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Birth of my son, and I still feel quite sad

20 replies

Orenishii · 14/11/2012 09:09

This is a not so positive induction story, so I apologise in advance for any negativity. We had booked a home birth and I was 41+3, and in the end we felt duped into the induction so I suppose still feeling bitter about the path of intervention we ended up on. Sorry - this is long.

As I had wanted to wait until 42 weeks to discuss induction, I went for a scan at 41+3. They said there was no fluid, and they didn't know when it had gone. They did an internal but couldn't find residual water that would normally be left over if my waters had just gone. Since I had no recollection of them going, we queried whether the scan was correct and asked for another. We were told the scans were never wrong, and it was urgent the baby was induced today. This was at 9am. We were sent to the Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich where I was monitored for several hours, being told nothing. Then we were sent to the PRU in Bromely, still being told nothing. We waited until midnight, pacing up and down in a room, feeling very lonely and like we were doing the wrong thing, that this was all wrong, wrong, wrong - until at midnight they finally started the "urgent" induction. we had kept asking to go home - that it can't have been that urgent, that we'd come back tomorrow. We just knew this was all so wrong - fair enough, our lovely planned HB was out the window - but staying in that hospital room with nothing happening while worrying about the urgency was like torture.

They put the pessary in at midnight - they said it was a slow release one. We accepted this new path, and slept badly all night, waiting. DH went home at 10am the next day, came back at 2pm, nothing was happening. I went for long walks in the rain outside the hospital in between periods of being monitored. It was just miserable, the whole thing. It was a long day of waiting, walking, worrying we'd be coerced into a situation we didn't want. Finally at 9pm the contractions started - straight into 2 mins apart, 45 seconds long. I hypnobirthed for about 12 hours - but they didn't take the pessary out for about 6 hours, despite the contractions. Finally an excruciating back pain kicked in, they said he was back to back and I was finally 4cm so taken to the delivery suite. The back pain was horrendous and I couldn't hypnbirth anymore. I asked for an epidural which they gave me straight away. An internal examination broke my waters. I was devastated - DH asked them, told them - you said her waters had gone, that's the whole reason we are here! They shrugged, said scans can be mistaken. I kind of lost it at that point - I could cope with this birth of intervention and epidurals if it had been for the safety of my baby, but to see that 24 hours ago at the clinic, they had been wrong and we could have gone home, we could have still tried for the spontaneous homebirth made me lose it a little.

The epidural lasted for seven hours, by which point I was ten cm. But the epidural wore off around the back, but not round the front - so I was in agony from the back pain but felt no sensation to push. I was on my back, feet in stirrups, being screamed at to push - it was everything I had no wanted, I had so badly wanted a natural, active birth, possibly in a pool. I struggled mentally, cried a lot, pushed for an hour and felt completely overwhelmed and like a failure. A whole bunch of doctors came in while I cried miserably from the back pain and the overwhelming sense of letting my baby down. They whisked me into a theatre, gave me a spinal, and pulled my baby out with forceps. Thankfully I avoided a CS.

I can't help but feel duped, and still very upset about it all. If we'd had the HB, I might have ended up going in anyway because of the back to back - but at least we could have tried. I think of everything, that first night in the hospital was worst - where they did nothing but had said it was urgent. I hope next time I'll be stronger, question more, listen to my instincts more.

OP posts:
Poledra · 14/11/2012 09:15

Oh you poor thing! I had a 'bad' birth with DD1 (em c-s under GA) and it really did take me quite a while to get over it. If I'm absolutely honest, it was probably only after DD2's birth that I really let it go.

One thing I did find very useful for going for a borth debriefing at my hospital. They assign a midwife who had nothing to do with your care to go through your notes with you and try to help you understand anything you're not sure on etc. The first time I went, I only made it part the way through my notes before I was crying so hard we had to stop Blush. The MW set another time, and suggested that I bring DH with me, as she felt that some of it was that I felt I had let him down by not having the natural waterbirth I'd planned. She also offered to get the anaesthetist to come, as I'd had a failed epidural which had resulted in the GA. It was very therapeutic and healing for me - I hope it might help you too.

Congratulations on your baby boy.

AllThreeWays · 14/11/2012 09:18

I am sorry for you, I had an induction last year and it was not the most pleasant experience, but, what stood out strongly too me in your post is you said you feel you let your son down.
He is alive and well I hope. If so you can't possible have let him down, he knows nothing of this. Please if this is dominating your thoughts and affecting your well being talk to someone, because if you fall into PND due to this, then you may not be able to parent as well as possible.

Badvocsanta · 14/11/2012 09:26

You have not let your son down.
You did what was being urged by hcps.
You were putting the safety of your child first and foremost and that is what good parents do.
I am sorry you feel so let down and upset.
But birth is not something made to order. You can't ever assume you will have the birth you want. It just doesn't work that way.
I had an induction with ds2 and it was fine. No problems at all. But I think I was in early labour anyway by that point.
Enjoy your baby x

Orenishii · 14/11/2012 09:37

Thanks all :)

I think what bothers me is the waters thing. I felt instinctively that I was being pushed into something they wanted. From a week before, they had made noises about an induction - even as I only reached my due date. I wanted to hold out for 42 weeks and the irony is, if I had agreed to an induction at 42 weeks, I wouldn't have had this scan where they supposedly saw that there was no water. So this sense of urgency - I could have gone on a few more days, everyone ignorant to this so called urgent situation. I might even have gone into labour spontaneously.

I know labours aren't made to order, I know I might even have ended up going in because he was back to back. But it's the first part that bothers me, not so much the latter because I think once you're on a certain path, things can become inevitable. If it was so urgent, why didn't they start the induction for 15 hours? Probably because it wasn't urgent. We could have gone home that morning with a view to booking the induction for the next day - the first doctor agreed to that, but then the registrar started putting the pressure on to go into hospital.

The sense of letting my son down has definitely eased. I think I felt that because my instincts were shouting this was all wrong, to stick to my guns, to go home to see if I laboured spontaneously and I didn't - I caved in because they used language that was scary, and you are suddenly caught in this impossible situation - stick to your guns and risk being wrong, risk your baby, or listen to them and their pressure and risk them being wrong - which they were.

OP posts:
pictish · 14/11/2012 09:41

I agree with badvocsanta.

I think you need to let this go and concentrate on your lovely baby. The medical staff were doing what they considered the best and safest thing for you and your baby. I understand your disappointment, and how you felt duped....but they have to make decisions based on what they see at the that is what they did. They wer doing their job. They have no interest in depriving you of the birth you wanted, other than safety.

Congratulations on your new son. xxx

Badvocsanta · 14/11/2012 09:45

Op..scans are amazing and they have saved many many lived BUT they are an Inexact science.
They aren't foolproof or 100% right all the time (I know this to my cost, sadly) and you know that now.
Next time :) you will be able to take wha happened this time and make a decision based on both hcp advice and your past experience.
Congrats again x

TheHairyDieter · 14/11/2012 09:46

I know how you feel. My DD (born a few weeks ago) was also back-to-back and I ended up being induced, having an episiotomy and forceps. She was born fine, but I felt like such a failure and if I had only had a bit more time...

However, almost immediately, I haemorrhaged and nearly died. I spent 2 and a half days in intensive care, had several general anaesthetics, blood transfusions and surgery to stop the bleeding and save my life.

I know you feel sad, but it could have been worse, honestly.

mirry2 · 14/11/2012 09:51

How have you let your son down? He is healthy; he hasn't been harmed by the birth. I understand that you are upset that you didn't get the birth you wanted but that's no different to lots of other women.

pictish · 14/11/2012 10:07

That's true. Lots of us don't get the birth we envisaged. Birth and labour is nothing if unpredictable.

Don't dwell on it is my advice.

squidkid · 14/11/2012 16:59

This made me cry. Maybe I am having a hormonal day, maybe it's because we had the same hopes so very early in pregnancy, when we chatted then... It's the overwhelming sense of "what-if", of pointlessness to having begun on this path... of course, you never know, as you say... maybe it all would have happened like this anyway.

I know everyone always says the most important thing is the health of the baby and the mother, and that is absolutely true - but it doesn't mean other things don't affect you as well.

Was writing it down helpful at all... I hope so. You have in no way failed your son. Actually you did extremely well to get baby out with forceps rather than section. I think a debrief might be helpful too, if only to snarl about it.

Hope you and Quincy are both doing well. We hang out on the postnatal thread and bitch about sleep deprivation and sore boobs, it's quite therapeutic.

Please take care xxx

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay · 14/11/2012 17:10

I am so sorry to read your story. I had a bad experience at QE with my DD1 a few years ago.

What i would say is that, however well intentioned, advice to go home and enjoy your baby can be enormously difficult when you are traumatised and upset. This is a big thing in your life, and it is one of the few big events you and your baby have gone through together yet. For some people just putting it behind them and enjoying your baby is possible. For others trying to do that simply adds to the guilt and the pain. I certainly felt that i was being ungrateful because I had a healthy baby and was basically in one piece myself. Instead of making me feel better, advice like that made me feel worse. Looking back, I think what I experienced was not that dissimilar to mild PTSD - relieving events constantly, finding it hard to focus on other things, keeping up a facade to others. I only really dealt with it during my second pregnancy when I worked through it with my doula.

People are right when they say you can't predict the birth you will get, but you have a right to be upset by being ignored, undermined, dismissed. Those things are not acceptable and you may find closure by having a debrief or even making a complaint.

It is very early days. You may find that, after the initial shock and upset, you do find you can move on and view this more objectively. On the other hand, you may feel you need more help. There is nothing wrong with that if it happens.

piprabbit · 14/11/2012 17:17

I'm so sorry that you had a such a frightening and upsetting experience, you were trying to so the best for your baby and you took the advice you were given. Congratulations on the arrival of your DS, I'm sure he is a very special little boy.

When you feel ready, it might be worth contacting your local Supervisor of Midwives to talk through how you were treated. It might help you understand how the mistake about your waters was made and it will give you the chance to raise the issues you have about your treatment.

chubbychipmonk · 19/11/2012 22:59

How awful for you. I wanted a natural birth & was very fortunate that it went as planned, can't imagine how frustrated you must feel about the whole thing. The main thing is though that there was a happy ending and you got to meet your beautiful baby, try & focus your energy on enjoying the baby & as baby grows and brings you more joy than you could ever imagine then hopefully the memory of the birth will start to fade Smile

hellymelly · 19/11/2012 23:10

I had an induction that I didn't want, the difference with me was that I had pre-eclampsia so it was the sensible way to go. Induction can be pretty brutal, the natural hormonal pathway of birth is completely disrupted, and it is forcing the body to do something it doesn't want to do. I think you feel that physical forcing very deeply, and feel angry. Completely understandable. I ended up asking for a c-section as my induction wasn't working (too tired, too stressed, similar lead up to yours). I felt very upset for a long time, and had a de-briefing which just upset me further. Really the only thing that healed the wound somewhat was the birth of my next baby, which although ended up with another c-cection, was a far better experience.
I am sorry for you that things went so awry, I think something like pilates might help your body deal with the physical memory, and that talking to someone about the birth would help with the emotional fallout. It gets better with time , but I still feel sad about my dds birth at times.

izzyshappymum · 04/12/2012 21:58

My daughter's birth didn't go as planned either. All great until fully dilated, but midwife at birth unit didn't believe that I wanted to push and wouldn't check me. Because i was worried about pushing before being fully dilated, I waited for about two hours, when they eventually checked me and told me what I already knew. But, by that time my contractions had fizzled out, so ended up being transferred by ambulance to hospital to be put on a syntocin drip, hooked up to monitors, legs in stirrups and a five hour pushing stage without being allowed any pain relief (because it might have stopped me from focussing on pushing apparently!). felt traumatised for quite a while afterwards, particularly because I felt as though I experienced far more pain than was really necessary, despite the fact that i didn't tear, baby was absolutely fine, had immediate skin to skin and bf, went home 10 hours later - most people would probably have been very happy with the experience, but I felt very let down by midwives. i'm sure that if they had listened to me and helped me to push at the right time the whole traumatic trip to hospital would have been avoided. however, I now like to think that I managed to deliver my daughter into the world very calmly and as happily as possible DESPITE unhelpful midwives i.e. I did as well as I possibly could in the circumstances (you are so vulnerable when you are in labour) and also, that if it had happened any other way, perhaps things wouldn't have worked out so well. I probably won't have another child, so feel sad that I will never have the birth I wanted, but I do now feel mostly positive about my daughter's birth. Don't underestimate how much a traumatic birth can haunt you, so make sure that you talk about it as much as you need to with whoever you need to. The way I see it, you gave birth despite being hindered by people who were meant to help you and therefore you did brilliantly. use the experience to make you a great mum - from now on, only ever do what you think is best for your baby, not what other people tell you should do. I hope you can feel more positive about it soon x

ellee · 04/12/2012 22:07

You in NO whatsoEVER have let your son down, or yourself for that matter. Your birth went wrong but you have both come out of it safe and well. The hospitals are overworked, you can't blame them for wanting to do what they see as being safest. And I know how hard it is to withstand their advice. They might have been right so you made the best decision you could with the information you had. Thank god they were wrong and your son was safe.

Remember not so long ago women and their babies did not always come through safely. We take our safety for granted now but it has been v hard won. So please do not blame yourself for not having a picture card birth.

Anyway, the REAL excitment starts now! Congratulations on your beautiful boy!!

Grumpla · 04/12/2012 22:19

That sounds awful. Sad

The debrief sounds like a good idea. You could also talk to PALS at your hospital I you wanted to complain.

But mainly, try to be kind to yourself. I had exactly the birth I had planned with my first baby, smuggety smug, and then a few weeks in I was absolutely hating myself, crying unconsolably and feeling like the worst mother ever for being unable to breastfeed.

Those feelings of sadness and failure are common to many women with newborn babies. Either because of the things we have already "done wrong" or simply because we are not as overjoyed as we "should" be. I am sure that hormones and sleep deprivation have a large part to play - I don't say that to downplay what you are feeling, but to try and explain it! I think we nearly all hit a wall at some point in the first few months.

Gradually as you spend more time with your son and find your sleep feet, I hope that the trauma surrounding his birth subsides. You have already done an amazing thing - grown him in your body, loved and nurtured him. You gave birth to him - ok, not exactly in the way you wanted to but you did it. And yet, instead of curling up into a ball and hiding you then got the hell up and started being a mother. You are TOUGH. You can work through these feelings - and you should not be ashamed to ask for help in doing so if you need it. But believe me you have NOT let your son down! You are his whole entire world right now and I bet you are doing a far far better job than you think you are.

dontlaugh · 14/02/2013 16:28

Birth trauma is very real. I am sorry you are suffering OP. And I share your frustration at the hcps. It may come as a shock to some posters, but sometimes decisions are made based on factors such as available beds, staffing and hospital policy. That is a fact and happened to me. I was told I HAD to deliver within 12 hours or they would do it for me.
The trauma is very far reaching and I would encourage you to look at the Birth Trauma website. Counselling and a debrief help hugely. You need time, tlc and understanding.
Yes, a healthy mother is crucial to a good outcome but I think that should include positive mental health also.

bonzo77 · 14/02/2013 16:53

I'm sorry you had a rotten time. FWIW I had scans showing no fluid in 2 pregnancies. There was never any suggestion my waters had gone. In fact they were broken with my first, not sure what happened with my second. Anyway, the lack of fluid in my case was due to placental failure. Left to wait both my sons would have died. So you can have low/ no fluid without waters actually breaking.

With DS1 they tried for 2.5 days to induce labour, having told me at the start that it was urgent! I ended up with a CS at my insistence. 2nd time I had a CS at 35+5. There was no fluid, they needed forceps to get him out through the incision and he was quite unwell for a few days. While you obviously had a shitty time, and there were issues with your care, including poor communication, there is a real chance that your baby's life was saved as a result.

Squidwoman · 17/06/2013 20:19

I sympathise with your traumatic experience. My first birth was rough in a similar way.

Be assured that your second will probably be much easier. I had my second and third at home in 3 hours each. Now waiting for no. 4. Enjoy your baby while he's small Smile

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