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How to move on from traumatic birth for the next one

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#1 justine89

Posted 21 April 2015 - 12:54 PM

Hi ladies just wanting to hear about second time round experiences and whether they differed or any changes you made that had a significant difference? I had post traumatic stress from my birth experience.

I had  a lot of pressure to progress quickly even though I was moving like a freight train. I got told to push when I didn't even feel ready to push yet and was in shock by the powerful and painful contractions I was getting. I was placed on a bed with no encouragement or support at all. Just being told to push. It all was very consuming and couldn't seem to focus on what I was ment to be doing. I got told that baby was twisting back and forth or something??? Dr used vacuum suction for a while and threatened forceps or c section. I refused and soon pushed her out by myself. All happened within 4 hours of labour starting.

I still remember te unbearable pain and the idea of going through it again is frightening. To the point I'm afraid of dying. I am unsure whether I should maybe just go ahead for an elective c section this time round but that idea also has it's cons.?

Any helpful advice? I'm 5ft 2  and 50kg and had a 9lb and 58cm baby!

#2 dancermum12

Posted 21 April 2015 - 01:10 PM

My first birth wasn't as traumatic as yours but it wasn't ideal and one of the reasons we're having a nearly 3 year age gap is because I was nervous about having to do it all again. I'm now 30 weeks along and starting to feel OK about it.

I did calmbirth the first time around and would recommend it. It's focused on relaxation and breathing techniques, but also part of it is about the physiology of birth. DH and I both found it useful. But on the actual day I only found it useful until transition/pushing at which point no amount of relaxation was going to help. So this time around I am using the Juju Sundin book "Birth Skills" to get some more ideas - DH and I have a weekly date to practice the skills and find ones that feel good for me.

I've also had a sort of counselling session with a doula. THIS WAS THE BEST THING I'VE DONE and I'm planning to organize at least one more before my due date. We went through what happened last time (and I had a good cry about it) and she basically helped me re-frame it in more positive terms. She also gave me some book suggestions which have been good. This was really the main thing that has helped me start feeling better about doing it all again. I don't think we will hire her for the actual birth but just talking it through with an objective (but kind and caring and knowledgeable) third party has been incredibly valuable.

I certainly considered going down the elective C-section route but after all this I'm feeling more confident about #2 and less traumatised about #1. I hope you can find a way to feel the same no matter how you decide to give birth next time. Good luck.

#3 Soontobegran

Posted 21 April 2015 - 01:19 PM

I am sorry for your experience and really suggest you get some help from someone. It sounds as though you really need to debrief about the experience.
Not knowing what or why is terribly upsetting.

I got over my horrendous first birth by getting pregnant again within just a couple of months. Not that I'd recommend this to anyone but a much better second experience did help me deal with the negatives of the first. I think I am lucky about this.

Have you got a good GP or Obstetrician who you can talk to?

Lots of luck.

#4 Sixx

Posted 21 April 2015 - 01:29 PM

Hi there! Sorry that happened to you first time around. I suffered post traumatic stress after I had my first too. I felt no support abused by the midwife, pressure to progress and when I finally felt myself progressing she stood over me yelling and mocking me that I had no idea what I was talking about etc. Arms folded for half an hour refusing to assist me when she finally gave in' and checked me my son was in an unusual position - I was made to lay down for hours and not allowed' to move, I expressed several times I needed to urinate and I was told I can't move I was submissive eventhough what I was being ordered to do made no sense. I felt humiliated in having to urinate in the bed with no bed pan offered because I simply couldn't hold it any longer when she kept telling me I don't need to pee, I forgot it was my bladder and I'd know if I needed to pee or not. when he was born, (I was threatened with forceps if I didn't hurry up and push) the pushing was unnatural and coached he was born in a bad way and I thank god that he came around and he was 100% fine in the end, for months I couldn't sleep, I had pts anxiety and seeked help from counselling, the experience consumed me, but when I found out soon after that that I was pregnant again I went into freak out mode and all the progress I made felt like I was back at square one, but I was determined I was no way in hell going to have a repeat experience because if I did I knew I probably would never come out of it to look after my children. I needed to take control believe in myself and move myself forward no body was going to do it for me, I researched hypno/power birthing. I relised my first experience didn't need to write the experiences I was going to have with any other children I may have. I attended yoga and power birth classes, it is empowering and teaches self reliance and belief you have all you need in yourself to labour and birth your baby, and while birth and labour can take unexpected turns- it acknowledges this, that if everything is going on track and baby is well then you do not need to listen to anyone but yourself, I went from a stressful traumatic labour where I let myself be controlled in the desperate attempt to get support to having 4 more children labouring alone not even dh there obviously he was next to me and I was squeezing his hand at birth, and able to block out any coached pushing even with a midwife at the end of the bed saying push into your bottom - no a baby comes out of the vagina. Be strong seek some counselling if you haven't already, and If a natural self reliant birth is what your after search for some classes in your area - if you have an ob explain to them what you want and how you plan to do it- accept that everything may not go to plan but also accept that if all is well that you are incharge of your own body and when your in the midst of labour you may not be able to be assertive so I gave a few rules to dh of what my expectations were so If needed he would step in and speak on my behalf, also I used the silent treatment and ignoring if I was being told to do something that I knew was incorrect. I also had better midwives the last times and stayed at home till I knew I was close to having the baby
Goodluck I hope you get a wonderful experience and your baby is well xx

Edited by Fivebubs, 21 April 2015 - 01:34 PM.

#5 Tikvah

Posted 21 April 2015 - 06:21 PM

which state are you in?

#6 justine89

Posted 22 April 2015 - 08:27 AM

I'm in nsw, Sydney

#7 fr0g

Posted 22 April 2015 - 08:54 AM

I had a labour which spanned Good Friday to Easter Sunday with my first, where I tried to deliver a 9lb transverse baby. I had an epidural eventually, and all was well but I found the experience so frightening I think I subconsciously delayed my second for years (hence the 4 year + gap!)

I didn't realise I would struggle so much until I revisited the labour ward at hospital and had a panic attack. My beautiful midwife suggested hypnobirthing, which was being trialled at the hospital. I never looked back, as it gave me confidence to approach the whole experience with a calmer approach, and control to manage my pain somewhat.

Good luck, OP. I think one thing I realised is that each birthing experience can be and is different.

#8 niceaspie

Posted 22 April 2015 - 09:13 AM

I had some fairly unpleasant birth experiences with my first two. There is a bit of a gap between them and my third, most recent birth.

The thing that helped me the most was talking with the midwife about what I wanted during my birth experience. I chose the birth centre model which meant continuity of care and a midwife that I knew and trusted.

I also connected with  http://birthtalk.org which might be helpful for you as well.

Although my last birth did not go to plan, and in some ways was more difficult than my first two, I would say it was the best birth experience that I have had. I felt supported, listened to, and respected. It was truly wonderful :)

I hope you can find the support you need to birth the way you want to, and for it to be the wonderful empowering experience it can be in the right environment xx

#9 robhat

Posted 05 May 2015 - 01:50 PM

You could try a doula. I had a friend who is a really anxious person and was terrified of labour and birth use a doula and she said it was the best thing she could have done. The doula was able to speak up for her and insist on things being done in a calm way etc.

Also, some of my other friends highly recommend water births. Both of them managed to have theirs in bath tubs at the local public hospital (also in Sydney).

#10 justine89

Posted 14 May 2015 - 06:47 PM

Thanks ladies, I'm still freaking out. I'm wondering whether elec cs would be better for my anxiety.. Otherwise it will be birth centre model with a doula

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