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Giving birth was awesome - even if not to plan!

(5 Posts)
JustTryEverything Fri 28-Jun-13 21:25:46

Hello - I'm afraid I'm going to use you all as a huge release which I've needed every since DS1 was born last year and which I've never admitted to. This is going to be a loooong post but I'm hoping to get rid of some demons which have been haunting me ever since.

I am feeling very emotional today as it's my last official day of maternity leave plus also the anniversary of when I went into a beautiful and not as planned labour.

It was give or take 5 minutes from now, a year ago, that I decided these weren't Braxton Hicks and as DS was 3 weeks early I was literally tying on cot bumpers and pacing out contractions on the landing - we sooo weren't ready!

After a long and amazing yet lonely night in the bath (and after my show so I knew we were real) I shouted up DH who went into full panic mode but got us safely to the hospital. I then had a blissful 8 hours in the birthing pool with all my lovely plinky plonky music in the background and a LOT of gas and air! I was incredibly sick but honestly didn't care and was just in awe of everything my body was doing. I thought I'd reached transition cos I was at the 'I can't do it anymore' stage and was re-assured when my midwife called in another midwife and we started to talk about placenta delivery etc. (I've watched LOTS of OBEM so saw this as a good sign!) but then everything stopped. Literally. Stopped. No contractions, no urges. Nothing. What a flipping anti climax!!

So, as it was the pool and as that particular hospital had a maternal death law suit hanging over it, that was it. Out I came. It was insane how much difference to the pain coming out of the water meant. I don't really remember it but DH says I was cliched delivery woman screaming at all the staff but I was super chilled in the pool!!

it turns out DS had corkscrewed the wrong way (probably cos I didn't move enough - downside of pool labour IMHO) so now was back to back and since I was out of the pool (plan A) we decided to move to plan C which was epidural. Thank God. Some rest. However, it seemed that Mr was still not ready plus his heart rate was dropping so we were now getting prepped for a C-section. Christ. My absolute nightmare - at least plan F. I was 100% on breastfeeding and my best mate had a c-section and couldn't feed so that really would have been a disaster. Anyway, at the last minute (drugged up to my eyeballs, 36 hours awake) the angelic surgeon (lady) decided to 'give it one more go' to turn him and it worked. So it was forceps in theatre at 10pm.

However and the main point of my post (sorry I've gone on a bit!) was that me and DH were so freaked out by this point we never insisted on the final part of the plan and DS was whisked away whilst I was vomiting spuriously on the operating theater floor (nice) but we'd asked if I was unable, that DH would do skin to skin and that never happened.

There is also some resentment in me for DH that he knew the plan and wasn't strong enough to back it up when I was incapacitated.

I was so out of it (mainly through simple tiredness) I really feel that I missed some very important bonding time and we don't have that lovely 'time we spent after you were born' memories.

This has been playing on my mind for a year now and I don't think I'll ever get over it but thought maybe writing it down will make it easier.

And I am sorry if you have had worst experiences as I know we are very lucky to have a healthy baby but i am a bit concerned for my mental state so a download is very useful x

RandomMess Fri 28-Jun-13 21:30:18

Sounds like your head knows how lucky you were but in your heart you're still so disappointed that you got nothing of what you wanted?

For me it just took time, a long time to really let go of the disappointment.

Thurlow Fri 28-Jun-13 21:41:04

Download all you want. I also missed skin-to-skin as DD was whisked off to NICU, and I didn't even see her as I wasn't wearing glasses in theatre! I saw her 12 hours later, in an incubator, and she had to be pointed out to me as I had no idea at all.

I found it very, very hard for a long time to know that I would never be able to have that moment with DD of seeing her all gunky and screaming as a newborn. I still struggle watching any programme where a mum gets to hold her newborn instantly. She is 18mo now and I have to say it is bothering me less now - she's is now an insane monkey toddler and there seems such a disconnect, to me, between the whole baby stage anyway, that my concerns about her birth are fading away. I still have my moments of feeling down about it, though, and I have to admit I have big concerns about any future DC because I will hopefully get an elcs, future DC won't be ill, and then I will get to see my baby the moment they are born. I worried for a long time that this would make me bond better with DC2 than DD1 but again, now DD is older, I worry about this less.

The one thing that strikes me about your post is that you seem to blame your DH. This seems... unfair, if you don't mind me saying that. It sounds like a traumatic birth for all of you and picture how upset and scared your DH will have been for both you are your baby. And you don't know for certain you would have been allowed to hold your baby by the hospital staff, if you were that poorly. He could have insisted and they could have said no.

I think sometimes that women being asked to write birth plans and the like increases this problem. We spend our pg's being taught that we have control over the situation but we really don't. In your situation, your baby was in an awkward position. In my situation, my baby and I had an infection. These are uncontrollable situations and so lack of skin-to-skin etc is a result of that. We are taught and shown so much about an idealised birth that it can be very hard when it doesn't go to plan.

I don't mean any of that to belittle how you feel. You had a very difficult birth and you are entitled to feel exactly how you feel. But the fact that you are still struggling a year on and harbouring strong feelings re your DH about this suggests you might benefit from talking to someone about this. Have you considered a birth debrief? Mine actually helped an enormous amount, as I now fully understand what happened, why decisions were made, and why DD was poorly and taken away from me, and understanding that it was all our of my control has made me feel better.

Good luck. And if you don't get many responses, maybe post again in Childbirth.

SkiBumMum Fri 28-Jun-13 21:43:41

You sound similar to me in regretting the straight after birth lack of bonding with DD1. I genuinely have no memory I was just so bloody glad it was over. I still can't look at my friends' photos of straight after their babies were born - 4.5y later. Having said all that, and after a planned c-section and great skin to skin etc with DD2, I rarely think about it. I hate talking about her birth though still. My head knows its my emotions and heart though and nothing would be any different even if we had a relaxed time etc.

Enjoy his birthday!

Wereonourway Fri 28-Jun-13 21:52:37

I do know exactly how you are feeling, and if say like a previous poster that time is a healer.

Ds was born 6 weeks prem, in theatre with forceps. It was a brutal delivery and ds was very heavily bruised. He was rushed to nicu and I saw him four hours later with tubes with tubes everywhere and cpap helping him to breathe.

I finally held him five days later but Chances were few and far between due to the bruising and severe jaundice.

It made me anxious and protective but also for months there was a chance the jaundice and bruising had left long term damage.

Ds is now 2.5, perfectly healthy, gorgeous and very bright.
Had he been left with lasting effects I think I'd still feel what you do. We were lucky really, he was helped by fantastic modern medicine and doctors and nurses who I truly believe are angelic. Ds started to bf at ten days, thanks to the amazing staff who helped me persevere and to bili blankets which made it possible to bf through the jaundice treatment.

So yes I did miss out on the cuddles and "normality" of the post birth experience but I've accepted that, he is here, he is healthy and It's made me more thankful now than anything.

It's taken me a while to get here, the first 6-9 months were traumatic but time has helped and I'm sure it will for you too.

My hv was fab too btw, very understanding and happy to just listen.

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