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HORRIFIC 1st birth now pregnant with No 2 need reassurance BEWARE if you only want to read positive stories

(27 Posts)
Missteacake Tue 03-Jun-14 11:15:57

Ok this might take awhile as I'm pretty scarred from my first birth experience and looking for some reassurance as I'm expecting #2 in 23 weeks time.

My first labour spiralled completely out of control and was massively medicalised. My waters broke at 40 + 8 and I went in to labour ward who sent me home saying they hadn't. They had. So two days later I'm sure something's not right go in again and they say I have to be induced immediately due to the policy not leaving you more than 48 hours after waters broke. Already my perfect water birth is out the window. Everything starts alright I was already 3cm so put me on the drip. Then after 7 hours my lovely midwife leaves and another starts.

Started to turn up the drip to max as not a lot happening when my DD shifted position i can still feel that moment she moved back to back and clunked on to my pelvis. Obviously this hurt a lot I was begging for an epidural. The anethesist turns up and takes 5 goes!! Yes 5 to put it in. It wasn't in right it didn't feel right but I was in a lot of pain and not confident enough to speak up. So I kept asking to have it turned up the midwife was tutting at me, frowning not being encouraging at all, telling me it doesn't hurt you now get on with it.

This continued for another 12 hours me still in pain her belittling me. Got to 10cm tried pushing for 2 1/2 hours nothing had every man and his dog in to feel the position and have a good look. I was in such a bad position on my back for 20 hours I just had to move I couldn't stand it as I shifted on to my left my DD heartbeat dropped and the big red emergency button was pressed at which point the midwife yelled at me "you just couldn't help yourself could you look what you have done"

I was wheeled into theatre where they wanted to try with forcepts (not sure that is spelt right) that didn't work she was good and stuck so it was EMCS. As they started the incision I could feel the pain the cutting sensation I can't even describe how horrific that felt I was screaming and 5 seconds felt like forever. My epidural had only worked on one side ( later I found out they had wrote on my notes that I requested general anesthetic just a blatant lie) they knocked me out and that's the last I knew.

I woke up confused, scared, didn't know where I was. At least my nice midwife had come back the shift had changed. If your wondering where my DH was and why he wasn't defending me from the bitch midwife he was in another part of the hospital fighting for his life after he sustained a football injury which split his kidney in half and caused a blood clot! He is lucky to still be here I'm not exaggerating when I say as my DD was being born her father nearly died. This was 4 1/2 years ago and clearly I'm not over it. I have been offered an ELCS which I am taking I'm just so scared. I'm scared of the midwife I might have, if the epidural doesn't work again and how it will take to recover as I now have a four year old to deal with a swell as a newborn. I'm also scared to speak in RL to anyone as I think if I start I just won't stop and I don't really want to be face to face when talking about it. The after recovery was long and I was in pain, traumatised and couldn't breastfeed as my body just wasn't up to it.

Sorry this is so long I just need someone who had this to tell me there second experience was great. I so want this baby I just don't know how I can go through this again?

P.S it's quite obvious who I am if you know me in RL don't out me thanks

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 03-Jun-14 13:09:17


having a planned elc is so much calmer than a rushed emc after trial of labour and so on.

it really is a lovely and wonderful way of giving birth and i think you will really find this will heal your past experiences.

have you ever heard or or spoken to birth trauma association? they may also be able to help you.

i was able to bf much better after calm elc than normal delivery when i was tired and battered.

honestly, it will be wonderful and at four your other dc wont need picking up as much.

try not to also doesnt matter about the mw when you have elc, you will have lots of diff staff around you and wont need to rely on one, that may be bad.

all the staff are usually great. I had one dogy mw after my elc, all other staff were wonderful.

relax and enjoy this time, honeslty it will be wonderful and it will cancel out the first time.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 03-Jun-14 13:10:33

Already my perfect water birth is out the window

it doesnt really doesnt, millions of women think they will breath baby out, nature doesnt work like that..dont feel bad...its labour the very nature of it - the nature of the beast, its un predicatable which is why a planned and controlled elc is great.

Methenyouplus4 Tue 03-Jun-14 19:21:19

Not the same situation but I just wanted to tell you I too had a horrendous first birth but a wonderful experience second time round.

With my first, I was cut, given a ventouse and then stitched with NO pain relief / anaesthetic. There was no reason for this (baby was not stressed). After, I was really traumatised but totally blocked out experience until years later when I was pregnant with my second. I started having flash backs and nightmares, by about 4 months I felt mildly hysterical at the thought of giving birth.

I spoke to my midwife who was amazing. She sent me for a review (can't remember proper name, bit like a birth reflection) at hospital where I gave birth. It was great as confirmed I had not been given any medication (I'd began to doubt it) and also other things I wasn't told at the time like my son was back to back. I was offered full investigation as it was described as 'barbaric' but at the time didn't feel emotionally capable. They also sent me for hypnotherapy which focused on feeling really empowered and in control of my birth. I think the main thing that helped was just feeling listened to.

Second time round was glorious! I made it very clear in my birth plan about my previous birth and husband stressed how important it was that they communicate everything with me. Although I still ended up with ventouse, it really was great and the staff were wonderful.

I'd say it's really up to you but they told me that if at any point (even in labour) I wanted a C section I could have one and just knowing I had options helped. Best of luck.

Missteacake Tue 03-Jun-14 19:29:33

Thanks for taking time to reply.

methenyou really good to hear a positive second time round story and I will certainly try to come up with the courage to discuss this with my midwife.

knitted I think sometimes the pro natural group makes you feel like some what of a failure if you can't prescribe to the no pain relief total natural route and think people forget the mortality rate for mothers and babies before medical intervention.

FoxtrotOscarBackToEconomy Tue 03-Jun-14 20:55:58

It could be worth asking at your hospital if you can be referred for perinatal counselling. I know you said that you don't want to talk to anyone in RL but you might find it helpful speaking to a perinatal counselling specialist who is experienced in helping people who have been through difficult and traumatic birth experiences.

I have found that being pregnant and thinking about the birth has brought back very difficult memories of my traumatic last birth and brought fears about what will happen this time. I have done one session of counselling so far. It was definitely not easy but i have found it helpful and am going back again.

theborrower Tue 03-Jun-14 21:20:28

I'm really sorry to hear you had such a traumatic experience. Have you had any counselling? If not, I would ask to be referred (for example, I was referred by my consultant to the psych attached to the maternity unit). They should do this fairly quickly. Presumably you'll be referred to a consultant to discuss birth options too? There is also the birth trauma organisation, who I've heard can be helpful.

I hope things work out better this time for you.

RedToothBrush Wed 04-Jun-14 14:43:55

Just so you know, if you are having an ELCS they generally use a slightly different anaesthetic. Its similar to an epidural in that it is administered by the same method, but it is supposed to last for longer and is less likely to fail. The two methods are either a spinal block or a combination of a spinal and an epidural.

It is possible for these to fail, but the risk is a lot less. Hopefully this may offer you some reassurance.

I would try and speak to your consultant regarding this, and discuss how they can help you cope with this fear. If they are good they should be able to talk you through this; its very different from an EMCS from this point of view, because you can discuss certain scenarios in advance, putting them into writing if need be.

I would speak to your midwife about your fears and like Foxtrot suggests ask about perinatal support. I am in a different position to you, (this is my first) but have found that talking about my extreme fears for the birth with the perinatal team useful, none judgmental, and it is helping me work out the right birth plan with them. It is a subject that 5 years ago, was more taboo, but it is becoming something that midwives are much more aware of and are much more sympathetic about. The biggest hurdle is taking the plunge and breaking the ice about it.

In my case I found my issues very distressing talking about face to face, so I wrote things down and explained it, and gave it to my midwife. It helps to take the pressure off as I was able to articulate things a lot more easily than I would have been able to otherwise.

There is support out there.

herethereandeverywhere Wed 04-Jun-14 19:59:14

I had a traumatic first birth and an ELCS for my second. It was calm, peaceful, controlled. A truly wonderful experience. DH and I actually enjoyed DD2 coming into the world rather than thinking 'thank God that's over'.

My recovery was easy compared to forceps recovery and of course i hadn't laboured so there was no exhaustion. I breastfed straight away and DD2 continued to feed no problem - unlike the problems I had after DD1 - my body was not traumatised so milk came in normally.

When I was pg with DD2 I was so scared that I used to wake in the night having palpitations. I confided in some lovely midwives (never saw the same one twice though!) and they referred me for the right help and support. I hope that you get that support too.

KnittedJimmyChoos Wed 04-Jun-14 21:04:21

DH and I actually enjoyed DD2 coming into the world rather than thinking 'thank God that's over'

thats how we felt, neither i nor dh enjoyed my first labour at all, but we really enjoyed the section, it was enjoyable!!!

here i felt like you, I was so much calmer, coming at the baby rested from a good nights sleep not having been awake for three nights already with contractions etc and now, I am physically in better shape than after first labour..

herethereandeverywhere Wed 04-Jun-14 22:03:56

Knitted glad it was good for you too smile

maggiethemagpie Tue 10-Jun-14 20:29:18

I had a planned CS after an emergency one the previous time and the difference was amazing! No time to worry or panic, all done in a controlled manner, being told what was happening. So go for an ELCS if you can!
My view has always been that the birth is just one day, it doesn't matter if it's not perfect so long as LO is ok, not underestimating your experience but the bottom line is, if you go home with a baby then you got to count your blessings.

imsureineverdo Tue 10-Jun-14 20:36:20

I had a horrendous birth with my ds1, everything except a cs. Very long labour that ended with ventouse, episiotomy etc. It was all very managed and spiralled out of control. It made me want to take control of my own body with ds2 and dd. I was very determined, did my research and gave birth to both with just gas and air and went home within a couple of hours. Very empowering!

MiaowTheCat Wed 11-Jun-14 20:10:54

First time around - awful. Premature birth, bullied into forceps and spinal, reacted to the spinal so couldn't stop shaking and was terrified I was going to die... mother in law rolled up in the delivery room and sat down to watch till I kicked her out... total fucking catastrophe and then the bastards rang social services on me for being a "resistant patient" so I had that to deal with. Left me in a right state mental health wise that I've not recovered from. Huge tear as well

Second time around got pregnant again very fast (or I'd never bloody ever have done it again really) - total breeze - sub 15 minute labour (long shitty latent phase before that) and I just about got my jeans off before she flew out without me even needing to push.

Positive enough?!

AllBoxedUp Wed 11-Jun-14 22:28:34

That sounds truly awful. I've had 2 ELCS abs because there is no rush they don't start until they have checked that you are numb. I had a spinal each time and they use s cold spray to check it had worked. They don't start until you can't feel it. I think they checked both sides but maybe you can specify that in your birth plan. They both were really positive experiences for me z I hope it goes ok. You also don't have much contact with the mideifes during an ELCS.

AllBoxedUp Wed 11-Jun-14 22:33:33

Recovery has been fine both times - you aren't as tired which is good and I breastfed both times in recovery. I was back to driving after 4 weeks and think I could have done it after 2 weeks. I did overdo it the first few days I was home this time but by day 6 I was a lot better. I stayed in 2 nights with DS (feeding was a little tricky to stay with as he was mucousy) and one night with DD. I really hope you have a positive experience this time.

AnotherStitchInTime Wed 11-Jun-14 22:51:14

I had a bad first birth, light meconium when waters broke meant monitoring on my back (monitors wouldn't stay on properly). Failed ventouse and forceps with no pain relief followed by EMCS. Dd1 was so jammed in it took two consultants, one with her foot on the table to get her out.

I tried again with dd2, she got stuck too but even though EMCS it was calmer as I knew what to expect and not so rushed as they didn't let me push for long.

ELCS for ds at 34 weeks, it was a lovely calm birth, despite the terrible complications afterwards (massive pph due to placenta growing into my bladder resulting in emergency hysterectomy and whole body blood transfusion). The midwives were excellent as were the anaesthetists who stay by your head and talk to you throughout. I think because the team were aware of the situation they were extra supportive which reduced the trauma for me. I even managed to breastfeed ds as the midwives were so supportive.

If you talk to the supervisor of midwives you may be able to get a named midwife with one to one care for your pregnancy and delivery, some trusts do this. Get them to write in your notes about your past trauma and have a birth partner who can inform midwives and doctors of your particular needs if you are not able.

hebrideanprincess Wed 11-Jun-14 23:07:39

I had a crash cs under ga as baby in severe distress, I came to asking if baby was alive sad Thankfully he was but was totally uninterested in breastfeeding which added to the emotional upset as wasn't allowed to be discharged until feeding ok. 2nd time around I had a planned cs which was a world away from my first experience and baby took to breastfeeding straight away! Whilst having a cs when you already have a toddler to look after is hard, the calm nature of 2nd delivery has finally meant I've been able to stop dwelling on my first birth. Wishing you a much more positive experience this time.

SueDNim Wed 11-Jun-14 23:24:23

I had a crap time - I won't go into the details. I'm now pregnant with DC and DD will be 4.5 when it arrives (if all goes well, it is early days). I'll be having an ELCS at a different hospital to the one DD was born at. I think that there are two things that are making the difference to me psychologically:

1. I had excellent, specialist perinatal counselling after DD's birth.

2. I have realised quite how much I can take control myself, particularly having an ELCS. First time mothers are probably more acquiescent. I wouldn't have tolerated the treatment I had when I had DD in my day-to-day life - I am normally scarily assertive. But somehow the "overstretched NHS" message and the medical situation made me just do as I was told rather than questioning. I won't make that mistake again and nor will DH.

I don't think that I am completely over what happened - I think you can learn to live with it, but it is still there. I think one of the things I still find hardest is when people talk about the day their child was born as the happiest day of their life. For me it was probably the single shittest day of my life. The other trigger that distresses me is the "mother and baby doing well" description as friends pop their babies out, as I wish we could have said that when I had DD. But, while those things make me sad, I am not fearful of an ELCS with my normal assertive manner in place

27mummmy2boys Fri 13-Jun-14 11:41:37

My first birth was very traumatic ended up in the emergency room after 22 hour labour. The babies heart rate dropped drastically. I didn't really bind with my baby for the first few months and I blame the birth. I refused to give birth naturally on my second and my midwife referred me and I had a meeting with someone at the hospital who went through all my notes talked me through the birth step by step and said chances are everything will be fine and that recovering takes alot longer from c section. I was adamant I was going to have it though but he really set my mind at ease and I ended up having a natural birth and it was the best decision I made. I was in hospital an hour had the baby and home 7 hours later! Just had my third the same. It's a decision that only you can make though everyone's experience is different xx

SomeSunnySunday Fri 13-Jun-14 12:31:00

Ok, big unmumsnetty hugs. This is really similar to my first birth, which was an EMCS after a failed forceps delivery at the end of a long, augmented labour. The spinal worked, but my BP crashed and I passed out. My baby ended up in the NICU with Group B Strep.

I wouldn't say that I am 'over' it exactly (I still feel quite teary writing about it), but some things have helped. First the staff at the time were brilliant, and I'm so sorry that you didn't have that experience. They were also good afterwards - the community midwife went through it all with me, then when I felt up to it, about 4 months post birth, the consultant went through my notes in great detail. It really helped me to understand what has happened and feel at peace with it. I truly believe that nobody - not me, not the medical staff - was 'to blame'. With the benefit of hindsight, quite a few decisions were made which did not turn out for the best, but I can see why they looked like the right decision at the time.

Secondly, I had DC2 by elective section, and it was a much better experience. I met with the anaesthetist first to discuss anaesthesia options, and what they could do to stop the same reaction to the spinal (as I really didn't want a GA). They managed it very well, and I felt a little bit lightheaded, but nothing worse. The section experience was calm and controlled and I came out of it thing "Is that it? Is that really all there is to it?". No crashing heartrates, no alarms, no sense of panic. Just a midwife chatting to me and DH holding my hand while the doctors calmly delivered my baby.

I'm now heading for CS3 and honestly, I'm still scared. Birth will never be a highlight for me. But I know that I can do it, and I think that knowledge and full discussion has been key to this. Best of luck.

pinkglitter80 Wed 25-Jun-14 20:11:06

Not read all replies so sorry if duplication, but just to reassure you with an elcs its v calm and (with me anyway) once they've done the spinal they check its worked by spraying something cold on your legs/hips until you confirm you can't feel it, so I don't think there'd be the same risk of it not working x

Mmmbacon Wed 25-Jun-14 20:31:38

Just wanted to add I had horrible experience with my first that put me off having second for almost a decade, I had "natural" birth on both

I spoke to my midwife about what happened on first and she was lovely, very reassuring, spoke for me to doctors and kept me sane, my major problem was the stitches and held my hand through out,

I would tell midwife your fears and get them on side, I was prepared to tell midwife to fuck the fuck off if I thought they would treat me badly again and demand new staff, on first they stitched up my episiotomy without any pain relief and used three nurses to pin me to bed untill I passed out,

On second I had complete support from midwife, she understood my fear and really looked after me but I had to tell her in order to get that support,

Please don't worry, talk to staff explain your fear and they will be sympathetic

HumphreyCobbler Wed 25-Jun-14 20:41:17

Also you can request that the vile midwife does not come anywhere near you.

So sorry you had such an awful time. I can confirm that a planned c section is a calm and lovely experience.

Missteacake Sun 29-Jun-14 13:57:09

Hi everyone thanks for your kind replies. I feel much better about it now after hearing other peoples experiences. I am feeling more assertive than I ever was first time round and my DH is banned from being anywhere near a football field so having more support will help me a lot. From everything I hear ELCS are completely different to EMCS so I'm expecting a calmer more positive experience. Thanks for taking the time to give me your stories.

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