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Not traumatised - just disappointed

(15 Posts)
Allegrogirl Thu 16-Dec-10 13:04:14

Feeling sad about DD2's delivery despite the fact nothing went wrong as such. I know I am being irrational but thought it might help to get it out on here. Haven't spoken to anyone in RL as I feel foolish.

DD1 induced by syntocin 90 hours or so after waters breaking at 40+6. 7 hour labour with epidural. 2nd degree tear, vaginal tear and labial tear. Lots of blood loss and DH traumatised. He told me many months later that DD was yanked out by the MW. Took several months to heal.

DD2 booked in for a homebirth. Waters broke at 2.30 am following sweep at 41+1. Meconium in waters so up to hospital for monitoring. No contractions by 7.00 am so syntocin again. Requested no epidural (wanted to avoid tearing again). Extremely painful and limited movement due to monitoring, drips etc. 5 hour labour with 70 minutes pushing. No urge to push what so ever, just fear. Forced DD2 out and got another second degree tear. I was on my back in stirrups because I was so knackered from useless pushing.

I feel I have failed because I never went in to labour myself and ended up giving birth on my back twice despite reading all the books on how it 'should' be done. Not having any more so no opportunity to get it 'right' next time. And I know how ridiculous this is as I gave birth to two perfect healthy girls.

thisisyesterday Thu 16-Dec-10 13:08:30

allegro, i think it would be worth you contacting your hospital and asking for a debriefing session with one of the midwives. Even if you can't see the one that delivered your babies just being able to go through your notes and discussing why things happened the way they did may help you a lot

you can do this at any point btw, the birth doesn't have to have been recently.

The way I see it, the whole purpose of labour is to get a baby out. So, it doesn't matter if you didn't do it the way you "should"- the end result is the same!
and you know, that "should", varies hugely from person to person. what you "should" do in fact is make decisions that benefit your and your child's health, which is exactly what you did!
some people have fabulous homebirths with no assistance, some end up with emergency sections to whip a poorly baby out, most of us fall somewhere in the middle. But we all do what we have to do to ensure our baby comes out ok

Likesshinythings Thu 16-Dec-10 13:19:25

You have definitely NOT failed. As you say yourself, you gave birth to two perfectly healthy babies which I think involved your body doing some pretty amazing stuff for the 9 months prior to labour? It's so sad that we put ourselves under so much pressure to have the "perfect" birth when a lot of it is just the luck of the draw.
I was one of the lucky ones and had a textbook natural birth (and I stress, I was just lucky, I did nothing to deserve it!) and I'll let you in on a secret, there are no prizes for giving birth the prescribed natural way - only a baby at the end of it. And I think you got one (two!) of those anyway!

SelinaDoula Thu 16-Dec-10 13:30:44

You did the best you could both times with your girls, both labours were interfered with it is very hard to push when you are all strapped up and on syntocinon.
Was it fresh meconium? What colour were your waters?

Metalhead Thu 16-Dec-10 13:33:27

How it 'should' be done is vastly overrated IMO - I did everything by the book and still ended up with 2nd degree tears, and 6 months on am still slightly traumatized by it all!

I think there just are no guarantees what you're gonna get when it comes to giving birth, and all we can do is try and accept whatever happens (unless there have been medical mistakes etc.). A debrief with the hospital might be a good idea, as thisisyesterday said - I had one, and although it didn't really help me get over the trauma it reassured me that there was nothing I did 'wrong' or could have done better.

Allegrogirl Thu 16-Dec-10 14:29:55

Thanks all for your kind replies. Selina there was a slight brown colour visible on the maternity pad I was wearing after my waters broke. No smell. I could've ignored it and the MW wouldn't have been any the wiser.

The community MW was mine throughout pregnancy and happened to be on that night. She recommended HB and was really supportive so when she said HB was a no no I took her word for it.

SelinaDoula Thu 16-Dec-10 14:51:00

It is totally understandable to go with your care providers suggestion.
Meconium is usually graded as old or new and thin or thick, however mec stained waters can be a reason to transfer from homebirth (as a deviation from completely normal)
But, many midwives would argue old meconium and thin meconium which is well diluted by waters is unlikely to be a problem to a baby.
Also it can just be indicative of a mature gut (common when overdue)
See- um-stained-liquor/

arizonagirl Thu 16-Dec-10 15:01:26

Had a vba3c a few weeks ago and was overjoyed. But let me tell you this, even having got what I wanted for five years (just a vbac was my ultimate wish) I still wished I had done certain things differently. Ended up with an episiotomy and a kiwi ventouse and wished this hadn't happened. My song hadn't been played, I didn't get enough photos, etc etc. I think what I am trying to say is that there is just so much emphasis on getting the PERFECT birth. And this is very very rare. Yes, there are some people who have wonderful natural home waterbirths and even then I still feel it is over-rated. My friend had one of these and said it didn't bother her one bit how well it had gone - she had just been glad to get it over.

I think the problem is the element of control. You only get a couple of times in your life to get it so PERFECT - (some people have more babies so more chances). And most things in life you can keep going and going until you get there in the end (driving tests and exams spring to mind). Birth isn't like that and I think it feels frustrating that we can't keep going and getting better if that is our nature. Another similar scenario is a wedding - you only get one or two chances in life to make that PERFECT and often there are some small disappoinments that one tiny thing went skiwiff. My flowers didn't get put around the gazebo and I was gutted for weeks - still feel a bit sad about it ten years later but it doesn't play over and over again in my mind like it did grin. I think childbirth is like that - if something small goes wrong you really dwell on it at first but accept it as time goes on. And congratulations on your lovely baby. Those first few weeks are so so special.grin

Greenwing Fri 17-Dec-10 00:18:52

I do sympathise with you. I felt very upset with some things that happened with my 2nd and 3rd labours and couldn't stop thinking about them over and over ...

Luckily it helped me get over it when a great friend showed me the statistics for infant and maternal mortality in the past, before such interventions were common or even possible.

It really stopped me grieving for the 'right' way which I hadn't had and genuinely made me count my blessings to live in a place and time where my baby and I could be safe and well. Counting ones blessings is such very annoying advice - I don't mean it to be! I hope that you will soon be able to feel 100% joy at the safe arrival of your daughter and that, as your bond with her grows, so your emotions will heal as well as your body.

You are not alone! It is very, very common to feel upset, cheated, let down or even a failure. Do talk to somebody close to you about it!

GruffalosGirl Fri 17-Dec-10 00:58:23

I was booked for a homebirth for my first and ended up transferring and having a forceps delivery and 3rd degree tear.

I was convinced I'd do it "right" this time round and was unhealthily focused on it for the first six months after my first birth, I even wanted to be pregnant again, not for the baby but to be able to do it again but "properly". I was going to have an independant midwife, refuse to transfer etc.

I've been told I need a CS this time round due to the damage last time and to be honest I'm now glad 3 months on now I've got over the shock as I think the pressure if it hadn't gone perfect the second time would have been too much.

We forget that birth isn't something we can plan and control no matter how much we think it is. You can do everything "right" and still not have the birth you wanted and it can be terribly demoralising. It is a traumatic experience for your body and not everyone will have the birth's you hear about and aim for and that is natural.

You need to give yourself the time to grieve this and not criticise yourself for it, these feelings are perfectly valid and will take time to get over. Try and be proud of what you have achieved. You put the health of your baby above your wishes for a homebirth and made the best decisions you could with all the information you had, that's all anyone can ever do.

Feliena Fri 17-Dec-10 01:18:07

i felt like that too - aparantly my hubby could hear me screaming when he went off the ward to get a sandwich - and i was on my back in stirups too but u gota remember ur body made a perfect healthy baby even if the delivery bit wasnt quite right u shulkd be proud of ur achievements! x

Allegrogirl Fri 17-Dec-10 09:43:41

Thank you all you lovely ladies. Your kind words are really helpful.

Selina thanks for the link. It's as I thought at the time but I wasn't willing to argue with the MW about it. I appreciate you saying that it was understandable I should take her advice. I have been wondering whether I should have challenged her but I'm very risk averse and I do think did the right thing at the time with the information I had.

I must focus on the positive and the fact that I coped with two induced labours to bring my lovely girls into the world is a good thing.

bumperella Fri 17-Dec-10 13:24:44

I've yet to give birth.... but I can't help but feel that you have done something truely amazing!
Beign critical of yourself like this sounds a bit like saying "I wanted to run the marathon in 3 hours, I did do it, but in 3.5 hours and I had to stop to re-tie my shoelace...". It's still an incredible thing to ahve done!

Cleofartra Fri 17-Dec-10 14:03:57

Allegrogirl - you've produced a healthy daughter despite all the obstacles to a normal, healthy birth your midwife put in your way - namely stopping you mobilising in labour, and making you adopt a physiologically stupid position to push your baby out. Your body is a marvel!

If by any chance you have another baby you might want to think about scraping together some money to pay a good independent midwife who will maximise your chance of a birth which is not just safe for you and your baby, but is a happy and satisfying experience for you.

MrsBonkers Tue 21-Dec-10 02:09:53

Arizonagirl has just put into words how I've been feeling.

I don't want another child, but want to give birth again so I can do it 'better.'
Most people would be jealous of the birth I had; Healthy DD, 4hrs from first twinge, no tear.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, no matter how well it goes, there are things you'd do differently and its kinda sad that you know you might not get the chance to try again.

Sounds like you were a hero going through it the way you did. - I was refusing to push and begging for a CS!!!

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