Birthrites: Healing After Caesarean.

Healing After Your Caesarean.

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Jo's Contribution continued...

My journey of emotional healing was one that I had to take in order to save my sanity, my marriage and my friends and family. My first child was born by cs for FTP which, after a lot of investigating , should have been 'failure to be supported' ie: no real medical emergency. The decision was made by an ob that I had never met and he made this life changing choice on my behalf with out taking into consideration of the effect it may have. (This is one of my main arguments I put to doctors). He neglected to see me after with any form of explanation. The experience left me bitter, angry and severely depressed. I tried 'dealing with it' (as so many told me to do); I tried going to see a counsellor and a post-natal support group. (I was unaware of Birthrites and there was a complete void in Adelaide). Nothing helped. I felt alone and very scared for my future. I certainly did not want to maintain the aggression and bitterness; I was missing out on my beautiful little boy! I missed smiling.

I do not believe in god or any sort of organised religion, however, I do believe in spirit guides. My guide pointed me in the right direction and so I embarked upon my journey of recovery with this simple thought " I have to rid myself of the poison running through my veins (the anger) without sacrificing the right to feel the pain and loss that I feel."

Today I can look back and see the steps I took, but at the time it felt like I was stumbling around in the dark. This is what I did:

  1. I accepted the fact that I could not turn back the hands of time. I could not change the fact I had a c/s. This was hard but I separated the event into the 'cause' and 'effect'. The operation happened, yes, but it was how and why that angered me.
  2. The cause was an ob had made a decision about me without knowing anything about me. This I recognised as a personal trait of mine, to venomously detest any man to make a decision for me. Not even my husband would take my control over my 'self' without consent. It might sound arrogant but it is a part of my make up. To be treated like I was an irrational child during delivery was the key to my pain.
  3. I wrote the hospital the poison pen letter of all time but the response was exactly as I expected &endash; it did nothing to help my recovery except make me feel like I was being the irrational little girl! It did feel good to write and assert my disappointment, and I firmly believe that if everyone was to write a 'report' of the hospital's performance then maybe someone might listen to us women!
  4. Before we even began to try for another child, I had decided that the next would be born at home. My mistrust in doctors was very deep. I learnt all I could about home birth and interviewed midwives. It was a difficult task bc they were all lovely, but the one that I chose was a wonderful woman who recognised that I need to be in control. She knew that I wanted to be supported, not told what to do. I am sure if I said I wanted to birth hanging from the rafters she would have said "ok lets give it a go"! She provided me with all the up to date information I required to make informed decisions and then supported me.
  5. I acknowledged that the anger was still very ripe within me and I needed to exorcise this demon. I chose my back up hospital and went in to do battle. I was assigned an ob who soon discovered that I demanded respect and was going to be giving none until it was deserved. I told him I wanted him to rectify the damage done by the previous doctor, to work with me to regain trust. I knew that I had to confront my demons but it had to be in a positive way.
  6. It was my choice to transfer to hospital after 18 hrs of labour. (dam posterior babies!!) It was my informed choice to have an epidural. It was my choice to have the epi topped up after it wore off and I found that I had no more energy left, thus resulting in a forceps assisted birth.

MY CHOICE!

My vbac was not the reason for my healing. It certainly felt good, but it was the fact that I had control of what happened to me and my baby. Even if I had not had another child I would have still listed all the things that made me feel bad, the things that hurt me and tried to POSITIVLEY and CONSTRUCTIVLY overcome those obstacles. I refused to dismiss my right to feel hurt but knew that to remain bitter was not good. Now I can cuddle my first born and tell him how he was born and kiss him and tell him it was a very important event in my life. There is still sadness but sadness is not destructive. You can use sadness constructively, as I have done by helping to set up a South Australian support group.

I feel healed now, I can reflect back and not silently scream WHY!? I think now that all those 'do gooders' who said get over it were kind of right; but getting over it is something you have to actively partake in. You can not just sit and wait for healing to come knocking on the door. Pin point what hurts and treat it. Ignoring or procrastinating over a wound does not make it get better &endash; it leaves it open for infection. Unfortunately emotional healing does not have a universal cure; it is a personal thing but maybe some of you can relate to my experience and maybe it might point you in the right direction. My heart goes out to all who are suffering. You are entitled to feel that pain, but don't let it ruin your life. Your children live for your smile. It is good to smile again.

Click HERE to go back to the "Thoughts on Healing" Page.