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Birth has left me feeling like a failure

(3 Posts)
RegLlamaOfBrixton Sat 23-Jul-11 21:39:17

DS (first baby) is nearly 6 months old and I?ve had a few problems coming to terms with the way his birth went. DS was born in theatre by Kiellands forceps (I was prepped for EMCS if the forceps failed) because he was malpositioned (LOT and asynclitic). I?ve done the birth debrief, which did help me understand what exactly had happened and I do feel more positive than I did. I know that the only thing that matters is that DS and I are healthy and I?m really grateful for that and feel pathetic for even caring about anything else, but I still can?t help feeling like I failed at the birth and wishing things could have been different.

Had fairly long latent phase (52 hours from feeling first contraction to birth) so was already exhausted on arrival at hospital when VE confirmed that DS was LOT but was told he should turn during labour. Had my waters broken at 4cms dilated and keep wondering if this had any affect on DS? positioning. Coped way better with contractions than I?d ever imagined I would with TENs, G&A and pool (pre-pregnancy I had major childbirth phobia) so was on a real high with how well things were going.

It was when it got to pushing that it all went downhill. Senior MW said that DS had turned to OA so position no problem. Pushing was probably the most painful part of the whole thing, felt like my pelvis would crack open across the back, and like I was pushing against something that wasn?t moving. I was convinced I wasn?t doing it ?right? as nothing was happening. After 2 hours going nowhere, senior MW said that I was just exhausted with the long labour and needed to be transferred to labour ward (I was upstairs on the MW led unit), put on synto drip as contractions were now stopping, and ventouse would be used to get DS out. I felt like such a failure, what kind of mother was I if I couldn?t even give birth to my own baby? My notes even confirm it; ?failed to progress in second stage?. On labour ward the registrar immediately identified DS as LOT plus asynclitic and tried a manual rotation which failed. Was prepped in theatre for EMCS but thankfully the forceps rotation was successful. I was utterly shocked and just couldn?t believe that I had gone from MWs preparing for a natural, straightforward birth 3 hours previously, to this.

I thought I?d done all I could during pregnancy to get DS into the best position; swimming, yoga, bouncing on ball, not lying on back, and used upright positions in labour, but now keep feeling that I should have done more. I wish that antenatally MWs would emphasise how important a good position is. I know that it might not have made any difference but I now feel guilty for every time I sat on the sofa instead of that damned ball!

I stayed calm by trusting my body to give birth and feel that it let me down. I really want more children, and my birth experience hasn?t put me off, but I currently feel that it would be an attempt to ?right the wrong? of this birth, which would make things worse if I had any complications. I worry that there might be a problem with my pelvis which would lead to the same thing all over again.

Is it normal to feel this way? And anyone who has, how did you get over it?

WipsGlitter Sat 23-Jul-11 21:49:59

I think we can over think these things. perhaps knowing too much about how labour is "supposed" to progress, disempowers us rather than empowers us because when it goes "wrong" we start to blame ourselves when in reality giving birth is such a mix of variables and predictable and unpredictable factors.

I think you need to accept what happened and move on. You gave birth to a healthy baby - your body didn't fail you.

RockChick1984 Sat 23-Jul-11 22:03:21

Your body didn't fail you! I felt like this after having ds as my birth hadn't gone the way I wanted it to. In the end, I realised that I had done exactly what my body, as a woman, was designed to do - I created a beautiful, healthy baby. How he came into the world isn't the important thing, I needed to start feeling proud of myself for what I had achieved. You can never know what will happen during labour, but ultimately the most important thing is your baby.

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