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Missed birth of my own baby due to c - section under general anethetic... happened to ANYONE else?

(70 Posts)
champagneanddaisys Sun 19-Jul-09 17:33:14

My dd is four months old now and just found out one of my closest friends is pregnant and its bringing it all back. I cant help feeling real envy that she might get the birth I didnt get.
Feel realy bad and selfish for thinking that, I obviously want her to have the birth she wants. I think its just bringing back what happened to me.

Please if theres anyone else out there who had baby under general anethetic msg me just so I know theres someone else been through it. sad

sarah293 Sun 19-Jul-09 17:40:44

Message withdrawn

oodlesofpoodles Sun 19-Jul-09 17:57:25

Not quite the same but I had an emcs with ds2 without going into labour and he was taken to scbu without me being able to see him. Very surreal having a baby without labour and not seeing him. I had 2 vaginal births previously, both of which were awful. With the first one they yanked him out with forceps and put him on me for the 'skin to skin' and I vomited then passed out for 6 hours, I felt so guilty about that for a long time. My sis was born with a GA and I was born by cs with a spinal (no VBACs in those days).

LuluMaman Sun 19-Jul-09 17:59:55

please don;t feel bad and selfish

i think 99 % of women would choose to be awake to see the birth of their baby.

did you speak to anyone to debrief your birth?

the birth trauma association or sheila kitzinger's birth crisis helpline could assist you in talking it through.

i hear what riven is saying, but i do think it is vital to acknowledge that the birth affects the mother mentally & emotionally as well as physically and that missing the deliver of your baby can hvae a profound effect on you

Tiredmumno1 Sun 19-Jul-09 18:03:09

I had c-section under ga for my 2nd, but i had already had a vaginal birth for my 1st, its hard to know which i prefered, as with a vaginal birth it hurts like hell and sometimes endure hours of it. With a c-section it hurts for weeks, but as riven says as long as your baby is healthy its all good. You have years to spend every second together thats all that counts. Maybe one day u will get another chance.

MovingOutOfBlighty Sun 19-Jul-09 18:07:18

Yes, had it too.

Wasn't bothered in the slightest. The sheer horror of having 10 minutes or so wondering if she was going to live or die put any hopes of having 'a perfect birth' into perspective.

I really hope you are able to come to some kind of peace with this and don't let one terrible beginning spoil your dds birth.

LuluMaman Sun 19-Jul-09 19:06:26

thing is with birth, you can't do it again

women I have looked after who've had c.s under general talk about the feeling of loss.. of missing the first cry, of not being the first to hold and touch their baby, of being shown a baby who is washed and dressed and they wonder is it theirs.... just because it was ok for some, does not mean the OP and others should just live with it

i think it is really important to take steps to move forward , to acknowledge teh pain and the loss, just because the baby is ok.. which of course is incredibly importnat, does not mean the mother is not allowed to feel sad/cheated/traumatised by missing the birth and first few minutes to hours of her baby's life.

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jul-09 19:10:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gingerbear Sun 19-Jul-09 19:15:07

I felt a complete and utter failure after the birth of DD by em CS under GA. it haunted me until I spoke to with one of the midwives at the hospital. She was lovely - and went through my feelings of inadequacy, frustration, anger and grief. I came to terms with it, and although subsequently I wanted a VBAC with DS, it was not to be, but I felt absolutely fine with the second CS by GA.

I understand how you feel, but please talk to someone about it. It will eat away at you for years otherwise.

pluto Sun 19-Jul-09 19:25:58

EMCS with DS1 9 years ago left me feeling as Lulumaman has explained. Didn't see DS until next day. Haunted me for a long time and possibly caused post traumatic stress / fertility probs as took 7 years of trying before DS2 finally arrived by elective CS. This was a surprisingly cathartic birth experience and at last I have moved on.

Rolf Sun 19-Jul-09 19:28:29

My mother had her 2 children by cs under GA. She was offered the chance of a natural birth with her second and her attitude was "oh, no thank you, I don't do labour" grin.

This was in the 1970s, when there wasn't the same attitude about natural birth. Also, to put it in context, she suffered from a fairly serious disability and by the time she had children had endured numerous operations and a lot of physical pain.

I'm not being unsympathetic, really I'm not. I am sure that in your situation I would feel exactly the same, but I know that if my mother had been alive when I was having my children she would have been utterly bewildered at those feelings, and would probably have given me a right talking-to.

Mumsnut Sun 19-Jul-09 19:31:05

Err, snap with Pluto.

siouxsiesiouxandthebanshees Sun 19-Jul-09 19:31:54

I had a CSection under a general as my epidural failed, (they were cutting me and I could feel it) I had Pre Eclampsia, and several blood clots, and delivered ds at 27 weeks both of us were given the last rights that day, as ds was on a to regular basis for the next 5 weeks.
I am sorry that you feel you have missed out on child birth. But I am afraid to say that I dont get it, your baby daughter is well and is here, enjoy your baby please dont waste time and energy stressing about something you can not change, especially as it could of been so much worse its whether the baby is ok and the lovely childhood and life you are going to give her that is the important thing, not the birth.
I take it you held your baby within 24 hours of birth ... Ds was 6 weeks old before I was allowed to hold him as he was so ill.

I know exactly what is going to happen now, every one will jump on me and call me insensitive for 'dissing' you. All I can say in my defense is I dont know how to put across my answer without sounding so passive agressive.

MovingOutOfBlighty Sun 19-Jul-09 19:34:02

So sorry Siousie - what a terrible time you must have had.

siouxsiesiouxandthebanshees Sun 19-Jul-09 19:40:25

Movingout - thankyou for your kind words. But I can honestly say I have no feelings over the birth, the not holding ds for 6 weeks mind you nearly killed me. I only know about ds birth because I was told later by dh and my parents. I remember nothing. But I also remember nothing of dd's birth (4 years earlier) either, which was a normal delivery, (although I did have my first and last fit afterwards)

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jul-09 19:44:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmazingBouncingFerret Sun 19-Jul-09 19:48:00

I cant have localised anesthetic due to having a split spinal cord so will have to have GA if I need emergency intervention. Its not ideal but my main aim is a healthy baby that will be ideally delivered naturally like DS1.
They must of had a good reason for putting you under GA. I can understand its hard not to dwell on the feeling you missed out especially now your friend is going through it but the main thing is you have a lovely healthy baby!

3seater Sun 19-Jul-09 19:53:39

champagneanddaisys I think that you should listen to others that say that they have talked this through with someone and. found it beneficial.
I had a GA and DD is now 8 - I canot have any more dc for various reasons and actually woud go so far as to say I grieved for a more positive birth experince (got v scary at end too) for a long time
So if you can do something to make yourself feel better or help you understand what happened (in my case I still try and piece bits together)then I think you should.

Part of the reason that i never have is because I was shocked to feel that way as am normally v pragmatic

LuluMaman Sun 19-Jul-09 19:58:14

i know those posters saying, it does not matter , your baby is fine, yo are fine, mean well. but it is pretty much the worst thing you can say to someone about their birth trauma

women need to feel validated, that it is ok to be upset. even if someone else had it 10 times worse, it does not mean that you are not allwoed to be upset

sometimes what appears to be a normal delivery is profoundly shocking to the mother.. e,g a very fast delivery, an unplanned home birth with no MW in attendance, a planned c.s can be traumatic.

no-one else has the right to say it does not matter how the baby got here as long as you and the baby are ok

i feel really strongly about this issue as you can tell!!

just will reiterate that going through the birth and being clear on the reasons for the c. s and the general can be realyl helpful. having answers to questions can be an importnat part of the healing process

MovingOutOfBlighty Sun 19-Jul-09 20:04:27

Of course not Lulu - that woudl be like saying 'Don't worry about the extensive flood damage to your house, there are some people in this world who don't even have houses.' That line of reasoning is trite and dismissive.

I think what the poster asked is if anyone else had gone through a CS under GA and been affected by it. I guess we have all been to some degree. But personally, my way of getting through it was to deeply focus on the positive and try not to think of myself as a 'failure'.

Totally agree with you that going through the whole thing with a doctor or midwife could help and empower you if you are going to have any other dcs. I had amazing aftercare and it really helped. smile

kitstwins Sun 19-Jul-09 20:37:33

Me. My epidural failed (they punctured my dural membrane) and the alternative spinal block didn't work and I could feel them cutting. When I cried out they knocked me out with a GA - my last memories were an anaethetist pressing violently on my throat. It felt like dying. And then it felt like dying when I woke up as I had all the joys of big abdominal surgery without the epidural for pain management. They gave me morphine, but it wasn't great and the first day of my twin daughters' life was spent dry-retching in HDU (not fun after abdominal surgery) whilst everyone else who'd had standard caesareans chatted and cooed over their babies.

It's my absolute devastation that I didn't get to see my babies being born. I had a difficult end to pregnancy and spent the last month of my pregnancy in hospital on bed rest from placenta praevia. I bled badly and so they gave me a section at 35 weeks and obviously I was just one of the unlucky few whose epdidural didn't work. Just my lack of luck and 'my day' if you like.

Whilst I'm unendingly grateful that my babies were born well I'm equally of the view that it doesn't eclipse the day. Of course the most important thing is that they were born healthy but I think it's also important to acknowledge the journey I went through. It was traumatic and devastating and to be told "oh well" and "never mind" as if I'm making a big self indulgent fuss makes me really angry. Perhaps I was foolish to assume that I'd get to see my babies being born but after a month in hospital and hideous, shItty bleeding I held up the moment of their birth as my reward; that in the end, my consultant would lift them out of my stomach and I'd get to see them and find out what sex they were (we didn't find out - I was told as I came round by a midwife) and, if you like, the nightmare of the past month would be over. That was going to be my reward for getting through a month of bleeding and trauma. Maybe foolish but not unreasonable an expectation.

For me it's devastating that I didn't get to see my babies being born. Obviously I'm very lucky that they were born healthy and well but I don't subscribe to the mentality of "Oh you've lost a leg? Well some people have NO Legs.....". Rightly or wrongly you have an expectation of seeing your children come into the world and to miss that can be hugely upsetting. Strangers welcomed my babies into the world. The things that happened to them in theatre (they stopped breathing shortly after birth and had to be rescusitated) were unwitnessed by my husband and I - neither of us were there to care for them or love them. A moot point, as we wouldn't have been able to step in and intubate them, but still. Strangers held my babies first. Strangers found out the sex and kept it to themselves for half an hour whilst my husband paced the corridor outside listening to other babies being born and crying. After forty minutes of waiting he felt sure the babies had died and had to sit, head in hands, working out how he'd tell me that. In the end, all was well, but it was an awful day for me and I'm allowed to say that. Yes, the end result of two healthy babies was wonderful but the journey was awful and I'm allowed to mourn that.

My advice would be to acknowledge it and mourn for it. All that 'buck yourself up, it could be worse' advice is so unhelpful. There seems to be a mentality that by mourning something you're wallowing, when in fact by mourning you're acknowledging and processing. It's how I made my peace with it in the end: Talking it through, writing it all down and also going through my notes with my hospital (through my hospital's patient liaison service). For me, I strongly felt that if someone had debriefed my husband and I the day afterwards about what had happened and why and what happened to our babies in theatre I would have found it much easier. I would have had a picture of that day - not my own, which I'll never have, but a picture all the same. I've learnt that a second-hand version of that day is not what I want but it's just about enough. It's all I'll ever have anyway. I asked my hospital to make sure that if what happened to me ever happens again they make sure that the parents are debriefed about the full events before they leave. I know that would have helped. It's a mental picture of an hugely important moment when you have none.

Sorry for the epic. This strikes a chord with me obviously and I feel quite sad that you've had a few posts that are of the 'get on with it, life could be worse' variety. From personal experience, I know it doesn't help. When you've lost something, whatever it is, you need to mourn it. You need to be allowed to mourn it.

K

WhatFreshHellIsThis Sun 19-Jul-09 20:39:35

champagneanddaisys I haven't had the same experience but I really hear what you're saying about all the feelings coming back. DS1's birth did not go at all well and I found it very hard to hear about friends of mine who had straightforward births for a long time afterwards. I was jealous of anyone who had a 'natural' birth, and almost felt some sort of sick satisfaction hearing about others who had problems, as if it made me less of a failure. sad It wasn't easy to admit and I posted on here under another name a lot about it.

I think what I learned was that despite DS1 being hale and hearty I was ALLOWED to grieve for the birth I wanted and hoped for, and I needed to grieve, not just move on saying 'we're both healthy, that's all that matters'. You clearly still need to grieve and I think talking it through with someone, whether formally with a midwife or informally with a close friend, is a real help.

I also found that DS2's birth healed a lot of wounds for me - not that it went any better (boo) but that I was able to get things into perspective a bit by talking to my consultant, and come to accept that birth is not something my body finds easy, and that my babies do not fit well through my pelvis (I blame DP's large forehead!). I console myself with being a championship breastfeeder wink

I really hope you find some way to come to a peaceful place about it, sending you lots of positive vibes xx

LuluMaman Sun 19-Jul-09 20:41:26

kits, what an eloquent post.

juuule Sun 19-Jul-09 20:44:53

Agree with lulumaman.

My mother had me and my 2 siblings by cs under ga. She was upset by it but made to feel silly and told to get over it at least you have healthy children. She didn't get over it. Some 20 years later she discovered a support group who she wrote to. I came home to find her sobbing with a reply in her hand. She finally had found someone who understood how she had felt all those years. We didn't realise until that point just how upset she had been and how much she had internalised it. She never went to the support group it was too far to go and she was apprehensive about going but she kept that letter for a long time.

Op please find someone who understands to talk to about this. Whether it is at the hospital where the cs was done or maybe the traumatic birth association as lulumaman says.

flaminhell Sun 19-Jul-09 20:57:16

I was put under pretty sharpish with my first, emergency c section, 28 hrs of labour, then there was my ds and I couldnt remember a thing, or keep awake, yes I was pretty gutted to have missed it, but hes here, hes 13 and Im glad they did, could have been awake and given birth and gone home alone.

Its early on yet, it wasnt that long ago, give yourself time, its all real emotion, and real feelings, you have a right to be upset. But ultimatley what counts is you have your child, well done you.

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