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Telling Husband About Anger from Cesarean

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It's been a while since I posted anything, so I thought I'd send out an update. I've come quite a ways since my tirade on my son's 6 month birthday, but I have a long ways yet to go.

I finally found the courage to talk to my husband about how I felt about Baby's birth. I really shocked the poor guy. He had no idea I was so incredibly angry about the section. He feels like he really let me down, and nothing I said could make him feel any differently. It was a very painful conversation for both of us, but it needed to be done. I learned a lot about what went on from his perspective. Some of it really shocked me and made me even angrier. I guess he did let me down in one very important area, but it wasn't intentional, and I feel he was every bit as much victimized by hospital procedures and cultural baggage as I was.

We talked about labor and delivery from his perspective. He said that Baby's heart rate stayed about the same, until it came time for me to push. Then he said the Baby's heart rate obviously dropped with each push, and no matter what position I assumed, the rate gradually dropped over time. What PISSES me off is the utterly PATRONIZING behavior of the delivery nurse. She took my husband aside and specifically told him NOT TO TELL ME THE BABY'S STATUS WAS DETERIORATING. She claimed it would only make me panic, which wouldn't help anything, and I was better off not knowing what was happening. DH didn't agree with her -- he thought I'd handle it just fine, but reluctantly decided that she probably knew best since she saw births every day. Oh. My. God. The one person I trusted implicitly to let me know what went on, and he didn't do it. So, yes, he let me down, but I understand why he didn't tell me. Unfortunately, the sheer suddenness (from my perspective) of the need of a section contributed GREATLY to my trauma. Even 15 minutes of knowing the baby wasn't doing so well would have helped me prepare emotionally. As it was, I suspected something was wrong, but I had no idea it was so serious.

So, ladies, patronizing behavior can arise where you least expect it. The hospital I went to is a pretty progressive one for the area (LDR rooms, 24 breastfeeding consultants, big pushes for breastfeeding, rooming in available, etc.). This sort of "pat the woman on the head and we'll decide what's best for her" behavior was NOT something I expected. I had NO IDEA this had happened until a month ago.

Hearing this, however, has only cemented my intentions of hiring a doula for my next birth, if I ever get up the guts to get pregnant again. I WILL NOT BE PATRONIZED AGAIN. My poor husband certainly knows better now :-/.

So, I'm making some progress on the emotional healing front. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be making much progress on the physical side. It's been 9 months, and it still hurts to stand up, sit down, twist from side to side, etc., and sometimes I even get some "zingers" just sitting still. Is this normal? Am I just going to have to learn to live with this the rest of my life? I'm afraid my whole experience has made me bitter and suspicious of doctors, so I haven't been back to mine since my 8 week checkup. Should I bite the bullet and go back, or stick it out until it's time for my next annual? It's not like it hurts a lot, but it still hurts enough to more than get my attention several times a day. I'm not taking any pain pills for it, though.

Anyway, I'm now considering the possibility of using a midwife if I get pregnant again, and maybe even have a home birth. Can anyone tell me where to find information on midwifery? How about books on home birth? My husband thinks a home birth is ludicrous, but I know it's because he hasn't read any literature on the pros and cons. I'm still not sure it's for me, so I'd be interested in hearing (privately) from anyone who wants to tell me how they made the decision to home birth. My biggest hurdle is I don't know if I'd ever forgive myself if I tried a home birth, and the baby had complications which could have been taken care of in a hospital, but couldn't be taken care of at home and so they were therefore fatal. I know that's what my husband is thinking of, too. My csect was for fetal distress, so there are some emotional hurdles there, too. The nearest hospital is 15-20 minutes away.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone on this list for all the support I've gotten, and for all the good information I've found here. I truly had nowhere else to go for support. I just saw something in my local paper for a cesarean support group that just got started, so maybe I'll give them a try, too.

[Editor's Note - The change in heart rate described above is a completely normal reaction to the pressure on the baby's head descending into the pelvis. These are called early decels and are not a sign of real fetal distress.]

This Web page is referenced from other pages containing related information about ICAN/VBAC/Cesarean and Birth Stories


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