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Struggling with emotions after c-section(13 Posts)
I was strongly advised to have a planned c-section to birth my baby boy, and it was so strongly suggested as the safest thing that I agreed, as didn’t want to put him at any risk. He is now 2 weeks old, and despite knowing we made the best choice for us at the time, I am really struggling with the loss of the natural birth I so desperately wanted. I feel terrible saying it, and feeling it, because I have a gorgeous healthy baby, but I can’t shake my upset (and then guilt that I’m feeling upset when I have my baby safely). My husband is very supportive and understanding of how I’m feeling, which is great and he’s helping me work through it. But Did anyone else feel this way about a planned section? If so, any tips for getting past it? I’d love to be able to think about his birth without that twinge of grief over the natural birth I didn’t get to have.
I ended up with an emergency section.
Ask yourself what you're actually missing out on? Drill it down to specifics.
When I did that there was actually nothing I felt I'd missed.
Yes I'll don't have the experience of pushing a baby out of my vagina but I still gave birth.
I don’t mean this to sound in any way harsh as I totally sympathise with your feelings, but -
In my antenatal class there were 10 mums. We all desperately wanted lovely natural deliveries, just like you.
But not one of us got what we wanted. 3 3rd degree tears, 2 forceps and episiotomies, 2 emergency sections, 1 semi-planned section, and 2 inductions with ensuing complications.
I think what I’m saying is even if you hadn’t had the section, you still may not have got the natural delivery you wanted - and you may well have ended up with something worse. I gad a natural delivery and got a third degree tear. I need follow-up surgery on it. And honestly? I’d do anything to go back in time and have a planned section!
I’m not dismissing your feelings because they are totally valid. But i think my point is - try not to idealise the alternative. There’s no guarantee you’d have got the birth you wanted anyway. Hope that makes sense!
I had an emergency section and really struggled with it. It wasn't what I had prepared myself for. I suppose it wasn't the story I had been telling myself.
I had to go easy on myself, I had a new born and I'd had major surgery, of course I was going to feel wobbly. Dont feel bad for having feelings. It took me a while to process it but I did. A very kind and experienced midwife told me..."look, think of it this way, 50 years ago you'd have laboured and laboured until you both died" Thank God for medical science.
Not at all. I still carried him for 9 months and I still had to go through the process of recovering after having a c-section as well as looking after a newborn. Give yourself a break.
I had an emergency C-section with my son 5 years ago - after pushing for an hour! I was devastated and traumatised by the birth and felt like a failure at first due to not having the vaginal birth I had longed for, and always said that if I have another I will 100% have a VBAC just so I can experience 'natural' birth. Fast forward 5 years and I am almost 28 weeks pregnant and I have just had my ELCS agreed by the consultant. I no longer care that I won't have a vaginal birth as I have come to realise that it does not matter at all how your baby enters the word, safety is paramount and if that's a C-section so what. C-sections have their benefits - no tearing down below, less unexpected interventions and you know what you are getting yourself into (C-sections obviously come with there own risks as do any type of birth!). Give yourself a break and enjoy your new baby and in time you will come to realise that it really doesn't matter. Don't be too hard on yourself - these initial few weeks are tough, but once you have fully recovered you will feel so much better.
We have such as idolised view of a 'natural birth'. As if that is the correct way to give birth. Many years ago it was the only way women could give birth. Back then it was seen for what it was a potential dangerous event for both mother and baby. Thankfully we are now in a time where CS can be done. I believe statistically one in five women end up having a emergency CS.
I don't get why we are so against pain relief either. I can't think of any other procedure that would be as painful that we wouldn't have some sort of pain relief for.
Please don't beat yourself up over how you gave birth. Your body did an amazing thing creating your beautiful baby. The best thing for you both was that you baby was brought into this world as safely as possible.
I have had two c-sections - one emergency, one planned. I kind of felt that my body had failed me. But being a mother is so much more than the act of giving birth and my body had not failed in any way. It has grown two fabulous children and then fed them. Who cares how they came out? (Although I had to backtrack with the sex ed talk recently because of course they wanted to know how they came out and then we didn't talk about vaginal births) There are advantages and disadvantages to both vaginal and caesarian just as there are with breast or bottle.
Being a mother is not about those things. Being a mother is about your relationship with your child, the decisions you make as parents and those you make with your child. It's about cuddles on the sofa, pride when they're proud, frustration at their stubbornness, heartbreak when they are bullied and constant surprise at the people they become. And when your 6 year old brings you a blanket because you're not well or your 9 year old comes for a sneaky cuddle in bed before the first day of the new school year, the manner of their birth has no relevance.
I was induced and had an EMCS and I really wanted the "is this labour" type experience and to labour at home for a while before going in and giving birth naturally.
I struggled with this so much. I couldn't even hear about natural births or read about them. My DH would walk in on me crying and say "are you reading/watching about natural births again"
In my case an EMCS saved my sons life so I felt ridiculous for getting so upset about it. You are entitled to your feelings though.
I had PND, I'm not sure if this was part of it. Perhaps it was but there was a lot of other stuff going on at the same time. Do you think you could have this too?
Eventually I just stopped getting upset about it. Life with a baby just got busy.
I do wish I could have had the natural birth experience but it no longer upsets me in a way it used to and now it's just my DS birth story like everyone else has a birth story.
There's no right or wrong way to feel about it but it is still really recent so allow yourself to get upset if you want to but perhaps speak to your health visitor if it's getting too much.
You are not alone
I had an emergency c section after a failed induction, pushing for an hour, failed instrumental (suction & forceps) ... other things in between but she just didn't want to come out!
I sometimes feel sad, I have epilepsy so I was heavily monitored throughout, I would have loved a 'natural' birth and tried my best to push her out but she was back to back.
I know next time I probably will end up with a planned c section as I just wouldn't want to go through that again, she was my first and we only plan on having two so I'll never experience it.
But I was just happy she was out, there was nothing I could've done and that's just the way it was.
It's a shame but we're both safe, happy and healthy now and that's what matters.
With dc1 I had a emcs after pushing and failed forceps. It was horrific, he went to NICU and I lost my mind for a bit. I felt I'd failed motherhood 101, that I didn't deserve him and that social services should just take him off me because if I couldn't give birth to him, how the hell was I going to look after him. I do struggle with the fact that it seems that me and dh between us make babies my pelvis can't cope with (his family all have huge heads, I have a sub optimal pelvis for childbirth) and even now nearly 5 years later I still rage whenever someone says "you won't grow a baby too big/that your body can't birth" in my vicinity.
Dc2 was also an emcs and quite possibly dc1 getting stuck saved her life because she was so tangled in the cord they said if I hadn't been monitored when I turned up in labour, things could have been really bad.
What helped me was separating my feelings. It's okay to hate the process but be happy with the outcome. I'm glad that both my children are here and are healthy but it's okay to be traumatised/sad that they had to be cut out of me, that instead of their arrival being the active process I was sold ante-natally it was passive and I played no part in it. I didn't even know dc1 had been born for at least 10 to 15 minutes of his life.
Have a read of some stuff by Hollie de Cruz. She talks about "abdominal birth" which really validates that CS are "real" births. She is a hypnobirthing teacher but has had two EMCS herself.
Look, you were advised to give birth via c section. It was for a valid reason. The alternative could have meant a damaged baby rather than a healthy one. Surely that should be where your focus is, not on some idealised figment if someone's imagination. So many vaginal births go wrong in many ways and women are left scarred physically and mentally and have damaged babies, so please make your healthy baby the focus of your feelings and forget the method of birth.
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