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Is it normal to struggle to come to terms with a caesarean section?

(100 Posts)
MamaG Sun 25-Jan-09 12:53:11

Or am I a complete wuss? blush

I'm more or less ok with it, remind myself that if I hadn't had it, DS2 might not have made it etc but I still feel sad about it.

MamaG Sun 08-Feb-09 14:19:33

Hi charb welcome to MN

Hope you have found comfort on this thread, I know I have

charb Fri 06-Feb-09 13:18:47

hello, i havent posted on this forum before but thread caught my eye. My daughter (who is now 15months old) was born by c-section and was nine weeks premature. I really hate the fact that i had c-s although an induced labour and to then not see or hold my daughter for 24 hours would have perhaps been worse. (which is what happened)
Most other mums i know who have had prem babies would want to have c-s next time but i am very keen to have a v-bach as like so many others on this thread, i do feel "cheated" of a proper birth and i never had a contraction. It definitely feels as though you havent actually given birth doesnt it.

MamaG Wed 04-Feb-09 20:14:46

I'm def going to mention it to the HV tomorrow (going through notes)

mrsallright Mon 02-Feb-09 17:35:43

if anyone is wondering about it, the doctors went through my notes with me in all the grim details (think they were worried I might sue!) and i didn't want to know about it at the time, but I think it really helped, knowing what the professionals had done, and what the decision making process was etc. I think it has helped me move on from it actually, glad you've salvaged a happy memory MamaG! XX

stayingsane Mon 02-Feb-09 10:48:13

Hi all. Been reading through this and it has helped a lot. I've had 2 crash sections. Last one (16 weeks ago) under GA as well. Awful. Not nice at all.

In other countries, women in these situations are automatically offered counselling and physiotherapy; it is - quite rightly - seen as major surgery. Good old Blighty just leaves us to fend alone without a second thought. As someone said in this post already, you'd get way more sympathy, help and support if you'd had your appendix out or other major abdominal op.

And MamaG, I was also upset about why I wasn't on the ward/left with MWs working around me after 1st CS. I asked about it when I was in hosp 2nd time round (have more balls nowadays) and was told they do that if they're worried about you so they can keep a close eye. Shame no one thought to tell me that at the time when I just felt sidelined, very sleep-deprived and abnormal.

I had PND after 1st one and I firmly believe it was triggered by the traumatic CS and lack of empathy, care and support. I eventually came out the other side after I met a wonderful HV who ran a PND group locally.

One of the turning points was when she pointed out that if you'd had emergency surgery in any other circumstances (car accident or whatever) you'd be treated for post traumatic shock. That kind of put a few things in perspective and I started being less hard on myself.

It's SO wrong that we are made to feel we have failed and it's even more wrong that we are not offered any form of help to get over a CS.

Oooh, it gets me so mad.

Good luck everyone and stay strong xxxx

PS Osteopathy helped me and my babies to get physically better both times.

Portofino Sun 01-Feb-09 18:07:32

It really is lovely! You must be so happy to have this memory smile

My first memory is coming round from the GA to find DH asking me to do multiplication hmm. I was so out of it I just did the sums. He said he was trying to ascertain if my mental faculties had been altered!!!

I do laugh about that bit now I must admit.

Then he said, "Do you want to see your beautiful daughter? We've been having a chat whilst we were waiting for you." I think I said something like "In a minute". It took a while to work out where I was and what had happened.

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur.

MamaG Sun 01-Feb-09 14:03:35

Im going to write and tell her how much it meant to me

TwilightSurfer Sun 01-Feb-09 14:01:11

MamaG I agree completely. Having had a VB first, I was "prepared" for life with that mindset. The emCS completely changed everything. The first thoughts that ran through my mind (okay second thought...first thought was HELL NO!) when I was told I was being prepped for an emCS was WHAT ABOUT MY DD1? WHO IS GOING TO CARE FOR HER FOR THE EXTRA TIME I'M HOSPITALIZED? WHAT IS SHE GOING TO DO IF I DIE ON THE TABLE? WHAT HAVE I DONE? Then for the weeks and weeks afterwards, trying to be as normal as possible when things were so abnormal. I'm in awe of the ladies who describe the procedure as "nothing" or they were back to their old self immediately. I wasn't and it was devastating for me. It was devastating for my dd1. But thankfully dd2 won't remember any of it and was/still is the easiest baby on the planet.

Lastly, MamaG what an incredible memory to recall. How blessed to have had such a wonderful mw beside you. smile

MamaG Sun 01-Feb-09 11:50:17

We're a bunch of softies aren't we!

Portofino Sun 01-Feb-09 11:44:33

MamaG - I'm crying now!

Poledra Sun 01-Feb-09 11:35:50

MamaG, reading your last post, I'm filling up - don't remember that with DD1.

Poledra Sun 01-Feb-09 11:34:46

MamaG - no offence taken! Another thing that makes it more difficult with a CS after a VB is that you have a toddler/child to care for as well as your newborn while you recover from a major op. At least I was able to sit on the sofa all day if I wanted and just hold/feed my baby, and stay in bed late in the morning with her. I also had time to brood think about my experience and perhaps that pushed me into making the appt to go over my notes where I can imagine not having time to get round to it when you've got other children to care for, and the whole thing just festering on in your head. Rambling again, sorry - hopes that makes sense!

I can speak sort of from both sides, as I had a CS with DD1 then an appendectomy when 31 weeks pg with DD2. It was so difficult for 22-month-old DD1 to understand why I couldn't pick her up, go out for walks etc, even though my mum was there to help. Another thing to beat oneself up about.

<<Pol contemplates the fact that she appears to be Not Very Good at this pregnancy and birth lark, and wonders why she was stupid brave enough to go on to have DD3>>

MamaG Sun 01-Feb-09 11:24:19

Fantastic news (well for me anyway!)

I was thinking about BabyG's birth (again) and I have remembered the first time I held him! I'd said to MW when in labour that I hadn't written a birth plan, as I know you can't plan a birth as such (how right I was!) but that the most important thing to me was that DH was always with me and that I had skin to skin with the baby.

they didn't dress him, just wrapped him in blankets. I specifically remember the MW unwrapping him and laying him on my chest, telling me she'd remembered how important it was to me

God I'm filling up here!

12 weeks on and I can remember it for the first time, literally this minute. I can feel him on me

MamaG Sun 01-Feb-09 11:20:59

La1 - it sounds like you are a bit like I was. AFter previous VBs, I was shocked at the recovery time after teh CS. I wasn't expecting it, wasn't prepared for it. I got upset every time something went "wrong"

Had DS
Had blood transfusion
Had painful BF
Discovered tongue tie
Cut tongue tie
Infection and haematoma in my womb

i can honestly say that 12 weeks down the line I feel physically normal again (have done for a few weeks now). I'm feeling strong and healthy. Hang in there, you need to be kind to yourself. I almost htink its harder to recover from a CS after you've had a VB because you've got the added "wtf" factor (no offence meant to those who had CS with first baby)

wooly1962 Sat 31-Jan-09 08:44:03

hi mums, i had a c section last year after failed induction. i had pre-eclampsia so it was necessary. had spinal block so was conscious when baby taken out but didnt see him for several mins as they took a while to get him breathing. yes it is disappointing not to experience a 'normal' birth (whatever that is!), but having had a miscarriage previosly and worried all through my pregnancy about the baby dying i was just grateful that he was ok. I think we all put too much pressure on ourselves when pregnant/giving birth and feeding baby afterwards. i managed to breastfeed for 6 months but several of my friends were unable to for various reasons, but our babies all seem well enough. i am 9 weeks pregnant at the moment, counting the days til 12 week scan. at 46 am high risk for genetic problems but am lucky that i have been able to conceive naturally. guess i just accept that fate has a lot to do with life and we cant always control what happens. best wishes to you all

Fortuna Fri 30-Jan-09 22:42:11

Reading this thread makes me realise how lucky I was in my experience of cs. I wasn't progressing quickly enough after having been induced - my waters had broken two days earlier, so it was an emergency cs and I was awake throughout.

Although I sometimes feel a little cheated that I didn't give birth 'properly', I feel lucky that I had no complications and was up and about very quickly. Breastfeeding was a bit of a struggle at first, but after visiting a drop in breastfeeding group, it all became easier and three years on, I'm still breastfeeding ds at night!!

I feel terrible for those of you had bad experiences - I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like. I hope that you can come to terms with it and that time will ease your ain

toddlerhip Fri 30-Jan-09 22:26:18

La1 - it's easy for your friends to forget what it was like afterwards - and i think the concept of the macho mama is a surprisingly common phenomenon.

I suffered severe VB anxiety, though I had planned a home water birth. Also had a panic attack in the hospital at 42 weeks. C/s was elective and I don't regret it: our son was scanned at 42 wks and expected to be huge so a high risk of serious problems for both of us in labour.

Recovery was much harder than i expected. After the CS we had 5 hospital visits and 3 admittances in the first 5 weeks after my son was born for an illness he had, and i got bad mastitis which went undiagnosed for a long time. Poor post natal support and no friends with kids or family living near, also PND and i found it really really hard physically for first 2 months at least.

La1 Fri 30-Jan-09 20:57:19

Its interesting reading all the views. I had a planned cs 4 weeks ago and feel a bit traumatised, not because I feel robbed from not having a vb ( had one before and suffered 4th degree tears) but because I wasn't prepared for the recovery period, the post op infection and that my body didn't/ doesn't seem to belong to me anymore??? Everyone of my friends who had ecs were so blase about it but I found it really hard. Just want to get on with things but my body is letting me down, (anemic, infection on scar, flu) ahhhhh - don't want to whinge but what is going on???

mrsallright Fri 30-Jan-09 18:39:58

I think this is something that people don't realise, that CS can be really traumatic.
I had a fantastic pregnancy, was blooming etc, then had to have an emergency CS under GA as I went into labour really quickly, 2 months early, baby breech, and heartrate dropping. I then haemorraged and almost died, as I lost 6 pints of blood. I had to have a second GA/operation, woke up on Intensive Care, with a photograph of my baby, didnt' see him till the next day, and felt like I'd been in a car crash.
I then had to go and visit him in his incubator for almost a month, and couldn't do all the things I'd expected to do when he arrived. I didn't even get any time off work as I was so early!

AT the end of the day what helps me get through this is my husband, my church community, alot of prayer, and just the fact I've got a healthy son, who's thriving, and doubled his birth weight in 2 months! The rest doesn't really matter!

I hope in the future to work with disabled children as it was such a close shave, my son could have been really badly injured if I hadn't had the emergency CS. Doing some voluntary work in this area would help anyone come to terms with what might have been I think.. !

I am scared though about having another, but at the end of the day, anything would seem better I guess than this first experience!

scubagirl Fri 30-Jan-09 18:22:12

Just came from visiting a friend who had an emergency appendectomy and she has found a whole new respect for people who have had a cs. Looking after yourself is hard let alone a new born. CS is never the easy option. I had two elective sections - one wonderful experience one just awful. Just getting through it is an acheivement. don't short change yourselves.

Madmentalbint Fri 30-Jan-09 16:51:35

MamaG, I've just read your post where you say that you told the MW you needed a CS. This happened to me too. It was my 3rd baby and I knew things weren't right. I was literally begging her to get the doctor over and over, and she just kept rolling her eyes and laughing at DH like I was being silly. I'm still angry about it - and in fact when I went through my notes with my own MW there were a few things in my care that she said was unnacceptable. She wrote to the head of midwifery about it and that did go some way to making ammends.

Madmentalbint Fri 30-Jan-09 16:45:26

I had an emergency CS under GA too sad

It was nearly nine years ago now but I still find it hard to talk about. I can rationalise it and I know that without the CS my DC3 wouldn't be here - but it still hurts. I hate the fact that he was hours old before I saw him, and can still remember waking up on my own and not knowing if I was pregnant or not, or whether my baby had survived or not.

I did have a debrief with my midwife which really really helped. She came to my home with all my notes and we talked everything over - I got through alot of tissues!

I also had a successful VBAC which helped to lay some ghosts to rest, but it still hits me at times, usually when I'm least expecting it.

It's going to take time to come to terms with it, so be kind to yourself, and take your time. Talk to your midwife or GP if you can - more than once if need be. They'll keep your notes for 25years so there is no rush. Take care, x

VeganMama Fri 30-Jan-09 15:59:26


first I want to thank you for starting this thread, which is supportive for so many others (inc. me) as well. I can't imagine how awful a cs with GA must be.

My dd is just under 2.5 and I still struggle to come to terms with the way she came in to the world. Like so many others said, I can't say "when I gave birth" because I didn't. I always say "when she was born". I too felt I had failed her and that my body had let me down.

I felt angry when I tried to express how I felt, my feelings were dismissed with "but at least you are both ok, thats the main thing" or "but the important thing is that you have your beautiful baby", as though I wasn't allowed to feel the sadness or that I had been violated, or that by expessing my trauma I was being ungrateful for the gift of my baby. NHS staff were the worst for that, but even friends and family trotted out those little platitudes. So I shut up about it.

I had planned a "gentle birth" at home with a birthing pool for me & my baby.I was told 2 weeks before my due date that my LO wasnt growing (IUGR) and that she should be delivered straight away. I had breezed through pregnancy, the baby was active and I had left work on the Fri, this appt was the Mon after. I still doubt their diagnosis and believe I concieved much later than they thought I had.On top of that babies in my family tend to be born on the small side anyway. I couldnt help feeling that they wanted to find something wrong as I had a lot of resistance to my wanting a home birth.

So it was that I had a week of fetal monitoring, induction x 2, (baby turned breach) ECV, Epidural (just in case) followed by ECS during which I could not stop crying and shaking.(oh and in the morning I had to have an xray because they were missing a plastic cap of some kind and it just might be inside me!) Immediately she was out, DD was taken away to be checked and not brought to me until they had dressed her in her nappy baby gro and hat, so not even skin to skin. I did get to bf and hold her in recovery room for an hour or so after which they took her to the NICU for three days because she was 4lb 11o. I cried, as all the other mums in the recovery room had their babies. I hated the drip and felt humiliated by the catheter. We were reunited after that but stayed in hospital for 10 days after she was born. I didnt get to do so many things with her, not even give her her first bath. They fed her formula while I used a pump to stimulate my milk.

She was born into blinding lights, umbilical cut before independant breath, no skin contact with me and then taken away to lie in a cot in NICU. I also feel guilty for trying so hard to have her vaginally once the conveyer belt of intervention had begun, if I had elected for the cs when she became breech she would not have suffered ECV on top of everything else.

I thank god for my beautiful girl and accept that things happened as they did, but I will never be happy about it.

Catita Fri 30-Jan-09 15:19:53

What a good thread this is. I think as someone has already said, half the reason we feel "cheated" and a "failure" if we end up with a ECS or a normal CS is because its so generally portrayed in the media that the CS is the easy option. That we simply didn´t want to do the hard work in labour. None of this is true. I'm a diabetic and when I got pregnant in 2007 was told that I simply must have a VB since I would heal badly with a CS. Then at 39 weeks, after a week of contractions going nowhere, my blood sugar rocketed and my DS's heart slowed (he had the cord round his neck). Result: an ECS. I remember being told off my the midwife for being "hysterical" (I was shivering when they were trying to put the epidural in) etc... then having the CS and not knowing when my DS was born and worse still, not being able to see him or hold him until after he'd been dressed by the nurses.
It made me feel a failure too. Plus,as has been pointed out on this thread many times, the fact that you are then an invalid for weeks, unable to bathe yourself let alone the baby, just makes you feel worse and more of a failure.
I think we need to hold on to the idea that before CS could be perfomed women and babies regularly died in situations like mine. Or indeed that of my friend who han ECS last week: quick onset of labour followed by a leg appearing from her vagina.... cuing following pohone conversation with the hospital: Nurse: "what does it look like?". Panicked father: "it looks human" ( good job really!)
The CS is not the easy option nor a cop out. It is a clever way of ensuring that millions of babies have their Mum to look after them in their childhoods.
MamaG you are not alone in feeling like this.Nor is it wrong of you to feel like it. But, like all things it will get less painful with time. Lots of love to you and all feeling low because of CS. XXXX

nellyup Fri 30-Jan-09 10:29:28

So nice to come across lots of other people who feel the way I do! I had emcs under GA with dd 6 years ago and hated it, felt like I hadn't given birth and therefore had no right to call myself her mother. Now, having had a VB since and with the passage of time I've realised that what makes you a mother isn't pushing the baby out but, as someone else said, the day to day stuff of parenting and loving your child.

There will always be a part of me that is sad to have missed her arrival but the emotional pain has healed with time, I hope it is the same for you MamaG. Supportive people to talk to really helps - my family were appalling, they did a lot of damage especially at first with their 'you're OK, baby's OK, aren't c-sections marvellous'. I wanted to scream 'I'm NOT OK, I've just been slashed open and missed my baby's birth'. They'll never understand, but at least the people on this thread do! Thanks ladies.

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