considering switching but this one came recommended.

JackieBrambles Thu 31-Jul-14 12:22:43

Your consultant sounds a total arse.
To be fair I guess his goal was to make sure you and the baby were safe, he probably isn't concerned with your feelings (not that this makes it better of course....).

You have to get into a place where you can accept that what happened wasn't your fault. If you don't see a way to getting to that place yourself, then you need to find someone who you can talk this through who can help steer you towards it. For me, just going over and over it in my own mind, then going through my birth notes was enough to get my head moving in the right direction, though it still took a while and the guilty feelings did still come back from time to time.

But honestly, you do need to talk to someone - and that's probably some kind of counsellor.

Honestly IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. I can't stress that enough. Giving birth is hard. Without medical intervention, many women and their babies die in the process. That's because sometimes, for reasons nobody can really explain, things just don't go how they need to for it all to work.

You didn't fail your son, and you didn't fail your partner, and you didn't fail yourself.

Your consultant was an arse. Of course you couldn't give an effective push with a spinal taking effect!

And female GPs can be horribly unsympathetic at times - somehow that feels much worse than when it's a male GP as we hope for something a bit better from them.

You can talk to us on here, if that helps. But finding someone in RL would be better if you can.

MiaowTheCat Thu 31-Jul-14 12:30:03

It actually sounds like your DH is quite traumatised by it all as well to be honest - we had to work through that with me and DH... eventually he broke down about all the stuff he'd seen that I hadn't had a good view of - them resuscitating DD1 and that huge wait to see if she'd start breathing, a nice bucket of shredded placenta being carried out of the theatre and everything. He'd gone into shut down mode prior to that and it all came out in the end.

What actually helped the most though (and I do NOT advocate this one) was getting pregnant again very quickly afterwards and DD2's birth being so utterly straightforward, fast, easy and drug free that I realised that it wasn't in fact me being shit and weak at childbirth - it was just a crap set of circumstances for DD1 coupled with the world's crappest set of staff in the crappest hospital going and a general crapbomb of crap (and I don't think it being a bank holiday weekend helped either).

OneDreamOnly Thu 31-Jul-14 12:37:54

I had some similar comments from the consultant when I gave birth. It was a ventouse delivery (turns out that dc1 had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck).
I remember clearly the consultant thing me I had to push harder otherwise it would have to be a cs. And the me grabbing my hand telling me I was doing fine and to just carry on whilst giving the consultant an evil eye.

I've since met a few mw and I understood that 1- that consultant was careless about her patients feelings aka me and 2- she was only thinking about her and what she needed to do.
Ie even though what she said was sounding like 'if you end up with a cs it's because you haven't pushed hard enough' it was actually 'if she can't push this baby more, he will never come out, heart rate is dropping so it will have to be an emcs.
It looks like your consultant wasn't much better than mine re talking to patients. And only cared about what not being able to push more meant for her in practical terms ie using forceps rather than ventouse. (Note it would also have been very possible that you couldn't have pushed more anyway, regardless of the spinal depending on the position if your baby)

OneDreamOnly Thu 31-Jul-14 12:40:43

Also just as much it's normal to want to talk about the birth to your DH, I think that sometimes our partners aren't the best person for that. It might be because they are been traumatised too. Or because they know you were in pain and don't want to know more about the pain/fear. Sometes because they are too keen to try and solve the problem when what you need is to be listened to.
That's why a counsellor can be good.

fairylightsintheloft Thu 31-Jul-14 12:43:37

Maybe he feels ashamed of his "weakness" at the birth (fainting etc) and that's why he wants to forget the whole thing. As all the other PP have said, you have nothing that he needs to forgive you for and actually, I haven't read anything in your posts which make me think he DOES blame you for anything. It was a bad birth, with bad aftercare, some of which is the hosptial's fault, some of which is in fact "shit happens". I never dilated beyond 3cm with either of mine despite a shitload of syntocin drip. No-one has ever explained to me why the inductions didn't work (ended up with CS) other than maybe the heads weren't pressing on the cervix at each contraction. It really doesn't matter - if my pelvis is the wrong shape, that is not my fault and I'll be damned if I feel to blame for anything. Honestly, I think (especially after your second post) that just maybe your DP is getting a bit of a rough ride here. He coped badly (also not his fault, birth can be pretty traumatic to watch too, just because he's not physically feeling the pain doesn't mean it wasn't difficult) and sound like more of a mix up resulting in you being left alone by him. I honestly do think that rather than him being angry at YOU, he might be angry at himself.

Igggi Thu 31-Jul-14 12:48:10

I don't see any way beyond this feeling bar counselling. It's not forgiveness from your dh you need, it is from yourself - only in this case it is acceptance rather than forgiveness as you did nothing wrong.
My dh has never said the positive things re the birth of our babies that you hope for. It's never occurred to me that he needed to - and I had two elcs so "failed" more than you! I have never viewed my births as failures - how could I when I have two dcs to show for them?
You will be missing all sorts of good times with your dc while you feel so sad about how he came into the world. Moving on isn't easy but you must - please have a look into council long services, some operate after work I think it would help you enormously.

CornChips Thu 31-Jul-14 12:59:06

My dear dear OP. thanks You have not failed. I understand how you feel though. i really recommend getting counselling. I had undiagnosed PND and possibly PTSD (we both nearly died... DS got stuck and I had a major hemorrhage ) and was really ill for 3 years. DS is now 4 and I am only getting back to myself now. I have had counselling for about 6 months and it has made a world of difference.

Honestly, if you think you need to apologise for anything that happened, you are not thinking clearly.... I mean that in the best possible way. Please do not ever think you have failed.

Fairylea Thu 31-Jul-14 13:00:32

Op please be kind to yourself. If you were your own daughter saying these things how would you respond?

Your consultant was an absolute arse. You have every right to make a complaint to the hospital.

I had a very similar birth to yours with my dd 11 years ago. I actually turned my anger towards her as I felt it was her fault I had such an awful birth and damaged my body downstairs so much. I felt if I didn't have a (very much wanted and planned for) baby then I'd be fine. My counsellor told me that it wasn't my dds fault. We had both been through hell. 3 days of induced labour, ventouse and episiotomy. I developed severe pnd and didn't recover for 2 years.

I now have another baby - a toddler son and I opted for an elective c section this time for no other reason than my first birth was so difficult. My c section was wonderful and as an older mother I knew that giving birth is a small part of the whole parenting process. A year or so down the line no one you meet is even going to ask you about it or even whether you bottle fed or breastfed. The key to contentment is to come to peace with your own life and fuck everyone else. Honestly.

Your dp doesn't sound very helpful or supportive. But he doesn't need to forgive you - you didn't do anything wrong.

GailLondon Thu 31-Jul-14 13:06:20

Agree with the other posters that confronting this with your husband is not the thing you need to do right now. First you need to make peace with yourself and come to terms with what happened.
I don't believe you necessarily have PND. From the way you talk you sound like you are suffering with post-traumatic stress. It is sadly very common for women to suffer from this after birth, especially one where there has been interventions that made the mother feel out of control with the situation.
I had a similar birth to you, and really struggled with PTSD for the first 6 months. I would cry every day, get flashbacks of the birth, feel a complete failure, feel hopeless, think 'why didn't i do things differently?'. Time eventually faded those feelings for me, with the slow dawning realisation that the birth was just one day and I had the rest of my life to look forward to with my beautiful and thankfully healthy son.

GailLondon Thu 31-Jul-14 13:07:58

Meant to add this link to the Birth trauma Association which has lots of useful information. see if any of the descriptions on there resonate with you.

WhyOWhyWouldYou Thu 31-Jul-14 13:08:46

Right a few things

Firstly if you dont feel able to go to gp to try and get counselling, what about a private counsellor - they can be pretty cheap in some areas and ridiculously expensive in others so it depends on where you live and what you can afford, but id say worth checking out.

Secondly could your dhs response to not wanting to talk about the birth and saying about they took too long to interveen but not much more actually be down to him feeling that he let you down, that he should have somehow made them help you sooner, like he should have done more, like it was his fault for getting you pregnant and thus you ending up with a difficult birth?

Finally and most importantly you were not to blame, you could not have done a "better" job.

IceBeing Thu 31-Jul-14 13:10:02

cultural can I say a massive thank to you? I was half way through shouting at you in my head to stop being ridiculous, none of it was your fault, the consultant was wrong to attach value to your efforts, you had a horrible time etc. etc, when I realised I had a very similar birth and still blame myself the same way!

How about I forgive you, OP and then maybe you can forgive me <sighs>

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 13:10:08

The thing is - I am hanging on (just!) to day-to-day functioning. I want to walk out of work (because it's shit and lots of horrendously stressful stuff there), and I can look after DS (though do struggle if I have him at home alone all day if he's too poorly for nursery - but he's nearly walking so a tricky age).

I can't very well walk into a GP and say. Um hi. I'm a bit sad about how my DS was born. But I'm coping ok. They'll tut me out of the office for wasting their time lol.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 31-Jul-14 13:15:47

Why the hell should your ask your h for forgiveness, that is bizarre. You have been through lots of trauma and your body has done the mist amazing thing (carried and given birth to a baby). Does your h make you feel loved and valued? Doesent really sound like it, his attitude is probably running you down. You need to sit down and be honest with him about how you feel, mabey some counselling for you to help you through this!

WipsGlitter Thu 31-Jul-14 13:16:53

I've found most men don't understand childbirth or the various stages, unless they have been very motivated and found that information out. So he's no idea maybe what was 'supposed' to happen and what you perceive as going 'wrong'. For him, a baby came out and it was healthy, job done.

You really need to forgive yourself, stop dwelling on this and move on. Counselling might be the first step.

Delphiniumsblue Thu 31-Jul-14 13:18:25

They won't - you obviously need some help. DP is no help because it wasn't important to him and DS will never ever be bothered- you are the one who needs to come to terms with it.

Delphiniumsblue Thu 31-Jul-14 13:19:02

That was in answer to 'wasting time' comment.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 31-Jul-14 13:21:30

Your consultant sounds like an ass too.

Miggsie Thu 31-Jul-14 13:24:38

I had a massively assisted birth, with 2 consultants and midwives plus trainees - it was like a circus. I couldn't feel anything and tried to push but in the end it was a ventouse.
If I had had no assistance either me and/or DD would have died.
Interventions are not fun and don't make you feel great but the fact is, if the alternative is one of you dying then intervention is the best thing.

Also - you are minimising your feelings and saying "it's not that bad" but it clearly is. You do need to speak about this with a counsellor, a difficult birth is a traumatic experience, physically birth is very demanding and if you put a performance expectation on yourself as well then it can get very pressured. Any birth where mother and baby come out of it alive is a successful one.
Your husband probably can't voice his problems either - I know my DH found the birth very stressful (he thought I was going to die) but we were able to talk about it. Your DH sounds like he finds this sort of thing difficult.

You can't go on pretending it is all fine with your DH clearly upset as well yet both unable to talk to each other.

SlicedAndDiced Thu 31-Jul-14 13:24:56 definitely have all of this wrong op.

You can't control what kind of birth you have. No one can. Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot, it is all down to luck.

Frankly it is your dp who should be apologising to you for being unsupportive and well tbh he sounds hard to live with.

ListObsessed Thu 31-Jul-14 13:25:40

You don't need forgiveness as you haven't done anything wrong!
My first birth was very similar (apart from the being abandoned bit) - very long, drip, cut, forceps. I also felt traumatised and that I had failed. I didn't forget it like they say you should and obsessed over it. However, my husband did tell me he was proud of me and admitted that he had been scared during the birth. That made me feel like we were in it together and that he appreciated what I had been through. I'm OK with it now since having my second baby which was a much more positive experience. This time the memories have faded in the way that they should. It sounds like you just need your husband to listen to how you're feeling, to acknowledge what you went through and to show you some appreciation.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 13:29:39

I forgive you icebeing thanks

But you need to forgive yourself, it's not for me to release you.

<penny drops>

Will have a look into private counselling perhaps. I daresay the NHS waiting lists will be ridiculous. If I even get a referral - my friend (mentioned upthread) would benefit greatly from CBT but they just offer her antidepressants.

Counselling freaks me out though. I've been many years ago and I hate the way it makes me feel so vulnerable - I'm worried it'll make things worse in that it'll bring back those vulnerable feelings from delivery. It's scary. It is also frustrating that it'll be me going when DP needs it just as much (in some ways more so - for other reasons) yet he gets away without doing it because he won't consider it. Ha!

Igggi Thu 31-Jul-14 13:30:07

No idea why you think coping at work is a sign of not having pnd. Have you done one of those online tests? It focuses more on feelings (do you look forward to things as much as you used to, that type of thing) not whether you are keeping up with the housework. Doctor would probably be shocked at how you are feeling tbh.

Igggi Thu 31-Jul-14 13:32:35

Your husband "gets away with" not having counselling - well no, his life is less happy than it could be if he had it.
As well as NHS/private there are charities that offer subsidised counselling - not in England so can't say which ones near you.

What an arse your consultant was, of course you can't feel to push with a full spinal. I had both an epi then a spinal and its a total block, like you I had to guess at pushing had no idea what I was doing!

My dd was born with ventouse but that was because she was lower down, not because I pushed harder. Any higher and it would have been forceps or CS.

Have you a birth afterthoughts service? Or could you see an independent midwife? I felt very low after the birth of DD feeling like I failed her because I could not get her out (she was back to back, had to be turned manually, ventouse, then shoulder dystocia). Just one session with her turned around my thinking totally, she made me feel proud of what I had achieved. If you are in London, I can highly recommend them (Neighbourhood midwives) or try the Birth Crisis line?

It's difficult if you are 'hanging on' to risk letting go and letting all the bad stuff come up to the surface, because you worry that you won't be able to squash it all back down again.

But the important thing about talking things through is that it should be a chance to 'look at' the way you feel, and deal with the issues around it. Then it won't be a huge big tangle of emotions any more, and you'll be able to deal with things bit by bit.

At the moment, the whole iceberg is threatening to pop up and engulf you, and you feel you have to keep it all down, even though bits of it keep surfacing. What a good counseller ought to help you do is get a feel of the outline of the iceberg, then start dealing with it a little at a time, without you having to drown first!

Acolyte Thu 31-Jul-14 13:34:44

confused My dh has never, in 12 years of parenthood, thanked me for birthing our girls, or for being a great mum.

Do men really do that kind of thing?

Chippednailvarnish Thu 31-Jul-14 13:39:29

Acolyte does he also refuse to apologize if he treads on your toes?

The OP just wants some compassion, your post comes across as quite snide.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 13:46:17

Acolyte - in our (for that, read DP's) circle of friends, they openly talk about how amazing their wives etc were giving birth. One that just gave birth had been promised a 'push present' (a pandora charm) - a gift from their daughter as a thank you for carrying and delivering her.

Other dads take to Facebook etc to say how amazing their partner was, how proud they are etc.

If not at the time of birth, they will use Mother's Day etc.

I'm not necessarily asking for some public display, even a private word would make a big difference.

Icimoi Thu 31-Jul-14 13:51:55

The baby's head almost certainly got stuck solely because it was in the wrong position, which is nothing whatsoever to do with you. My ds was occipito posterior - i.e. as I understand it, with the back of his head towards my back and flexed. That would mean that pushing wouldn't really help as it would just flex more, so I had forceps. And DS has been absolutely fine. It really is nothing at all to do with anything that you did or did not do.

IceBeing Thu 31-Jul-14 13:52:58

cultural I forgive you too! thanks

The thing is that it was shit. Horrible and shit and not at all what I wanted it to be...what it should have been.

Because of it, I was ill and incapacitated, and couldn't give DD that start she deserved...DH had to take over as main parent and then I got PND and...and...and...

it just goes on. A massive wheel of guilt and pain.

My DD is now 3 and she is happy and I recently properly realised that she loves me. (I saw a photo of me and here and she is looking up at me like I am her anchor in the world - and I cried for like 2 hours).

I don't really know why I am writing this except to let you know that it is okay to hate what happened to you and to hate the results of it and to wish it hadn't happened. It's okay to fear being made vulnerable in a way you didn't know could happen until you gave birth. It's okay to find it hard to recover from such a horrible shock to your system.

Childbirth might be a transient process but being pregnant and giving birth changes you permanently. One example is tolerance to caffeine being 3 times higher in any woman who has carried a baby than it is in women that haven't.
So I guess the most important message is that it DOES fade. It does stop making as much difference to your life, but it may take a while.....

PIVOT Thu 31-Jul-14 13:53:00

Just another post to add that I think you are amazing. I think that anyone who has gotten a child out of their body is awesome. I don't care how either - assisted, no drugs, whatever. All equally amazing.

Don't reduce your pregnancy to one thing - you grew your DS and you are parenting very well despite the deficit of a shitty birth experience to recover from.

I, stranger on the internet, am proud of you.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Thu 31-Jul-14 13:55:11

OP, I would like to give you the world's biggest, most loving hug.

Nothing you've written about is "your fault", and whilst I think there's a logical part of you that knows that, truly feeling it will most likely take some work, i.e. counselling.

Your "d"p sounds very cold. Is he generally like that? I know you mentioned the standing on your foot example. Have you tried talking to him and explaining that you - as do many people - need some verbal reassurance and displays of kindness from time to time?

Your medical care during and after the birth sounds atrocious by the way. When you feel up to it, do consider complaining about the way you were treated.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 13:57:28

AMumInScotland - that sums it up perfectly. If I let the cracks show, they're going to tear me apart.

I always thought that depression had to be bad enough to stop you living to warrant getting help. I'm hanging on at the moment.

IceBeing Thu 31-Jul-14 13:58:31

I don't think it is the saying thank you or getting a present that is the important part. It is having the acknowledgement of what happened and its long term effects.

I have had many discussions with my DH about what happened. How horrible it felt, how panicky I had been, how much pain there was how frightened I was. All I needed from him was that he acknowledge the truth of it and give me a big hug.

I have also listened to his story, how terrified he was, how angry he got with the doctors, how he sat for and hour talking to me while the GA was wearing off and though I hated him because I wasn't answering (I was actually still partially unconscious). And I acknowledged the truth of his experience and gave him a massive hug.

I think that is what the OP needs. To be able to tell her DH an honest account of how the whole thing has made her feel and have him just hear it....

Gen35 Thu 31-Jul-14 14:09:20

I think you may both be a bit depressed, sometimes the birth and early months are just not what you expect when you're pg and beside yourself with excitement - birth is the start of the wake up call, or it was for me. Probably you're taking it lit on each other because you are close, dh and I said awful (and not meant) things to each other in the early days. I do think you should say something to dh about feeling he's not proud of you - you don't have to be good with words to at least say that and my dh did, but not for months after, he didn't realise it mattered to me.

Depression is affecting your life, because of the effort it is taking to hold yourself together. That's enough to go and ask for help.
If you had an unexpected pain, you'd go to the GP before you reached a point where you were curled up on the floor unable to do anything. If you had a rash, you'd go along before it covered your whole body in sores. Your feelings deserve the same attention as your body. They are causing you pain, and it isn't something that you can just ignore for a few days till it gets better on its own.

weatherall Thu 31-Jul-14 14:18:26

If anyone doesn't think childbirth is a feminist issue-read this thread!

OneDreamOnly Thu 31-Jul-14 14:26:22

Having had PND and that PND being left Untreated thanks to useless GP and HV, I can promise you that
1- it's not because you are sort of functioning that you aren't depressed
2- PND does stop you from enjoying your baby
And 3- it's much better to get help and ads before you've reached crisis point.
Seriously go and get some support. Whether it's ads or counselling or both.

And maybe instead of saying to the GP 'I'm a bit sad but in still ok' you could him/her what you've said on this thread ie you are feeling deeply guilty about the birth, it was traumatic. You are finding you can sort of cope with daily activities but just. And not enough to be able to cope with the unexpected such as looking after a toddler for the day if they are slightly unwell.

Finally if you go down the route of counselling, it will be for yourself. Your DH 'won't be getting away with it' he will be missing a huge opportunity to deal with something traumatic and learn to enjoy life again. Not quite the same.

MiaowTheCat Thu 31-Jul-14 14:32:26

Round here they prioritise you up the "talking therapy" wait lists if you're under 2 years since giving birth (so hit the PND criteria) - still probably looking at a good month and a half or so's wait but it's better than the 3-4 months the normal wait list is running at. You self-refer as well, so all you need is your NHS number (assuming you actually know it!)

FergusSingsTheBlues Thu 31-Jul-14 14:43:18

I had terrible pnd, flashbacks, cold sweats and an ability to bond with my son after a terrible labour. I felt let down and angry. I did nothing about it until I got pregnant accidentally with number two. I was referred for perinatal counselling straight away after I had a major meltdown and received counselling throughout the changed my life. By the time my second was born, I was desperate to meet him. I should have done it earlier. I was never a big believer in talki g therapies....but they can transform how you feel. Please get help.

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jul-14 14:50:40

"I can't very well walk into a GP and say. Um hi. I'm a bit sad about how my DS was born. But I'm coping ok. They'll tut me out of the office for wasting their time lol."

Not true OP. I finally did something about my birth trauma recently and this is after two and a half years. My GP was lovely and has started the referral process.

You need to allow yourself to be kind to yourself. X

Mrsjayy Thu 31-Jul-14 14:51:30

I had pnd for 2 bloody years it didnt manifest until dd was over a year old but I was functioning most people do.
I used to have fears somebody was going to report me to ss I also had terrible dark thoughts yet I got up took care of dd went out did things etc etc
. Depression doesnt mean you are unable to do anything and pnd is different from one woman to the next I honestly think you need to see somebody im not saying you have pnd but your thought process about this is skewed .

CornChips Thu 31-Jul-14 15:01:39

The terrible fear about being reported to SS if i admitted my PND was what really hindered me too, Mrsjayy. I was paranoid about someone taking my baby away if I reached out for help. I realise now how silly that was- I think basically the first 3 years of Ds's life was blighted for me by that.

kinkytoes Thu 31-Jul-14 15:03:39

I'm getting tearful reading this and now wondering if I need more help dealing with my own experience.

Hugs to you OP, I hope you'll get the help you need. I think OBEM et al have a lot to answer for. But I wonder if assisted births aren't filmed much because they're likely not to be good 'tv material'. I've noticed there aren't many first babies featured, maybe that's why x

Chippednailvarnish Thu 31-Jul-14 15:13:49

OBEM et al have a lot to answer for

I agree. I can't recall ever seeing someone pushing for three hours, then having a ventouse and episotomy.
Nor can I recall the midwife snapping a cannular needle in the back of anyone's hand, missing a retained placenta and the patient then becoming seriously ill. Hey ho, maybe its just me!

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jul-14 15:15:46

I think the reason why they don't get shown is because imagine if you'd been filmed, then afterwards it turned out to be a traumatic experience. How many women do you think would then sign the release form for the footage to be used?

kinkytoes Thu 31-Jul-14 15:21:30

Exactly showtunes however I think all delivery suites should have cameras (not for broadcast obviously, just for the record), then the professionals might think more carefully about how they treat women in childbirth.

kinkytoes Thu 31-Jul-14 15:24:30

Btw to any professionals reading, I realise most of you are brilliant, but three out of the ten or so people I had with me could have done much much better, I actually felt bad for the other staff who were most likely mortified at what they witnessed.

Apologies for the slight derailing OP.

And please believe me when I tell you the marks will go.
I had my DD via C-section and she had a mark on her forehead for months. (That was an Emergency c-section after 50+ hours of labour and I don't feel any guilt at all and neither should you)
It faded but still came back every time she got angry or really tearful.
It didn't completely stop doing this until she was about 5 years old.
But at 16, she beautiful and blemish free!
Don't worry about that, I will go eventually.

I've nothing to add to the other advice. Get a good GP and tell them what's happening and don't ever believe that you should feel any guilt for what you went through.
And certainly don't apologise to your DH other than to say 'I'm sorry you're an arse and totally lacking in emotions'

I'm glad the penny is dropping for you. All these lovely MNers can't be wrong!

HopefulHamster Thu 31-Jul-14 15:52:37

OP any chance you could say to your husband

"It may not be in your nature [of course it bloody well should be] but please understand that I need you to say you were proud of me, that I did my best, that I did everything I could for our child during labour."

And if he won't, he's a twat.

Maybe he doesn't get it, but if it's pointed out to him that you need this and he won't, then he's being callous.

NewtRipley Thu 31-Jul-14 15:54:26


My husband thanks me most weeks. As I do him.

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jul-14 16:03:49

You say that your DH is not demonstrative and hasn't said certain things to you but you have said that is typical of his behaviour.

He probably assumes a lot of things like knowing that you're a good mother etc.

And when he has talked about the birth, are you sure you're not taking it the wrong way? When he says that the induction took too long etc, this may not be slights on you but just stating facts of the situation?

FergusSingsTheBlues Thu 31-Jul-14 16:14:01 t. Worry so much about feeling vulnerable...we didnt discuss the experience itself until I'd had about fifteen sessions....a good perinatal counsellor is going to take things slowly. Really.

redexpat Thu 31-Jul-14 16:24:07

TBH it sounds as if you need to forgive yourself on some level. Needing reassurrance from dh is a separate issue. Can i recommend that you both read 5 love languages. I would bet my mortgage on one of your two primary languages being words of reassurrance. The theory goes, that we all show love in the way that we like to receive it, but that dp may not speak the same language as you. So you each need to learn to speak the other persons language. the 5 languages are words of readdurance, touch, acts of service, time together, and gifts. We tend to prefer 2 of them so i am acts of service and words, wheras dh is touch and time.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 16:27:58

He seemed very annoyed by the inconvenience of it all tbh!

During the early stages he was fairly useful - stroked my leg for a while, distracted me with some word games etc. As things went on, he went into himself a bit (as did I).

I think he also expected things to be much quicker than they were. He has prior experiences of labour ward and when his first son was born (12 years ago) he was born within 5 hours.

He has never talked about the birth. I have asked him to tell me how he felt (in general terms) but he never says anything. So much so that at a wedding the other week there were a load of pg mates there. I was fascinated to hear what he had to say and it was just 'it'll be fine - as long as you don't faint like I did haha'.

The most information I ever had was when I asked him how he was treated by the staff, ie if they explained things etc, and he said that they had mostly ignored him and he didn't know what was going on some of the time.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 16:31:09

That's really interesting redexpat - I would definitely agree with that. DP would, I'm sure, by acts of service and time. I try and bear this in mind by doing stuff for him where possible - but it's not easy when you have very limited time, and when he doesn't 'count' certain acts of service like changing 99% of dirty nappies and doing all the night wakings with the baby, for example.

Will look for the book. He won't read it though. He's not interested in changing himself at all.

A lot of time a traumatic birth can also be traumatic for the partner.
They are helpless and they just have to watch you suffer.
It can be very hard for them as well.
He may need some counselling as well to help him past this stage.
I hope you both get there and soon!

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jul-14 16:42:51

It seems to me that there are quite a few things that need to be dealt with here including your DH's lack of wanting to change and engage.

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 16:47:02

Indeed showtunesgirl - essentially his own mum did a total number on him but that's a different story. It's not an excuse, but it explains a huge amount of his behaviour.

<derails own thread> Ha!

cardamomginger Thu 31-Jul-14 16:47:48

OP - you have had some really excellent advice here. Not sure I have much to add TBH. I, too, had a horrific birth. It was the polar opposite of what I had expected. I ended up with multiple serious birth injuries and have had to have a lot of medical treatment and surgery to recover.

I've been through the cycle of blaming myself - not for what happened on the labour ward, but for not doing enough research prior to the birth. It turns out that my body just can't get babies out properly and I have various health stuff going on that, if I had known, would have been a strong indication that a VB would have been a disaster and I should go for ELCS. I never needed forgiveness from, DH. Nor do I think I ever really needed for forgive myself as such. But I did need to absolve myself of the responsibility that it all going so spectactularly to shit was all my fault and no one else's.

I agree with other posters' suggestions that counselling may be a good idea. For some a debrief is enough. But others of us need a bit more. You may have an element of PND. It might also be PTSD - if you are more anxious, jumpy, hyper vigilent, constantly ruminating rather than being down and very low energy all the time, then that might point more towards PTSD than depression. Have a look at CBT. EMDR is also a specific trauma therapy that I have found every helpful.

One thing that your DH said that I picked up on. When you asked him about the birth one of the things he said was 'sometimes shit just happens'. He's right (obviously not excusing his lack of emotional and psychological support after the birth!). Believing that is so bloody hard and I railed against it for a long, long time. But accepting that shit just happens and that day it happened to you and that none of it was your fault might help you through this. It's hard though and some of us, me included, need some help to get to that point.


Cultural - I think you know (even if you don't feel) that you don't need forgiveness. I had a similar sort of birth with DS1 (without the induction but the end and the lengthiness were there) and there is nothing much you can do, honestly. Especially if it is your first child and you have no idea what is happening to your body, even if you have read everything there is to read before hand. That doesn't tell you how you will feel when it is all happening to you.

If anybody needs to ask forgiveness, it is the hospital. I don't think you were treated at all well, the consultant was uncaring with his comments and your DP was probably as traumatised by the whole thing as you were. The fainting shows that.

This comment *Counselling freaks me out though. I've been many years ago and I hate the way it makes me feel so vulnerable' and the general feelings you have expressed make me think you like being in control. By the sounds of it, your DP is the same. He wants to reduce everything to logic because he understands that and it makes it predictable. Your DS's birth wasn't within the control of either of you and you have both struggled with it. I think too that counselling might be your way forward and that you might have to accept the feelings of vulnerability in order to move on. If you don't you are burying the feelings too. You might find that if you are happier about things then your DP can relax a bit too, knowing that you are OK about it so, whilst not wanting to put responsibility for your DP on your shoulders, I think that it would be good for both of you in the end.

With regard to fact he never says he is proud of you, I think that is the other side of the coin to saying him not saying he forgives you. He has nothing to forgive because you did nothing wrong - you weren't in control of your body. Similarly, my take on the lack of pride is the same - you weren't in control so even if you had the 'perfect' birth, whatever that is, that isn't something to be proud of. Your body is in control, not you, the person. I think the thing to be proud of is your DS, the person you are creating. If your DP is a good dad and is proud of your DS then, for me anyway, that is enough. The gushing fathers on FB are sweet but isn't that just the euphoria of the birth which was spoilt by the hospital for you both? The real test of these men is how good they are as fathers and whether they step up and take responsibility.

ouryve Thu 31-Jul-14 16:54:02

It would be very unreasonable to ask him to forgive you sad

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 17:09:27

That's very on the money about control. I released a lot of the control beforehand as I realised the controllables were actually very few and far between.

But I hadn't realised I also had significant unspoken expectations of the way DP would respond to me. I knew it was unrealistic to expect/hope he might shed a tear - but I did hope he would be able to 'be present' and be there for me, and give me what I needed for once.

When that didn't come, I assumed it was because he was angry/upset/embarrassed by me. Surely even Spock would say 'I'm proud of the way you handled that' or even a little 'wow look what wonderful thing we made' or would take that special 'first mum' picture.

I feel I have to assume that I'm to blame because it would be unfair to criticise him, IYKWIM.

Electriclaundryland Thu 31-Jul-14 17:34:42

Sounds like you need to forgive him for being weak, unsupportive and a bit crap.

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jul-14 17:36:59

I think your need is perhaps expecting a little too much from him

My own DH used to a little cold in emotional situations where he too felt out of control. Over the years he's learnt how to behave and give me what I need but that was after many years of being extremely explicit as to what I expected from him.

Have you tried speaking to him about what you need specifically? The I rather than you usually comes across much better and less accusatory. Eg I need to hear that you are proud of me. Rather than: you should say you are proud of me.

VSeth Thu 31-Jul-14 17:44:44

If you did ask forgiveness wouldn't he just revert to Spock mode anyway?

Don't ask but do spell it out to him that you want some encouragement and warmth from him.

WipsGlitter Thu 31-Jul-14 17:58:49

It's a huge leap from him not crying or being gushy - particularly if that's not "him" - to him being angry/upset/embarrassed by you. You're projecting a lot onto him. While the whole experience has obviously had a huge impact on you, it hasn't on him but you can't really blame him for taking it in his stride.

KnittedJimmyChoos Thu 31-Jul-14 19:21:47

* you are not in control of your body when you give birth it does what it wants
Not read thread but your body is an animal one, that does its own thing.

Your mind has very little to do with the whole process, you can hynobirth to help your mind cope with the contractions, but those contractions will still be there, coming, you can breathe deeply to help you, but the reason why your breathing deeply will still be there.

Babies get stuck, go back to back, there is very little we can actually do to change all of that ourselves....

Look at your body and ask your ancestors way back for forgiveness for forging together since year dot to produce your body....

Very few births go well or as planned - your in the majority not the minority.

KnittedJimmyChoos Thu 31-Jul-14 19:28:35

I have very little confidence in my GP surgery - the (female) one I saw at my 8-week check was very dismissive of my feelings (physical and otherwise) and said it takes a year to get over childbirth. The really good one recently left to form a new practice too far away for me to reach - the rest are - or seem to be - non-permanent locums. I am considering switching but this one came recommended

I really really regret not going to see another GP after I was palmed off with newbie training when I had my first and had lots of issues emotionally after birth..

3littlefrogs Thu 31-Jul-14 19:43:16

OP - as an ex midwife, I promise you that if you needed a forceps delivery, you really needed it. It is perfectly possible for any baby's head to get stuck. It can be due to position, not necessarily size. It was nothing you did, it wasn't your fault. the forceps were needed to turn your baby's head to the right position so he could come out.

Please - ask your GP for some counselling to help you to get through this.

TheLoveGorilla Thu 31-Jul-14 19:49:06

So you say you don't judge how anyone gives birth, yet you clearly have judged yourself on how you gave birth. You have nothing and don't need to be forgiven by anyone, not DP or DS.

You do need to talk to your partner though and get him to acknowledge how his lack of understanding his feelings is impacting you.

OxfordBags Thu 31-Jul-14 20:20:59

OP, I think it would be perfectly reasonable to criticise him. He seems like he was very self-centred and detached around the birth, and is hardly Man of the Year otherwise.

Also, he is not bigging you up to people, or privately thanking you, because he thinks you did something wrong, he's not doing it because, as you point out, he's totally unemotional. You are expecting someone who never expresses big emotions or talks about feelings to have a complete personality change. I am totally on your side that you are rightfully upset that he has displayed no positivity to you about that, but it's not who he is.

I don't understand why you need there to be some blame in this situation. You are NOT to blame for anything. You had a crappy birth experience, which had zero to do with anything you did wrong, or have wrong with you. It's got nothing to do with choices you made or didn't make, or any inferiority with your body, as you have implied here - it was just one of those things. It's crap, isn't it? But there's no blame involved. In fact, it sounds like you did amazingly well and coped amazing well afterwards, all things considered.

Why can't you be proud of yourself? Why do you feel that you have done something wrong and have failed, without external validation?

It's easier to blame someone or something than accept that crap things just happen, and there's no rhyme or reason to it all, isn't it? So much easier to try to feel some sort of control on the situation by apportioning blame. And we are taught as women that we're always at fault somehow, so it comes all too easy to think we're to blame somehow in situations where there is no blame.

BlessedAssurance Thu 31-Jul-14 20:43:04

Acolyte my DH thanked me and told me how proud of me he was when I had DD. We now have a Ds too and he expresses his gratitude at least once or twice a week.

Opthanks I have nothing more to add to what already has been said. Please be kind to yourself.

KnittedJimmyChoos Thu 31-Jul-14 20:51:36

Mine said nothing, gave nothing, but I know he is proud etc. They dont always have to say everything or even give material gifts although I am still hanging out for two beautiful rings

Thurlow Thu 31-Jul-14 21:02:20

I also had significant unspoken expectations of the way DP would respond to me. I knew it was unrealistic to expect/hope he might shed a tear - but I did hope he would be able to 'be present' and be there for me, and give me what I needed for once

This rings true to me. I expected my DP to behave in a certain way during and after the birth of our first baby and he didn't - no tears, no congratulations, no making a fuss of the first picture etc.

What redexpat says is true: people do deal with, and communicate, emotions very differently. Some of what you would have like to have happened were just your (and also my) ideas of what the birth experience would be like - but almost like daydreams, in a way.

I think there are many other things that come out of your posts which say there are things you need to address within your relationship. Otherwise, to be honest, I think you would be like me and knittedjimmychoos whose OH's didn't say or do anything, but we didn't think they felt negatively about us or the experience.

As for the birth, it is a harder thing to let go of what happened, but all I can do is reiterate what everyone else is said and say It Was Not Your Fault. It really, really wasn't.

Marylou62 Thu 31-Jul-14 21:14:33

I too am sending heartfelt hugs and a great big WELL DONE to you. You did an amazing job!! I too had birth issues...but got help...later than I should have done...17 years later I still sometimes feel sad. My DH is a man of few words and he has never 'thanked' me for his 3 children...but I know he cares. It was hard too for him witnessing such a horrible time.
OBEM has shown horrendous births...babies shoulders getting stuck is one I vividly remember. You have no reason to apologize either. I just know my DH would not have wanted to talk about what happened to me and that was ok. I talked to my female friends.

Acolyte Thu 31-Jul-14 21:16:55

Oh don't mind me, I think I am probably the abnormal one and in no way snide as a pp suggested.

I don't need my dh to thank/congratulate/praise me in anything I do, never have and hopefully never will.

I think I'd be a bit bemused if he started doing it now.

I put my oddity down to being a twin and having a very complex relationship with her.

Apologies for skipping bits of the thread OP but I think you do have a form of PND and I think you do need to speak to someone about it.

You may not need AD's, but counselling may help.

FWIW, I had a 48 hour labour and ended up having an EMCS after unsuccessful induction and having my waters broken.
I was chatting to a friend a few days ago who has recently had a baby. She is tiny and her baby was huge, so she ended up having an EMCS too. She feels that she has 'failed'.

I don't see it like that.

The baby needed to be got out. The baby was got out. Mother and baby are well.

My DD is 3 now and occasionally gets a mark showing on her face when she's upset/stressed. No foreceps were used so I assume it's something from the CS. But she's healthy. In fact, she's healthier than most of her peers.

I don't have any issues with not doing birth naturally. I'm told it bloody hurts. I was exhausted, and my cervix didn't dilate enough. I wasn't going to be able to keep awake and trying to dilate/push so the surgery was necessary. I get very annoyed with anyone who suggests I didn't do enough.

Pico2 Thu 31-Jul-14 21:30:16

I too had a horrific birth and subsequent recovery. I found specialist perinatal counselling really helpful in getting over it psychologically. I paid for it privately as the specialist counsellor wasn't funded by the NHS any more. It took that and plenty of time for me to get to the 'shit happens' place I'm now in. I think your DH may just be where you need to get to yourself and you need to find a path there too.

Pico2 Thu 31-Jul-14 21:31:49

And I don't expect praise or thanks from DH. He adores DD as do I. That seems to me enough.

Sapat Thu 31-Jul-14 22:33:27

Sorry you feel this way, maybe you should talk to HV who could advise you.

If it is not within visiting hours, all partners are chucked out post delivery, whether you are well or not.

In the recovery ward, if staff are concerned about you they ask that you keep the curtains open so they can keep an eye on you. This said, my DC1 was forceps and I had a spinal so legs completely paralysed and we fended on our own all night. Same with the sectioned ladies.

With DC3 the lady next to me seriously hacked me off. She had been through the wars, but the way she described her birth over and over, it was like she was the only one who had ever given birth, and not terribly considerate to the other ladies who had gone through the same experience around her but were less vocal. And her husband fussed and fussed and they kept saying how they wanted a private room and how they could pay for it, no problem. Every time someone came to check on them, they asked. Well, one private room was taken by a very poorly lady and the other by someone who had just had triplets. Again, all the other ladies in that wing rolled their eyes, although the request was reasonable, it was not very considerate to the others.

Just realised that my little vent had little to do with OP, so apologies. I think I was trying to say that everyone's perception of their labour is different, regardless of the medical fact.

Thumbwitch Fri 01-Aug-14 08:43:25

sapat - while that does sound incredibly annoying, it's probably just that lady's way of dealing with her own drama.

Oxytocin is a very interesting hormone, not just in childbirth but in other stress situations - it's also sometimes called the "social" hormone as it's the one that guides us to want interactions with others. When I witnessed very closely a car accident (car hit a schoolgirl crossing the road), I went into shock - but one of the bizarre things that happened was my need to phone people up and tell them about it. I couldn't understand the need for it until many years later when I read about oxytocin in the stress response. So chances are, that's what was driving the annoying lady - but of course she could have just been an attention-seeking drama queen as well!

CulturalBear Fri 01-Aug-14 09:52:22

The oxytocin thing is very true. I saw this the other day, a TED talk about making stress your friend - by using oxytocin

I think that's another reason why being left alone for such a long period of time was quite damaging - I needed touch, and I needed comfort and reassurance and I got none of them (I don't think a 2-hours old DS counts!)

Being left alone is not bad per se - but when baby is not dressed, you cannot reach anything (including call button) and you have no way of getting help if you need it, is quite stressful. I kept worrying about what if I needed the loo - but it later transpired I had a catheter in (I had no idea ha) - which at least mitigated against that!

In the culture we have, of naughty steps, of withdrawing contact from people if they've done something wrong etc, being left alone felt like a punishment. (I realise that's my own interpretation)

Thumbwitch Fri 01-Aug-14 11:01:50

That's a great talk, isn't it Cultural! I loved it the first time I saw it, she's very clever!

Numanoid Fri 01-Aug-14 12:58:13

I don't think he needs to thank you for giving birth to be fair, it's not something which demands praise.

However if you tell him he is a good parent fairly regularly and he never returns the compliment, then that's a bit off. The way he deals with his emotions sounds like he might have a problem expressing himself, which could be down to various reasons. Is it possible he could have some issues which stop him from doing so?

groovyolmutha Fri 01-Aug-14 13:15:58

Big hugs to you Cultural bear.

You need to love yourself.

A couple of other people have suggested counselling. Communication between you and DH sounds as though it needs help. Have you considered RELATE? You could sell it to DH as something you need to help you get over the trauma of birth. I may be out of line suggesting this but you might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as your birthing experience sounds very traumatic. Maybe DH has a touch of this too.
Men often deal with upset with denial. It would be good for both of you and your child (not good if parents not happy and end up divorced due to pent up/festering resentment) to talk about how you feel.

If Relate/couples counselling a no go, you need it for you. Talk to your GP. Let us know how you get on. You are a heroine (or hero if you prefer).

More hugs.

CulturalBear Fri 01-Aug-14 15:17:46

Yeah... he has issues. He's done well for himself in life because he's been able to rewrite the codes he was brought up with - but it also shuts out good things, too. It's sad. But he doesn't want to change - I can see why not, if you think your model of coping works, then why would you risk everything by changing it?

It's a good idea to ask him to do the couples counselling for me... I'm not sure it will work - he was resistant to antenatal classes, let alone somewhere he would be expected to communicate and be vulnerable - but I can't be sure until I try.

I'm not sure about PTSD - I do get the odd flashback, and the opening credits to OBEM or any programme where there is a woman screaming in labour brings me out in a panic - but I don't get the nightmares anymore.

I'll look into getting some holiday time so I can find a GP appt and see what happens.

Really appreciate the support on here - I never expected this. Thanks.

sezamcgregor Fri 01-Aug-14 16:17:32

Just to say that I had massive hang ups with how my mum treated me while I was PG. She was horrible and I had no-one else to turn to. I'll never get those months back and now that DS is 6, I don't think I'll ever have any more children. I still get really upset about it, but telling her about my feelings and letting her know that I'll never be able to forgive her - and hearing her say sorry and telling me that she knows she should have acted differently - it did help me to get over it (as much as I'm going to anyway).

I can never turn back the clock and make my pregnancy a happy time - the same way that you can never turn back the clock and enjoy a good labour.

With labour, there are so many feelings that we don't experience unless we're in labour. The few times that I've had period pains since having DS, it's made me feel sick with the memories of labour pains - similarly (TMI) heavy bleeding on my period gives me that wobbly "urgh, my waters have broken" panicky feeling, which also makes me feel nauseous.

I hope the counselling works for you and DP and I hope that this hasn't put you off having more children if that's what you'd planned before.

SqueakySqueak Fri 01-Aug-14 16:28:38

If we could control births, they would be smooth, no tearing, and no emergency procedures. We can't. Women that have smooth births didn't do a "good job", they got lucky. (I don't mean they didn't do a good job pushing and all that, I mean they didn't do a good job making their birth smooth because they have no control over that).

My birth went smooth. I'd say I did a good job sticking with it, not losing motivation after 3 hours of pushing, and following the midwives instructions. But I wasn't responsible for a smooth birth. That was all down to contractions, size of the baby, and how she was positioned at the time.

You gave birth! You had a healthy boy! You did an excellent job! smile

And tell your DP you need his support, even if you have to give him a script. Chances are, he's probably never even given the birth a second thought. He needs to be there for you.

AlpacaLypse Fri 01-Aug-14 16:30:40

The thing that's screaming out to me skimming this thread is the appalling level of care you received afterwards. Have you ever had any sort of apology from the unit that left you alone, disorientated and incapable for four hours?

CulturalBear Fri 01-Aug-14 16:53:54

AlpacaLypse - when I had my debrief last December, I asked what was usual aftercare on recovery. They said: tea and toast, shower/bath, midwife and dad (if he's ok) dress and nappy baby, crib provided, call button provided, stuff explained etc.

I then explained what happened and she said - oh that shouldn't have happened. It must have been busy and they forgot about you. Sorry about that.

I also asked - was DP asked to look after me/us? (Something one of the midwives on duty - who was very busy with preemie twins on the other side of the curtain - said something that implied he was supposed to be caring for us) And the supervisor again said no.

It's crossed my mind to complain, but I know it happened because they were so busy and they just forgot about me. I don't think a complaint would be productive. It's also getting late for a complaint I think.

sezamcgregor Fri 01-Aug-14 16:58:05

If you're still so obviously traumatised by the experience a year on - then my opinion would be no, it is not too late.

IceBeing Fri 01-Aug-14 17:19:07

cultural it is never too late. Your complaint might force a review of procedures...and at the very least it will stop them being able to claim they get no complaints about their maternity care....

Mandatorymongoose Fri 01-Aug-14 17:19:23

I've skipped over some of this thread, it's a little bit hard for me to read. I had a similar sort of birth with DS. Induction followed by forceps. But then DS had some issues so they took him away from me into another room to resuscitate him and then down to NICU. I got to see him for about 10 seconds from across the room and that was only because I pleaded with them to let me see him before taking me out of theatre. Then I didn't get to go down and visit him until around 4 hours later (again involving much pleading and the theft of a wheelchair).

I had a couple of counselling sessions and the thing that really struck a cord with me from that was this:

I was grieving. Grieving for the birth I'd planned and wanted, for the loss of that precious time. I was sad for myself, for DH and for DS that things had been so hard. Guilty that my body had let us down, had failed to do the job it was meant to for my precious child and angry mostly with myself but also with the hospital for taking DS away from me and leaving me frightened and alone (with DH) with only the terrifying information that there was 'something wrong with his arms'.

Understanding that grief, the reasons I felt like that and that it was ok to feel that way really helped me. I will always have a little bit of sadness about his birth but over time the guilt and anger have faded and I can look at it more objectively and know that everyone (me included) did their best at the time.

I think I probably apologised to DH at some point too for letting him down. Although I of course didn't really let anyone down and he never felt like I had.

I hope you're doing ok OP and please know that you have no reason to apologise to anyone but plenty of reason to be kind to and forgive yourself.


(I should add DS is now a gorgeous troublesome toddler - with perfect arms!)

Thumbwitch Fri 01-Aug-14 17:34:05

I agree that it's never too late to complain - I also think that some sort of trauma counselling would benefit you. The nightmares may have stopped but you're still getting flashbacks and you're not quite in the right place yet, or you wouldn't even be considering apologising to your DH - you are, in my opinion, looking for things to still "make you feel better" (and possibly him) and have come up with this idea because you think it will somehow make him feel better, so that he will then reciprocate.

1) he isn't going to reciprocate, whatever you do
2) you need to feel better but you almost certainly need some form of counselling to show you the way
3) complaining via PALS may actually be cathartic for you - it often is, just having your voice "heard" properly can give you back some feeling of taking back control.


stillastruggle Fri 01-Aug-14 18:18:29

I'd like to add to the voices encouraging you to get counselling. The birth of my daughter haunted me for six years (rapid two hour labour, failed ventouse, failed forceps, no pain relief until emergency c, post natal depression including self harm). I thought the whole thing was completely my fault because I was told in labour by a midwife I wasn't trying hard enough, felt I wasn't valued enough to give pain relief, despite my severe distress and agitation being noted several times by several attending medical professionals. I felt terribly guilty about my marriage crumbling because I blamed myself for not coping with the labour and subsequent challenges.

It took me six years and two trips to my GP to be able to get the words out and verbalise my trauma and depression - at the first appointment I couldn't speak of it and made up some other reason for being there! Also, one of the reasons I had not sought help earlier was because I didn't feel comfortable disclosing to the GPs I had at the time - they felt abrupt and dismissive in their manner so I didn't even try to talk to them. It took me three different doctors to find the wonderful one I have now, who I can talk to and she properly listens, takes me seriously and has referred me as appropriate.

Now, I have been going to counselling for the past seven months - and it is making the world of difference to how I feel, behave, treat myself and my daughter. The perspective that a counsellor can provide is so valuable and is completely transforming my whole mind set. I needed that perspective from an outside person. You can't recover from birth trauma alone and perhaps not even from resources within your marriage. The outside perspective I'm getting is making me see my husband and marriage in a different light as well as coming to terms with the birth trauma. 'Birth Trauma' by Kim Thomas might be worth a read.

Charitygirl1 Fri 01-Aug-14 18:33:24

This may sound harsh/strange but I don't think you're being honest with yourself. I don't think you feel you need your DH's forgiveness. I think you're massively (rightfully) angry with him for his crapness as a birth partner, and his continuing everyday unkindness. Ditto you're angry about the crap consultant and aftercare. You should be.

Stop framing this is as 'I feel guilty and need forgiveness'. If he did 'forgive' you wouldn't feel any better. You want HIM to ask your forgiveness. And so you fucking should. Stop turning your anger in on yourself - its self-defeating.

Charitygirl1 Fri 01-Aug-14 18:34:00

Also, hugs.

lizhow14 Fri 01-Aug-14 19:17:39

I can understand how you feel about the forgiveness part. I had a traumatic delivery that resulted in PTSD and PND. I felt I was to blame for how the delivery went as I had an epidural. My thinking was completely irrational but I couldn't process the memories and felt like a failure.
I had medication, EMDR therapy, counselling and finally a debrief in November (4 years after the birth!). It took a while but now fine and 7 months pregnant.
I don't think having your DH forgive you will resolve the way that you feel as you need to forgive yourself and realise you did great and you are not to blame for how your baby was delivered. I would really recommend a debrief with a supervisor of midwives as you will then know why everything happened and that nothing was your fault.

Primaryteach87 Fri 01-Aug-14 19:35:10

Is it possible you are actually very angry about your DP and hospital staff treating you this way, and have taken it on yourself so to speak?

Loletta Fri 01-Aug-14 19:36:55

What? Ask your DH for forgiveness?Are you crazy?
I think he should ask YOU for forgiveness for disappearing off and leaving you on the ward by yourself after such a traumatic birth. My DH and DM did the same thing to me after I had given birth to DS1 in similar circumstances to yours. I was on a morphine drip (birth in the USA, don't ask...) and completely unable to attend to my newborn baby. It was hell and I'm still mad at them, not the other way round!

Primaryteach87 Fri 01-Aug-14 19:40:49

Is it possible you are actually very angry about your DP and hospital staff treating you this way, and have taken it on yourself so to speak?

Primaryteach87 Fri 01-Aug-14 19:40:49

Is it possible you are actually very angry about your DP and hospital staff treating you this way, and have taken it on yourself so to speak?

showtunesgirl Fri 01-Aug-14 19:46:08

OP, there is also an excellent Facebook group called Birth Trauma Association.

AWombWithoutARoof Sat 02-Aug-14 08:32:16

Gosh OP. I could have written lots of your post.

DP was exactly the same, he was actually a reasonable dad but a terrible partner for a long time after the birth. After about 9 months I told him exactly how he was making me feel. Turns out he hadn't apologised because he knew he was failing me, was hating being a dad and regretting it, and was so consumed by bitterness and tiredness. He was doing that thing of feeling ashamed and taking it out on the person he knew he was treating badly. He actually couldn't address his behaviour, he didn't have the emotional resources. By behaviour I don't mean abuse or anything, he did loads around the home etc, he was just permanently grumpy.

He tells me he loves me every day, but has never been a waxing lyric type DP. I realised that, following the trauma of the birth, I really needed him to have a temporary personality transplant, I needed posts on FB about my achievement, I needed to know he thought I'd done brilliantly.

We've ironed it all out now. I did have PND and PTSD. DP had behaved like a self absorbed teenager. I don't have qualms about ADs so took them and it really helped.

I think you need to take him to task and tell him exactly how you feel. Be clear. Demand an apology. Only then can you set it behind you and move on.


londonrach Sat 02-Aug-14 08:36:47

Why do you need forgiveness. Are you safe?

CulturalBear Sat 02-Aug-14 13:40:12

I am safe. I just want to be freed from the guilt and the blame.

DP is my only real-life connection to what happened - he's the only other person who can accurately judge what happened.

I can only assume he is embarrassed or ashamed of me or blames me until he tells me otherwise.

I know he spectacularly under performed on the day - I do feel let down by his me-first attitude. But I can't call him on that when I let him down, too!

Pico2 Sat 02-Aug-14 13:58:02

I don't think you are being rational at all (not an unreasonable response). What do you think you could have done differently? Would you judge a friend or anyone else on this thread who has had a similar birth for letting their DH down?

Why do you think your DH is embarrassed or ashamed of you or blames you? Do you think that makes any sense.

It is ok to think irrationally, but if you can't challenge those thoughts yourself then you need help to do so.

MinimalistMommi Sat 02-Aug-14 15:01:01

I'm confused, why would you need forgiveness? Surely the hospital was at fault for leaving you in corridor for example, it wasn't your fault about that?

Maalia Sat 02-Aug-14 15:12:53

I feel there is a maelstrom of emotions that have been bottled up for a while as a result of your DH being emotionally unavailable, and this need to be forgiven is an irrational manifestation of this emotional turmoil. You both need outside professional help to come to terms with a trauma that cannot be spoken of within your couple. As many said, you are victim of circumstances beyond your control and you coped the very best anyone could have done. Be kind to yourself. Your baby needs his mother in good mental and physical shape. Get the help you deserve.

showtunesgirl Sat 02-Aug-14 15:13:49

OP, what you are saying is indeed irrational and you've made a rather large conclusion with very little evidence of it.

You really do need to talk this through.

Maalia Sat 02-Aug-14 15:18:29

By the way, your husband not praising you says everything about him: huge shortcomings in basic emotional intelligence. I do not know of any man who wouldn't praise his wife for the wonderful feat of giving birth!

showtunesgirl Sat 02-Aug-14 15:20:55

Also it may well be that he doesn't want to talk about the day as he himself is embarrassed about what happened with him.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 02-Aug-14 15:24:44

But you didn't let him down! In what way did you let him down?

You really do need to talk to someone OP. The only person you need to forgive here is yourself.

ChilliMum Sat 02-Aug-14 15:38:43

I am sorry if this has been said already, I haven't read the whole thread but you do not need your husband's forgiveness you need answers.

I had an emcs with my dd. I was told failure to progress was the reason. The midwife actually told me during labor I was doing a terrible job and I should relax. I felt terribly guilty for depriving my dp of the whole birth experience and cutting the cord, took all the too posh topbush comments on the chin but underneath I was devastated.

2 years ago we moved overseas so I had to apply for all our medical records. My dd was born with cord around her neck and agpar score of 4. If I had known the truth it would have saved me a lot of stress during my second pregnancy.

You are entitled to see your medical records ( not the notes they send home) and I believe most maternity departments offer a service where a midwife will take you through what happened. Insist on seeing your baby's records too as it is only from my dd records that I found the truth.

If you have a supportive hv I would start by asking if they know of a post birth service similar at your hospital.

Once you have answers you can hopefully start to move on. Don't let it hang over you onto future pregnancies none of it is your fault.

CulturalBear Sat 02-Aug-14 16:28:02

Part of the reason I feel like I let them down is because DP's last experience of delivery was very bad.

I didn't want him to have to face the memories of that time with his ex. I wanted this to be a happy memory to start our life as a family.

I wonder about all the decisions I made along the way. Should I have refused induction? Should I have insisted I went in earlier? Should I have made more of an effort to stay mobile in labour? Should I have asked for a different form of induction?

What if I actually wasn't pushing well (as I was told)? What if I was doing it wrong?

The debrief didn't actually answer any of those questions, although there was a suggestion I might have been better off if I hadn't been stuck on the bed - I wasn't even allowed to go to the loo!

I would never judge anyone else. But I feel it's important to accept responsibility for things. Bottom line me, or my body failed.

CulturalBear Sat 02-Aug-14 16:29:39

Part of the reason I feel like I let them down is because DP's last experience of delivery was very bad.

I didn't want him to have to face the memories of that time with his ex. I wanted this to be a happy memory to start our life as a family.

I wonder about all the decisions I made along the way. Should I have refused induction? Should I have insisted I went in earlier? Should I have made more of an effort to stay mobile in labour? Should I have asked for a different form of induction?

What if I actually wasn't pushing well (as I was told)? What if I was doing it wrong?

The debrief didn't actually answer any of those questions, although there was a suggestion I might have been better off if I hadn't been stuck on the bed - I wasn't even allowed to go to the loo!

I would never judge anyone else. But I feel it's important to accept responsibility for things. Bottom line me, or my body failed.

NewtRipley Sat 02-Aug-14 16:38:57

This is painful to read. On the one hand, I understand the feeling of failure, or trauma, of grief even for the birth you hoped for? On the other, others have said it better. You did well. You brought a child into this world, enduring pain and fear.

This was a First Birth. You are assuming perfect knowledge to make perfect decisions. You are a a degree of control over your body and your circumstances, including other people, to make decisions. I wish I could call you forward a few years to a point where the feeling if failure is gone and you look at your strapping child and feel bloody proud of your parenting and your relationship with them, despite the shaky beginnings.

I agree with what Oxford and charitygirl say about your husband.

NewtRipley Sat 02-Aug-14 16:43:48

And to be clearer, Id agree with charitygirl that a significant amount of your disappontment and inward turned anger is actually about your DH.

CulturalBear Sat 02-Aug-14 16:55:27

I do see that a lot of this could be displaced anger - but there is nothing I can do about that. The hospital offered an oops we forgot about you, sorry bout that. DP will never ever apologise for any real or imagined harm.

I keep thinking about writing a book for new dads on how to best support their partners but I can't - I realised it would just be a long list of 'don't do <insert thing DP did>'

It also occurred to me that as most men are very different to mine, it would be literally unbelievable.

Least if I made it work, I could get some tangible positives out of this BS. Lol smile

ChilliMum Sat 02-Aug-14 16:58:23

Honestly you were a first time mum, you didn't fail your dh, the hospital failed you both.

They can't say you weren't pushing correctly, how the hell do they know. There are lots of reasons it may havebeven difficult, position of baby, position of cord, you were induced so baby possibly not ready to birth. I am sure there could be other factors too all nothing to do with your capability.

My second baby was cs too. Completely different experience though. Midwife was lovely kept telling me how amazing I was, totally fought my corner on some specific requests and afterwards the surgeon came to see me to tell me baby wrapped in cord again. No amount of walking, squatting or pushing would have got him out the normal way. Apparently my babies like to bungee jump.

If you look at my notes ( without the children's) they both say failure to progress. Ie my fault my bodys fault. I think a debrief probably wouldn't have offered me any more information.

I think you need some support .tk get through this. Speak to your hv or maybe to an independent midwife to get an independent perspective but please do not apologise for or accept responsibility for giving birth in a way you didn't plan.

Thumbwitch Sat 02-Aug-14 17:04:47

Cultural - your DP sounds very intractable, is this part of the problem for you in this scenario?
Please though, refrain from apologising to him because he will either look at you blankly or throw it back in your face, but either way it will change nothing and then you will have taken all that guilt onto yourself and achieved absolutely zilch. sad

I like your idea about writing the book - but I do think you need to also go through the complaints procedure, and through some counselling (PTSD counselling is really what you need) to help resolve your feelings. I honestly don't think it's something you can do by yourself at the moment, especially as your thought processes seem to be misfiring somewhat.

It's OK to blame your DP for being an arse, btw. Even if he never accepts it, it's still absolutely ok for you to lay the blame at his door. Far better than you internalising it! As someone said upthread - you need to be honest about this situation.

And you know, your body did the best it could under the circumstances - yes they might not have been perfect but you and your body did the best you could at the time. As the saying goes, that's really all you can ask of yourself or anyone! Your DP, otoh, really did not do the best he could. He did the bare minimum. As for trying to make up for his previous birth experience, well I'm sorry, there comes a point where he has to realise that it's not all about HIM.

He does sound like a complete cock from just what you've said on this thread - is he, or does he have redeeming features?

thanks and wine for you and do please try and get some counselling. You need it.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sat 02-Aug-14 17:06:57

It sounds like you and your partner both work FT, but you do all night wakings and virtually all nappy changes? Is that so?

showtunesgirl Sat 02-Aug-14 18:04:58

OP, I think the thing to remember here is that giving birth isn't like studying for an exam which you ultimately pass or fail. It really isn't as simplistic as that.

NewtRipley Sat 02-Aug-14 18:17:05

I think giving birth is one of the most out of our control experiences many of us will ever go through. I don't think it helps that there is a degree to which we are led to believe that if we only do X Y or Z! Or we are well enough informed, that we can influence the process in ways we really can't

And then there is no preparation for the neglect or hurtful words or actions of HCPs

I didn't really come to terms with my first birth until aftere I had my second. For some women, they might never get that far.

CulturalBear Sat 02-Aug-14 18:26:04

He does have redeeming features - but not in the emotional support category.

I did all night wakings and still do because I was breastfeeding til 11 months. But since I've been back at work (about 5 months ago) we let DS cosleep if needed,tho he is currently flirting with sleeping through.
I do 95% of nappies and dressing etc but DP is doing more now, and does 95% of cooking and 60% of basic cleaning.

BeeInYourBonnet Sat 02-Aug-14 18:46:24

Unfortunately you can't make people react or feel the way you want them to, or the way you feel. However you can tell them how sad/alone/unsupported their emotional detachment makes you feel.

Pico2 Sat 02-Aug-14 18:48:02

You had experts around you making recommendations, it really doesn't make sense to describe them as decisions you made.

frumpet Sat 02-Aug-14 19:19:34

culturalbear this was me nearly three years ago now . I kept it togther for two years after DS2 was born , i coped , i worked , i looked after everyone and then slowly , so slowly i didnt even realise things went very bad . I had a breakdown , i hit the bottom and couldnt see any way foward. My friend insisted i go to see my GP , i told her my life was a bit shit ,but that i was fine , i would manage etc , told her i didnt need AD's because i wouldnt be able to work , look after my family properly while taking them , that they would change me , the usual shit people spout about AD's . She was absolutely fantastic, put me completely straight about the AD's and convinced me to take them ( which i did for a year ) and told me my company had a inhouse conselling service which was competely confidential , i had six weeks of counselling which was brilliant ( ok the first two weeks were hell !) . Imagine you need to change lightbulbs , but dont get around to doing it for a while , you get so used to the murk , that when you eventually do change them it almost seems too bright ? thats what its like to come out of the other side .

Please go and see your GP and be honest , (yours might not have the finely tuned bullshit detector mine had) . Oh and none of it was your fault in any way , shape or form . The reason it takes three years to become a midwife is 'shit happens' as your DH so kindly put it , and it happens a lot more frequently than most people realise .

Picklepest Sat 02-Aug-14 19:53:05

Have you discussed pnd or PTSD yet? Do you know anything about it? Discounting it is normal. Not believing it's you is normal. Not feeling bad every day is normal. Being up and down about it all is normal. Recounting certain events in a loop is normal. Thinking you are ok but crying next is normal. Normal for both.

Op I'm quite concerned. I'll do a bit of projecting now. I knew a lovely lady who threw herself from a window because of pnd. It's insidious. It permeates. It distorts reality. All reality including relationships, like you're describing with dh. It's like invisible molasses or treacle. It is something you can overcome. It is also something deadly. It is an illness. A treatable one. Please. Please see someone.

Love hugs and strength xxxx

nooka Sat 02-Aug-14 20:13:27

Everyone wants a good birth experience, of course.

I planned to have my first at home with a pool and had no reason why that wasn't going to happen until my waters broke almost two weeks early with meconium staining. So we had to go to hospital after all, where they wanted to induce me, which we didn't want at all. After dh suggested that we might go home (no other risk factors and absolutely nothing was happening labour wise) they did a scan and found out that ds was in a transverse oblique lie. At this point a consultant put his head around the door and said 'c-section, now'. Half an hour later we had ds!

So all a bit shocking. dh was very proud of his intervention, he played the strong protective role and I'd hate to think what would have happened if they had induced me (none of the midwives or doctors had picked up the lie, they all thought his head was his bum).

All too few months later and I was pregnant with dd. I still really wanted the 'birthing experience' and opted for a VBAC. Waters broke early again, this time no staining. On day three I ended up agreeing to being induced instead of having another c-section (goodness knows why, but I really wanted to labour). It all went wrong after that. I coped fine with the pain until I couldn't, then gas and air did nothing, the midwife was useless (really unengaged) the strapping made me feel trapped, I couldn't walk around (and I'd done enough research to know that was bad) and I pretty much shut down. dh felt very upset. I was in pain and he couldn't do anything, and I wasn't turning to him so he felt very redundant. Then they examined me and after 6 hours of what I thought was horrendous pain nothing had happened, not a single cm!. I really fell apart. When he asked me if I wanted an epidural/c-section apparently I said no, and then when the midwife asked a few minutes later I said yes. That made him very upset and angry (he told me a long time afterward - I couldn't/can't actually remember).

Anyway it wasn't long before I had the c-section and there dd was. It was midnight by then and he went home. We didn't really talk about it for ages. I was upset that he was distant and he was mad that I'd not turned to him. It was all very damaging, and we didn't really sort it out between us for several unhappy years.

Birth can be a scary, painful, disempowering experience. Looking back I know that I made some mistakes, but they were perfectly understandable ones. dh and I didn't talk enough before the birth about what might go wrong. My uterous turned out to be good at holding babies but not at getting them out. But most of all we had a not good enough midwife.

I don't blame myself for my uterous' failure. Just like I don't blame myself for being shortsighted. It is just one of those things, part of my genetic make up. I got plenty of good genetic gifts too. My children are teens now and I look at them and think how incredible it is that they grew inside of me. They both enjoy their birth stories btw and don't blame me for anything, as there is nothing to blame me for. They also don't thank me. I think it would be slightly odd if they did.

BlessedAssurance Sun 03-Aug-14 17:27:52

nooka nope, we will never be thankedsmile Dd told me yesterday that she wished she had a different mother because I refused to let her eat as much candy as she wanted. She however is very proud of my c section scarsmile

CulturalBear Mon 04-Aug-14 09:32:04

The thanking thing has gone a bit chinese whispers lol - it'd be nice if DP thanked my for my ongoing efforts working my arse off for him and DS (and his other DS).

Either him or DS could (theoretically) forgive me for messing up.

DP is the only one (really) who could give me some form of credit or praise for actually getting through it. It's a bit much to ask him to praise me when, ultimately, DS was delivered (ie I didn't actually give birth). But it would be nice if he could acknowledge that I got through it all, remained calm in the face of panic, didn't make a huge fuss etc etc.

Going to try and organise a doctor's appointment for this week - although I'm not sure this will be possible. Fingers crossed.

Igggi Mon 04-Aug-14 10:43:33

You didn't give birth as you put it, but you gave your son life which is a whole lot more important.

showtunesgirl Mon 04-Aug-14 10:43:41

Lots of birth trauma red flags in your last post there.

The main one being that you feel that you didn't give birth as there was medical intervention.

It genuinely doesn't matter a damn if a million people give you credit for giving birth, YOU have to give yourself credit.

It took me well over two years before I could say that I gave birth to DD but fuck it, I totally did. Good for me and good for you!!!

Thurlow Mon 04-Aug-14 12:07:53

I agree there are lots of flags in your last post.

Mainly to do with messing up.

It will sound glib for someone online to simply say this to you but I promise you, you did not mess up.

Yes, birth feels like the most enormous thing at the time, and if anything doesn't go to plan, or shocks/upsets it, it can take quite a while to come to terms with it.

But in the wider scheme of things, it is actually irrelevant how your child came into this world. It is irrelevant whether their mother gave birth vaginally or had a cs.

I don't mean to suggest it is irrelevant to how a mother feels, but it is irrelevant to the child, to their development, to how they grow up, and most importantly, to who you are as their parent.

I say this as someone who had a similarly long and messy birth, ending in an emcs, and with a baby who I didn't see for 11 hours as she went straight (and very unexpectedly) to NICU. For quite a while, the fact that I didn't see her as a brand new newborn really played on my mind; but as time has passed that has faded, and I have so many millions more moments to focus on than that brief moment at her birth - which, to be frank, she doesn't remember. It means nothing to my DD that her mother didn't see her for half a day. It means nothing to her as regards who I am and how I am as her parent.

I'm saying this because it is so, so clearly weighing on your mind and it sounds as if it is affecting other things in your life too. At which stage it moves beyond regrets and sadness, and becomes something which is genuinely affecting you, so well done for deciding to make that doctor's appointment. There are people out there who can help you come to terms with not having the birth you expected or wanted. Good luck.

Actually you did give birth to your DS. He was born and to do that you must have given birth to him. By whatever means and however it makes you feel that is a fact.

Please stop saying you messed up. I can't imagine how somebody can 'mess up' a birth. You don't control what happens. Nobody really does to be honest. Both you and the medical staff are dealing with something that is outside of your control - it is something you can only react to. It is not something you can actually mess up unless, for example, you refuse to give consent for some sort of vital medical intervention and you didn't. The only messing up was the way the hospital treated you after the birth and that wasn't your fault.

I think if you accept that you didn't mess up (you didn't) then you won't need praise either. I think the need for praise comes from the need for acknowledgement that you did OK but I don't think your partner telling you that will make any difference. You have to believe it.

Just as a matter of interest have you told your DP how you feel since you started this thread? Not pushing you to do it but just interested. smile It might be that the only way to resolve this is to tell him what you have told us.

CultureSucksDownWords Mon 04-Aug-14 13:32:51

I know lots of other people have said this already, but you did not "mess up" or "fail" or however else you want to put it. There is no "perfect" birth that we get marked against.

I had to have an EMCS after 30 plus hours of labour whilst on the syntocin drip. I never got past 1 to 2 cm dilated. Unbeknown to me and every health care professional that examined or dealt with me, my DS was back to back, with his neck flexed in a brow presentation. Nothing I could have done would have got his head through my pelvis - just not possible. All my contractions had done was jam his head into my pelvis. The experienced midwife who examined me after 30 plus hours finally worked out his positioning and realised we needed an EMCS.

I did not fail at giving birth. I gave birth to him - the fact that he had to come out of a c section incision is just a fact, in the same way that some people had to have episiotomies, or had 3rd degree tears or post partum haemorrhages. Every birth is equally valid and no "better" or "worse" than others.

I don't think that the words of a stranger will change the way you feel about this, but I would strongly urge you to talk to your GP about this and get some counselling. You don't deserve to feel so bad about this.

scallopsrgreat Mon 04-Aug-14 13:44:33

Do you really want to be with someone who doesn't support you emotionally for the rest of your life? Do you really want to be with someone who wouldn't support your children emotionally either (because that is the next logical step)? The thing about people who don't support you emotionally is that they also drain energy from you as well.

Going back to what you are coping with at the moment, you say he hardly changes any nappies, does hardly any night-waking and by the sounds of it isn't doing his fair share of time off when your DS is ill. In what ways is he a good father? Because being a good father means doing the shit as well as the good.

CulturalBear Mon 04-Aug-14 14:21:57

I've not spoken to him about this since starting this thread. There hasn't been a good time (for various reasons, we get very little time together, especially when DS takes longer to get to sleep).

He's not keen to discuss it - always accuses me of banging on about it and 'only talking about babies' (which isn't true). It may be he's shutting me down as a defence mechanism?

I did manage to have a chat with him about vulnerability - asked him why he never lets anyone behind his wall, and trying to make the point that if you shut people out, you miss out on being properly happy, too. Adter a while of very gentle, non-accusatory talk, (which included him getting very defensive as usual before he calmed down) this resulted in him asking what I wanted, and I said that I wanted to feel loved - ie I needed (volunteered) affection, and nice words. He said he wants me to 'just chill out' and 'not be miserable all the time'.

He is capable of offering emotional support. He was great when we first got together - he even let me in at times. But we've lost it along the way.

He is starting to pull his weight more now - he knows he 'owes' me the next few sick days as he couldn't do the last batch due to a critical business project landed on him last minute, that's just been finished.

scallopsrgreat Mon 04-Aug-14 14:33:26

He sounds incredibly hard work. All this managing his feelings and talking to him in certain ways etc. It doesn't sound like he's offering you the same courtesy and thought. That is what I mean about draining your energy. You are bending over backwards to be super conscious of the pressures, boundaries and issues he has when in fact at this moment in time you are the one that needs support and he should be doing that for you.

Just as well you didn't have a critical project too isn't it...

Well, it sounds like you made some progress. I think you are right he is probably shutting down as a defence mechanism. Your comment about DP being a bit like Spock when it comes to emotions makes me think he might be on the autistic spectrum. Is that what you were thinking too? People on the spectrum are sometimes said to be a bit like Spock so I wondered about your choice of words. I don't want to make excuses from him but he is how he is and if he is on the spectrum he will be finding it difficult to deal with all these different emotions too. It might be that you will always spell it out for him to understand the emotional stuff. He might have been great at the beginning of your relationship because he was making a huge effort but that probably isn't sustainable for him in the long term.

Of course he might just be a bit of an arse and only you know if that is the case. On the other hand, if he is on the spectrum you will have to decide if it is something you can live with because he isn't going to change easily, if at all.

NewtRipley Mon 04-Aug-14 16:31:39

I am sorry to say this, but you sounds fundamentally unsuited.

Defence mechanism my fat arse. He is not adjusting to that fact that, as you support the baby, he needs to support you. This will only became more obvious as the baby turns into a demanding, emotionally messy toddler/child and you will be its punchbag. Who will be there for you?

For you to ask for nice words and for him to basically reply "stop hassling me woman"....

I'm sorry, you are worth more.

NewtRipley Mon 04-Aug-14 16:44:15

Sorry, my last post was not worded as diplomatically as it should have been.

Do go to the GP. You self-flagellation about the birth does point to depression (I experienced this myself). I hope he can see that what you are asking for is not unreasonable and beyond his capacity to give you. Maybe he is scared of your vulnerability.

CulturalBear Wed 06-Aug-14 09:19:47

Sooo just an update. DP was very supportive last night when he realised I wasn't a happy bunny. He encouraged me to take some time off for myself and use my massage voucher, made me dinner, made some helpful suggestions re work etc as well.

And I've just booked a GP appointment for this evening. As soon as I booked it I started wibbling. It's with the same GP I saw a while back who prescribed iron for mild anaemia. I really really struggle with iron, so taking three tablets a day was never viable.

One of my physical problems is a very sore tongue - which I suspect is an indicator of a much-worsening anaemia due to crappy coil. I'm worried he's going to shout at me for not taking the tablets, which will then block any opportunity to go 'and by the way, I'm struggling'.

Already thinking I should cancel confused

showtunesgirl Wed 06-Aug-14 09:33:58

How did it go OP?

I am seeing a pattern here where you seem to need external approval and fear what other people think of you.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 06-Aug-14 09:36:00

Blimey, a GP should never shout at you! Tell him the reasons why you struggle to take the tablets for iron, and ask him if there are any alternatives. And maybe start by talking about the fact your struggling rather than the anaemia - if he asks about the anaemia first then deflect it and say that you are more concerned about other things.

Cultural - I am not anaemic but after DD's delivery (EMCS) I had a haemorrhage and had to have a blood transfusion. The ward sister/doctor (can't remember now) prescribed tablets and I told her I can't take them - my body doesn't absorb them properly and I get er, 'loose stools'. She kept on about me refusing medication until I got a bit arsey with her and asked how, following major surgery on my abdomen, and feeding a baby on demand, I was going to run to the toilet every five minutes.
In the end we agreed on Iron syrup.

Iron syrup is far more digestable and easier to take frequently. I also bought some SpaTone in the chemist - pouches of highly iron-rich water and had one pouch a day in my fruit juice.

Glad that DP is being more understanding.

CulturalBear Wed 06-Aug-14 09:40:55

Yeah that's very true showtunes my parents were very supportive growing up but think they must have been 'clever girl' praisers rather than 'well done on working hard for that' praisers - apparently this can skew you to always need external reinforcement.

Appt is for tonight. Just need to not cancel it. The demons are having a field day though - 'he'll say there's nowt wrong', 'he'll brush it off as being tired', 'he'll shout at you for not taking tablets' (this actually happened to me many years ago at a different practice - a doctor phoned me up to shout at me for not taking enough iron, and then had a go at me for not booking a smear test. I complained.)

Then there's the other extreme of 'he'll tell social services about me', 'he'll want to lock me up', 'he'll sign me off work'... I know these aren't very likely (god I hope not). But it's hard work ignoring the demons!

NewtRipley Wed 06-Aug-14 09:52:14


The demons sound strong, which is why it's even more important you seek help for the psychological side of things.

Maybe it would help to write down what you want to say beforehand

CulturalBear Wed 06-Aug-14 09:58:33

I know Newt. I'm quite good at switching them off in normal life - but occasionally the nagging wins over.

Btw - I don't think there are really demons, I was just analogising self-doubt thoughts.

Don't think it helps that I'll have to have DS with me but hopefully he won't choose then for a meltdown!

NewtRipley Wed 06-Aug-14 10:04:32

I know smile

I have them too.

I went to ask for help when DS2 was about 7 months old 9had a period of PND with him too) and it actually helped that he was there. He cried, I cried. I got the message across of how bad I was feeling.

showtunesgirl Wed 06-Aug-14 10:34:08

Do write it down.

I know it's hard. It took me over two years before I went to my GP to say: No, things aren't right. Saying those first few words were tough and then it all came tumbling out.

Number one thing to remember is that YOU matter.

Thumbwitch Wed 06-Aug-14 15:38:26

Definitely write it down. Copy out some of your posts from here - they say it all really.
Floradix is another way of taking iron in liquid form, which can work better than tablets.

Good luck - be strong! - tell him that you are struggling and make him get you some help. xx

CulturalBear Wed 06-Aug-14 15:54:46

God I'm getting nervous now. <Eek>

How about if I start with something like: I've got a couple of issues, but the most important one is that I'm not coping very well at the moment. I am still really affected by DS's birth because I blame myself for failing. I've been struggling for a really long time and it's getting worse. I don't know what you can do to help me but I think I need some help.


I think I could manage that.

showtunesgirl Wed 06-Aug-14 16:04:14

Do whatever you think you can manage but do say it.

We're with you OP!!!!

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 06-Aug-14 16:05:58

That sounds like a great start to your conversation with the GP, that should make it clear what you want to focus on. Good luck smile

Thumbwitch Wed 06-Aug-14 16:12:45

That sounds like a great opening line! remember you have the MN Collective standing at your shoulder, supporting you through this in an ethereal fashion!

If all else fails, tell the doc to read this thread.

CulturalBear Wed 06-Aug-14 16:24:12

Thanks Team MN grin

Will report back later...

CulturalBear Thu 07-Aug-14 09:03:58

So, final update (cos you all must be bored of this by now!)

Saw GP. He offered Ads and/or counselling, and I said I'd try the counselling first but if the wait is very long and I get worse in the meantime, I'd go back for extra help.

He also didn't shout at me about the iron thing. Yay!

DP has really upped his game. I think he finally realises that I'm not just 'being miserable' and there's more to it than that. He's being very supportive in taking some of the pressure off me at home and I'm very grateful for that.

Thanks again to everyone who has commented on this thread. I think I see now that I need to forgive myself as it's not DP's place to forgive me - and hopefully that will be the start of getting better.

Much appreciation and gratitude to all - and to everyone else in the same boat, please see the red flags in this thread - seeing them written down made me finally see how skewed it all is.

thanks thanks thanks

Thumbwitch Thu 07-Aug-14 11:02:23

Sounds good, Cultural
Keep posting if you feel the need; we're still here to listen (we don't do boredom!)
Really hope that you get the counselling through quickly, but if not, do go back and try the ADs. Remember they're kind of like a plaster for a broken leg - temporary support while you heal - no shame attached. You wouldn't try and walk on a broken leg without support, would you? (Well, I hope you wouldn't! grin) So try looking at ADs like that and it might help smile

florascotia Thu 07-Aug-14 12:25:53

Cultural - thank goodness you went to see GP. Here's wishing you all the very, very best for your future. As so many others have said, you have not failed. We can't 'achieve' the perfect birth any more than we can 'achieve' the perfect weather. And your hospital care sounds dreadful.

This is just a comment re your DP. An observation, not a judgement. May or may not be relevant. Some men - especially ones for whom showing emotion is difficult - find it incredibly hard to be faced with suitations where they can do nothing to solve a problem or 'make things better'. They may get angry with themselves, resentful of others, switch off or actually walk away. From the outside, this can look deeply uncaring. I don't think that's actually what they intend, but they simply don't have the emotional equipment to cope. Ask them to help with a practical task, however, and they show their love and care that way.

Well done Cultural. That can't have been easy.

Glad DP is stepping up too. As I have said I think the hospital treated you both quite badly and he has been struggling too. It sounds like you have got through to him that you need help. I agree with florascotia about the practical things being easier for men like him and he has a way of supporting you without having to deal with things he can't understand which just makes him defensive.

Hope things continue to improve. smile

maddy68 Thu 07-Aug-14 16:47:16

You certainly don't need forgiveness however expecting your partner to praise you is also a little bit odd if you don't mind me saying so. It sounds like you a bit over emotional and your partner is a bit on the colder side. ( as many men are) I think you need to talk to your partner and tell him how you feel and explain that you need 'more'. Do you think you could be suffering with a bit of pnd? Have you spoken to anyone about your feelings?

maddy68 Thu 07-Aug-14 16:47:50

Sorry didn't see the update ! Well done for getting some help

Thumbwitch Thu 07-Aug-14 16:47:58

Usually a good idea to at least read the OP's updates, maddy

maddy68 Thu 07-Aug-14 18:14:13

I appreciate that however I'm on holiday with sketchy internet and I was on a previous page, believing I was on the latest. Once I posted it updated!

Thumbwitch Thu 07-Aug-14 18:14:56

Fair enough then smile

NewtRipley Thu 07-Aug-14 20:30:50


Good to hear. Please keep on it, and of course come back if you need to talk.

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