Birth Plan Backfire — The Bump
February 2016 Moms

Birth Plan Backfire

hi ladies I am 3 weeks postpartum and I feel like I was cheated out of my birth. I had prepared for a medication free birth only to end up with a c-section. Call me crazy for wanting to feel the pain, for wanting to experience one of the hardest to describe feelings for myself. I'm just in a slump thinking about it, anyone else feeling cheated? 

Re: Birth Plan Backfire

  • Yes! I had also planned on a natural med free birth. I have been told for months baby was head down. At my 41 week apt yesterday the ultrasound tech told me he was breech. It came as a total shock and I am still trying to process it. We've got one last chance to try to flip him, otherwise it's a c section on Monday. It's been hard to accept that what I have been envisioning and preparing for most likely won't happen, but I'm trying my best to stay positive and shift my mindset. Honestly, your post came at a perfect time because I've felt like other people don't necessarily understand why it's so upsetting. It's nice to know I'm not alone.
  • @kinnonam I can relate to these feelings. My DS was born via an unplanned c section. It was the opposite of my birth plan. I struggled with it for many months after. A month ago, I had this LO vbac and it was the greatest feeling of accomplishment. There are many articles that help explain some of those feelings I had.

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  • @ARogers26 Completely understandable, especially when explained like in the article that was posted.  I think in my specific situation I was so freaked out by my own medical problems that I haven't had time to have those feelings.  As of now all I can think about is how fortunate I am, maybe with time I will feel more of those other feelings. 
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  • I ended up with an emergency c section after 30 hours of intense labor. I honestly don't really feel anything in regards to wishing it was a vaginal birth. My contractions were 2 minutes apart, 100 seconds long, so I had 20 seconds in between each one for the entire time I was in labor. And I can say that a c section was much more painful. Having a baby via c section doesn't make you any less of a mother! We didn't "lose" or take the easy way out. You did great, your body made a human, and your body birthed that little human! You did good. 
  • Also look at the VBAC board on here. You will see it is very common to feel regret or angst about an unplanned section. That has helped me - to see I am not alone. You are not alone. I promise. 
  • I was planning on an epidural, I'm a big baby when it comes to pain and I knew I'd need something to help. But when they asked me if I wanted it I left it up to my husband to decide been the IV pain meds and the epidural because I was too deep in the pain to pay attention to what the doctors were telling me.

    I did hold off on it for as long as I could though. I used my birthing room's jetted tub to get me through 2cms of dilation - from 4 to 6 but after that I was just done.

    After the epidural everything seemed much easier, I was less nervous, the pain was next to none and I felt like I could enjoy the experience more.

    That is until two hours after pushing when my midwife finally decided that my LO was not going to get past my pelvic bone, and that some of my pushes were causing his heart rate to drop.

    With my epidural I was still able to feel when I needed to push, in fact it hurt not to push with my contractions. When they decided on the c-section they actually had to push my LO back up a little and then told me not to push with these contractions. (Also my DH told me he thinks I could have pushed LO out in 15-20 minutes if my pelvic bone hadn't been in the way.)

    They wheeled me off to the OR where I started to shake uncontrollably from either the cold or a little bit of shock because I have always told myself I'd never get a c-section, the thought of one had always grossed me out. I almost hyperventilated again - I had been on oxygen while pushing for this reason.

    When they pulled off the tape from my epidural I began to cry on the nurse holding me from the front. Between trying to hold back that pushing urge, sitting flat on my now swollen bits, being moved around for the perfect angle for the new anesthesia, having my epidural removed and sitting in a cold room that no longer had my rock (DH) in it, I was miserable.

    When the anesthesia kicked in, I couldn't feel a thing. I choked a little when I realized I couldn't swallow anymore and actually asked a doctor if I could spit and bless his heart he came over with a little cloth and tray for me and let me do it not once but twice.

    By the time DH arrived I was so far out of it I barely realized he was there. They warn you that you might feel this or that during your c-section, but I didn't feel a thing. I remember them saying they had already cut the incision and being surprised. I remember them carrying my LO to the other side of the room, very very hazily. Other than that I remember nothing. I assume that I fell asleep or something.

    I sort of recall them laying my son on me slightly while I suppose they were stitching me back up, but I'm not sure. I remember hearing the word placenta at some point, but I'm not sure. I completely had forgotten the hour I spent in recovery where I got to hold my son and try to breastfeed him for the first time.

    And it all sucks. My DH had to tell me that our son had a little bit of a cone head the first few hours but I was so gone those first few that I have no recollection really until the next day.

    But in the end I'm just glad he's here and healthy, that I didn't push to try to give birth vaginally - especially after a friend told me the story of her boss' son breaking her pelvic bone. It sucks that I'm spending more time on recovery than planned, that I've got three more weeks of limits, limits, limits, but what are those few minutes or hours compared to the lifetime of memories we will make?

    You just got to try to be as positive as you can be and drop the what ifs. Looking back I wished more doctors/midwives (I got passed around at my first obgyn before i transferred out of state) had even thought to look at my pelvis (only one did). I would have liked the warning and time to prepare - i.e. buy more comfy pants, etc. But you can't change the past, so don't let it effect your present and future and ruin one of the happiest moments of your life.

  • It's very normal to have feelings of regret or disappointment surrounding birth, no matter what your delivery method. It's hard, because as much as we all know that a healthy baby is most important, it definitely is hard when you feel like you're stuck in an emotional spot with no outlet and people don't understand how you could have any negative feelings because your baby was just fine. 

    Try to talk through it with people who are understanding and won't minimize your feelings. A doctor or midwife, doula, friend, whoever. There are many people who can go with the flow and have no issues with how their baby is delivered, as long as they're healthy (bless them! It's a good trait to have!)... But there are many more women than people realize who struggle emotionally with their birth stories. 



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  • I understand completely. I had an emergency c-section. And while I'm very grateful that my little girl is here and healthy I struggle with how that whole day went. I feel strong for going through what I went through to bring my little girl into the world. But at the same time I struggle with feeling that I missed out on things that I would have experienced if I would have delivered vaginally. Skin to skin time for example. I missed out completely on that. And to top things off I have to deal with the fact that I won't even be able to attempt a vbac if I have another child as my uterus ripped down to my cervix and my doctor said the next one must be a c-section. So I find myself thinking about how I will never get to experience certain things that come along with a vaginal birth. But I try to focus on the positives like my healthy happy girl. And the fact that I still am able to have another child. But it still doesn't take away from those other feelings.  It's a hard emotional roller coaster to be on. 
  • Mine has been very hard on me.  I was in labor for 34 hours, he was too big too drop even though the doctor had estimated my baby was going to 9 lbs, and he was.  But he still insisted me to try going through labor.  Ended up doing a c-section anyways. A week after I came back to get my staples removed. And there was a 1.5 cm hole that had not closed.  They checked it,  it went all the way through,  they had me go back to the hospital.  The doctor there didn't want to wait to give me pain medicine or any pain management,  just told me she was going to have a look at it, and ended up taking her finger and ripped me back open along the whole incision to check the fascia underneath,  it was fine.  Worst pain in my life.  She found a blood clot and expelled it. Now I'm on wound vac, and it probably will be 2 months recovery. I had to stay in the hospital for 5 days away from my newborn.  Laid in bed with an open wound for two days until they put the wound vac on me.  Pretty much they tape up your incision and a vacuum pumps the fluid out of the wound.  I have to have home health come every other day to change my wound dressings that are very painful and the tape causes blisters and rash on my sensitive skin. Nothing I can do about it though. Hurts to stand up for a while.  Very tiring with this open wound and having to carry this vacuum  around with me. All this and taking care of the baby is taking its toll on me.  Sometimes I want to give up.  No sleep,  in pain,  trying to breastfeed and pump, I pray to keep having strength and motivation.
  • Thank you to all of you ladies who have posted on this topic. I am also struggling with coping after an unplanned c-section. Like others, I had intended for an unmedicated birth. I look at each choice I made during my labor and wonder if I made the "right" decision. My mind knows this only feeds the negative feelings but it is easier said than done. Also all of the "failure"s on my medical record kill me; "failure to progress", "failure for baby to descend". How can I not feel like a failure with it staring back at me on my discharge papers?

    My labor looks like the "cascade of interventions" the natural birthing community warns about; pitocin, epidural, c-section. But ruptured membranes and 12 hrs with no progress, 6 hrs on pitocin leading to contractions 1.5 min long 2-3 min apart and only 4 cm, 21 hrs in and only 5 cm with baby's heart rate in trouble from the pitocin, c-section at 23 hrs.

    We are fighters ladies; making the tough choices for the good of our children. May we find peace and comfort and heal well physically and emotionally.

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  • I just shared this article of Facebook last week. It's very good. 
  • Lurking from March. Every night when I take a shower stand there and cry about my c section. I always said whatever happened with this birth would be fine. I had no plan. Induced at 37 weeks. 30 hrs of labor with way too many interventions for my liking (breaking my water, forcing my dialation). LO still wasn't having it. Her heart rate would drop every contraction. Being told I would be having an urgent csection after 30 hours put me in tears. Then finding out that the spinal didn't take and they would have to knock me out I was pretty much hysterical. I hope that in a few months I'll be completely over it and it will be a distant thought. 
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