I too grieve for my natural homebirth that wasn't.
It's been almost 18 months since Declan was born, and though it was a vaginal birth, I still feel robbed, confused and disappointed in myself.
I thought I did everything I was supposed to. I read books, I took my vitamins, I went to my appointments. I had no complications and I made sure that I didn't get uptight about having that heavenly Mt Dew every once in a while.
But when it all comes down to it, I was flat out naive and unprepared. I thought I would still have over a month to be ready for his birth. We hadn't even had the home visit with our midwives. But once I was at the hospital I got scared. They were telling me that my placenta was old, and that Declan was growing at different rates and threatened to have us arrested if we left. It never crossed my mind to just LEAVE. After sitting in hospital for 10 days hoping that they'd change their mind and let me go, my turn came. 36 hours of cervidil later, DH and I were begging for some peace and a chance to sleep. They agreed, for two hours, and then insisted it was time for Pitocin.
Shortly later after emptying my bowels, loosing my mucus plug and SROM all within 30 minutes I was in the most pain I've ever felt in my life. It was absolutely horrendous. When they offered a drug that would take an edge of the pain I agreed. They lied. It made me completely high and out of it between contractions. It made it feel like these contractions were on top of each other instead of 5 minutes apart. I have NO recollection of anything between the contractions.
They offered an epi which wouldn't numb anything but the pain. AGAIN the lied. I couldn't feel anything from my boobs down. As soon as the epi was administered they checked and I was fully dilated. I was horrified. My child just received the full dose of an epi and would be born within minutes.
They told me it was time to push, but I laughed. I couldn't feel my legs yet they praised me and told me that I was pushing perfectly. I wanted to stab the OB in her eye. Within 10 minutes my son was born - limp, blue, and stoned.
I absolutely feel that Declan was unnecessarily induced and that any lingering side effects of his prematurity are caused by the set of interventionists I encountered in the hospital. Had I had any previous experience or had I known that I would be fighting of the safety of my child I would have been prepared.
Now I am prepared. Just like with Pre-E, my only cure is delivery - a natural delivery on my own terms. I need to know that I can grow a baby and deliver it as nature intended. I no longer want to think about giving birth and feel robbed, violated, co-erced, prodded and caged. I have and continue to prepare myself for the circumstances where I may have to give birth unassisted.
I will not let them steal from me again.
I was also frozen solid with an epi. The nurse and my husband had to adjust my position in the bed and I had my bladder emptied for me several times... it was so terrible... I also tried to push, but my experience ended in a section. My beautiful baby girl was also born "limp, blue and stoned". She had to have an injection of narcan to counteract pain medication and she was bagged and suctioned. She's 5 months old now and it still pains me to the core to think of my baby in this way...Originally Posted by MoonPie
Nothing really helps to ease the pain of this image.. but as time goes on I think about it less, and while I don't plan on conceiving baby#2 for more than a year, I've already began to prepare. The next birth will be more positive... it has to be.
It's Miriam's birthday today. I actually thought I was going to be perfectly ok but then I realized I was just avoiding thinking about it. On ds's birthday, DH and tend to reminisce all day.. this is what we were doing at this time, then this happened, then that happened.. Poor guy. He started to do that today. "It's 3pm, I think we were in the park, or were we looking for the B&B by then?" I was so shocked and completely hurt that he would bring it up, that's when I realized I was really NOT ok at all. I stopped him cold. I told him it was a horrible day and I had no interest in a blow-by-blow. No interest at all, I didn't want to think about it, I wasn't going to talk about it. Tomorrow we can talk about bringing her home. But I just can't. I don't understand how it can be a year, and still, as soon as it comes up, it's like it just happened. The year has gone so quickly, and it's been so freakin' WEIRD. My priorities have all shifted, everything is different... so much so it's shocking to me that the sky is still the same colour. Everything, especially concerning my health, is sorted in my mind as before- or after- medical assault. My anger is present and accounted for.
Which is not to say that I'm not happy. I'm loving my life these days - I'm too busy, I take too much on, but that's me and it's normal and it allows me my much-needed sense of accomplishment. It also removes any free time for thinking, it's not deliberate but I do recognize that I have always managed my life this way. But I'm having a good time - kids, my work... I'm happy.
How long does healing take? Is there ever going to be a point this doesn't bother me? In many ways I hope not. My anger feels righteous and I want it. If I let my anger go, they'll have won. I'll just be another mama who let them hurt her and didn't say anything. Is that self-destructive though? How much anger can you keep without giving yourself cancer or something? How do you know if the anger is constructive or destructive? It's motivating - it keeps me going, it makes me write content for the website, think out next steps for the CBB, write more letters. If I were to let go of the anger, would I still have the need to do these things?
I've been contemplating posting here a long time now and never had the guts as it seems wrong for me to post here. I mean, my last home water birth was perfect, just the way I wanted it to be... There was no real stress, nothing went wrong. It was THE perfect birth I'd been pining for throughout all of my previous pregnancies...
My problem lies with what happened afterwards and the care I recieved afterwards. Not the birth itself.
Is that really stupid? Probably is, I don't know. Especially when you consider this was over a year ago now. But it's affecting the way I feel about my upcoming home water birth. I WANT that same birth experience, but I'm terrified I'll be left to rot like I was last time.
I can't even really describe what was wrong. I just didn't feel supported by anyone, not my DH, not the midwives, nobody cared for me.
My first memories of the night after my little Ashton was born was of virtually passing out from being tired on the sofa... Waking in the early hours of the morning calling for my DH who was on the sofa opposite me to help me get to the bathroom as I needed a bath (had flooded and hadn't had a bath or wash since the birth). He didn't help me up the stairs, I had to run my own bath, I fell into it and hurt myself... Then after I'd had a quick wash I found I couldn't move much and spent the next 3 hours calling for my DH to come and help me. He never did. I was left in freezing cold, dirty water just hours after giving birth.
Then in the following days I was very weak. I was never given an opportunity to rest after any of my births, but I thought having a homebirth would make things different, and then when I got the womb infection I was so ill I couldn't get out of bed. Nobody bought me anything to drink, or eat. I was lucky if I got two small glasses of drink a day and lucky if I got one full meal. I was trying desperately to breastfeed during this time - something I'd never managed before... Then I got thrush as well and when I was crying in the middle of the night in pain from breastfeeding I was told to stop fussing or I'd wake the other kids...
Then a few weeks after I'd given birth (maybe 6-8 at best) I was still struggling through the breastfeeding and was told I'd have to leave my baby for 3 days to go and help with an exhibition he was doing. I wasn't allowed to take a breast pump and I tried in vain for over a week to pump enough to leave. It wasn't enough and I got a call part way through the day saying they'd had to buy formula.
By this time my supply was seriousely dwindling. And I got no support whilst trying to re-establish it... Then my infection came back and by the time I was allowed to rest I was quite seriousely ill. I was hallucinating, fitting, throwing up, unable to eat or drink. One night it was too much and I asked DH to give him a bottle of formula, he complained bitterly at being woken during the night, and insisted I breastfeed even though I was unable to safely hold the baby due to shaking and dizziness...
By the next day I was much worse and was unable to feed him... I told DH point blank he needed to give the baby formula, which he did and basically by that evening my supply seemed to have dried up. I was unable to hand express, baby was unable to get anything and it never came back despite my best efforts.
Now don't get me wrong. My DH isn't a bad man. He'll normally do anything for me - I only have to ask... So why oh why didn't he support me when I needed it most. It was sooo important to me and I felt like I'd been left to rot, completely unsupported.
I am now terrified he'll do it again... Except this time I'll have five children to look after and it's making me question whether I should go ahead with a homebirth or not, despite the fact I really want too. I mean it wasn't much different with my hospital births, he just assumed now baby was out everything was back to normal, except with DS3 I managed to convince the hospital to let me stay in a few days afterwards so I got a couple of days of rest...
I don't really know why I feel so bad. Over a year later, surely I should be over this and have forgiven him. But it feels like he let me down when I needed him most and it makes me wonder/worry about what will happen this time around.
Anyway, just needed to unload all this. Thanks for giving me a place to do so....
My Pregnancy.org babies!
Robin (2), Liberty-Hope (3), Lacey-Rose (4), Ashton (6), Raistlin (8 ), Jaeven (10), Tristan (11)
No more babies for us - POF with very low AMH levels, told the only option would be IVF, so am stopping here.
If the anger is motivating and doesn't distract from your happiness on a regular basis, then I certainly agree that it can be a good thing. Nothing would change in the world if people stayed quiet and forgot about the wrong-doing in their lives. All too often I come upon women who've had terrible birth experiences, and yet they stand by, "we both lived, so I can't complain." Well... of course it's important that everyone is healthy now, but it's like saying it's ok to be mugged because afterwards you're still healthy. It can still leave long lasting damage, and nothing will change if it's just forgotten about...Originally Posted by Robinna
Sarah-Jean... your story is heart-breaking. Half way through your post I had to stop reading and come back because I couldn't process it all at once.
I am a firm believer in the wonders of a homebirth... but in your circumstances, I may consider a hospital birth, and talk the doc into giving you a few days to stay there. You will need to stand-up for what you want as far as the birth... but post partum, you will get three meals a day with snacks, all the water brought to you that you can handle, help to the bathroom if needed 24/7, a little rest from the other kiddos at home and a chance to bond with your new little bundle. And you can get some extra help with breastfeeding too.
My heart aches for you... and I can only hope that your upcoming birth is more positive. Please continue to post with us.
Robin, you'd make an outstanding doula.
I have an angel singing moment - it was when I heard that sweet cry, even though it was in the distance, as soon as I heard it I sighed a breath of relief and began to cry a little. It was the most beautiful moment of my entire life. I will never forget it (although now it's hard to remember exactly what her cry sounded like, but I remember the feeling all the same.) Whenever I think of my birth that's what I focus on.
Leigh, I'm glad you're here! Aless is so darn cute with her little denim hat on.
I had a long conversation last night (after a few too many rum & diet cokes) with a friend of mine. His wife had two natural hospital births. It was so funny to talk to this burly dad and hear him go on about perineal massage, episiotomies, breastfeeding and placentas!
I'm always thrilled for others who are able to achieve their birthing goals, but a small part of me is also very sad and jealous. It seems like EVERYONE I know gets the birth they want, whether they want an experience full of interventions or a home unassisted waterbirth . . .
I'm still just so pissed that I wasn't strong enough to stand up for myself. I KNEW it was a mistake when I was walking into that damn triage area. I should have turned around, walked out and called my OB's office to tell them I was going to go AMA and lay on my couch and eat chicken. In retrospect, I would have taken my BP every 30 minutes at home if it would have meant going into labor naturally instead.
i do have an angels singing moment.. As soon as the ob sais jeffy was out i said "where's his cry? i waited nine months for that sound!" and then i hear the tiniest wimpiest little waaaahhh and that was it. it was kinda like him saying "here mom, happy? now leave me alone" it was so cute hehe
You know i'm STILL looking for that angels singing moment. I was scrapbooking M's birth-day last night (yes, I am THAT far behind in my scrapbooking!) and actually found I could smile at the picture of us, where I'm still on the table and DH is holding her beside my face - he held her there until I could take her. His arms must have been killing him by the time they got me off the table, he didn't even have a stool. And I wept again over the gap between her birth and when I got to see her. Why did nobody take pictures? OK dumb question, because they had their priorities straight, that's why. But I long for that moment. I'm posessed by the idea that my angels singing moment is that one that I missed, where she was lying on my belly and I couldn't see or feel her, but only had the assurance of my MW that she was there.
She is such a loving being, and even at 16 months she is already showing compassion to others - when ds cries she goes straight to him and pats his back and tries to kiss him or give him a toy. I think she wanted her head by my heart, that's why she stayed breech, she felt my stress about trying to find someone to help me birth her without surgery and wanted to comfort me... how's that for wires crossed?
One thing for sure. Never again will I permit being polite or honouring a bad agreement to get in the way of what I know to be right.