Struggling with Emotional Disappointment of C-section

Updated on January 27, 2011
E.H. asks from Hillsborough, NC
28 answers

Let me begin by saying that in no way am I casting judgement against c-sections, regardless of how I personally feel about them. Please know this in advance.

Having a vaginal birth has always been very important to me. I have always felt amazed that we as women are the only ones who can bring forth life into the world and when I got pregnant in May, I considered it an honor to birth my own child. My "birth plan" was to include a midwife, possible water birth, and a whole-hearted attempt at no pain meds. However, due to placental malfunction, fetal growth restrictions, and low amniotic fluid, I had to have what I guess you would call an emergency c-section on Jan 14.

Even though the most important thing is that Baby Girl is here and healthy (tho still in a Special Care Nursery), I am bothered by the fact that I wasn't able to "truly" birth her into the world. People have said to me: "You look great ot have just had a baby," and I think to myself: But all I did was lay there. Behind a sheet. I barely even saw her - they just lifted her out of me. I almost feel like I got robbed of the birthing experience. I didn't get to push life into this world and the emotional/ physical connection that comes with that. I just laid on a table. They did all the work and it still feels surreal that this baby is mine.

I am still struggling with this. I'm sure part of the problem is that she's still in the hospital and perhaps once she's home and the connection with her truly begins, this will subside. But right now, I'm still bothered by it. I would love a little emotional support in this if anyone has been through it and can relate.

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So What Happened?

I am so pleasantly surprised by all of your wonderful responses. I was hesitant to post this because I feared judgement for my feelings, but you have all been so very supportive and understanding. I cannot thank you enough. I know that my hormones have me going in all different directions (and I'm paying close attention to them), plus having a preemie (she was 8.5 weeks early when her amniotic fluid dropped too low) with the special needs that come with that, and driving back and forth to the hospital every day are probably all factors taking a bit more of a toll than I expected. I didn't mean to imply that I hadn't bonded with her at all - I'm spending as much time with her as I can, we're both learning the ropes of breastfeeding (though she can only breastfeed once or twice a day right now due to her small size), and I kangaroo with her as much as possible - it's just that it all felt a bit surreal. But I love her dearly, she is an amazing miracle of God, and I know that you are all right: 50 or so years ago, she would never have made it.

I thank you all for you insight, kind words, and encouragement. You pointed out a few things that I hadn't thought of and confirmed the things I know are true. It was a good decision to post here - I am very grateful for such good people who are willing to help.

More Answers

S.G.

answers from Austin on

I felt the same way after my first daughter was born. I had the same natural plan and was in labor for THIRTY SIX HOURS at the hospital, fending off nurses with drug suggestions bc I was, in fact, in pain and for nearly a DAY going full force with contractions 1 minute to 30 seconds apart and no sleep. I was a wreck. But so focused on this "dream birth".

My doctor was so understanding but my daughter was tired too. She finally couldn't handle this process anymore and the contractions were not doing anything. She was fighting ot get out but I was not 'opening up'. This caused her to squirm and fight and the chord wrapped around her 3x and she almost stopped breathing for a full minute.

They whipped me into OR and cut me open before you could say "sesame".

I was panicked and angry and frustrated and felt like a failure. I thought my body had betrayed me after all that hard work I did. IT SUCKED.

I worked HARD and in the end I get cut open? THEY get to bring her out?

that was a hard reality to face and understand but guess what, she was so beautiful adn alive and healthy and perfect and this is what I've come to learn.

you DID bring her into this world.
you DID work.
you DID birth her.
you DID prepare her.
you DID make her healthy.

and no one else COULD HAVE but YOU.

YOU DID THE WORK that no one else could have.
did she grow in a petrie dish in a lab until a doctor opened the cocoon and said "its time" and you guys went and picked her up?
NO!

that isn't the end.
my 2nd pregnancy I was determined to have a VBAC.
oh yes! i followed a strict diet, strict exercise program, stretches, the entire 100 + yards to get there.

when my due date arrived I never ONCE complained "ugh this needs to be over" bc I had this goal in mind and wanted a healthy baby. (even though I did really want to be done being pregnant lol!!!)

day after due date I had contractions and this was it!
same thing happened.
hard contractions, but nothing happened.

Turns out I have a hip condition where I could contract for weeks but nothing will happen. BC of nature the baby WILL try and come out with the contractions, and without medical intervention we could both die as a result (this happened a lot in the "old days").

I accepted that I'm not a failure.
I brought two babies to term and they are amazing kids and I thank my good doctors for being there for me.

Without good doctors, us stubborn women could make dangerous and silly decisions.
YAY doctors!
and YAY moms!

you are wonderful.
xoxo

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B..

answers from Dallas on

Just remember this...a c-section...does not renege the 9 months you carried her, took care of yourself, loved her, and did everything to protect her. Nor, will it renege all the very hard work you will do as a parent, caregiver, and companion to your child. Does you question bother me? YES. To think a woman should feel bad about doing what was right for the safety of her child. Your c-section was valid, as was mine. You did what it required, to keep your child safe. You did your very important job as a mom, to make the best decisions for your child. The way your birth has NOTHING to do with how you will parent.

You know what...my friend...she got the birth she wanted. Water birth at home with a midwife. It didn't make a difference. It didn't make her feel more empowered then I felt to carry a child for 9 months and bring him into the world. It didn't make her a better parent, it didn't make her a stronger parent. She often comes to me feeling overwhelmed, not knowing how to handle her 20 month old. Sh calls me a few times a week lamenting about how difficult parenting is for her. Her birth didn't protect her from the same difficulties in parenting. It didn't set her up to handle them better. You have to understand, when we set ourselves up to think there is only one empowering way to give birth, you are setting yourself up for depression and failure. It DOES sound like you are a bit depressed and need to at the very least, speak with your doctor.

I had a c-section and I DID TRULY BIRTH my child. He came from MY body. The body that gave him protection, nourishment, and life for 9 months. The body that conceived him and did everything possible to insure he would be a safe, happy, healthy child. If THAT'S not empowering, I'm sorry I don't know what is. You need to change your mindset, because your worth, empowerment, and bonding does not come from the vagina. Excuse me, for being slightly offended by your post. I'm not trying to be rude, but it does get quite old when other mothers (the ones who should be supportive) insinuate one birth is better, more empowering, or more legit then the other, It's terribly sad, and in your personal case damaging. Part of the reason you could not feel as strong of a bond, is becuase you're spending way to much time on having a c-section.

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D.S.

answers from New York on

I have never had a c section so I can't imagine how you feel. However, having dealt with disappointment as everyone has the only advice I can give is to focus on the good and try not to dwell on the disappointment. The outcome was the same, you have a beautiful baby. Doesn't really matter how the baby got here just that it is healthy and safe. If c- section were not an option for you the turnout could have been unbearable for you or worse for your baby. So I think if you can turn into that God there was an option to help me and my baby. I do not mean to squash your feelings I am just trying to make you see you were not denied you were blessed. From what I understand this does not mean you can never have a vaginal birth. Enjoy your baby and give yourself time to heal. Good luck!!

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A.S.

answers from Iowa City on

I hope this helps. I have had two c-sections. The first one was an emergency c-section after premature rupture of membranes and labor for over 20 hours. I had low amniotic fluid, the baby was early, she was stuck and failing, pain medication did not work. All in all it was not an ideal situation. But you know what? While it would have been nice to have everything go smoothly, it didn't and now, three years later, it doesn't matter. I look at birthdays like I look at wedding days. Yes, they are lovely but they are not nearly as important as all the days that follow.

As for things feeling surreal, I think that happens to a lot of new parents whether birth is vaginal or by c-section. You had this life in you for months and then one day it is just outside of your body. They hand you a baby and send you home (my daughter was in the NICU so I know the waiting is hard) and it is just strange and wonderful and scary.

Things will get better once you get your baby home and the blues pass (you are in prime time for the baby blues).

Congratulations!

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J.K.

answers from Gainesville on

I was bummed when my first was born by c-section too. I pushed and pushed to no avail, and when it was clear that without breaking my pubic symphisis she would not come out, it was c-section time. I pushed for 4 hours, so it's not like we didn't give it a real shot either. My water broke the day before so we were getting close to the 24 hours after that. I was at 10 cm for 6 hours, pushing for 2, resting for 2, pushing for 2. They used pitocin to up the contractions at first and then terbutylene to stop them and pitocin again to start them back up.
But when my daughter was placed on my chest, those hormones flooded me and it was love at first sight. Fierce, determined, absolute love.

When my son was born, also by c-section, this time by choice, since during the first operation they said nothing was going through there, and they put him on my chest, I didn't get those immediate love hormones. Fortunately I knew I loved him and that those flooding hormones would come later. They did. Now my love for him is just as fierce, determined, and absolute as it is for my daughter. It took two or three weeks for him, I have to say. It was very weird. Honestly, I'm really glad this didn't happen with my first child, because it would have scared me to death. I was confident in myself the second time around, knowing I loved him, and knowing that the hormone love waves would come, and caring for him with all my heart as though the hormonal washes were already there. They will come, I promise you that.

The emotional/physical connection comes from your heart, not your vagina. It isn't pushing her out that gives you that, it's your actions and your hormones. The manner of birth doesn't make you love her and doesn't make her love you. You are her mother and that is where the love comes from. I suspect you are missing some of the hormonal emotional flood that you expected, kind of like me with my son. Trust that it will come, maybe in a couple of weeks, and as long as you love her like you feel it, the feelings will come. Those hormones aren't missing because of the birth manner though, it's just your body chemistry. It might not be the same with subsequent births, whether c-section or VBAC.
It took me a while to accept that yes, I am genetically inferior and would die in the wild incapable of giving birth, but we are evolutionarily designed to give birth at 16 to 18 years of age and we aren't advocating that either, now are we? My first was born when I was 36.
My friend, also determined to have a natural birth, had an emergency c-section because the cord was wrapped around her baby's neck and he coded. He was resuscitated on the table. She wanted a spiritual birth, and she has framed her experience to say that it was a spiritual birth because everyone necessary to keep him alive was there. You had a birthing experience, we all did, it just wasn't the one we wanted. You have a baby now, get used to not being in control. The universe laughs at your plans.
And I mean it about the hormones. They are wild the first few weeks, but believe me, the oxytocin waves of love WILL COME. THEY WILL COME.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

I had 2 c-sections.
The first, was an emergency after about 15 hours of being in labor.
The 2nd, was planned.

To me...you are missing the process of 'birthing.' The feelings/ideals/hopes of it all. So it is a kind of feeling forlorn. But never forget... that the entire process of having a baby, is also that you carried that child in your belly for 9 months. That to me, is ALSO the whole 'process' of having a baby. Not just it being more real or better than the next person only because one had a vaginal birth and the other did not.

I was TOTALLY ready to give birth. But my 1st child, ended up having to be an emergency, if not, I and/or my daughter's life, could have been very compromised. And my Husband a Widow. Why risk all that?
I chose a c-section with my 2nd, because I did not want to risk, rupture etc. because of what happened the 1st time. It was common sense. It was not about me... but about me AND my baby AND my Husband.. and doing what was best/safest for all of us. And of course my baby.

The main thing is, that baby AND you are fine.
It does not matter if you pushed or not at birth.
Your daughter, will not judge you on that.
My kids, do not, to me.
I IMMEDIATELY... felt SO connected to my kids, when I gave 'birth' to them, even if by c-section. I saw them immediately after/heard them cry/and instantly felt so touched and bonded to them.
I carried my kids for 9 months in my belly.
That, makes me a Mom.

I think you feel let down by the 'ideals' of it.
Versus what actually happened.
But your baby is here, and she made it.
And, you made it.
That is the only thing that matters.
Whether a woman had a natural birth or a c-section... they are still, a Mom and had a baby. It just is.
And it is beautiful. Either way.

Once you see/hold/bond with your baby, you will feel better.
Concentrate on that, not 'how' she was born. But that, she is here.

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J.L.

answers from Chicago on

Hi there New Mama!!!
First of all Congratulations. I am sure your daughter is absolutely beautiful and what a miracle. God bless your family. I completely understand and I am sending hugs your way. I have to tell you I had three C-sections. The first two were not by choice. While I opted for pain meds I truly wanted to have a vaginal birth!!!!! It wasn't meant to be. My first child DD after 22 hours just wouldn't come out. The med staff was concerned because there were issues that she might have swalled meconium (sp) in Utero as when they broke my water it was discolored. I was induced a week after my due date. After 22 hours and her heart rate issues etc...I had to have a C. With my second I told the doc straight up I wanted a VBAC. All was going according to plan when the little bugger decided to be a breech baby!!!! Ugh...So second C-section! Becasue I had two C's already I opted to schedule #3.....

So here's the thing while you feel very disappointed the benefit you have is your daughter is here safely and will no doubt get stronger by the day. You are alive and healing and no matter the method of birthing you carried her and your womb provided life. Without God's hand and you she would not be here!!! At the end of the day you are a mother just like the rest of us and the kind of mother you are is what counts! Will you love your baby, meet her needs and have her grow up to be the person God, you as her parents want her to be. I know you're sad. You've been through a lot! On the flip side while you had a C-section, you bypassed an interuption to your "plumbing" no tears, no episiotimy, incontinence and God knows what else can happen as a result of vaginal deliveries.

If you plan on having more children, there is no reason why you can't try again and aim for a VBAC!!!

Best wishes

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S.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

First of all, congratulations on your new baby!

I'm a 2 time c-section mom. The first was an emergency, the second was a scheduled.
With my first daughter, I had eclampsia and extremely high blood pressure. I was induced for almost 2 days and never got into a regular contraction pattern. My choices were to continue to induce and hope that it was successful, stay in the hospital until I delivered on my own, or have a c-section. The few times I did have contractions, my blood pressure spiked dangerously high. The chances that I would be able to deliver on my own were very unlikely. So, I opted for the c-section. I didn't want to risk having a stroke while giving birth.
As soon as she was born, they rushed her off to the NICU to make sure that she was ok. The hospital I was in did not allow me to have my baby with me in the recovery room. I was so out of it that I didn't honestly even realize what had happened. It was almost 3 hours before I held my baby for the first time.
I had several other complications from my surgery, including severe hemorraging. It was so hard to focus on the baby when I was so out of it. I don't really remember the first few days of her life. It breaks my heart that I don't really remember holding her for the first time. It took me awhile to come to terms with it all.
In the end, I bonded with my baby just fine. Once I got over the medical issues, I could focus on the baby.
I had someone tell me that I wasn't a "real" mother because I didn't give birth vaginally. My response was that just because you give birth, it doesn't make you a mother. What makes you a mother is the way you love and nurture that child once it's out of the womb.
Don't focus on what could have been. Shift your focus onto that sweet little baby. I guarantee you that you're not going to love her any less because you didn't have a vaginal birth. Also, there are lots of women that give birth vaginally that don't bond with their child immediately. You are going through a lot right now. You're hormones are all wacky because of the birth, you have so much stress dealing with a baby that's in the hospital. Give yourself a little time and stop beating yourself up. Know, in your heart, that you did the right thing for your little girl.
I would also suggest that you see if the hospital has a therapist on staff that you could speak to.

I know this is getting lengthy, but I want to address the feeling that you just laid there and did none of the work. Did the doctors carry that baby for 9 months? Did they love and nurture her from when she was just a tiny little bean? Were they the ones that felt the first kicks? Or dealt with all the discomforts and wonders of pregnancy? I don't think so! That was YOU! You grew that little girl inside of your belly. YOU! So, please don't ever say that the doctor's did all the work.
(hugs) and congrats!

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J.B.

answers from Houston on

I am assuming this is your first baby? I had my first vaginally and I remember feeling like "Ok, when is the reality going to kick in here?" Like for a few days I couldn't "feel" anything. I couldn't "feel" love, or anything. I had a very traumatic birth the first time around and I think just getting over the emotion of that, plus recovering from that was eclipsing my other emotions. So I say just give yourself time and don't put any pressure on yourself. You are still dealing with having a baby in the hospital when you are not, your body, mind and heart are on overdrive right now. You will absolutely connect with and fall in love with that little baby and bond just fine. Right now, take care of yourself, get up, put one foot in front of the other and accept every ounce of help that you can get. You will process these feelings of loss, but now with so much on your plate, just table it, you have so much happening, you brain needs a break to just deal with what is going on right now. I am like you, very pro natural everything and have had induction twice, not without a fight I might add, but I am super close with my babies. I have a good friend who was all set up to have her first at a birthing center with a midwife and ended up in emergency c-section the first time and then just planned c-section the second time around and she is just in love with and very close to her young daughters. You will heal emotionally and all will be well. Just give it some time. Congrats on your baby girl!!! I have two boys so maybe I will get my girl next time around :) Take care!

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C.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

I'm sorry you are sad about this. I can relate wholeheartedly. When I was preg with my son 3 years ago I was determined to have a natural birth. No meds, etc. I felt like you did-I wanted to have the birth experience-pushing out that little person and having them lay on my stomache immediately after, with my husband there, etc.

I had Preg induced Hypertentsion so ended up being induced at 38 weeks. I knew the pitocin would make the contractions stronger, but I persevered and once I was in full labor and dialated REALLY fast, they turned off the pitocin and I was able to be IV free. I got in the tub and had a blissful short while of being 8 cmm...feeling like i can do THIS, and proud of myself. THEN, the contractions got crazy strong, I couldn't find relief between them and finally asked for an epideral. That was disappointment #1. BUT, got some rest and was able to start pushing. Pushed for 2-3 hours and my sweet boy was comfortable and not progessing down the birth canal.

My dr came in and said-you can push all night, I'll do whatever you want as long as no one is in distress-but I don't think things will change-I encourage a c-section.

Fast forward-it was a c-section. I was so exhausted most of the time thru the surgery I was just struggling to stay awake. BUT our sweet boy was fine and healthy.

I was sooo sad that I didn't get to have the birth experience I had hoped for. I mourned it, while recovering from the surgery, being exhausted and hormonal. My Doula came to see me a few weeks later and we talked about it. I felt guilty for being sad about it since it was most important that our baby was fine. My Doula was great-she reminded me that I did everything I could-I was still a mother warrior.

It has taken me a long time to be 'ok' with it. It's still something I am sad about-and when we had our DD last year I was considering trying a vbac-but my dr again because of my narrow pelvis, blah, blah...advised against it. So I had a second C. I was ok with it more that time because for one-now I can say both children's births were the same..and the second time around I wasn't tired so in that respect I was completely involved and it was ok.

What I'm trying to say is-don't feel guilty about feeling sad about your experience. But remind yourself that it is the first of many experiences you will have with your child that will not go as planned! If you lean into it now it will all be easier. And know, it will hurt for awhile-physically but more emotionally-but it gets better--especially once you get to bond with the sweet baby. And remember-you're hormonal right now-that makes it all worse.

You are still a mama warrior and you carried that baby to term and did awesome no matter what the birth exp was!

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D.P.

answers from Raleigh on

I can relate to your feelings. With my second child, I really wanted to breastfeed her like I did my son. However, I developed mastitis that turned out to be MRSA. I tried keep up with the breastfeeding from the non-infected breast, but all the meds caused my milk to dry up. Plus, I was on very strong antibiotics for 2 1/2 months and didn't want to pass these through my breastmilk to my newborn. It was so disheartening. She was completely fine with formula, and didn't seem to care one way or another- as long as she was being fed. But I struggled with feelings of guilt. Now that I see that she is thriving and very happy and healthy, I am feeling more confident with what happened. You will too. I also gave birth vaginally to my son, but he had respiratory problems, and I didn't even get to hold him for 8 hours after he was born. They just carted him off. I felt very sad about that.
Just know everything worked out for the best for your baby. Right now it's all just overwhelming. It's a blessing that we live in a time where there are treatments for most complications. 100 years ago, the story would have been much different for both you and I. I think with time, you will feel better about things, esp when you see that beautiful baby growing and thriving. One lesson of being a parent means expecting the unexpected, so this is the just beginning. Take care and keep your chin up! And congratulations on your baby girl! Daughters definitely hold a very special place in a mother's heart. :)

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S.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi, I am sorry that you had to have an emergency c-section. I totally understand how you feel. With my 1st child I had to be induced 2.5 weeks early due to Severe Pre-eclampsia. I to wanted to try and go med free and have that beautiful vaginal birth. I got induced at around 8am. By 2 or 3pm I was about 5cm and the doc came back a couple more times but I never would dialate past 5. After I was still 5 on the 3rd check he told me he would give me another 1.5 hours and if I had not dialated anymore we would have to go with an emergency c-section. Needless to say at 11pm I was still at 5cm. After the c-section I was grateful that my little boy was here safe and sound. We did find out that he was looking at my hip so he basically was stuck and not going anywhere. So medically I had to have the c-section but that did not stop the feelings that I failed because I had to have a c-section. Those feelings were with me for awhile. My mom was even worried because I was so down about it. She called it the baby blues. It did get easier as time went on and having my baby around and taking care of him helped. Because we had another baby so fast (unexpectedly) I have had all c-sections.

I am sad that I have never been able to have a vaginal birth. But over time I realized that even though I did not have the vaginal birth I have always wanted I still did birth my child into this world. While carrying my children I nuroushed them and grew them into the beautiful children they were when they were born. Even though we were lying on a table the doctor does push the baby through the incision. I am very thankful that my babies are alive and here. Afterall the most important thing is that the baby you are carrying is delivered safe and sound.

My mom lost a child after carrying him to term. She said it was the worse feeling to go through. Knowing what the worse outcome could be she helped me to come to terms with the fact I was not able to have a vaginal delivery as planned.

Once your baby is home and you can devote every second to her it will help you to overcome your disappointment that you did not have the birth you wanted. If you wait long enough you can try a VBAC.

Good Luck. I am sorry your birth did not go as you wanted. Enjoy your beautiful little girl and be thankful she is here safe and sound. Your disappointment will go away with time. Congrats on being a mommy. I hope your baby comes home soon.

If you have any questions that I might answer please do not hesitate to Private message me.

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J.L.

answers from Clarksville on

Hi E.,

I've never had a c-section but I am an ALACE trained birth assistant and I will tell you the feelings you are experiencing are normal. Please do not ignore them, find someone to talk to as you work to process your birth experience, and have them validated.

You might find the International Cesarean Awareness Network(ICAN) to be a great resource as you work to process your birth.

http://www.ican-online.org/

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Prayers and healing energy sent your way.

Peace & Light,
J.

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K.U.

answers from Detroit on

I had to have an emergency c-section while under general anesthesia - I was not even in labor yet (1 week from my due date) but all of a sudden baby stopped moving. Went in to the hospital, she had a low heart rate, so the doctors felt they had to move as quickly as possible and it was faster just to get me under than to wait for an epidural to kick in. Turns out she had the cord wrapped around her neck twice, but fortunately she ended up being okay. It was several hours before I could even see her because both of us were in recovery. But if they had not done what they did, we very well would have lost her.

Then, a few days after bringing her home, I landed back in the hospital with several complications, including MRSA and blood clots in my legs and lungs. I was stuck in the hospital for another month and had to give up breastfeeding because of the medications I was put on for the blood clots. So that was disappointing too.

I am sorry that you feel cheated in a way, but you still have a healthy baby and that's what really counts. Bear in mind that your hormones are all over the place right now which effects your emotions too. And she's not home yet, but also know that bonding often takes time - it's not always "instant", even with vaginal births. And none of this makes you any less of a mom. One of the things my ob-gyn reminded me of when I was still pregnant was, in terms of becoming a parent, that this was the just the start of not always being in control of everything that happens. We can make all these wonderful plans about how we want things to go and how we want them to turn out, but in the end, whatever happens is what happens. As your child grows up, there will be many things that will be outside your control. It doesn't do much good to dwell on the things that you cannot change - focus on the positive and what you do have. Count your blessings. Also remember too that if you have more kids, vaginal birth might still be an option. A colleague of mine had twin sons by c-section, then went on to have 2 more kids, not only vaginally, but AT HOME.

My DD is 3.5 years now - she's bright, happy, healthy and a joy to have around. There's no way one could ever tell that I couldn't hold her until she was 15 hours old or that she had to go on formula after 2 weeks of breastfeeding, or that I wasn't able to care for her for the first month of her life. Think about all the kids who are adopted at some point in their lives - do they love and are they bonded to their parents any less?

Congratulations on your new baby!

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N.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi E..

Yes, it takes a few days for that deep sense of Mother hood to kick in- it is okay. I see that this is your first baby, and I can relate, because I had my very first baby girl, the same way... I am wondering though if you are nursing her, and if not, why not? That will help you feel more connected to your child, and make the healing process much better, healthier, and faster. It seems you are truly disappointed in how the process happened, and probably what it did to your body. I know, me too- I was hurt and angry- and very disappointed. It all melted away as soon as I held her to me... You should be with your baby, as much as possible, and have that bonding time, it is real important for both of you! Smile girl, and take control! =]]

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E.M.

answers from Johnstown on

I had to have an emergency section with my 2nd twin. My first came with no problem--even without contractions because the patosin (sp?) was the only thing making me contract. However, when she came, the other flipped, went breech and her heart rate went all over the place--clear signs of distress. SInce I wasn't experiencing any contractions, they HAD to do the section to deliver her in time to save her. I was very angry at the time, but I'd be totally heartbrokend if I wouldn't have my precious baby girl due to total stubborness that I insisted on a 100% natural birth for them. It DOES get better!

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K.P.

answers from Memphis on

What you're describing is so normal after such an experience! You may want to talk to some of the wonderful ladies at ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network -- sort of like a La Leche League for C-sections -- check to see if there's a local support group near you, or else join an online group), or also "Solace for Mothers".

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V.B.

answers from Phoenix on

First, congratulations on your baby girl.
I'll tell you a little about my experience so you know where my thoughts are coming from. I had to have my son emergency c-section after a long labor, his head was stuck, we've since learned I have a flat pelvis and there was no way his large head would fit through. With my daughter we talked about a VBAC but then in an ultrasound at 37 weeks found that she, like my son, had a large head, so we scheduled a c-section. I went into labor a week before c-section was scheduled, my dr was at the hospital when I got there and she let me push a couple times, but there was no way her head would fit through so I had her c-section also. At first I had a hard time bonding with my son, but I can tell you it gets better. (He is now 4 and I don't know how I could love him anymore than I do!) With my daughter I bonded faster, but it was a physically easier labor and c-section than my son and I think that made a difference, plus I was planning on a c-section so I knew that going in.
Once you get your little one home, it will be so much better. You will know you are her mother and she will light up your whole world. Go see her as much as you can in the hospital. Remember that even though you didn't "push" her out, you were still a huge, vital part of bringing a new life into this world. You are her mother and without you she would not be here regardless of how she was born. You nurtured her for 9 months before she was born and you will be her mother forever, how she was born will not change that.
I hope it gets better quickly for you! Sending my thoughts and hugs!

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

I know how you feel, but you right, once you are with her life will take on its wonderful newness and you will be enjoying the love you have. I wasn't really disappointed about the c-section so much as I am vain and have scars, ogoodgrief and my son is twenty, plus I didn't get to see my first one born actually (vaginally) they moved the mirror on me! We can spend a lifetime looking for a way out of these disappointments or put them aside, this is not the worst that can happen. Believe me. But it is always hard when we find what we pictured didn't turn out that way. And that I am finding this is almost everyday. Congratulations, your baby blues will be over soon!

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C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

this will probaby fade a bit once you get her home, like you said. you are dealing with all kinds of hormonal shifts and physical trauma (surgery) at the moment, give yourself a break. once you begin to return to yourself, you will realize how very blessed you are, and you will let this go. you will realize there is absolutely zero reason to stress about this - it was out of your hands, and it was best for your daughter. end of story. hang in there, you'll start to feel better soon.

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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

E., your post reminds me of a dear friend of mine who ended up adopting a baby after many years of failing to conceive. Within 6 months of adopting, she got pregnant. When it came time to have the baby, she refused any pain medication support - and I mean any - because she said that as much as she wanted to conceive her own baby, she felt that she needed to experience the pain of giving birth. She told me that at one point, she realized that she thought that she was going to die. And she wasn't kidding. She really thought she was dying, and she was terrified.

There have been times that I have considered asking her if she would done differently looking back at it, but I never have asked her. Maybe I will now. But the point is, having a baby is having a baby. Using my friend as your comparison, I had an epidural with both of mine - yes, I had all the contractions and pain before the epidurals, and I still had pain with my second because the epidural didn't cover my bottom, but I still had a baby. She had completely natural childbirth where pain is concerned, and she had a baby. I'm sure you had plenty of pain, and you must have had some terrifying moments when you had to be wisked into emergency surgery. At the end, like us, you had a baby.

I hope that given time you'll let go of the idea that you didn't "bring her into the world". You certainly did.

D.

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W.M.

answers from Nashville on

I ended up with an emergency c section with my first as well. Honestly, I was so frightened by the thought of going into labor when my husband was out of town, while I was on the interestate coming home from work, in a restaurant having dinner, etc that I set a date for the birth and then was rushed into c section b/c he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his lungs and throat. For me I had to look at why I had a c section and if I had not, he would have died in birth. His heart was stopping every time I had a contraction. With my second birth, I planned the c section. I completely understand your thoughts and have thought them myself but truly, I am SO glad that I did not have to deal with the pain, the tearing of my ?? area, the stretching of my ?? and my insides, the painful pushing, etc For me, and only me, I have thought about what I might have missed but this is how my babies came into this world and I appreciate my body for what it did not have to go through. I do think once she comes home you will feel so much better about this. It is hard right now b/c you are alone, maybe going through postpartum, etc it is what it is and it is what was planned for you and your daughter and it was the safest way for 'her' and 'you' at the time. don't put so much thought into it, you can have another baby maybe! :O)
congrats on your new little one!

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A.F.

answers from St. Cloud on

Congratulations! You DID birth a baby! You are no less empowered than I am and I had two vaginal births.

I had a very traumatic first birth and I didn't get to see or touch my baby for hours afterward because they were fighting for him to live. When I finally got to see him, he was crying so hard - it was the most beautiful sound! When I spoke to him and touched him, he stopped crying immediately! He knew my voice! Regardless of how your daughter was brought into the world, she knows you, she knows your voice and your touch. She is still in the nursery but she knows her Mama even now!

A friend of mine tried to tell me that I was robbed of a wonderful birth experience. I don't feel like I was. In the end, my baby was alive and it_was_WONDERFUL!!!!
At first I felt robbed, of course. I had high ideals of a wonderful birth, wonderful breastfeeding experience, spending my recovery time just enjoying my baby and ALL of my ideals were hopelessly crushed. But in the end I still had the prize. A baby!

Don't worry, mama. You are probably still feeling down and discouraged because our hormones like to mess with us after birth! And you are still feeling the sting of the letdown of your hopes.
It will get better and you will bond with your baby girl in a beautiful way.

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K.H.

answers from Huntington on

I found myself in the exact situation....complete emergency C-Section deliver with only about an hour to process it all. I went from blissfully pregnant, excited about getting the nursery done and having a baby shower to being a mom of a very sick (and very tiny) little boy. It was not my plan and not what i wanted. I felt robbed of my experience and was angry when other moms complained about stupid stuff, like, not getting to play their birth song the moment the baby emerged.

Your feels are normal and natural...you are allowed to feel disspointed and sorry for yourself. You didn't get what you wanted or expected, but keep your eye on the prize...if things had not gone the way they did, you may have had a very different ending.

For what it is worth, my little preemie is now 7, tall for his age and the picture of health. I don't think about my fear and dissapointment now, I remember that we had a one of a kind birth story.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

First off - Congratulations.

Second - what you are feeling is totally normal! I had a planned c-section with my first - she was frank breech (butt first) so I didn't have a choice. With my second it began as a very supported VBAC and I couldn't have been more excited. I did get to experience everything natural until the birth - c-section. It ended up being an emergency and although I experienced everything except him coming out of my vagina - I still got a little depressed and found myself disappointed. I think this lasted a couple of months.

I'm very pro natural birth - but lucky for me I had two incredible c-section experiences and more importantly - healthy babies. What has allowed me to come to terms with both of my c-sections is really if I had gone through this in the "old and days" I wouldn't have survived. There are times when c-sections get done to take the easy route (it's not actually easier by the way) and their are times that there isn't any other option for Mom/baby.

Accept how you are feeling right now. You just gave birth and your baby is still in the hospital. You will feel better about all of this later. I think you have it tougher because your baby isn't home with you. But she will be soon enough
:-)

R.H.

answers from Seattle on

Every cell of your daughter's being passed through your body, regardless of how she actually entered the world! Think about that! It's amazing.

You have every right to mourn for the experience you wished you'd had. Your feelings are valid. I had a placental abruption that put me on bed rest for 3 days leading up to the birth of my daughter. By some miracle, I ended up with a vaginal birth but it was a far cry from the natural birth (and laboring at home) I'd been dreaming about. I was disappointed in myself for getting an epidural. See? It's all relative.

My boss replied to the announcement of my daughter's birth like this:

"There's lots of ways to define success here - (1) healthy baby and (2) supporting and sharing between the parents. Beyond that, it's all gravy, but it's nice when you feel that you had some control in working with mother nature."

You may not feel as though you had much control working with mother nature but your daughter's life was preserved and, ultimately, that will trump everything else!

Congratulations!!

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J.S.

answers from Raleigh on

Hello E.,

CONGRATULATIONS on the arrival of your daughter. Although not the arrival you had hoped for, she has arrived and this is a joyous occasion. We share similar delivery stories for I, too, had planned a natural birth and delivered my son via urgent c-section. I felt the EXACT same way -- robbed of the experience plus guilty over my son's traumatic entry into the world and having to spend time in a special care nursery, substandard somehow because I could not deliver a child as so many other women are capable. These feelings can be overwhelming (coupled with the hormone whamm-o following birth) and honestly were quite paralyzing at times. The adage, time heals all wounds, is true in my case because the feelings lessened and I learned to accept the birth that I was forced rather than the birth that I had hoped. It helped me to keep my eye on the prize, so to speak. Looking at my now healthy child, thriving keeps me grateful for his birth at all (he was born blue and any more time in utero would have been fatal). Holding your daughter (kangaroo style is ideal, if possible) and caring for her needs even while in the hospital will help that connection. While my son was receiving nourishment via feeding tube, I was rubbing his head and hands and telling him that he is loved; I changed his diapers and bathed him. So...my advice E. is keep your eyes on your precious prize. No matter how she arrived, she is here and that is reason to smile~! Focus on her (and you) getting stronger. Try not to look backward, rather only forward as she (and you) grow in love and connection. Congratulations again.
Regards and well wishes, J.

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A.J.

answers from Clarksville on

You need to talk to your Dr. about post pardom depression. I had it with my 2nd child. You are hormonal and this could play a major role in it.

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