This is one woman's letter to her doctor after the horrendous treatment she received after the birth of her child. Names and places have been changed to protect identity.
Immediately following the delivery - it was quickly noticed that our daughter was having an extremely difficult time with her breathing. As time crept by, it was decided by an on-call neonatologist that she needed to be transferred to a children's hospital to receive lifesaving treatment.
The following days, weeks and months were the most difficult of my life. Some of those moments, however, I felt could have been avoided if better treatment options and care were given to me by you and your partners, Dr. B and Dr. C.
Not even 36 hours after having a c-section, Dr. B came into my hospital room and told us that it was time to go home. She explained to my husband and me that it was protocol to send the mother home if the baby had been transferred to another hospital. My sister, who is a nurse at the hospital and who has worked directly with you and your partners, asked the nurse to talk to Dr. B - as sending me home this early after having a c-section might not be in the best interest of the patient. Whether or not that message was ever delivered, I guess only Dr. B knows for sure.
I was sent home without my baby - a difficult and painful task to say the least…but I went on - determined to get better and be with her.
Immediately following the surgery, I had severe pain under the right side of the incision - there was a noticeable lump. At my one-week, postpartum checkup - I informed you of the painful lump. You looked at the wound (never even touching it to examine my concerns further) and said it was healing normal. The worst part of that visit, however, was having to inform you, MY doctor, of what happened to our daughter.
You claimed that you were not notified of her medical conditions or her transfer to another hospital. Honestly - I find that hard to believe. I’m sure the hospital informed you of this turn in events, but did you ever bother to find out how I was doing after the delivery?
Your solution to my tears - while telling you the story of my daughter’s condition - was a prescription for antidepressants. Excuse me Dr. A, but I think any woman in my situation would be sad - and for good reason. But to hand over a prescription to me for Zoloft wasn’t the answer.
Soon after that visit, the lump continued to grow and become more painful. After unsuccessful attempts to make an appointment to see you or any of your partners, I decided to have my primary care physician look at the incision. It was there that I was diagnosed with cellulitus and put on antibiotics for seven days.
A week after being on the antibiotics, the pain and symptoms seemed to be getting worse, along with a slight fever and nausea. After several phone calls into your office, Dr. C agreed to meet with me early the next morning because you and Dr. B were out of town.
After examining the incision - Dr. C ordered a CT scan of the abdomen (something I feel should have been done from day one). The scan showed a large amount of fluid and Dr. C assured me that the pain I was feeling was normal.
Less than a week later, I had my final postpartum checkup with you and asked for something other than Tylenol 3 for the pain. You told me to take ibuprofen. I had no choice but to leave and tell myself that the pain I was feeling was normal, that I would just have to live with it. As far as the wound went - you noted in my chart that there was no swelling and that the wound was healed - even though a lemon-sized lump was present.
Due to the fact that I have Factor V Leiden, the lump was something that should have been examined earlier. My hematologist even suggested that an ultrasound should have been done sooner to determine that the mass was not a hematoma.
Another three weeks went by, and on the day of my daughter’s baptism - I was in agonizing pain from the lump under my c-section incision. I went into the bathroom to look at it, and the front of my underpants was coated in yellow puss. I looked at the incision which was red, inflamed and extremely tender to the touch.
I went to the ER and was immediately given another CT scan with contrast that showed an abdominal wall infection. An on-call OBGYN cut open the incision and drained the blood and fluid for me. The doctor said he had never seen an infection like that two months after a c-section. Do I think this was something that you missed? Definitely.
I hate that some women think a cesarean section is glamorous, or the "easy way out". They must have never had a cesarean, or be very stupid. What is so glamorous about being cut open? What is so glamorous about having your belly bloated with trapped gas post cesarean? What is so glamorous about having to take prune juice and milk of magnesia to take a shit because your body is so fucked up from surgery? What is so glamorous about having help to the bathroom and having to piss in a container in the toilet bowl so the nurses can measure your piss and make sure you are not dehyrated. What's so glamorous having ugly, cold, metal staples stuck in your flesh? What's so glamorous about walking around like a 90 year old woman? What is so glamorous about that ugly shelf of fat above you scar that you cannot get rid of because of the way you are sewn back together? What is so glamorous about an ugly scar (oh, but you can still wear a bikini) that screams "FAILURE"!?
Perhaps it's not glamorous then. But maybe still the "easy way out?" Well, what's so easy about laying in the OR, paralyzed and about to be operated on? What's so easy about hearing the doctors chat amongst themselves, totally oblivious to the miracle of birth (if that's what a cesarean is) that's about to unfold? What's so easy about shaking uncontrollably and feeling so cold after surgery-and you CANNOT STOP?! What's so easy about laying in recovery, alone, and not being able to see your baby? What's so easy about starving after surgery, only to be told you cannot eat for another 24 hours? What's so easy about waking up in the middle of the night after the pain medication wears off and the nurses take their sweet ass time getting more to you? What's so easy about tending to a newborn after major abdominal surgery? What's so easy about having to wake up to feed you new baby every few hours in the hospital, when you are high on pain meds and needing to rest from having been sliced open? What's so easy about being told, AFTER THE FACT, the cesarean section increases your chances of future ectopic pregnancies and painful adhesions, just to name a few?? What is so easy about watching others who have had minor dental surgery given more attention and sympathy than you, because, well, "it's JUST a cesarean"!?
Let me tell you. It is NOT glamorous. It is NOT easy. It is surgery. It SHOULD be a last resort. It SHOULD be only for emergencies. The sad thing is, cesarean sections are handed out like candy. People are unfortunately desensitized to cesareans because they happen so often. That's too bad. It's too bad for the children, who deserve a better start to life than to be ripped from their mothers, manhandled by strangers, denied their mothers' breast and thrown under the bright lights in the nursery all alone. It's too bad for the women who have them unnecessarily. Women who feel the immense emotional pain, the permenant physical and mental scarring. Then are told by their husbands, their friends, sisters, mothers and fathers, that its "Just a cesarean. You took the easy way out....."
My sister called me earlier today. Her friends' girlfriend just had
her baby. She was due August 8th. She went into labor on her own, she
had a VAGINAL delivery. And guess what??! She was one of those "I
dont give a fuck, hate being pregnant, smoked a pack a day" women.
ARGGHH!!!! I was having a good day, but now I feel like crap. WHY
couldnt MY BODY go into labor on its own??? NOOOOOOOOO, I had to be
going on my 41st week and still fucking pregnant! Yes, I know most
1st pregnancies go well past 40 weeks, but WHY ME!!? I went longer
than any of my sisters. Its only me who was pregnant forever,
induced, and cut. It seriously felt like I was going to be pregnant
forever!!! Thats why I eagerly (like an asshole) agreed to the
induction. Now look at me!! Pity party for one! Cant be happy for
anyone else! I dont want to be like this! I tried sooooooo hard to
give my baby the best of everything. I ate right, stayed active, I
didnt even touch deli meat for fear of listeria!! I wanted an all
natural, beautiful birth, I was hoping so much! and I get cut. The
bitch who smokes at least a pack a day, says she didnt CARE how her child was born,all for and epi and any other drug out there,complained EVERY DAY about being pregnant---has a smooth vaginal birth???!!! WHAT??!
Let's see? Why do I hate my section? Where the freak do I start?! How about the unexplainable fear I felt when I couldn't move from my shoulders down? I panicked, of course, and the sOBs said if I couldn't "control myself better" then they would put me under. How about not getting to see or hold my sweet baby until almost FIVE hours after she was "born". I got to see the very top of her head and almost, but not quite, touch her hand and then she was whisked away to places unknown to be left alone and hungry for Goddess knows how long. How about wondering if she was even my freakin' kid. I can't tell you how shitty it felt to have the nurse plop this screaming bundle into my shaking arms and think to myself "What the fuck? Whose kid is this?" I felt no connection, no maternal instincts, nothing. Could it have been because I was so high on unwanted and unasked for pain meds that I was just like leave me alone? How about starving (because I couldn't eat for 16 hours before my surgery or after it until I managed to pass gas), getting no sleep because it felt like every time I took a breath my guts were going to come spilling out of me. How about not being able to get up and get my baby when she was crying because I hurt too much to move. Sitting, standing, bending over, forget it. How about having serious problems breast feeding b/c my milk didn't really come in for almost three weeks. How about having to worry if her lungs were fully developed b/c they took my baby almost a month too early (all because they were so insistent on my dates being wrong. Excuse me, but I know when I was fucking and when I wasn't). How about all the problems after the section? Infection, ugly scar that will be there for the REST OF MY LIFE, horrid periods, fertility problems, panic attacks, etc. Why would anyone choose to have this done to them? Because it's glamorous. Yeah, weeping green stinking puss from your wound is so chic. Praying to fart so you can finally eat, that's so cool. And of course because we all know it's the "easy" way out. After all, you haven't stretched or torn yourself, so you can go right back to being that sex kitten you were before. My sOB actually said I would thank him for helping my sex life. Well, if I got knocked up, then I don't guess i have a problem now do I?
Following the extraction of my son, I got to see my baby for about 10
seconds and kiss him on his head. Immediately after meeting my baby, the
staff directed my hubby to go with him out of the surgical theater. I was
without my dh and my baby - I was alone. After the surgical team finished
closing me up, I was taken to recovery and left with a nurse I had never
met. I was going to throw up (a common side effect immediately following a
c-section) so I asked for some water as this always helps me to avoid
vomiting. The nurse told me that he needed to be sure that I would not
throw up before he could give me anything by mouth and that I would have to
go a period of time without vomiting before I could be released from the
recovery room. He had also said I would need to be able to move my legs
before going back to the room where I had labored and my baby was waiting
for me. Thank goodness I did not tell him why I wanted the water! I then
swallowed my vomit several times over as to hide my "illness" and facilitate
a release to my waiting family. I willed my legs to move with all that I
My husband came to visit me with Polaroids of our first child - I yearned to
hold him. Two hours later when I was finally allowed to leave recovery the
versed in my intravenous cocktail had taken full affect and I remember
nothing of my first day with my son. The very last memory I have is being
wheeled through the double doors of the maternity unit on my way to meet my
son. I was filled with joyful anticipation, but I do not remember meeting
him nor do I remember anything at all for the next 24 hours. I do not
remember what I said to him. I do not remember how I felt when I saw him.
I do not remember the first time I held him or the first time I nursed him.
His birth and his first day are forever lost to me.
Months later I am talking to my mom and she tells me of how she connected
with my boy as my husband was visiting me in recovery. Alone with my
son before I ever got to hold him she gazed into his eyes and bonded with
him on a spiritual level. That was supposed to be me! It was not hers to
take - it was mine. I have never felt the same about my mom after she told
me that - I will always resent her for taking what was mine while I was
alone in a room swallowing my own vomit so I could get back to my family.
I hate (it is not in the past for me) because I failed. I failed to protect
my children, I failed to protect my body and my soul and my uterus. I put
my future children at risk because of MY poor choices. I healed well, and
didn't need post-op meds after about the 5th day or so, but it still hurts
sometimes, over 10 months from my third section. It itches, it is numb, it
is ugly, it is a physical symbol of my failure....it made my birthing
choices so much harder for future pgs. It makes me pessimistic about birth
and health in general. After my first, it made me deny my older child/ren
the right of my hugs and my lap because of "mommy's booboo on he tummy." I
hate that my dd might feel that SHE will have cs in her births. I hate that
I can't fall asleep some nights, still, for thinking about my "births." I
hate that I spent my first days as a mother crying in the shower so no one
could hear me....I hate that I am sitting here crying now, writing this....
I hated my first C-section because I couldn't eat for nearly 3 days afterwards because I wasn't passing gas. I was trying to get my milk to come in while having no sustenance for myself other than clear liquids. I had severe abdominal pain, so much so that I couldn't sit upright and pain in my left shoulder that felt like a severe cramp. It was air from having been opened up. A few days after my release from the hospital, my incision became rather swollen. I went to the doctor and was told I had a subdermal infection, which she opened up and drained, with no anesthesia, OUCH!! I was given antibiotics and told I could no longer breastfeed my baby.
5 weeks after the birth of my child, I developed a fever of 104 degrees. I had severe abdominal pain, so badly that I vomited. I thought it was just a virus since I was puking. Later that night the pain became unbearable, I literally WANTED to die. I drove myself to the ER, submitted to a ton of tests, meanwhile screaming in agony, while they told me they couldn't give me anything for pain since I had driven myself. My heartrate was in the 40's, my blood pressure was dangerously low. When my tests came back they showed fluid in my uterus that should not have been there. They admitted me and finally gave me something to stop the pain. I spent the next four days in the hospital attached to IVs, being pumped full of antibiotics, which made me nauseous and gave me diarrhea. I sat in that hospital bed, shaking uncontrollably from the fever and just wanting to be home with my family and my new baby boy.
It took seven months before anything at all could brush against my abdomen without pain. I recovered from that ordeal, yes, and my baby survived being separated from me and the C.dificile that resulted from the antibiotics being passed into the breastmilk. His had diarrhea and bloody stools off and on for the first nine months of his life. I was labeled forever, a VBAC, and have to deal with the fears and hassles that brings.
A year later, I found myself pregnant again and searching for a supportive care provider. I had my surgical records which included the notation, "very thin, lower uterine segment." I FINALLY found a doctor who'd take me on and allow a trial of labor. What he didn't tell me is that since his partners don't "do VBACs" I'd have to be induced, increasing my risk of uterine rupture and the likelihood that my trial of labor would end in a C-section. He sprang that on me, the day before he intended to induce. I was just sick over this and I didn't know what to do. I consented to the induction and entered the hospital in a state of sheer terror, which isn't exactly conducive to delivering a baby. After laboring unmedicated for 14 hours on the maximum dose of pit. I had dilated from 4 to 6. My doctor said, it was time for the C/S, because he had to drive his wife to the airport. Defeated, I consented. I did so many things wrong with this delivery, if I had to do it over again...
Anyway, the recovery from the second section was uncomplicated except the anesthesiologist broke so many blood vessels in my back trying to place the spinal block, half of my back was purple. He finally placed epidural anesthesia instead. This time my pain medicine was quite effective, but my daughter didn't fare as well as I. After her birth she was taken to the nursery for three hours while they tried to get her breathing well. She spent the next few days vomiting up old blood and amniotic fluid. I remember the first time she did it, I still had the epidural in place, and I could't get to her. Do you know what its like to helplessly watch as your newborn daughter chokes on blood? All I could do was push the call button for the nurse, but I couldn't help my own child. Even after the epidural was removed, she did this multiple times and I hated how long it took me to get to her while she spewed it helplessly out her nose and mouth, choking, coughing and gagging. I had never felt so helpless. I got to the point that I never put her down, which meant despite narcotics, I couldn't sleep.
These two of my children spent the first moments, no the first hours, of their lives surrounded by strangers, being poked and prodded with the usual newborn tests, laying alone in their hard, little beds and not knowing the comfort of anything familiar. I know it was such a strange place to them and I cannot tell you how it breaks my heart that I couldn't be that comfort for my children, and that they knew all this before they'd ever experienced snuggling against their mother's chest, being nursed to sleep, comforted by the familiar sound of their mother's heartbeat
My experience was almost 2 full days of pretty intense back labor, followed
by a cesarean. The back labor hurt, no sugar coating that, but it was my body
doing what it needed to do to complete the pregnancy. It was "normal" feelings.
Lying in the recovery room, drugged to oblivion with the epidural wearing off
(and let me tell you, I could swear I was given a placebo instead of
morphine. It did NOTHING) now.. THAT is pain. And its not "normal" pain. My body knew
what to do with the labor pain, but the incision pain was a completely foreign
intrusion on my body. I did manage to nurse in recovery (and going strong,
thankfully) but as soon as she was done, I passed her off because the pain was
intensifying, and her weight made it worse.
I was robbed of holding that wet, naked, slimy baby fresh from my womb. I
dreamt through pregnancy of my daughter coming straight out of me onto my chest.
After the first cry, I, her mother, would comfort her. I would talk to her,
offer my breast, my warmth, skin to skin, and it would be familiar and
comforting to her. She would not be weighed or measured or general "messed with" until
both my husband and I had had an opportunity to get to know her. Instead she
was subjected to tubes rammed down her throat, smacking, needle sticks, all in
the name of "routine". I never saw her until she was wiped clean of all
evidence that she had once been inside me, wearing a pampers, instead of the cozy
cloth I'd packed for her, and wrapped up in a sterile hospital receiving
blanket. I could only stroke her cheek. I didn't get to be the one to comfort her
after her first cry, and that hurt.
The first night, she woke up crying. I couldn't go get her. I couldn't move.
My husband wouldn't wake up. I've always felt strongly that babies deserve to
have their cries responded to immediately, and I couldn't get to her until a
nurse came in to check vitals (oh yeah, my nurse call button wasn't even hooked
For breakfast, after a long labor during which I didn't eat more than the
occasional bite of fruit, or sip of juice, I was served... broth, jello, juice,
and coffee. I was pretty pissed about not getting real food, but I went after
the jello. I choked on it a little bit, and OH MY!! I can't cough!! Coughing is
excruciating. It feels like my stitches are going to burst open and all my
organs are going to spill out all over my lap. I had to "cough" it out with
pathetic little "heh heh heh heh"s. I could not sneeze. And the worst, I could not
laugh without the same pain. For two weeks. Becoming a mother should be a
time filled with joy, yet I could not even laugh.
At home, I can't roll over in bed. Lying in any position besides my back
makes it feel like all my organs are just sloshing around inside of me. I can't
wear my baby in a sling. Even though her weight is placed well above the
incision, it is still painful. A month later I developed an infection. A minor
infection, considering all the nasty bacteria I could have been infected with, but
an infection nonetheless that rendered me pretty useless for a day.
Then there's all kinds of lovely long term consequences that I get to wonder
if I will be affected by. My future children are at increased risk. I might
not be able to get pregnant as easily. I have increased risk of miscarriage, and
placenta problems. And increased risk of rupture, which an elective repeat
cesarean does not prevent, because rupture can happen before labor. My options
are decreased because of a stupid scar on my uterus that makes OBs look at me
like a time bomb that will explode at any moment.
Whats not to hate?
I hate my c/s because all I remember of my son's birth is fear and
loneliness, and my first glimpse of him was of him already in a
blanket and a hat with goop in his eyes before they took him away
from me for many hours.
My cesarean was over 20 years ago. I don't remember the physical pain any more, but the emotional scars lasted much longer:
I hate the feeling of being left out of one of the most important days of my life!
I hate feeling of incompetence. I thought I was educated enough; it would not happen to me.
I hated pretending that everything was fine when I felt so emotionally disjointed.
I hated the nightmares - that the baby wasn't really mine
- that the baby would be taken away because I'm so incompetant ( if I can't even give birth like a rat without a team of doctors, who would ever trust me to take care of the baby by myself!
I am not sure I have the rage in me about my cesarean that some
women do. I feel that when it came right down to it that in the
moment that I concented to the cesarean I probably really did need
it. However where my anger lies is that I wasn't told that things
like being induced and having your water broken and being on pitcin,
actually increase your risk of cesaean...I am angry about that, I am
angry no one told me I had options, I am angry that I had no idea I
had a right to refuse any and all proceedures.
Why I had hoped for a natural birth in the first place was simply
that I am old fashioned. I figured that the way women have been
having babies for thousands of years was probably more trust worthy
than the machines and most medicines today. And for the most part
the above statement is true. Having cleaner facilities, the ability
to do blood transfusions and antibiotics are what has improved
outcomes in the last century, not doing cesareans!
What I ended up hating/strongly disliking about having had a
cesarean was this: I hated losing my independence, suddenly I needed
someone for everything, to get up, to use the bathroom, to have my
child handed to me because I wasn't allowed to pick him up... I
wasn't allowed to eat for close to 3 days because I couldn't, well
to put it plainly, "fart". When you combine 3 days plus the 20 or
so hours I was in labor, that is close to four days with no food.
No wonder I couldn't pass gas there was nothing in my system to give
me gas. All the while having my visitors leave me at meal time and
knowing they were going out to celebrate at some of our favortie
places, really hurt. I felt like they were all being inconsiderate
eating when I couldn't. I realize that everyone has to eat, but it
hurt to have everyone leave me at meal times. Finally a nurse snuck
me some tea and a piece of toast and that did the trick.
Right before surgery they upped my epidural, durring surgery it
numbed me from about the chest down. I was on oxygen, and was
fighting to stay awake long enough to hear my son cry and see his
face, which was about all I did get to see and do. I never saw him
naked or new, I wasn't the first to hold him, I saw only his face
peeking at me from the mass of blankets around him. I didn't get to
take inventory of all his parts, sure, I knew they were there but I
wanted to check. My husband and new son left me in the OR to be
closed up while they went and showed the family and gave him his
first bath. I missed all of that! It still saddens me today that I
will never have those moments back, they are just photographs to
me. Later my husband told me as they were leaving the OR there was
a crash cart with defibrulator (sp?) paddles being brought in. My
epidural had gone so high they thought I was going to stop my
heart. I passed out as they exited the room and the next 2 hours
were lost, as I lay blacked out in recovery.
I told them I was planning to exclusivley breastfeed so not to give
him a bottle. They said they had to give him one while I was passed
out. He never latched properly and my severe abdominal pain as well
as Post Partum Depression PPD (though I didn't know I had it) played
a huge role in our breastfeeding battle. I gave up after 3 weeks
with nothing to show for it except an unhappy baby and cracked and
Now I had not only lost the peaceful happy birth I had dreamed
about, but the wonderful bonding that breastfeeding should harbor as
well as feeling guilty I was not doing right by my son giving powder
from a factory in a can!
My recovery was long. I was up and around at the hospital, those
mechanical beds make it so easy for you, you push a button and poof!
your sitting up, push another and poof! your laying back down, no
use of the abdominal muscles. When I was home that was another
story, my queen bed sits high off the ground, so even just getting
into bed was a struggle, not to mention getting out of bed. So my
husband, who was not granted time off work was up with me at night
when I needed help sitting up, or lying down or getting the
baby...And going to work each day. Finally we began sleeping on the
old sofa couch in our living room, as it was closer to the bathroom
and easier to get up out of. My mom came to help. I was on vicodin
for the pain, something that I was recently informed has never been
tested by the FDA for breastfeeding women, it is believed that
vicodin passes into the milk. I would say I was on the vicodin for
close to 4 weeks. I was still in pain after that, but it was
bearable with OTC med's that were safer for the baby, not that it
mattered since I had stopped breastfeeding. I would say it was 8
weeks until I felt close to normal. I say "close" because I didn't
know it but I was depressed. I suffered with PPD for almost 3
years, I was never offically diagnosed but it was clear to those
closest to me, with whom my relationships were suffering. My
marriage was in trouble and I was withdrawing from family, I was
drinking more alcohol and to excess and I was now suffereing from
insomnia, getting only 5-10 hours of sleep a week. We sought
marriage counceling and that is what brought the depression to my
attention. Shortly after I became a christian. I am no longer
plagued by PPD for the most part. My marriage is fine now, and I
have even found the strength and courage to get pregnant agian, but
I am planning a homebirth this time. I have lost weight, and
changed my lifestyle completely..
changes, no alcohol, no soda, no caffeine, etc. All because I do
not want another c-section.
The thing that scares me most about my cesarean is that it has real
side effects and not just the ones you feel right away, but in
future pregnancies, your risk of ectopic pregnancy is higher, your
risk of placenta problems is higher, even infertility can be a side
effect of cesarean section...They (cesareans) should only be used
for life or death situations! They could tell you you have too much
scar tissue and that you shouldn't have anymore children, or you
could hemorrhage and lose your uterus. I am 26 and have 1 son and 1
on the way, I am scared to death of being told that I couldn't have
more kids, or having to go on hormones, because I no longer have a
just tonight i asked him what my raw incision looked like. he was the one
that taped super pads to the incision so i could function (mind you, i hate
the fact it took me 2wks to learn this). he was the one that had to double
check my steri-stirps b/c they smelled like infection but i couldn't fenagal
enough to get in a position to see my incision.
starting at the top, i hated that the dr. scared me into thinking i would
kill my son by leaving that day, nearly 2wks early, w/o a c/s. even tho all
was perfect. i hated that since it was "elective", they "required" the
urinary cath to be inserted (by a TRAINEE!!) before we got to the OR. &*
that i got re-shaved by the same trainee w/ an electric razor that nicked me
4 times before she quit. it took this trainee 4 times to get the cath in
i got the blessing of walking thru maternity check-in, on the way to the OR,
carrying my own pee-bag, IV bag, bawling all the way, walking past all these
families checking into the maternity ward that morning. at least they let
me wear a second gown backwards to cover my ass.
i hated walking into that OR under full steam, getting on that narrow
surgical table & shivering b/c it was so cold in there. i begged for my dh
& they kept ignoring me. a man w/ a mask touched my back but would't
introduce himself. i was so hugely preg & so upset i could barely stay on
the table, i begged a nurse to just hold my hand. the anesth didn't give me
any directions, i just remember seeing on TV how you're supposed to bend
over. i wasn't paying too much attention so i wasn't bending enough & every
time he stuck the needle in my back, my right leg felt as if it were on fire
& i screamed & cried into the nurse's hand. i finally bent over further &
he got it in. 4 times total to get it in & each left a bruise larger than a
dollar coin. he finished the spinal & immediately some other nurse grabbed
my feet & threw me backwards & over onto the table, i jumped thinking i
would fall off & she laughed at me.
they strapped my hands down on that crusafix so tight it felt like my hands
were numb. i was shivering from being cold & felt everyone doing things do
my dead body. they put a curtain up so close it was against my mouth when i
breathed, i was able to tug it w/ one of my hands & pull it back a bit but
the anesth kept pulling it back despite my pleas.
some dr. walked in to my right & introduced himself as the assisting dr. &
that i'll be so greatful for the c/s so i dont' hurt my bottom. my ob came
in & said hello from my left, asked me why i was crying & i screamed i want
my husband! they'd forgotten him, finally they brought him in then. again
my ob told me not to cry, this was so much easier & i'd have my baby in just
a few minutes.
i remember not being able to breathe (or feeling such) but didn't say
anything, i went into a zone & willed myself to stay awake till i heard my
baby cry & saw him.
i hate that they showed our baby to dh but from my angle, i barely saw the
side of him as he switched hands. & it kills me that he was 'born' into a
freezing cold 'sterile' OR, how he came out soaking wet & warm, jerked into
freezing cold unknown hands...
i hate that i sent dh to be w/ him after i got to recovery, i willed my legs
to move so i could get to my room & have my baby. i didn't get to see my
baby for 4 more hours. they kept taking him after that & i didn't change
his diaper until almost 12 hrs.
i was so overwhelmed that i forgot to try breastfeeding, by the time i did,
i later found out, he'd had 4 bottles, 12 heel pricks & a number of other
things b/c "he was so big". i hate that my son had to wear baby socks for
the first month of his life b/c they oversensitized his feet & he would
scream a terrible scream if you just thought about touching them.
i hate that the nurses were too quick to actually help me breastfeed, it
took a total of 6wks to get it right so i didn't hate it.
i hated the most that my stomach didn't really hurt, nursing was ok, i
wasn't aggonizing except when i tried to move out of the bed, etc. but not
doing little things- which made me so 'greatful' i thanked the OB for doing
'such a good job' i even felt so indebted to him that i thanked him 'for
giving me my baby'.
i felt so good i ripped an internal stitch laughing at my mom for acting
stupid the next morning. i HATE that i coudlnt' laugh!!!
i hated not being able to sleep on my stomach for 3mo after the c/s,
couldn't even roll onto my side or i got stuck & was in so much pain i
couldn't even cry out for help from dh right next to me.
i hated that i was so exhausted the first day home that i fell asleep &
actually walked my baby outside to dh & mom & as they say, almost tossed him
at dh like he was a bag. all of which i don't remember. i do remember
waking up w/o my baby & having a panic attack.
what i hate more is that my experience was the BEST of the other 3 women i
knew that recently had c/s too.
3wks prior, one frind had her c/s after every intervention after induction,
w/ inadequate anesth. she was told she'd had too much epidural & they
coudln't do anything about it. she knew every cut they made on the way in,
every staple on the way out. same ob practice as mine.
3wks before her, same ob practice, my other friend had her c/s b/c of a
nuchial (?) hand & they said those can't be born vaginally. she also needed
her dh to wipe her after going to the bathroom she was in so much pain.
that lasted 6wks.
our best friends had a c/s for breech the year before i did & she had to be
dressed by others for 2mo, had to be wiped & bathed by others for weeks.
she chose her c/s b/c she was terrified of vaginal birth. she now refuses
to have any more children.
my second pregnancy, i couldn't find an ob in the area that would let me
vbac, they all expected me to walk into that OR again!!!!!! that is until i
lost my daughter at 37wks, then it was all of a sudden ok for me to vbac.
i hate that i see dr.s as liars now, that the thought of being at a dentist
sends me into cold sweats & panic attacks (the thought of dr.s causing me
pain again). i hate that i went into my vbac w/ my dead baby ready to
fight. we shouldn't have to fight!! i couldn't concentrate on birthing b/c
i was having to watch for the dr. that tried to give me an episiootomy w/o
my consent. i hate that dr.s treat pregnant women like carriers of the gold
& in essence we/our bodies, wishes, desires don't matter b/c as long as that
'gold' is ok & sparkling, all is well.
this post has made me open all the doors i closed. the details i'd
forgotten & the feelings i felt during them, that i don't want to feel
I hate my cesarean for what it took away from me. I hate that I was naive enough to think I could just waltz into the hospital and have a completely natural delivery. I hate that I was "overdue" and let the OB induce me, even though there was nothing wrong with me or my daughter. I hate remembering how violently she was pulled into this world from the safety of my womb. Her father wasn't even in the room yet. I hate that he didn't get to hear her first cry, or cut the cord.
I didn't see my daughter for 14 hours after she was born. FOURTEEN hours! As soon as she was taken from the OR I passed out. The next 14 hours I spent going in and out of consciousness, with only a picture of my little girl. She was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and had a plastic bubble over her head to give her oxygen. She was so hungry she was licking the plastic. When a nurse finally asked if I wanted to breastfeed, I couldn't. I had been leaking colostrum for months, but I couldn't give my daughter enough. That little glass bottle of formula was the most horrible thing I had ever seen in my life, but it was the only thing that could nourish my baby.
I hate that I didn't bond with my daughter until she was almost a year old. I didn't feel like her mother. I hate that people tell me to "get over it" and "all that matters is you're both healthy." I want to hit these people until they understand how I feel. I hate that when I try to tell other women what the maternity care system in this country is really like I am likened to a "Bible thumper." I hate all the increased risks I was never told about before I was induced, and that I wasn't given the chance to even discuss the c-section before it happened.
I hate that now that I am trying to get pregnant again I fear every day that I will not be able to find a CP, or that I will be threatened and coerced into a repeat. I hate that I feel like I'm not strong enough to say "NO" even though I know the risks and I know what is best for my body and my baby. I hate that I will always feel broken. I hate what my daughter had to go through, and fear that it will affect her for the rest of her life. I hate that so many children enter the world this way, and that people think it's ok.
I hated the pain of being cut into and being told I couldnt feel it.
I hated being afraid to hold my baby because I was so drugged.
I hated that everyone was so happy and I felt like crap.
I hated crying every night while nursing my baby. I hate that it still makes
me cry 26 years later.
I hate that I no longer have my uterus because of the CS.
I hated CP's being afraid of me because I had a scar.
I hated feeling like my husband became a parent that day and I didnt.
I hated people treating me like I was crazy for how I felt. After all, I had
a healthy baby.
I hated that some people told me I should keep it to myself, I might make
someone feel bad. Because obviously my feelings didnt count.
Not so much of my cs (I wasnt there for it) but the thing I hate most about
any cs is the violence of it. The grief. The trauma. The guilt. The rage.
The sorrow. The loss. All of it.
I hate that the doctors and the mainstream c-section information does not
paint a true picture of the effects of the c-section. It doesn't just affect
the woman for a 4-6 week recovery time. It's normal for the scar to be quite
tender for the first year or so. Pain to various degrees can exist for
life. Adhesions are extremely common after surgery, but no one mentioned
that to me ahead of time. No one told me that having a c-section was going
to put my future reproductive future at risk and put future babies at
additional risk. I hate that I have to worry about uterine rupture in
future deliveries or that the placenta may form over the scar and cause me
and/or baby problems. I also hate that they removed my uterus from my body
to stitch it up. It's a part of me and I don't want it being pulled out and
placed on my abdomen then shoved back in. Especially when it's not
medically necessary and no one ever told me it would be done or that it was
done. I cried when I read about it in the surgical report. I also miss
that everyone else saw my son so awake and alert after birth, but I didn't
get to see him until hours later when all he did was sleep. I hated being
alone in recovery and that no one seemed to care about me at all. I was all
but forgotten until I could move my toes and get out of there. And this was
all completely unnecessary as I didn't need the c-section in the first
Why do I hate my cesarean? The cesarean almost killed my daughter. Period. Yeah the pain was bad and I have a scar that I'm not crazy about. But I will never ever forget the terror of lying on a table not knowing for 10 WHOLE MINUTES if my child will live or not. She did not breathe on her own for 10 WHOLE MINUTES! If it wasn't for my awesome pediatrician my daughter would have died. The only thing that made her alive was her heartbeat. No one would talk to me. All I could see was the terror and tears in my husband's eyes as I cried "What's wrong with my baby? Why isn't she crying?"
C-section survivors often complain because they didn't hold their baby for a few hours. I didn't hold my baby for 2 DAYS! The closest I was able to see my baby was through the nursery glass and in the pictures the nurse took for me. My daughter was sent to the NICU an hour away for observation. Less than two days later I hauled my butt out of the bed and out of that hospital. I lived in the NICU hospital for 5 more days on a 2-3 hour schedule of feeding my daughter. It was cold when I entered the hospital for labor. It was hot when I left the NICU hospital.
My daughter is now 6 months old and more beautiful than any baby I have ever seen. Even my son. I look at her in her carseat and always smile and realize how lucky I am that she survived my c-section.
I will never forget the silence of that operating room. I didn't know a room could be so quiet. I will never forget the silence of a baby that can't cry.
The c-section did not save my life. The c-section did not save my baby's life. The c-section almost ended my baby's life.
I wasn't in labor at all when I had my c/s. I was really sick and it
was necessary to get my daughter out of me very quickly. But the
entire pregnancy I was sick in one form or another, in and out of the
hospital. I hate mostly the fact that my body didn't function the way
it was suppose to. I feel like pregnancy is suppose to be a normal,
healthy thing and yet it isn't always. It makes me feel like less of a
woman because my body couldn't do what a woman's body is suppose to,
why be a woman at all if the parts that make you a woman don't work.
Now I am 37 weeks with my second and everything is fine, great no
health issues, but not only does everyone think of me as a ticking
time bomb but I do as well. "What if I get sick again? What if I
really need a c/s again? How much less of a woman does that make me?"
There are a lot of other reasons I don't like that I had a c/s, like
the fact people think I got the easy way out, the recovery from it,
that I don't really remember my daughter being born (I was on
medications to prevent seizures that make you kinda loopy), that I've
got a scar across my stomach that itches and hurts, that people think
a VBAC is me being selfish, but the biggest one is not feeling
adequate as a woman.
I hate my first one because I had this beautiful homebirth planned
and we were all ready for it. Just becasue there was this big baby
scare I was induced. I was awesome during labor, on pit with AROM.
Baby was acynclitic, FTP with swollen cervix. So because of position
I believe I would have gotten that section BUT if I would have been
allowed to labor when my body and baby were ready I don't think it
would have ever been needed. I hate that I had a 9" incision, that
my baby was removed from my body into a cold, brighter OR. I REALLY
hate she was seperated from me for THREE hours! I started crashing
on the OR table as they were sewing me up, heavy blood loss and BP
crashed, I was starting to go under and they shot some drugs in the
IV to bring it up. I had horrible blood loss afterwards, large
clots. Incision that was left gaping. I ended up needed two addional
surgeries for damages done from section. Suffered from secondary
infertility. Diagnosed with Fibromayalgia because of birth trauma.
Suffer from nerve damage, adhesions, and endometriosis from it.
My second section I feel more peaceful about. I still had recovery
issues. I had areas of the incision that took many, many months to
heal. I bled for nine weeks. I also got an infection.
There are so many complications related to cesarean birth.Our bodies were designed to birth. If the
need is there for a cesarean we have those trained to do that.
Listen to your instincts. Do not fear the hours of labor
pains...they will go away. Recovery from a section takes many weeks
sometimes months and even lifetimes to heal from.
why did i hate my c/s? well this is why i hated my 1st section in 2002.
1) i was in an OR setting with people rushing around me and i was scared to death because i thought i would die.
2) i did not get to FEEL my child being born and i still feel like i missed her birth somehow 5 yrs later
3) i didn't get to see my daughter for over 2 hours and i couldn't even get up or sit up when i finally did get to hold her.
4) the pain i felt was the worst in the world. i couldn't lay down, i couldn't sit down and i couldn't stand up without pain that wouldn't go away.
5) my daughter got jaundice which i totally believe is from the meds that were in the spinal block i received.
6) i developed anxiety and panic attacks from the surgery that i still live with to this day that haunt me everyday and i basically live in fear of another panic attack or dying.
7) i never got to feel my baby come out of me and i will miss that forever and ever.
I hated my ceasaran birth because I didn't hold my baby until about 16
hours after I had the baby.
I hated my ceasaran because I couldn't walk normal until about six
I hate my ceasaran because I still have a scar in my belly which felt
tender for many months after.
I hated my ceasaran because I felt that I lost control of my
I was induced at 34 weeks and some days, because of low amniotic fluid.
I was told by the nurse the second shift nurse, that I couldn't get up
the bed. She got on my nerves completely. The first nurse allowed me
to get up, and move around, I dilated up to 5 cm with her. The second
nurse in the same amount of time, I was diagnosed with FTP and was than
injected pitocin hell, in which than I wanted to the epidural, and was
than suggest the unnecessary c-section, for the unnecessary induction...
Wow, where to start? I have so many things racing through my head and to behonest with you some of it is just a lot of swear words! hahaha.... seeing