C-sections

Handling Emotions After Emergency C/S

Since having an emergency c/s, I've been lurking but I'd like to hear some feedback from you ladies.

I had to have an emergency c/s. My doctor was inducing me because of high blood pressure. I started out trying to deliver vaginally but doctor couldn't get my blood pressure under control and when the nurses rolled me onto my side, I lost quite a lot of blood and the doctor thought the placenta was tearing. Hence, emergency c/s... What I'm having a hard time with is the fact that I don't remember the moment LO was born nor do I recall kissing him before they took him to the nursery to get cleaned up. According to DH, I was awake the whole time but I was given Adavan (I think that's the name...), which apparently erases your memory and also causes hallucinations. I remember DH coming to the OR and telling them that I could feel their sharp pokes and then nothing until I started hallucinating about aliens while they were wheeling me into my room.

Not having that memory is upsetting to me and I find myself getting emotional every time I think about it. LO is a little over 2 weeks and I'm so happy that he's healthy but I also feel cheated out of that moment. Did anyone else have a similar experience? Did you have similar emotions and if so, how did you cope? I'm not upset about having a c/s, just the fact that I don't have a memory of LO being born.  

Re: Handling Emotions After Emergency C/S

  • Sorry, no real advice. I did not receive Ativan during my c/s... I don't think it's a routine med given for c/s. It's a benzo which works on anxiety and restlessness. So unless you were really anxious, I don't know why they would have given it. It would help lower blood pressure, but I can't see them giving it just for that. I'm a nurse and haven't seen it before. Also, it doesn't erase your memory, but can make you hallucinate. It more so puts you in a "fog" so that could be why you don't remember. Sorry for your experience. 
    image    

    image image
  • jennOKjennOK
    250 Answers 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary
    member
    I think emergency Csections are such a whirlwind that everything tends to run together. If you had drugs on top of it, I can see why it's hard to remember anything. I had an emergency C too, but didn't have the medication you had. It is still kind if a blur to me though. Everything happened so fast. They came rushing in my room, threw me on a bed, and less than 5 later they were cutting me open.
  • Not the same circumstances (although not remembering would piss me off) but definitly was very emotional for a solid 3 plus weeks ... think there is a period of coming to terms with it, talking about it, letting the hormones level out, catching some sleep and starting to get out of the house all helped me. In the hospital on, I would cry at thinking about the birth what ifs (cs was needed due to LOs heart beat decelerating with each contraction and turned out umbi coord was wrapped around her body plus neck). Each time would cry if I thought about if we had waited longer to go to LandD, or if they had srnt us home, or had tried to restart contractions instead of going ahead right away with cs, that the outcome would not have been positive (baby safely in our arms). Took 3 or 4 weeks before I was able to verbalize that to DH but once I did, he said "they would have gotten her out safely even if those things had happened" and that made me feel a lot better. Was still a challenge to talk about her birth without crying but it did get better with time and talking (or writing) about it. Also helps to be past the first few months of zombie mommy mode, and to get out of the house, where there are more things to wrap your mind around. My tears and strong emotional reaction were mostly normal by the 8 week mark, although there are still occasions where I will tear up.

    Didn't hold LO until in the recovery room ... I have a time gap as well but I think I fell asleep (don't know if was med related or exhaustion) post op as they were taking me from the OR to recovery because I remember starting to leave the OR but waking up in the post op recovery room where LO was in DHs arms and my nurse checking me and having us try nursing. I try to focus on what I remember and DH remembers more - means LO will have two varying stories to be retold as gets older.

    Would suggest writting down before too much time passes because as get further away, some of the details that seemed so important at the time, have become fuzzy (or the order of events). The emotions will get better though - promise. Give yourself time. Your LO will love hearing the story from two perspectives as gets older.
    Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • My story is a little different. Emergency c/s at 28w. I was not shown my son as he had to be rushed up to the NICU. The only thing I remember is his little nose that I could see as they were wheeling him away. He then passed away due to a brain bleed so my emotions from the c/s didn't really hit until I got pregnant the second time. Because of my type of internal incision (classical) I can only have c/s. So I felt that my choice was ripped away from me, even though I know logically that Aidan wouldn't have survived a vaginal delivery.

    Basically I got over it because I know that without the c/s I wouldn't have had the 8 days with Aidan that I had. It also made the RCS with Lucas a bazillion times more emotional because it was scheduled and there was no panic. 

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickersLilypie Third Birthday tickersLilypie First Birthday tickers
    Photobucket
  • My situation is a little different as mine was a planned c section, however, I had to have general anesthesia and wasn't able to see or hear lo born either. At first I was really upset but lo is healthy and I have accepted the fact that it was the best decision for mom and baby. The goal was for both of us to be safe and healthy. Yeah it kind of sucks for me but I'm making up for it now. Plus he won't remember that I was asleep when he came out. Hope this helps a little that you're not alone
    image
    image <img alt=""
  • I had emergency c/s under general anesthesia because I became preeclamptic and it was taking a turn for the worse. DH was not allowed in the room, so he was unable to be there for me or the baby until they took her to the recovery room where he was waiting. It took me a few months to make peace. I know that what happened needed to happen for my well being and the well being of my child. I felt very cheated because the 24 hours after were a blur (remember pieces and parts). I did not have cutting of the cord, immediate skin to skin, and breastfeeding right away. I felt that I failed my daughter and my husband (he did not get a birth experience either). I would cry intermittently about it but luckily my husband was very supportive. At the end of the day, how my daughter came into the world does not affect how she loves me. Hope this helps. It will get better just have to give it time.
  • I do remember most of my c-section, but I was also on a drug that caused hallucinations. Instead of aliens, I had skulls. Not exactly the peaceful birth experience I'd envisioned! It sucks, but it really isn't something that I think about much anymore. The passage of time has helped.

    BFP #1 6/11 - Heterotopic pregnancy (cervical & uterine) 8/11- 2 surgeries for cervical ectopic followed by m/c. BFP #2 1/12 - EDD 9.15 - DD Born 7.2 due to severe pre-e

    Lilypie - (YrsO)
    image
  • I was put under for mine, baby's heart rate was dropping and there was no time for a spinal. However I was a loopy mess for a whole day after. I only remember bits and pieces. It sucks and I really wish I was awake to hear her first cry and still get really upset thinking about missing that special moment with DH, he wasn't even in the room.
    image

    image
  • image magdalina.h:

    My story is a little different. Emergency c/s at 28w. I was not shown my son as he had to be rushed up to the NICU. The only thing I remember is his little nose that I could see as they were wheeling him away. He then passed away due to a brain bleed so my emotions from the c/s didn't really hit until I got pregnant the second time. Because of my type of internal incision (classical) I can only have c/s. So I felt that my choice was ripped away from me, even though I know logically that Aidan wouldn't have survived a vaginal delivery.

    Basically I got over it because I know that without the c/s I wouldn't have had the 8 days with Aidan that I had. It also made the RCS with Lucas a bazillion times more emotional because it was scheduled and there was no panic. 

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    OP, I had an emergency c section and DD went immediately to the NICU. I briefly saw her as they wheeled me to my room, but didn't hold her until the following day. Not exactly the same, but I definitely struggled with sad feelings about her birth and not getting that "yay, here is your baby" moment until so long after delivering her. I felt numb for a while afterwards. Talking about it helps, and giving yourself the time to process what happened.

    A big part of healing is just time. as time went on, the birth mattered less and less. Although honestly, even 10 months later I still get a pang of sadness when another friend talks about their successful vaginal birth because DD's birth was so stressful. It is much easier than it was, and I know how to work through any sad feelings now. I do try and remember that ultimately I'm lucky she is here, and to focus on that.


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

  • Thank you ladies for your responses! I talked to DH about it last night and he told me that because LO was laying on the left side of my pelvis and blocking some nerves, the doctors had to give me different drugs. I guess that is why they gave me the Ativan. It's still hard, especially because I couldn't get out of bed until almost 24 hours later so I missed his first bath and couldn't help DH at night. All of that just makes me sad. I'm working on getting over it, especially because he's healthy and so stinking cute (when he's not crying!). I appreciate you all sharing your experiences with me! 
  • Time is the only thing that will help.  Well, time and building new memories with your LO. 

    I can only remember bits and pieces of my twins' birth.  I planned on having a VBAC. After I had labored for 30 hours with an epidural that was not inserted properly (read completely not working!), pushed for 2 hours, had extreme back labor, and Baby A had to be flipped twice (remember, the epi did not work.  OUCH!), I needed another c-section.  I remember a lot of pain and being pretty out of it.  I remember them giving me a spinal for the C-section and panicking because I felt like I couldn't breathe.  I remember the doctor showing me Baby A, but whisking Baby B away without showing me him and asking DH to follow. I remember not believing DH saying Baby B was okay until I saw him in recovery.  I don't remember these things in sequence, just flashes of memory and feelings.   For the first few weeks I felt a lot of conflicting things about their birth.  My boys are now 10 weeks old and I'm okay with it all now. 

    I hope things eventually settle in for you too and that you can look back on your experience without regret or feeling upset. 

    image

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers



    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image pook122:
     It's still hard, especially because I couldn't get out of bed until almost 24 hours later so I missed his first bath and couldn't help DH at night. All of that just makes me sad. I'm working on getting over it, especially because he's healthy and so stinking cute (when he's not crying!).


    Am glad you were able to talk with your DH. Verbalizing my concerns is usually one of the big challenges.

    Would it help to alleviate the guilt by reframing your thinking? Your DH got to give him his first bath, got extra experience and daddy time, which IMHO creates a stronger bond for him with LO? Bet he takes a more active role with LO than you had anticipated.
    Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • I'm sorry you're feeling this way and that you had a traumatic birth experience. :( My c section wasn't a rush-to-the-OR emergency so I can't relate to that (I couldn't push her out - we were both fine the whole time), but having to have a c section has been hard emotionally for me. I know that a healthy mom/healthy baby is what is most important, but I honestly have come to hate it when people say that. Obviously I am happy we are both fine, but the experience left me, and still makes me, emotional and sad. I don't see my c section and my daughter's birth as the same experience at all. When I got pregnant with my second baby, I was surprised by all the emotions that were brought up. I cried pretty frequently, terrified to have another c section. I joined my local ICAN chapter and that helped me SO much. My doctor wasn't very supportive of me VBACing up until the very end, but I was not a candidate for home birth (and I didn't want to do it) and if by chance I truly needed a RCS, he is the only dr I would want doing it. (I work in L&D and know the docs there). So, I went to the hospital at the last minute (I was 8cm) and had my VBAC, despite my dr still telling me I couldn't push my baby out. The VBAC experience has helped with the healing process tremendously, but I still get pretty emotional when talking about both of my children's births. Trust me, I envy the women who have an easy time with c sections, physically, but mostly emotionally. I have tried to tell myself over and over and over that we are both healthy and that should be all that matters. It hasn't worked though. I know people in counseling to work through their emotions after a c section. I try and look at the positives of my first birth experience: I was able to BF my daughter until she was almost 21 months old with no difficulties. She was with me the whole time after she was born, even while I was getting sewn up. My H was awesome during my recovery. I have a healthy, beautiful girl who is now 2.5. I recommend finding likeminded people who will understand how you feel. I found that in ICAN and I wish I had gone right after my daughter's birth as opposed to almost 20 months later. Congratulations on the arrival of your LO, and good luck on your healing journey!
    Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker BabyFruit Ticker
  • I had a similar situation, but my emergency c-section was caused by a nurse's error. She overdosed me with Pitocin causing me to have one big contraction that tore my placenta. I was only 10 minutes into my induction. It was awful. They called a code blue and was rushed to the OR without any family or my fiance. The last thing I remember is someone telling me the baby had a heartbeat, but I was bleeding to death before they put me under general anesthesia. When I woke up I was so confused and in so much pain (the nurse forgot to hook my IV up to pain meds) that I didn't even want to hold my son.

    My DS is now 6.5 months old and I've managed to come to terms with my birthing experience as I know it wasn't normal. I do feel cheated out of something that should have been the best moment of my life and now I'm seriously doubting whether I will ever have another child. When I get down, I focus on my son and remember that the situation could have been worse.

    I'm sorry you had this experience. Time will help. As your LO gets older and you experience new things with him/her it will get better!  Congrats on your healthy LO! Those first few weeks really are amazing.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image jennOK:
    I think emergency Csections are such a whirlwind that everything tends to run together. If you had drugs on top of it, I can see why it's hard to remember anything. I had an emergency C too, but didn't have the medication you had. It is still kind if a blur to me though. Everything happened so fast. They came rushing in my room, threw me on a bed, and less than 5 later they were cutting me open.


    This for me too. We were shocked to learn DS was breech when I was checke at 5 cm during labor. I remember laying there working through contractions thinking "what is happening?" It is all such a whirlwind I was just so shocked I was having to get a c section, I was upset, and just trying to process. Plus, make it through my contractions since I didn't have an epidural yet.

    I didn't have the drug you mentioned, but the entire day after DS was born he was born at 9:15 am is a blur. I only remember bits and pieces of it. Something I have hardly any memory of is when I first held him. I'm so thankful for the pictures DH took so I can see it. And I feel guilty about it sometimes or sad, but I just can't go there. There's nothing I could do about it. I'm sorry you're so upset. Just try to grasp into what you remember and what family remembers. And don't beat yourself up too much.
    "Sweat is my sanity". Sarah Palin "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised". Proverbs 31:30 Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • It gets easier, but slowly and I'm not sure I'll be totally over it... Ever.  I had pre-e, was on magnesium and wasn't allowed out of bed for over 36 hours.  DH, my parents, and siblings got to see/hold my baby before I did... By days.  Our LO was born at 4.2 pounds, so he was taken to the NICU right away.  Luckily he was very healthy, 3 mos now and just perfect.  I do often think about my birth experience and get sad... But the more memories I create with my son the less of a sadness I feel. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

     

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards