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Emergency Ceaser, feeling disconnected.

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#1 ladybird89

Posted 06 April 2015 - 02:11 AM

I had an emergency ceaser in January, as I failed to progress past 8cms. I am so disappointed as I had been doing so well. I had planned on trying to go as drug free as possible. I got to 5cms at home by myself. I had a morphine shot at 6cms and that wore off around the time I got to 8cms from there I was happy to just have gas and air for the rest of my labour. That is when it all went wrong. When I was at 8cms my baby turned her head and became stuck. The ob suggested that I try the syntocin drip to help speed up my dilation and see if baby turned again or if they could turn her? I'm fuzzy on that part, I agreed. I was offered an epi at this stage as if I had to have a Ceaser it would be better to top up than administer it in an emergency.

I was given an hour and then another, but I didn't dilate any further. I ended up in theatre having the ceaserean I had never wanted, I was too drugged up to ask anyone to take a picture of her being lifted out of me, or to ask them to drop the sheet. I saw her for a brief second before she was whisked over to the corner with the paediatrician. There were a few photos taken of dp, our baby and I before they were taken out. We were then separated for the next 45 minutes while they stitched me up. We never had the immediate skin on skin time I had looked forward to enjoying. Even when I was out in didn't get to hold her because I was too dopey. Recovery was not pleasant it was noisey there were midwives/nursery laughing and joking and talking about their personal affairs when all I wanted was peace and quiet with my beautiful little girl.

I don't remember much from her birth and most of what I do remember were the unpleasant moments. I feel so disconnected from her birth. As if I wasn't really there. As if for 41weeks I carried her inside me only to have the stalk drop her off. I still cry whenever I think about her birth. I feel angry whenever I hear a positive birth story. My partner doesn't understand to the point where he sounds frustrated with me when I cry My mum had four smooth labours too and both of them keep going back to the old she is here safe and healthy And I am grateful for that don't get me wrong.

I feel ripped off though. I was excited about labour I was looking forward to pushing. I was going to feel her head when she crowned I was going to cut the cord if dp chickened out, I was going to hold her and tell her it was ok and keep her warm and feed her to soothe her. But I couldn't and I can't forget that. I feel lost.

#2 Chicken Penang

Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:17 AM

I had an emergency Caesar and felt guilty and like I had failed. It took some time and I began to appreciate I had a healthy baby and was in good health myself. Discussing it with a midwife helped. It probably took two years to resolve it in my head.
Have you considered getting professional help? All the best.

#3 DJandJ

Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:25 AM

Oh ladybird I'm sorry your birth didn't turn out as planned. No advice to give, just sympathy. A woman's lot is a lot to bear sometimes.

#4 Caribou

Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:37 AM

Sending hugs. My birth didn't go as planned either. I never even got to labour stage. I spent two years feeling like crap because I had a Caesar. I ended up seeing a counsellor, talking things over. It wasn't until then I realised what happened was beyond the realm of my control and if I hadnt done this id have died, likely DD too. I admit I did feel like I'd been pushed into having a Caesar but reality was my BP was just out of control.

Now, I have an amazing gorgoeus 3.5 year old who I'm just happy she's here. I haven't failed her or myself. I can see how I birth her doesn't change how or who she is.

I think, it will be well worth seeing a counsellor, it can be quite cathartic to let it all out. You have not failed!

#5 MrsLexiK

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:07 AM

My birth went crap too. However we did have a better experience with the csection -in some ways- then you. I was knocked out after he was born though. The only thing I can remember apart from fear and disappointment and sadness is my FIL coming in (which I was totally fine with btw) and thinking "OMG he is going to see my boob!" My hospital was very good with debriefs and talking me through everything. It wasn't until I was pregnant this time that it all sort of hit me how bad it could have been. At the time I felt like sh*t and felt I should have been greatful for what I had. I have worked through those feelings and know I can be greatful for what I had but still feel trauma/bad/sad etc about his that happened. Because it was traumatic for both my DH and I.

#6 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:20 AM

OP, I had a very traumatic birth with my first, and I found what helped me was talking about it and trying to make sense of it, without being offered platitudes like "at least she's safe".  I needed someone to just listen and to feel heard.  If you don't have that with your mum or DH, could you speak to your MCHN or ask them to suggest someone you can speak to?  I found it was when I joined my mother's group and met some wonderful women who really understood that I started to heal.   I wish you the very best.

Edited by Gruffalo's Child, 06 April 2015 - 09:20 AM.

#7 PocketIcikleflakes

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:23 AM

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I've felt similar about my c section too, even though I got some brief skin to skin and the staff caring for me were far more professional than yours. The e way they treated you I think is disgusting. Sadly it isn't really all that rare for them to treat it as just another surgery rather than the birth of your child. It's a story I've heard so many times. To the point that I've written in my current birth plan that if I need another c section that I do expect staff to treat this as the important day it is, not just another surgery.

The way you feel about your child is separate from the way you feel about your birth. I think it can be easy for people to forget that unless they've experienced it. Of course you are grateful that you are both healthy and safe. But that is not the only important thing. You are important too. How your birth went and how you feel about it is important. I strongly advise getting some professional support. There are a number of ways to get birth trauma specific help including a website called "birth rites" they should have some helpful links. If you search on Facebook there are also a few Australian birth trauma support groups who should be able to give you some rresources

If you feel up to it at some point you are also allowed to make a complaint to the hospital about how the staff treated you. It was not acceptable. Nothing may come of it but is one thing you could try to see if it helps you. You are also entitled to a copy of your notes about your birth if you think that may help. You call the hospital and you can get them due to the freedom of information act. There is often a fee for photo copying. Some women find this helps though some do not. It's helpful to have someone who can go through the notes with you and explain medical terms etc though.

If you have surgery again out may be worth discussing pain relief options as how described feeling immediately after sounds very familiar to me. It is a possible reaction to the usual type of pain killer they use, there are other pain killers you can try in the future. I now get a red id band in hospital as I'm noted as allergic to the pain killer I had for my c section to make sure I never have it again.

Finally, let me reassure you that you are not alone in feeling like this. You don't just have to suck it up. You are entitled to your feelings about your birth and you ate entitled to get help.

Edited by pocketferal, 06 April 2015 - 09:29 AM.

#8 Soontobegran

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:23 AM

It is really okay that you feel like this but not okay that you feel you need to just suck it up and pretend it doesn't matter.

I didn't have a C/S but wish I did such was the horror of #1 and I know what you mean about the disconnect. She was dragged out of me and I was reminded I should look at her when all I wanted to do was celebrate that labour was over and go to sleep.

I was lucky as I could reflect on what had happened with the knowledge as to why it happened but even so it took a couple of weeks before I was filled with that 'maternal love' people talk about.

Please seek some help....go and talk to your GP as there are supports groups and counselling available.
It is sad that your partner does not 'get it' but this is so often the case and it is hard to handle when you are being told to get over it.

Lots of luck but don't try to deal with this alone and it will get better.

#9 katpaws

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:30 AM

When my DD was born, under an emergency CS, i did not see her for about eight hours and we were separated for about a week (different hospitals/different locations) and i was in hospital for another 2-3 weeks but was too sick to really be with  her. One picture was taken when she was born and two more when i saw here (during surgery i didn't even know if i had a boy or girl, or if the baby was ok - i had about four hours of surgery). So no happy snaps - they were pics taken "in case" one of us didn't make it. It was a pretty dreadful situation.

You need to find a professional to talk to - there are therapists who specialise in bonding with your baby - even one or two sessions with therapists like that can be very beneficial. You need to have friends you can unload on to. Always speak about what happened to you, don't keep it in. If you don't have friends who can help, definitely get a professional involved. Talking and crying help. Let the emotion out, let the anger, the disappointment, the sadness, the sense of loss - let it all out. Keeping it in will not help you. Get your partner to some counseling sessions - he needs to understand what you went through.

Very few people understand what happens to women in these circumstances. My MIL who had a bad birth experience while understanding some of what i went through, did not completely understand what i had gone through - i also got the your baby is ok and healthy etc. But no-one every asked - Katpaws, are you ok? And that really hurts.

This organisation is no longer around but has their website up for info for women - it might be of benefit to you.


You are grieving over the birth you expected and lost -  and it is important that you give yourself time to grieve (read the stages of grief to get some understanding). Cry - talk - get angry - what you are feeling is normal. You lost something precious to you, you have the right to grieve.

Also, forgive yourself. You didn't do anything wrong. What happened is not your fault. Don't direct anger at yourself.

It can take a while to bond with your baby or feel positive after a traumatic birth or a birth where you feel you lost control. That is normal. You need to give yourself time. You need to heal, you need to forgive. Don't try to push your relationship with your baby - give it time.

I am here if you need to PM about your experience.

Edited by katpaws, 06 April 2015 - 09:37 AM.

#10 IamzFeralz

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:33 AM

Just wanted to send a sympathetic hug.  I haven't been in your position (I had an elective caesar!) but understand that it wasn't what you had planned or hoped for.  It must be very difficult not being able to remember anything except the more unpleasant parts.

Definitely worth going to a counsellor too.  They can help you process your very real feelings and make a plan for the future.

#11 BoysGalore+1girly

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:36 AM

I'm so sorry things didn't go to plan, I have been in your shoes after a placental abruption.
You know what you did a fantastic job growing her for 9 months and now she's here safe and happy
Try to think about the positives and enjoy that precious baby girl-they grow so fast

#12 Allosaurus

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:44 AM

Ladybird, I am sorry you are feeling this way. I am sorry you got sold a fairy tale which is as much of a lie as Prince Charming and happy ever after. Natural birth is really very rarely a "beautiful" thing. If it was, why would so many women and babies have died - even today with modern obstetrics? I hate the fairy tale myth of natural birth being sold to so many women. I hate the myth of romantic love being sold to so many men and women. Yes, some birth experiences can (apparently) be euphoric, but the reality is that they are always messy, always come with lots of pain, and frequently leave you ripped open and you are never the same again. The majority of women do NOT glow and feel lovely afterwards. A few do, and they skite about it and make everyone else feel ripped off. Equally true is the fact that some love affairs can (apparently) last forever and keep both partners blissful forever. But the truth is that they are always full of some sort of compromise, disappointment, etc - even when they are happy ever after. There is a reason why they refer to a "honeymoon period" because drudgery sets in and someone has to wash the clothes and put out the bin.

It is necessary to grieve the loss of innocence that fairy tales are not real. Reality always has a bitter taste.

Also, it is not uncommon to be very emotional and teary in the months following birth. Sometimes it is more than "normal" and could be post-natal depression. If you think your sadness is just related to the birth disappointment you might not realise it is something more. Maybe the reason it is making you so sad is actually because your hormones are so out of whack and it is that making you sad? Do you see a MCHN? My MCHN put me in touch with a wonderful PND counsellor. You would want to talk to someone who understands birth disappointment and not all counsellors would be experienced in that.

#13 MrsFrosty

Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:53 AM

Oh OP. I had a traumatic birth with my DD. It wasn't an emergency ceaser but I ended up with a ventouse delivery and large tear requiring stitching in theatre. I was separated from DD and DH for several hours that felt like weeks. I know how you feel. It sucks. And people telling you "but at least baby is healthy" just doesn't help.
Things I've found helpful have been:
-debrief with my caseload midwife (although she wasn't there for the birth
-debrief with the Dr who delivered DD. I'd always had this feeling that people were angry at me while I was in labour and that id done something wrong. Speaking to her was reassuring in that she told me I did everything right. I pushed when she told me to. I didn't when she told me not too. I pushed well, DD just wouldn't come out.
-writing everything down and getting the timeline right. Like you I had morphine and gas and was basically high as a kite. I think part of the trauma was not remembering anything. So I spoke to midwife and Dr, and Dh and wrote down what happened. I pieced it together as best as I could with what I had. It's not perfect, but it's better than the patches of memory I had.
-counselling. I've seen a councellor on recommendation of my MCH nurse. She has been brilliant. If you're in Melbourne, pm me and I'll give you her name.

Things I still would like to do are access my notes, although my midwife told me the documentation around my birth is not great. The Dr who stitched me didn't even sign the theatre report.
I also want to write a letter to the hospital outlining what I was disappointed with and what I wasnt. Although my birth was not great, I had caseload midwives who absolutely helped me so much in the aftermath, and the deserve recognition for that. If it wasn't for them I would be in a much worse state.

Hope that helps somewhat. It's really frustrating and upsetting having your feelings dismissed. A good birth outcome should be healthy baby and healthy mum. Unfortunately this is lost on some people.

#14 Contrebasse

Posted 06 April 2015 - 10:06 AM

I did not have an emergency Caesar, but I did have a traumatic outcome to my natural birth (I see what you mean about loss of innocence Allosaurus!)

I found it helpful to talk about how I felt often and with different people, e.g.
- friend who's a midwife
- mchn
- other mums
- a counsellor who came to our mothers group
- my GP
I also arranged a debrief with the senior OB at the hospital, via the patient advocate - could be something that benefits you?

Your feelings are important, I hope it is easier to accept what happened in time.

#15 PocketIcikleflakes

Posted 06 April 2015 - 04:48 PM

I just read this blog and thought it might resonate with you op


#16 Lady Sybil Vimes

Posted 06 April 2015 - 05:15 PM

Please get some counselling. You are in real danger of tipping into post-natal depression and you need more support.

I had an emergency c-section and although I was okay with that I want you to know that you are entitled to grieve and feel that disappointment. Your partner probably doesn't get it because he is focusing on being happy that you and your baby survived. His birth experience was totally different to yours.

Please start telling any medical professional you can that you are experiencing real distress and trauma and that you need support. Grief is a lonely road to walk alone and there are people out there who want to help.

#17 ladybird89

Posted 07 April 2015 - 08:43 AM

Thanks for all your words ladies. I just want to say I am definitely not suffering PND. I am happy in all other parts of my life,  years prior to dd I suffered with depression and anxiety, I am sure that dp would recognise if I was slipping as I would.

I haven't been able to discuss my birth with my ob because I still cry too much to get words out in I have thought of going to my old psychiatrist but he doesnt have after hours appointments so I have no to look after Dd so for now I can only vent here or in my diary.

#18 ladybird89

Posted 07 April 2015 - 05:21 PM

Thanks for all your words ladies. I just want to say I am definitely not suffering PND. I am happy in all other parts of my life,  years prior to dd I suffered with depression and anxiety, I am sure that dp would recognise if I was slipping as I would.

I haven't been able to discuss my birth with my ob because I still cry too much to get words out in I have thought of going to my old psychiatrist but he doesnt have after hours appointments so I have no to look after Dd so for now I can only vent here or in my diary.

#19 Beeeeeez

Posted 07 April 2015 - 05:34 PM

OP its completely understandable how you feel. I am in opposite situation. I wished I had a CS as bub suffered during the labour and ended up in NICU for three days!
I suggest you talk to someone. You said you cant get to your old psychiatrist but could you see your GP and talk to him/her and see if any other counselling available. You would definitely benefit from it. Hope you feel better soon.

#20 mozzoro

Posted 07 April 2015 - 05:37 PM

Nothing but hugs.
I had a traumatic, but planned c section. She was raced off to God knows where (NICU or neurosurgeon to check if she was going straight into surgery or could wait some days, or possibly MRI). I have no idea, only saw her briefly and had no chance for skin to skin. I was shut in a tiny room alone not much bigger than the bed for recovery.

At 8 months old, I'm still severely detached at times. I have PND/PNA and PTSD. I am medicated which helps, but don't really see any doctors (too hard to see the psychiatrist who prescribed meds and have had a long run of bad luck with GPs).

It sucks balls. But eventually you will start having more good days than bad, and one day your baby will feel like they are yours more often than they don't.

#21 mozzoro

Posted 07 April 2015 - 05:38 PM

My psychiatrist prefers to see mothers with their babies so she can observe how you interact. It may be worth giving your psychiatrist a call to discuss.

#22 MrsFrosty

Posted 07 April 2015 - 06:18 PM

I took dd to my cancelling sessions. And like every other appointment I've had since her birth. I have no family support and dh works long hours. Id never get anything done if I couldn't lug dd along with me. People understand.

#23 Diana_Barry

Posted 07 April 2015 - 07:08 PM

Sorry you are going through this OP. I had a similar story and was very upset about it too, after having such huge expectations about having this 'perfect' birth. I totally get that disconnected feeling - like they could have had a random baby stashed out of sight in theatre & just given me one they prepared earlier.

Having said that, four years on it's not something I ever think about any more, other than if there's a next time, I'm not going to put so much pressure on myself to control something I have so little control over. I'm grateful I was somewhere that fast action could be taken when it was needed. And I am very, very connected to my DS & our birth experience has no bearing at all on our relationship. Sometimes I could do with a bit of disconnect actually, if that meant getting through an entire night of sleep without having his hair up my nose.

hugs to you OP.

#24 Kay1

Posted 07 April 2015 - 07:26 PM

I'm sorry that happened OP. I also had an emergency c section with my first after desperately wanting an all natural birth. I never dilated at all even after induction. I felt pushed into the c section and like no one understood my disappointment. I felt disrespected throughout the actual procedure and was separated from my ds as well. It took me a while to get over it but I did. :) partly just time and partly my 2nd delivery which, while also ending in c section, was very positive, with an understanding and supportive OB. We were also separated and there were a few issues there but overall it was so kuch better.  I had an elective c section for my 3rd and it was lovely, I got to keep him with me all the time. I found that my first delivery helped me be very specific about what I wanted and didn't want and I was able to communicate it.

Having said that, my kids are 2, 6 and 9 now and I honestly never think about the way they were born. I know it extremely significant to you right now but I promise, it won't always be that way.

I found it very helpful to talk to a counsellor about it when I went to sleep school with ds1. Just being really heard and understood was very healing.

#25 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 07 July 2015 - 10:12 PM

I have just been through similar, and Im taking it one day at a time.

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