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Thread: The Healing Thread

  1. #41
    bmatern
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    As I gear up for the birth of this little girl, Kai's birth comes freshly to mind again. I'm even nervous about just writing about it again, as it makes me so emotional. The end result was marvelous: an absolutely gorgeous and healthy baby boy. The journey to the end sucked so bad and I'm still so upset about it. Steve and I stayed up late last night talking about it and about our desires for The Wombat's birth. The conversation started with me asking him, "What do you think about hiring a doula?"

    Here's what happened with Kai:

    I was up for 2 nights in a row with contractions. They went away pretty much during the day. Then they finally kicked in and stuck one early morning. I hung out at home for a while then we went into the hospital. Mistake #1. Should have stayed a home longer. I was 3 cm on admission. I walked and walk with my sister and DH helping me through contractions and sometime in the late afternoon I was 6 cm.

    During that 6 cm check the doctor said pretty much, "OK, I'm going to break your bag." I was like, "Uh, OK." What is a woman to do when her legs are up in the air and hasn't really given it any prior thought and isn't given any time to think about it at time? Until then, contractions were bad, but I was hanging in there.

    Immediately after, I wanted to die. Absolutely. I was welcoming death. Of course, later, we discovered Kai was OP (occiput posterior) and likely that contributed to the through the roof, absolutely unbearable pain.

    But I believe that the AROM contributed to his malposition. I don't believe that if I'd been allowed to labor (however slowly) on my own that the pain would have been that dreadful. My poor DH was so worried about me and says he has never, ever seen anyone in so much pain. It must have been agonising to watch. With all that pain the poor nurse anesthetist had a devil of a time getting the epidural in. 2 hours after the AROM, we finally had a functioning epidural, along with a 9cm cervix and an OP baby stick at 0 station.

    Of course at the time I blessed the epidural. And I still do. Now I realized I've come to be terribly p!ssed off about the AROM. I need to do a medical lit. search on AROM and malposition.

    The clincher for the whole thing is that the doctor is one of my best friends. I can't and won't talk to her about this. This is done and over with and I still have a lovely baby boy. I need to look forward and truly find a way in myself to believe that I can do this and this time have a better experience. I still love my friend, I still see her (although rarely since she is uber busy), and I don't see the sense in talking to her about it. So I talk to my DH about it. And I will talk to my current OB about it at our next visit. I just know I'll cry though and I hate crying with strangers. (OK, so my OB is not really a stranger, but you know what I mean.)

    Kai did not rotate and after trying to let him "labor down" for a few hours, augmented with pitocin (which I didn't realize I was getting until after the delivery), I started pushing at 0 station. I pushed for 3 solid hours. I've run a marathon before, and this was 20 times harder. Even with an epidural. I don't know where that strength came from. Finally, as the vacuum extractor was being brought out, Kai miraculously turned and there he was! Once he turned OA, he came out lickity split.

    So I discussed briefly with my current OB his use of AROM. Of course he's an advocate if labor stalls. As a family practitioner who does a ton of OB, I have to admit, I used to use AROM alot for "stalled" labor. I've changed my tune since Kai's birth. My OB is cool - sensing my nervousness, he's encouraged me to write a birth plan. I don't require much. I just want a fighting chance. And I'm convinced the AROM was too early and was the pivitol point in the birth experience going down hill.

    Since my last appointment, I've come to realize I want a doula. My DH is a wonderful man, but he is, after all, a man. He can't possibly know what my body is feeling and he is not the intuitive type of person to know how to help. I would love, love, love for my big sister to be my doula. But she is an RN and besides very close to me. I think another contributing factor at the last delivery was having far to many relatives and friends (over half of which were MDs or RNs) in the room. Their presence, I'm sure, put undue pressure on the medical staff.

    So, I have to figure out if my OB is cool with a doula. I want another woman there who can help me reach my experience, if that experience is indeed attainable. I realize sh!t happens - I've been on the receiving end of it and Lord knows, I'm so thankful I can perform a C-section. But I want the warm, caring, calm, soothing and experienced support of another woman who has done this successfully before with me. I know that will help me tremendously.

    I'm sort of looking forward to my next OB appointment: I want him to understand how crazy anxious I am about that AROM and make sure he's down with the doula. I'm sure he will be: all 3 of his kids were delivered by midwives. Now I have to figure out how to hire one and find one that I click with.

    Oh, I forgot to say that DH told me last night that he has absolutely no doubt that I can do it. That means so much to me. Now I have to believe it deep down too.

  2. #42
    Robinna
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    My brain is still playing out alternate scenarios. Last night it played out "breech birth in the bathroom" through until completion and I fell asleep with a smile on my face. Why can I not find a way to be OK with what really happened? I seem to be unable to forgive myself for not knowing enough.

  3. #43
    Posting Addict abkinsey's Avatar
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    I am ANGRY at my old docs. Totally and completely LIVID. They put my life and worst of all WILL'S life at risk. I would like to think that I was the "fluke" but I know I'm not. One of my friends had her epidural fail in a c/s and they kept her awake even though she felt the whole surgery. Another friend was given AROM during a totally normal but slow labor, her cervix got swollen immediately, and they did a c/s. Another friend's wife was given TWO c/s for FTP. Come to think of it, I'm the only Mom I know who managed to have a vaginal birth with them. It makes me LIVID!!!!!!!! How can they be so careless with the lives of women and of innocent babies all in the name of a dollar??????? They put me and my friends and our children at risk. How dare they! HOW DARE THEY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Anne, mommy to five:
    Lillian, born 12-24-10
    Will, born 10-19-07
    New little one, due 9-19-2012
    Lucas Robert, born to Jesus @ 18 weeks on 12-26-08 (due 5-28-09)
    Ectopic Angel 10-24-06


  4. #44
    Posting Addict abkinsey's Avatar
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    Sometimes I wonder if Will is so fussy at times because he was traumatized by the things that happened in the hospital. What he went through was just.....SO MUCH....especially at such a young age for such a little person. I can't imagine how it must have felt to not understand what was going on and why and to have the sort of cold and rigid welcome he got into this world. He had that freaking monitor on his head, the vacuum which gave him a big ole bump, was suctioned deep on a cold table instead of held in my arms, was tossed every which way by the nurses in an attempt to "massage his bladder" (why is it necessary to shake my baby upside down and roll him to all sides and roughly push down??????), and then I was not allowed to hold him ( ) because they wanted him in the bilibed. I could only hold him to nurse and he would cry and cry with his arms outstretched in that stupid little blue bed, just begging to be close to me. I wanted nothing more than to pick him up and hold him. It completely broke my heart. I feel like the damage they did to him there will take a long time for him (and me) to work through because that was his FIRST experience with this world and it was an awful and traumatic one. Sometimes I feel like his fussiness is due in large part to him trying to establish the fact that I REALLY WILL be there for him, to hold him anytime he wants, to comfort him, and that I'm not going to leave him alone somewhere to fend for himself. I feel like he got a shaky start to that trust-bond and it's understandably taking a while to work through that. Of course, in all of this, I wish I had done better for him. Yes, I did better that alot of people in my situation in that I turned around the labor and got out of a c/s and was determined. I did the best I could with what I had. And then, I was so exhausted afterwards that I couldn't think clearly. If this were happening now, I would tell them, "NO, you may not keep him in that bed. NO, you may not toss him about. NO, you may not put the monitor on. NO, you may not take him from me, NO, we will not give him any formula to get rid of the jaundice (we gave him a few cc's at dr's and lc's insistance and I so wish we hand't listened to them). NO, you may not talk loudly around him. NO, you may not turn the bright lights on. NO NO NO NO NO!" I wish I could go back and make it different for him. My heart breaks for him. It really does. I want to tell him I'm so sorry that's how things were for him. Since I can't change it, I guess I'll just keep holding him, hugging him, kissing him, loving him, reassuring him, and staying with him until we both can heal. I'll make better decisions in the future with his brothers and sisters. I'll do things much differently. Of course, I could be completely off the wall and this could have nothing to do with what Will goes through, but somehow, I just don't think that what happened could have been good for him, and I know it wasn't good for me.
    Anne, mommy to five:
    Lillian, born 12-24-10
    Will, born 10-19-07
    New little one, due 9-19-2012
    Lucas Robert, born to Jesus @ 18 weeks on 12-26-08 (due 5-28-09)
    Ectopic Angel 10-24-06


  5. #45
    Posting Addict abkinsey's Avatar
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    Thank you God for working a miracle. When we prayed you showed us what we needed to do next. You prompted me to call Amber. You gave me strength to make it through and to focus and do what I needed to do. You showed me the beauty of natural birth. You protected Will in the hospital and brought us all through the trauma in one piece. Thank you God for helping me learn how to heal physically and continuing to help me learn to heal emotionally. You have truly been my protector, my strength, and my solid ground. Thank you Amber for remembering about Ina May's visualization. Thank you Allen for staying with me the entire time, for believing in me, praying for me, for having faith in the process, and for being SO FREAKING excited the moment that Will was born. Thank you to the three ncb friendly nurses who encouraged me and believed in me when I wanted to do things differently. Thank you Will for being patient with Mommy and for being so strong. Thank you to all my friends and family who prayed and sent their strength.
    Last edited by abkinsey; 01-30-2008 at 11:54 PM.
    Anne, mommy to five:
    Lillian, born 12-24-10
    Will, born 10-19-07
    New little one, due 9-19-2012
    Lucas Robert, born to Jesus @ 18 weeks on 12-26-08 (due 5-28-09)
    Ectopic Angel 10-24-06


  6. #46
    Posting Addict MrsMangoBabe's Avatar
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    My midwives and hospital could give me everything I wanted except one thing. I basically knew that my hopes of having a totally natural birth would be ruined on one circumstance: ruptured membranes not followed by the start of labor. I played the odds and just hoped wouldn't happen to me, even though it happened to my mom with her first birth (and her second, as a matter of fact, but with that one--me--she was able to induce labor naturally). I know that I really started leaking amniotic fluid on Thursday morning, though it was tested Thursday in the midwife office and Friday at the hospital and the tests were negative. That means I had over 48 hours to allow labor to start naturally, and it did start, on Friday, but it was a very slow start. I went from 1.5 cm and 80% effaced to 2 cm and 100% effaced between Thursday and Saturday morning when I went back to the hosptial. I really did need to go to the hospital when I did because I was very tired from contractions and lack of sleep and I learned later that had they not discovered that my membranes were ruptured, they would have sent me home with something to help me sleep, and I would have accpeted that intervention because exhaustion did not help my labor. The discovery of my ruptured membranes meant pitocin. I cried at the mention of pitocin and told Mindy I wanted as much time as I could to try to get things going on my own. Circumstances beyond anyone's control: a different OB was backing her up that day than usual and she could usually get her regualr OBs to give women 12 hours, but she knew with this one all she could get for me would be 6 hours, and that would be pushing it. I'm glad I got those 6 hours because I would regret it if I hadn't. I agreed to the pitocin because it was, as I requested in my birth plan, going to be the lowest dose, but the contrax caused by that low dose were a heck of a lot worse than what I'd been having. I wish Mindy had ruptured my headwaters earlier because I want to know if that would have made a difference in my progress. She ruptured them right before they started running the pitocin, and those contractions made it hard for me to relax. Technically, my water was already broken, so there wasn't much harm to be done in artifically rupturing the headwaters. I think I regret the pitocin more than the epidural. It was such a relief to escape the pitocin contractions and all I needed was to rest! I just wanted it to be over soon and get to see my baby. My birth was pretty medicalized with the epidural and pitocin, but I avoided episiotomy (because of my choice of care provider), forceps/vaccum extraction (probably because of the epidural) and c-section (also because of the epidural). I was also able to welcome Tehani in a dimly lit room with skin to skin contact. My DH was amazing through the whole experience and I'm so lucky to have him.
    -Brittany
    Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Mom to three adorable troublemakers
    Two time joyful Hypnobabies natural birthing mom
    My blog: Birth Unplugged

  7. #47
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    Default The birth of my daughter

    I loved the question list at the beginning of this thread! I especially loved the question about who I would have punched in the face. I'll answer that.

    My daughter was born a week late, they had scheduled me to be induced, but I went into labor the night before. Instead of letting labor go on naturally like I had wanted they pumped me full of pitocin and hooked me up to every thinkable machine there is in fetal medicine! This was not how I had envisioned bringing my daughter into this world. Take note here, that this was a normal pregnancy with no serious complications. Instead of being able to walk around during my labor, I was bed ridden the entire time. I had wanted to go completely natural, but by 6 centimeters my husband told them to give me an epidural. This is the part where I answer the above mentioned question. Before the decision for the epidural was made I was having really strong contractions that seemed to be coming one right after the other. During one particularly painful contraction I let out a scream like sound. It really wasn't that loud. My mother in law told me that that wasn't necessary and that I was going to scare the other laboring mothers!!!!! And my father in law who kept making these ridiculous jokes about pushing the baby out. Saying I better hurry up. My daughter was born healthy ( after 18 hours), but I still wished that I had taken a closer look at my birth plan and been more assertive while in the labor and delivery room. I would have told every one to get out except the doctors and my husband. I guess I'll know better this go round!!

  8. #48
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    My coworker's wife had her baby today. She had a beautiful birth center experience with hypnosis. I want to cry for myself and what I HAD planned and how my birth turned out. She looks beautiful and happy in her photos. I was so uncomfortable I couldn't even smile the first time I held Tess.
    Sandi--
    Tess--2.21.08
    Quinn--7.10.09

  9. #49
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    I'm not here very often. In fact, in the last four months or so I haven't been here at all. I feel like a traitor, I feel like a hypocrite, encouraging women to have natural births when I, myself, made the decision to go to the hospital instead of staying home.

    My beautiful, energetic, smart, loving son is six and a half months old, has two teeth and crawls. He was born 3 weeks late by elective c-section for failure to progress. Failure to Progress. I consider this to be the most bull**** reason for a c-section in human history, and I chose it. ME. I brought it up, I convinced my husband, I convinced myself. Me.

    And yet, he had a knot in his cord. A KNOT in his CORD. A friend of mine said, "if he had died in the birth canal, you never would have forgiven yourself" and she's right, of course. But we didn't know about the knot, and as the ***** midwife who attended my surgery said, "his cord is really long. It probably wouldn't have pulled tight". I still want to slap her for saying that. If she hadn't, I probably wouldn't have ever second guessed myself.

    But she did, and now I have the arguement with myself, every time I think about birth.

    But I induced!
    I was 43 weeks pregnant, ruptured membranes, six centimeters dilated, and miserable with a PUPPP rash.
    But I could have waited!
    Perhaps. Or Perhaps he could have died.
    I never should have played with my cervix (My midwives did S&S for four weeks prior to my birth). I never should have tried "natural" induction methods. I should have taken the hint when the castor oil didn't work. My body dilated to six centimeters with a start-and-stop labor over the course of weeks. My water broke during a vaginal exam. I had hard contractions, but they were days apart.

    BUT HE HAD A KNOT IN HIS CORD.

    Round and round I go. Was he trying to tell me something? Or was he just biding his time? We had serious breastfeeding issues in the first three weeks, would they have been less had I waited to deliver vaginally? Were they because of the anesthesia? Did I harm my son by having surgery? Or did I save his life?

    I tried everything during my induction to get the baby to come out. I stayed upright. I relaxed. I don't remember the work of the contractions, or the pain of the back labor, I only remember how it hurt to pee, and how tired I was. I was amazed when he was born and it didn't hurt to pee anymore (after the catheter came out, anyways).

    God, I don't know. I'm terrified that I'll never be able to have a home birth, never be able to birth vaginally. I've surprised myself by visualizing my next birth in the hospital instead of at home. I don't want to go to the hospital. They're great, but I want to stay home. I think. But what if the next baby has a knot in its cord, too?

    Will I ever stop beating myself up?
    ayla

    Proud mama to Matrim, born 11/23/07 via c-section at 43w2d gestation.



  10. #50
    Posting Addict abkinsey's Avatar
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    So, there really is hope in recovering from traumatic birth. The flashbacks have decreased. I feel happy again for the most part. Will, while still high needs, does not have as many nightmares or cry so much. We are getting our lives together. We are healing, we really are. This is not to say that the trauma and pain is completely gone. No, it's still there. But, it's not consuming every living waking moment of our lives. The other day I realized that Allen and I no longer rehash what happened during Will's birth 10 times per day. We might even go a few days without bringing it up to one another. We're finding peace.

    Beyond all of that, we have started using our experiences for positive good in the world. Something about going through something so traumatic doesn't seem as bad when it can be used as a positive force in the world to help other people. I've started an ICAN chapter locally. I've gone to conferences. I've met with legislators. I've written letters. I've done research and started planning for the next birth (whenever I might get pregnant), planning for a homebirth.

    Allen has been talking with friends who've also had wives go through traumatic births. He educates dads with pregnant wives wherever he goes. He's even involved in ICAN. He's got a birth choices bumper sticker.

    Will is smiling more. He doesn't have as many nightmares. He is not so skiddish or clingy (though definitely still high needs) and enjoys going for playdates, out to parks and museums, and doing fun things. He no longer wants to stay in the house sobbing in my arms. He's feeling more secure and attached and it is showing.

    In all of Will's improvements I have realized how very REAL his trauma was. Birth matters folks, it matters alot; and fighting your way back after a traumatic one is no fun, especially when also trying to help a traumatized baby to find his way back, too. But, as I am finding, it is VERY possible to do so with lots of help , support, determination, and commitment.

    All of this healing business is a process, a beautiful but grueling process. It's not one I would have chosen but yet it is such a meaningful process. I'm nowhere near done with it. I come up with new questions about what I went through all the time. I search for answers. I let myself feel and then I move on. I'm not completely through it all, but yet I'm no longer stuck in it. I'm able to think about it and then place it on a shelf for a while until I take it down the next time. When a flashback does come it does not hold the power over me it used to hold.

    Talking has helped me, especially talking with others who understand because they've been there....and talking with my husband who WAS there with me and equally traumatized. Prayer has helped me. Taking simple actions such as planning something fun and meaningful for each day has helped me. Journaling has helped me. Helping others has really helped me and continues to give purpose and meaning to my life now. My identity and sense of serenity has really been coming around.

    I think the Serenity Prayer says it well for me....

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
    Anne, mommy to five:
    Lillian, born 12-24-10
    Will, born 10-19-07
    New little one, due 9-19-2012
    Lucas Robert, born to Jesus @ 18 weeks on 12-26-08 (due 5-28-09)
    Ectopic Angel 10-24-06


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