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To feel completely robbed :.(

(55 Posts)
Ems101 Wed 29-Jun-11 09:53:42

So, basically, I fell pregnant last summer, not planned and by a person who I wasn't in a a proper relationship (and am still not). Won't go on about this part but basically advice from doctors, nurses and family was 'have an abortion'. Although I didn't particularly want a child I didn't want to get rid of a child either and so I decided maybe adoption would be best for me. Anyhoo, pressure from parents (cause they just couldn't cope with adoption, but abortion was fine) led me to an abortion clinic where I was treated very badly, and where I ran out the door crying, still pregnant.

Naturally it wasn't eay to move on from this experience, but I tried my best. I decided to keep the baby, and just kept trying to think of that first cuddle I'd have with them after they were born, when they are all fresh and naked and new, to try and get me over the bad times.

Fast forward 8 months, and 6 days overdue I went into labour. I'd planned a homebirth, but due to irregularities detected when the midwife came over I had to go to hospital. A sudden drop in the heartbeat meant I was rushed to deilvery with the prospect of having to have a c-section under a general. However luckily heartbeat came back up and so I was put into a normal delivery room. This is where the problem started really. I didn't have a very detailed birth plan, but one thing I'd specified, and it may seem silly to most, was that I didn't want my waters to be broken artificially unless absoloutely necessary. Whilst doing an internal exam to seehow dilated I was, and before I could really say anything (I'm sure everyone appreciates how mush of a daze you go into and so you can't always focus on whats going on), suddenly they had one of those hook things inside me and my waters were broken. At the time I didn't really care as was in so much pain (and really tired), but afterwards when I asked why they'd been broken no-one seemed to think it was because it was actually necessary, it was just the 'done' thing.

25 hours of labour later, during which I was forced to mostly stay on the bed due to what felt like thousands of monitors being shoved on me so I couldn't move (I'd said in my birth plan I wanted to be able to move around) I was told I'd have to have a c-section. Fair dos I thought, I was exhausted by that point, so off to theatre we went. When putting in the local anaesthetic, they did the cold spray and pin prick test to see if it was working. I kept saying I could feel it, even though by that point I couldn't feel my legs. Then suddenly it seemed the screen was up and they started the c-section. Although it didn't hurt in the way you might think, it still hurt quite a bit, and they told me to 'relax' as they couldn't get through a muscle. Well I challenge anyone to relax when their stomach is being cut open under an ineffective local, and whilst lying on a tilted bed that felt really small. Then suddenly they announced they'd have to do a general and within minutes I was under.

A couple of hours later I woke up in recovery, alone, my baby wasn't there.I was then wheeled up to the postnatal ward where eventually my baby was brought to me, cleaned, dressed and fed.

I don't know what I'm hoping for, I know I can't change anything, I guess I just feel annoyed that they carried on the c-section when the local obviously hadn't worked. I wouldn't have cared that I'd had what was to be fair a rubbish labour if I could've seen my baby in that new innocent state that I'd looked forward to seeing for so long. I'll never get that moment again. I've seen photos of him when he was about half an hour old, but it's not the same sad

I now feel so detached from my baby it's unreal, and keep feeling like giving him up for adoption as I'd originally planned all those months ago.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 29-Jun-11 09:56:31

FWIW, my DD was born by elective CS. I had a general anaesthetic and didn't see her for 10 hours.
You sound depressed to me. I can't claim to have any experience of PND but you are clearly not coping well at all.
I imagine someone much cleverer and with more experience will come along and help you.

HumanBehaviour Wed 29-Jun-11 09:58:42

I don't know what to say really but really feel for you! Can you try talking to your HV or GP?

sparkle12mar08 Wed 29-Jun-11 09:59:08

You are not being unreasonable. You are trying to come to terms with an horrendous decision and an horrendous experience. I think you would benefit from a debrief, can you call your hv or midwife or the local PALS team for the hospital and see what they can do? And would you consider some private counselling too? You need some professional support to move forwards from this and to help you get your relationaship with your baby back on track. You have my utmost sympathy OP.

pigletmania Wed 29-Jun-11 10:00:19

Sounds as though you have postnatal depression. Talk to your MW or HV. I know that my MW has told me that there is a special post agal depression mw

MmeLindor. Wed 29-Jun-11 10:01:20

That sounds like a traumatic experience. You need to get in touch with a midwife, and request counselling - not sure how you go about this in UK, but hopefully another poster will advise.

I had my son under a GA/Emergency CS. It was hard, I won't pretend that it took me longer to bond with him than it did with my daughter. Once I was over the first shock and the pain of the CS began to fade, it just came. The feelings were just as strong as those for my dd. He will be 7yo next week and I love him so much, and cannot imagine that I did not feel that "connection" to him right away.

Can I ask how old you are? Do you have any support now?

LIZS Wed 29-Jun-11 10:01:53

Sounds horrid but perhaps it was medically encessary to put you under and rpesumably you had signed a consent to that effect. Can you contact the Head of Midwifery at the hopsital and ask if you can talk to a midwife who acts as a counsellor about the birth to help you come to terms with your feelings now or ask gp to refer you. Also you may be vulnerable to pnd if you have felt so out of control for all this time and then had a traumatic experience. Good luck with your baby.

itisnearlysummer Wed 29-Jun-11 10:03:14

If it helps, I could still feel my EMCS. It didn't 'hurt' but was unpleasant. I could still feel the water spray and the pin prick, just the water didn't feel cold and the pin prick didn't hurt.

I spent 12 hours in recovery when I didn't see my baby and didn't see her again until the following day.

It's tough.

FWIW, I didn't bond with my son for 4 months, I remember the morning when it happened. I didn't bond with my DD for considerably longer and I breastfed them both for over 12 months! Did skin to skin contact as soon as I was able to...

Don't make any rash decisions. Get some support and talk to someone.

It doesn't always happen as you feel like it should but it's still your baby and you have the rest of your lives to make up for those first few hours. I wouldn't be without either of them now. Get some support.

Good luck.

Ems101 Wed 29-Jun-11 10:03:45

I'm due to see someone at the hospital to find what happened and why. I just feel so unhappy, I keep trying to do some research to try and find a reason for why I had to have a GA, but I just keep finding reasons for why it could've been avoided. I've spoken to the doctor and the health visitor, but not about this. Everything just seems such a mess, this was supposed to be and could've been such a happy time but it feels like everything has been ruined now sad

fedupofnamechanging Wed 29-Jun-11 10:09:43

I second the idea that you need to get a debrief from the hospital where your baby was born. Contact the hospital and arrange a meeting. It might be that there were valid reasons for your birth plan not being adhered to and an explanation might make you feel more at ease with it. Or, it might be the case that they simply didn't pay attention to your request or didn't understand from your birth plan just how important certain things were to you. Being able to talk it through with them might make you feel that this is no longer unfinished business.

I believe you are also entitled to see your medical notes, which again might help you.

I know things didn't go exactly as you wanted.It's horrible feeling as if you have no control over something so huge in your life. The important thing now though is that you are both well and you have had a good outcome in that you have a healthy baby. Once you've had a chance to go through this properly I think you should focus on your future, because what has happened already cannot be changed now.

i hope you have support from your family.

Morloth Wed 29-Jun-11 10:10:27

Oh you poor thing.

Get yours and your baby's clothes off NOW and snuggle him in. It isn't too late to get that bond, all he wants is you, all you want is him, so get him snuggled up now.

It really isn't too late, you can't have the initial moment, but you can have this moment. Put him on your chest so you have skin to skin and breathe in his smell.

shakey1500 Wed 29-Jun-11 10:12:45

You've been through such a traumatic time. Your feelings in early pg, leading up to the birth, then the trauma you went through during the birth. Add to that hormones raging, baby blues, possible pnd etc it's no wonder you feel as you do.

It would help, I feel, as others have said to have a debrief and gain some understanding of why those descisions were made during the birth. Also definitely speak to your gp and hv.

Just.....give yourself permission to feel like this you know? I also had traumatic birth, straight to surgery after, didn't see ds till the next morning. Absolutely didn't bond with him for <admits> well over a year and it's bloody rotten I know. But it will come.

I'm so sorry you're going through all this and (not very mn) want to give you a great big hug and tell you it will be ok. x

Ems101 Wed 29-Jun-11 10:17:30

For the kind person who asked, I'm 20 (19 when feel pregnant, cue 'argh teenage pregnancy rates these days' rants). My family are supportive in that they love the baby and help me a LOT practically (and financially), but emotionally I don't feel like they're quite there. I don't think it's that they don't want to help, they just don't know how. They keep saying 'try and move on, just forget about it', but I'm sure someone will appreciate that that isn't always easy. I wish I wasn't but I'm someone who dwells and bears grudges for a long time, and I find it hard to 'just snap out of it', even when I know it's what's best. I just hope this debrief will help. If I know there was a unavoidable reason for the GA I think I will feel a lot better but I'm worried I'll get there and then find out it probably could've been avoided if I'd spoken up or done something different sad

Imnotaslimjim Wed 29-Jun-11 10:22:38

It sounds like you have PND or PTSD, which is unsurprising really given what you went through. Understand though, the general will have been because of the ineffective local. Rather than chance it not working again they will have just knocked you out to get the baby out

Please do talk to MW/HV/consultant about a debrief, and ask lots of questions. If you've got why/what fors etc floating round in your head, write them down. Then you can remember them all when you go for the chat. Have you got someone who can go with you who can advocate for you? That way if you get upset etc they can get the info for you.

As others have said, it isn't too late for skin to skin, Do it as often as is possible. If you and baby are home alone, get them tucked inside your top, laid on your chest. Smell them, feel them, it will happen for you. It will be ok, just give yourself time

Morloth Wed 29-Jun-11 10:22:45

You didn't do anything wrong. Sometimes things are just outside of our control.

You really do however need to get some counselling about this. It is OK to feel as you do, but you will need to learn how to let it go or it will eat you up.

OrdinaryJo Wed 29-Jun-11 10:22:45

Oh no, honestly you couldn't have done anything differently and none of this was your fault, please believe me. I had a very traumatic birth and could have written much of your initial post myself. It took me months to bond with my DS, and I can actually remember the night it happened - to me, that was my 'moment'. I think there's a support group somewhere for traumatic births, will pop off and see if I can find it...

itisnearlysummer Wed 29-Jun-11 10:24:50

I was 24 when I had DS, so not much older than you. I felt very helpless and put my trust in the HCP completely. I did feel let down in certain areas and they positively sneered at me when I told them I wanted to bf.

"you do realise it will mean getting up in the night don't you dear" - because I said I wanted to bf him even though he was on SCBU 2 floors down. WTF!

I think that, unfortunately, when you are younger, the attitude from the hospital isn't always that supportive, that you have got yourself into this and that you just have to put up with it.

It's not true though.

It's hard having a baby, it's hard when you're young, it's hard when it doesn't go as planned. It's hard.

Have the debrief and then try and come to terms with it. Morloth's suggestion is a good one.

Sorry to hear you're having a tough time.

OrdinaryJo Wed 29-Jun-11 10:33:55

Here you go, they offer support by email and there's a section about getting access to your notes as well. Really, really hope this helps and keep posting on MN too, we're a very supportive lot really. Take care of yourself.

www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/

MmeLindor. Wed 29-Jun-11 10:37:18

Knowing that the EMCS could have been avoided will make no difference long term - I know that is hard to believe, but it is true.

My gynae was mad as hell with the hospital when I told her what had happened. She said that I should have been able to give birth vaginally. I was angry for quite some time but eventually I had to let it go and concentrate on my son.

Which doesn't mean you should not find out exactly what happened and why you were advised to have a CS. You should and if it turns out that it was avoidable, then come on MN and have a good rant about it. Talk to a counselor about it. Get it out there.

Only then can you let it go. You have to know the facts first, then you can move forward.

WorzselMummage Wed 29-Jun-11 10:44:27

Ems, not seeing your baby born is shite, I know just how you are feeling. I don't have much advice to offer you except that the bond WILL come. You WILL love your baby just as much as a mum that got a perfect birth and your baby doesn't care, it will love you unconditionally. Don't feel that a 'proper' bond is impossible because it isn't! of my children were premature and were both whisked away immediately after birth and spent their first months in an incubator and I to be honest still feel robbed now and I suspect I always will, as you will too but we are just as bonded as it's possible to be.

You didn't do anything wrong. Sometimes things go tits up. I know it's trite and it pisses people off but you've got what really matters.. A lovely healthy baby smile

LittleOneMum Wed 29-Jun-11 10:45:24

Oh you poor sweetheart. I promise that the feelings will come. I was really very ill after my DD was born last year, almost died (won't bore you with details). This meant that I spent the first 6 weeks of her life fighting for my life. She wasn't allowed to be with me. Couldn't breast feed (body too weak). The first time I held her properly was when she was 6 weeks and 1 day old. It was like holding a stranger. However, fast forward 13 months and I cannot tell you how much I love her. I am her favourite person in the world, and we spend lots of time cuddling. it will be FINE. I promise you. Time does heal.

Ems101 Wed 29-Jun-11 10:45:59

Thanks everyone, it's nice to know there's a supportive ear(s) out there, in the cyber sense.

Although I wouldn't wish it on anyone it's nice to know other people have had similar experiences. I think part of why I feel so rubbish sometimes if it is feels like I'm the only one it's happening to, even though that's obviously not true.

I do love my little boy, but he doesn't feel like my 'son' yet, more like a little brother, though this may be my age and circumstances, I don't have the 'typical family set up' (but hey who does right?).

I think I will see how this hospital meeting goes then take it from there. I will also go back and see the doctor and, although it will be hard, admit that something isn't quite right. I'm lucky that in this modern age it isn't considered failing to ask for help, even if it feels like it is.

Thanks again everyone smile

tallulahxhunny Wed 29-Jun-11 10:48:33

how old is the baby now?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Jun-11 10:48:33

I know how you feel, to a point. I had some nice plans about how my baby would enter the world as well, but things went wrong and for the last few days of the pregnancy, it was really a case of doing anything necessary to keep me and the baby alive. The same is most likely true in your case. Do I understand why you feel upset and cheated that you didn't feel fully in control? Yes. But I would say that the birth experience is only a tiny part of your relationship with your baby and, if you choose to, you really can put it behind you. Good luck

Portofino Wed 29-Jun-11 10:55:27

FWIW I felt exactly the same as you after my emcs. I was awaiting an epidural when dd got distressed and I was knocked out immediately. I found it really hard to accept that dd really was MINE - kind of PG one minute, little sleep, BABY. I struggled to bond with her enormously in the first couple of months.

Plus the feeling that I did not see her being born, and never got to see DH's face left me feeling CHEATED. This upset me more than anything - particularly as we never planned to have any more. It's like "they" took something away - something I can never, ever get back. Like you say in the OP "completely robbed"!

It gets better though - I promise. I did bond with dd eventually- I woke up one day several months in and just fell in love - she is the light of my life now. The "hurt" also fades. I know that without the emcs there is the possibility we both might have died. I still feed sad about it, but I can look at it a bit more rationally.

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